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XML Webservice Basic Tutorial

XML stands for extensible markup Language and it was introduced to overcome the HTML limitation. Now days it is very popular because of its unique structure (Text Based), so it can be used in any system, and any OS can read XML without making any changes.  Similar to HTML it is also tag based.

Webservice: Webservice is the solution of distributed applications to share the data. Purpose of Webservice was to pull data back and forth from two heterogeneous systems.  There have been many solutions for building heterogeneous system like CORBA, COM.DCOM, and RMI etc. However all of these have some flaws.  Due to unique architecture of SOAP, Webservice are very popular.

XML Web Services:  When you are working on distributed applications, xml web services are the foundation or building blocks on the net.  Two different (Heterogeneous) applications can work together without knowing the internal details of each others. You will find lots of xml web service definition but all contains the few similar things (source: Microsoft) as:


  1. XML Web Services expose useful functionality to Web users through a standard Web protocol. In most cases, the protocol used is SOAP.
  2. XML Web services provide a way to describe their interfaces in enough detail to allow a user to build a client application to talk to them. This description is usually provided in an XML document called a Web Services Description Language (WSDL) document.
  3. XML Web services are registered so that potential users can find them easily. This is done with Universal Discovery Description and Integration (UDDI).

Whenever user makes a request of a web page, HTTP protocols are called/used.  SOAP and WSDL is the core of XML Web Services. SOAP is used as a protocol in XML Web service and it is accessible by all language. It contains very simple xml based packaging for sending messages. It contains

  • <Envelop> : Complete wrapper known as Envelop
  • <Header>: It contains routing details as well as user credentials
  • <Body>: It contains original message

Basic Structure of SOAP in XML Web Service:

<myTest />


Apart from SOAP, WSDL and UDDI are the baseline specifications for Webservice, where WSDL (Web service description language) describe the Webservice and UDDI (Universal description discovery and integration) is not only used to locate a web service, even user can register their web service.

Other benefits are, they work with standard protocols like HTTP, TCP/IP, and SOAP. Exposing your applications as a xml web service means, you allows users to build a new powerful applications that uses xml seb services.

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