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Web Services: Tutorials and Articles

  • Understanding quality of service for Web services: Improving the performance of your Web services
    With the widespread proliferation of Web services, quality of service (QoS) will become a significant factor in distinguishing the success of service providers. QoS determines the service usability and utility, both of which influence the popularity of the service. In this article, we look at the various Web service QoS requirements, bottlenecks affecting performance of Web services, approaches of providing service quality, transactional services, and a simple method of measuring response time of your Web services using the service proxy.

  • Beyond Web Services: Sun™ ONE and Services on Demand
    What is the difference between a Web application and a Web service? A Web application offers a service that requires the intervention of a user, while a Web service facilitates direct program-to-program interaction without user intervention. Developing a separate component, or even buying an off the shelf component, is not a new idea. To be able to bind components dynamically and use them at runtime, in a variety of different environments, however, is a relatively new idea. This is one of the primary distinctions between a Web service and a componentized Web application. Check out the Web services support in Sun™ ONE.

  • Interactive Web Services with XForms
    A form -- whether a sheet of paper or a web page -- represents a structured exchange of data. Web services, as typified by emerging standards like SOAP, WSDL, and UDDI, is an excellent approach to exchanging data in a structured way, although usually the exchange is between machines. Since computers are much better at, well, computing, web services is an important and overdue development in the evolution of the Web. Nevertheless, web services applications exchanging information only between machines isn't very interesting: lots of electronically accessible information originates with ordinary human beings.

  • Defining Web Services  External link

    The label "web services" is incredibly generic. Like any promising and loosely defined technology trend, the concepts it describes will be subject to a great deal of speculation and bandwagoneering in the months to come. With the aim of providing a reference benchmark—and of separating posturing from reality—we provide a technology and business definition. By Brent Sleeper and Bill Robins.

  • The Rise of Web Services: Completing the Picture

    We've made it - the whole concept of Web Service is taking off. Certain companies have already taken the plunge and have joined support and development groups in an effort to standardize Web Service Description Languages, while others are concentrating on hosting and referencing primary services. Here's how XML, SOAP and, more recently, UDDI and WSDL are making this possible.

  • The True Nature of Web Services

    Four years ago, we all saw the rush to develop Web sites on the Internet. Today, we will witness the rush to set up Web Services over the Internet.

  • Web Services: SOAP Interoperability

    The growing number of SOAP implementations is concrete proof of the real boom being enjoyed, in recent months, by Web Services based on this protocol. And each of the implementations has its own objects, methods, environments, and deployment. Read this article to learn if SOAP keeps the promise of interoperability.

  • The Web Services Value Chain

    This article is written to help you understand the different layers that make up the value chain of Web Services. For each layer or set of layers there are a number of players that can be identified, each of whom focuses on one level in particular (back-office level or application level).

  • COM+ Web Services: The Check Box Route to XML Web Services

    COM+ Web Services adds features that integrate with Microsoft .NET remoting to provide check box activation of XML Web service publication via SOAP for COM+ components. This document includes several examples and walkthroughs covering basic interoperability, configuration, and deployment of managed and unmanaged COM+ components published as XML Web services on Microsoft Windows .NET Server and Microsoft Windows XP Professional.

  • Delphi Web Services

    Delpho SOAP and Web Services Resources

  • Web services and XML technologies CD The Web services and XML technologies CD offers articles, tutorials, tools, and examples to help you keep up with the latest developments in XML and Web services from developerWorks and alphaWorks. Read on for an overview of the CD's content and an opportunity to order the CD. (The CD will be sent to people who register for it while supplies last.)

  • A Web Services Primer  External link

    A nice three page introduction to Web Services, WSDL, UDDI, etc.

  • Hurdles for Web Services Adoption  External link

    In this article, author outlines four hurdles Web Services will have to overcome before they are ubiquitously adopted.

  • Integration Brokers and Web Services: Will Web Services Support be Just Another Feature?  External link

    This article discusses the usage of Web Services with Integration Broker solutions. We look at the relationship between integration brokers and Web Services with the help of an elaborate example, and the return on investment in using integration brokers that support Web Services.

  • Connecting Web Services: IBM and Java to VBScript and Microsoft
    Zoran Zaev builds a Web Service in Java using IBM Web Services Toolkit, and then calls it from VBScript. This article shows the kinds of problems that you can run into as you use VBScript to call Java-based services.

