Web services in practice

One of the most exciting things about web services is that we can implement open-door policies, i.e., that web services can be used to create transparency and openness. By exposing our information and data as services, we can allow other to integrate our data into their applications. For example, the Google Web APIs service and Amazon Web Service API allow software developers to query Google’s more than 3 billion web documents and Amazon’s huge book database directly from their own applications.

For an example, see the GOL-IN Web Service and Architecture Resource Portal. In this example, three different web services are used (twice each) directly online (hence the page loads a bit slower than normal web pages). These three web services are:

  • The Google API, which uses SOAP and WSDL, and has been implemented on practically all programming platforms.
  • The Amazon Web Services works through an XML over HTTP (RESTian) or a SOAP interface
  • The two lists of links are two RSS web services, i.e. XML/RSS-feeds that are fetched online from my GotzeLinked, the same database that powers the links directory on the Danish eGov Architecture portal.
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