Understanding the Basics of Web Services using .NET

Initially the use of web was quite limited to a special group of users but with the time it has created huge impact in our day to day lives. Actually with the adoption of standards like HTTP, XML and development of web service technologies it has become simpler to create distributed applications which provide foundation to the web architecture.

Web services are the software components which can be explained by WSDL(Web Services Description Language) and provide application logic which is accessible using web technology or simply Internet.


There are some popular web services technologies like SOAP, WSDL, UDDI which can be used for developing them. But using these standards for implementing web services is difficult and hence there should be use higher level implementation approaches which are familiar and easier to adopt. These implementations include J2EE using JAX-RPC and Microsoft’s .NET platform.

.NET provides a strong foundation in building, controlling and consuming web services. With the use of Visual Studio and .NET framework you can build, debug and deploy high performance, reliable and secure web services using programming language from the wide range of more than 20 available.

.NET framework also allows creating cross platform interoperable applications as it supports WS-I BasicProfile which is a group of specifications defined in order to meet the need of interoperability in web services and let them interact with any another application regardless of underlying hardware and software platform.

Generally there are three components of a web service. First is server component which is a web service itself and resides on server. Another is a client which requests the web service through a Web Reference. Third one is a web service description file written in WSDL.

In .NET, a web service consists of an .ASMX file which contains a class having web service functionality and other things related to it. Also there can have web services which reference to any external class for managing the application logic in an external .ASMX file.

First type of web services is also called self contained or in other words, web services in .NET are called self contained when web service header and class code are present in a single ASMX file.

Another type is of web services which have a web service header only and for actual class code they reference to an external class. You can use HTTP GET operation and HTTP POST operation for calling a web service in .NET but the standard way to do so is the use of SOAP which allows transferring complex objects and data too.

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