  • Creating an ASP.NET Web Service and accessing it from the browser and VB.NET Windows application.  External link

    In this example, we'll use Visual Studo.NET beta 2 and .NET Framework SDK Beta 2, to create a ASP.NET Web Serivce (coded using VB.NET) and then access it from a form-based VB.NET Windows application.

  • Developer's Guide to the Favorites Service  External link

    Get development details for writing applications that use the Favorites Service, a sample XML Web Service that meets real-world requirements for security, reliability, and performance.

    The Favorites Service is a sample XML Web Service created by the MSDN Architectural Samples Team that allows a licensed site to save a hierarchical list of favorites for any number of users of that site. The Favorites Service has been created to meet real-world requirements for security, reliability, and performance, and is even hosted on a fictitious consulting Web site (

  • How Web Services Will Beat the "New New Thing" Rap 

    We argue that after substantial hype and a deceptively slow start, web services will drive a significant change in enterprise computing over the next two years. Bottom line, web services will beat the impression that they are just the industry's "new new thing" by effectively shifting the e-business decision-making process back to core, strategic processes—and away from the limits of what IT departments can accomplish. By Bill Robins.

  • Reliability of Web Services Messaging  External link

    The Web services architecture is, at its core, a way for applications to integrate with one another through the intelligent interchange of messages. For the enterprise, this means the exchange of critical business information such as purchase orders, contracts, and requests for quotes (RFQs). Because of the critical nature of this information, businesses must be assured of the reliability of the underlying messaging architecture. In this installment of the Web services insider, James Snell continues his discussion of issues affecting the use of Web services in the enterprise by focusing on reliable messaging and transactions.

  • Web Services Architectures: How they stack up  External link
    Each vendor, standards organization, or marketing research firm defines Web Services in a different way. Gartner, for instance, defines Web Services as "loosely coupled software components that interact with one another dynamically via standard Internet technologies." Forrest Research takes a more open approach to Web Services as "automated connections between people, systems and applications that expose elements of business functionality as a software service and create new business value."

  • W3C workshop on Web services: Position papers 11-12 April 2001 - San Jose, CA  External link

  • What are XML Web services?  External link

    XML Web Services from Microsoft's point of view.

  • How IBM WebSphere Studio Application Developer Compares with Microsoft Visual Studio .NET -- Part 1: Conceptual Differences  External link

    Recently, IBM released the WebSphere® Studio Application Developer product, a development environment that allows you to create open, platform-neutral Web services for deployment across heterogeneous systems. Essentially, Application Developer combines the functionality that was found in VisualAge® for Java™ and the earlier WebSphere Studio product. However, many new features, including XML tools and support for Web services, were added.

  • Securing Web Services  External link

    In his first article on creating a web service, Jeremy Raccio explored using SOAP to create co-branded websites. The service that was created was accessible to anyone who could format a SOAP message and interpret a SOAP response. What if you are developing a web service that should only be accessed by specified clients? What if the service is to only be accessed by internal company systems? What if only paying customers should be able to use a web service? There are ways to secure web services so that they will only be available to specified systems and users. In the second part of his article, Mr. Raccio will explore ways in which Web services can be secured so that they will only be available to those that are specified to access them.

  • Interoperability Testing  External link Scott Seely tests the promise of interoperability by comparing the process of writing clients for a Web Service with three popular non-Microsoft toolkits: Apache, SOAP::Lite, and SOAPy.

  • Building Secure Web Services with Microsoft SOAP Toolkit 2.0  External link

    Microsoft SOAP Toolkit 2.0 provides a flexible framework to build scalable Web services for various intranet and Internet solutions. Security is an important aspect of building reliable services in both scenarios. SOAP Toolkit 2.0 provides support for Internet security based on the IIS security infrastructure. This article describes how to build secure solutions with the Microsoft SOAP Toolkit 2.0.

  • Web Services FAQ  External link

  • Web Services Intermediaries: Adding Value to Web Services  External link
    We are now at the stage where we are seeing a growing number of Web Services implementations across several industries. These initial implementations have served to not only reinforce the fact that Web Services provide tremendous value but at the same time, they serve to identify pieces in the Web Services puzzle that need to be present in order to effectively implement these solutions. In this article, we shall take a look at an entity called the Web Service Intermediary.

  • Web Services Definition Diagram  External link

    A diagram describing the Web Services and it's components.

