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    Definitions 9 min read

    A Web service is any software, application or cloud technology system built for interoperable machine-to-machine or application-to-application interaction over a network. They allow different applications to seamlessly communicate and share data with each other.

    What are Web Services?

    Web Service icon.
    Source: Eucalyp for flaticon.com

    Web services describe a standardized way of integrating Web-based applications using the XML, SOAP, WSDL, and UDDI open standards over an Internet protocol backbone. XML is used to tag the data, SOAP is used to transfer the data, WSDL is used for describing the services available and UDDI is used for listing what services are available. Used primarily as a means for businesses to communicate with each other and with clients, Web services allow organizations to communicate data without intimate knowledge of each other’s IT systems behind the firewall.


    This article was reviewed and extensively updated by James Payne in February 2022.