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WebService Vs. SOAP over HTTP

 
S Kumar
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I have a very fundamental question. Is a system called a WebService only if there is a corresponding WSDL developed and use UDDI? How about a system that accept SOAP messages over HTTP based on some common understanding between the interacting parties. Is that called Webservice as well?
Thanks for your time.
 
Pankaj Kr
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Here is a definition of Web Service taken fromW3C Web Services Glossary:
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.

As per this definition, a WSDL based description of the interface is mandatory.
 
S Kumar
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Thanks for the quote and response, Pankaj. I guess, what I am getting is that SOAP over HTTP could be used as a mechanism for a Service oriented architecture, but it is not a true Web Service.
 
Richard Monson-Haefel
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I think if you are using SOAP and HTTP, than its a Web service of sorts. In my book I define a Web service in the J2EE space as a service that adheres to the recommendations of the WS-I Basic Profile. That's a pretty specific definition that does include the use of WSDL, but its important to understand that this defintion is just one of many.
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
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