  • Embracing Web Services  External link

    Conference Reports from XMLDevCon (Edd Dumbill)

  • How Web Services Will Beat the "New New Thing" Rap  External link

    We argue that after substantial hype and a deceptively slow start, web services will drive a significant change in enterprise computing over the next two years. Bottom line, web services will beat the impression that they are just the industry's "new new thing" by effectively shifting the e-business decision-making process back to core, strategic processes—and away from the limits of what IT departments can accomplish. - An Analysis Memo from The Stencil Group.

  • Connecting to Web Services  External link

    Implementing Web Services in different languages (and platforms) isn't difficult, as long as you have some familiarity with the particular language, the platform, and a general knowledge of XML and SOAP. However, making sure that the different systems can connect to each other can be more challenging. In this article, Zoran Zaev goes into more detail.

  • Creating Web Services with PHP using XML-RPC  External link

    Accessing and creating a Web Service using XML-RPC and PHP.

  • Web Services Essentials  External link

    A new series of articles on MSDN Web site intended to provide essential background information and guidance about the design, implementation, deployment, and consumption of Web Services using Microsoft products. While each article stands alone, the articles are designed as a "living book" that collectively represents our current understanding of the art of building Web Services—at least, as much as we've managed to get written down.

  • Pork Barrel Protocols
    XML Endpoints is a new column about web services, one of the most controversial and confusing topics in distributed systems development today. Our goal for this column is to examine web services as they exist today and as they will be evolving in the future. Along the way, we'll talk about protocols, programming models, toolkits, interoperability and more. We'll also try to sift through all of the proposals for competing web service related specifications -- e.g., WSDL, WSFL, XLANG, HTTPR, SOAPRP, UDDI, and so on -- in order to explain which ones are likely to be useful and why. Before we get to all that, however, we need to define the term "web service".

  • Peering Into Sun Microsystems
    Sun would like the computer industry to believe that it is the one true champion of open Web services. Sun believes that its notion of “smart Web services” goes to the heart of its cherished, if hackneyed, motto that the “network is the computer.” If the computer industry implements the concept to its fullest extent, Web services are supposed to automate the process of consummating business relationships and transactions over the Internet.

  • Integrating XML Web Services Into Microsoft Office Solutions
    By now, you have probably heard many people talking about XML Web services. XML Web services are units of application logic providing data and services to other applications (such as Microsoft® Office) over the Internet or your intranet. For instance, imagine a scenario in which you manage a warehouse that supplies windshield wipers to automotive manufacturers across the United States. Currently, imagine that customers place orders over the phone or through a generic order form on a Web page. Now, imagine adding all of the rich functionality of the Microsoft Office applications to your order-entry application. With this functionality, customers could place orders and receive order confirmations from within an Office application, such as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet template, over the Internet. Additionally, customers could use the rich features of Excel to analyze and report on their orders in a way that makes sense to them.

  • Connecting Web Services: IBM and Java to VBScript and Microsoft
    Zoran Zaev builds a Web Service in Java using IBM Web Services Toolkit, and then calls it from VBScript. This article shows the kinds of problems that you can run into as you use VBScript to call Java-based services.

  • Data Encoding or Data 'n Coding? (Web Services need to relate XML and programming language types)
    One key to designing a web service is determining what information a client and server will pass back and forth on the wire. This process has two stages. First, you need to develop an abstract notion of what data needs to be exchanged, e.g., an Invoice, an Itinerary, etc. Then you need to design a concrete XML representation of that abstract data; should a customer's name be an element or an attribute. There are two very different ways to accomplish the second step. One is to focus on the structure of the XML itself and to write a schema definition by hand. The other is to infer the structure of the XML from an existing programmatic data type, like a structure or a class.

  • Defending Your XML Web Service against Hackers, Part I
    One of the biggest concerns we hear from developers when we talk about the potential of XML Web Services is the fear of vulnerabilities that might allow malicious users to attack their services. The bad news is that attacks can result in such atrocities as limiting the availability of your service, private data being compromised, or in the worse case, losing control of your machines to these malicious users. The good news is that there are real protections available to you that can limit the risks involved from these attacks. We are going to take a look at what kind of attacks are out there, and what you can do to protect yourself in the areas of deployment, design and development. This first column on the subject will focus on deployment issues you should consider; in our next column, we will look at design and development issues that you need to be aware of when developing your XML Web Services.

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