As a means by which devices and software communicate over the World Wide Web, web services range from major services such as customer relationship management (CRM) and storage management to much more restricted and niche specific services such as checking of auction item bids and provision of market data.
Web services are services made available from the web server of a business for web users or programs connected to the web. The interface of the application is present on your device whether you use an enterprise system, search engine or a mobile application. Typically, web services include some combination of data and programming. The data resides on some other network server and how your interface liaises with that server is determined by the web services. Provided by application or web service providers, web services have evolved considerably. The purpose of a web service is to change the usability of the internet from a visual tool to a transactional tool. Web services drive interactions between the applications based on standards such as:
- Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)
- Extensible Markup Language (XML)
- Web Services Description Language (WSDL)
- Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration (UDDI)
With web services, organizations can enhance their ability to easily integrate with any type of solution including ETRM, BI, ML, Financial, ERP, CRM, custom code, etc. When it comes to web services, some services can benefit your organization more than the others. These services include SOAP Services, Restful Services and Odata connections. Following is a brief explanation of each:
Used by web services for communication purpose, SOAP or Simple Object Access Protocol is a standard protocol or set or rules that utilize XML to provide messaging services. SOAP does not require plumbing code to be written into the application layer by developers. Additionally, compared to REST—which we will explain next, SOAP requires less addressing, transactions, coordination, trust and security.
A set of architectural principles, REST transmits data over a standardized interface such as Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). To create stateless services, RESTful services focus on design rules. Easily scalable, RESTful services are useful when an organization wants to manipulate a set or resources or wants to support the navigation between them.
An OASIS standard approved by ISO/IEC, OData defines the best practices for constructing and utilizing RESTful APIs. While constructing RESTful APIs, Odata allows you to focus on your business logic by eliminating the need for you to define HTTP methods, query options, request and response headers, payload formats, status codes, URL conventions etc. Additionally, OData provides guidance for sending asynchronous/batch requests, tracking changes, and defining actions/functions for reusable procedures.
As seen above, web services such as the above can benefit your organization in several ways. To know more about these services and how they can benefit you, get in touch with us today!