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RE: potential users of web services

From: Anne Thomas Manes <anne@manes.net>
Date: Thu, 4 Apr 2002 14:04:30 -0500
To: <thomi@di.uoa.gr>, <www-ws@w3.org>

Ask five people the definition of "web service" and you'll get six answers.

I generally describe a web service as a service that communicates over the
web. A service is a component that exposes a programmatic interface. The
service interface must be described; and the service implementation must be

When you relate this abstract definition to current technologies, you can
implement a web service by creating a service that exposes a SOAP interface,
which is described by WSDL, and which is registered in UDDI. But I wouldn't
want to use current technologies to *define* the basic concept. I also don't
think that it's essential to use any of these technologies to create a web
service. I can certainly create a web service using XML-RPC or RosettaNet or
a host of other technologies.

That said, I would concur that web services are intended to be consumed by
applications rather than humans. But keep in mind that a user interface is
an application. If I wanted to arrange food for 500 people for two weeks in
Dubai, I would use a catering application, which in turn uses web services
to find caterers that can provide services in Dubai. The UI isn't the web
service. The UI uses web services to accomplish its work. Hence an ASP page
or HTML form aren't web services, they are an interface to web services.

Best regards,

Anne Thomas Manes
CTO, Systinet

> -----Original Message-----
> From: www-ws-request@w3.org [mailto:www-ws-request@w3.org]On
> Behalf Of Thomi Pilioura
> Sent: Thursday, April 04, 2002 9:09 AM
> To: www-ws@w3.org
> Subject: potential users of web services
> Hi all,
> I'm little confused about the notion of the term "web services".
> When I'm reading papers related to UDDI,WSDL,SOAP they present
> web services
> as a new age of distributed computing and as such they are only useful to
> developers (who are trying to build web applicattions) and not to the
> end-users. But when I'm reading papers related to DAML-S the idea I'm
> getting for web services is different. They are also useful to
> end users as
> it shown by DAML-S motivating scenarios:
> Web service discovery
> Find me a shipping service that transports goods to Dubai.
> Web service invocation
> Buy me 500 lbs. powdered milk from www.acmemoo.com
> Web service selection, composition and interoperation
> Arrange food for 500 people for 2 weeks in Dubai.
> Web service execution monitoring
> Has the powdered milk been ordered and paid for yet?
> There are also numerous papers that use the term service (and not "web
> service") and are talking about UDDI, WSDL and DAML-S. What's the
> difference
> between "web service" and "service" if both of them work over
> Internet? For
> example, a search engine (such as google) is a service, but when it is
> described in WSDL, published in UDDI and can be invoked using
> SOAP becomes a
> web service? Ia a asp or an HTML form a service or a web service?
> In summary which are the potential users of web services (web service
> providers, developers, end-users)?
> could you please shed some light on this?
> regards
> Thomi Pilioura
Received on Thursday, 4 April 2002 14:04:07 UTC

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