Web services are distributed application components that are externally available. You can use them to integrate computer applications that are written in different languages and run on different platforms. Web services are language and platform independent because vendors have agreed on common web service standards.
Several programing models are available to web service developers. These models fall into two categories, both supported by the IDE:
- REST-based. REpresentational State Transfer is a new way to create and communicate with web services. In REST, resources have URIs and are manipulated through HTTP header operations. For more details, see RESTful Web Services.
- SOAP/WSDL-based. In traditional web service models, web service interfaces are exposed through WSDL documents (a type of XML), which have URLs. Subsequent message exchange is in SOAP, another type of XML document. For more details, see SOAP-based Web Services.