A web service is a software system designed to support interoperable machine-to-machine interaction over a network. The basic web services platform is XML + HTTP(S). XML provides a language which can be used between different platforms and programming languages. HTTP (or its secure form HTTPS) is the most widely used Internet protocol.
From technical point of view, Web Services are XML depictions of objects, messages, and documents designed to interact over the web to enable application integration.
Because different applications are written in different programming languages, they often cannot communicate with each other. A Web service enables this communication by using a combination of open protocols, components and components standards such as XML, SOAP and WSDL. A Web service uses XML to tag data, SOAP is used to transfer a message and finally WSDL is used to describe the availability of services.
- Interoperability among distributed applications that span diverse hardware and software platforms.
- Accessibility of applications can be done through firewalls using Web protocols.
- A cross-platform, cross-language data model (XML) that facilitates developing of heterogeneous distributed applications.
- Web services are available over the Internet as well as over the private intranet networks i.e,the interanet.
- Is not tied to any one operating system or programming language.