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Chapter 21. Using and Creating Web Servi... > About Using and Creating Web Service...

About Using and Creating Web Services

Unless you don’t follow the web development industry, you’ve probably already heard about web services. At the same time, you might be confused by the hype swirling around the industry movement toward software as a service. At its core, a web service is application functionality that makes itself available over the Internet using XML-based messaging.

The Extensible Markup Language (XML) describes the functionality provided by a web service, including the available functions, accepted parameters, and results returned. Indeed, one of the greatest advantages of web services lies in their ability to describe themselves to other applications. In addition, XML is used to format the function calls to a web service and return results so that both sides of the interaction understand each other.


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