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In integration scenarios, many interfacing technologies are used. This article tries to address the questions about interfacing mechanisms such as Adapter (J2EE connector) and packaged applications provided web services.



Web services

A web service is a software system designed to support interoperable machine-to-machine interaction over a network. It has an interface described in a machine-processable format (specifically WSDL). Other systems interact with the web service in a manner prescribed by its description using SOAP messages, typically conveyed using HTTP with an XML serialization in conjunction with other web-related standards.

Important characteristics of web services are as follows:

  • XML is the basis for web services.
  • Web services definition language (WSDL) defines the web service. It is written using XML.
  • WSDL provides details such as location of the web service, protocol to be used to access the web service, and how to send and receive the data.

Most of the packaged applications are providing web services to access the business functions. Users can log on to this application and enable web services for the business functions and can generate WSDLs.

Benefits of web services

Modularity

SOA is an architectural style which enables IT to decompose the applications into multiple standalone components (dominantly now web services). Business functions in the application systems are decomposed into a number of web services that may be mixed and matched in a variety of configurations. Web services are able to execute individually, connect, interact, or exchange resources with each other by adhering to a standardized interface.

Reusability

Reusability is an important characteristic of the web services. Once a new web service has been developed, then it can be used by multiple departments in the enterprise. This reduces the implementation time within the enterprise.

Loosely coupled

Loose coupling is an approach in integration where both the service provider and the service requester have minimal assumptions about each other when they exchange data and information between them. This alleviates the issue of making a change to one component without impacting another.

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