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What is Web Service

What is Web Service?

Talking casually about web services, our mind runs towards the ads, internet games, shopping, the project deployment in office, the integrations, the apps, and the projects all happening at the twist of fingers and click of a button which works through very simple location method algorithm. Thanks to the famous Amazon Web Services or Google’s Web service and not to forget The Google Cloud Platform. Not to forget the Internet and Intranet as the sky and earth to make Web Services function.

Introduction to Web Service

Web Services are an application interface for exchanging information among intelligent devices dispersed all over the internet. These special services are independent of the software-hardware configuration of their parent nodes or devices. The connecting glue or the common standardized framework of web services is the famous XML which gives an added edge and makes it independent, cohesive and efficient for information exchange. The Client or end-user at the click of a button invokes the web services via the XML Language interface and in turn, gets the output response message to facilitate the complete operation.

List of web service protocols

There are a plethora of web service communication protocols in the world wide web with its common protocol chosen as XML Structure. To name some we have

  • Web Services Flow Language(WSFL)
  • XML-RPC (Remote Procedure Call)
  • Blocks Extensible Exchange Protocol (BEEP) among others
  • UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration)
  • Simple Object Access Protocol(SOAP)
  • Representational State Transfer (REST)

The most commonly talked about and used web services are SOAP and REST. SOAP is related to communication interface whereas REST’s work is more towards an architectural framework for optimum data transmission.

Looking at Web Services from Architectural paradigms

Web Services is an amalgamation of Application suite supported by software, embedded with cloud technology based on standardized protocols like HTTP or HTTPS. The basic processes are an application to application communication, exchange of Information through data messages in XML( Extensible Markups) independent of any topology or configuration, throughout the world wide web. So the Products or entities involved are documents, messages, XML objects.

Web Services and Web API, the commonalities and differences

Before coming to the contrast and differences let us know what is Web API beforehand. Web API  is made of protocols along with their routines and it governs the interactions among various software components. The outputs are JSON or XML Data Files. Point to note is Web API can use any type of communication protocol.

  • Web APIs use JSON Format payload whereas Web Services use XML-RPC or SOAP(XML).
  • The Web API and Web services both are communication mediums between the Consumer and the Providers on XML Based data payloads.
  • The Process of Serialization and Deserialization consists of packing and unpacking the Information Packet, thereby defining the work Load or pay Load as a benchmark for both Web API and Web Service to compete. This field is won by JSON which is more lightweight and tries to achieve results with fewer efforts, better performance, and less computational cycles.
  • Web APIs are restricted to operate in Desktop and related environments but they work efficiently in Mobiles and Tablets.

There is a lot to infer and research and Web Services is an ocean. But we need to learn the roots and understand the basics to reach to some conclusion. Web Services and Web API can be used interchangeably for best results. Web Services are inseparable components of the E-Commerce field and its innovative developments thereby leading to the scaling of Profit graphs.

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