In general terms, web services are software-based interactions that take place between a client and a server over the Internet or the World Wide Web. The mode of interaction or the protocol that is normally followed is the HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP). Any kind of web service works on the principle of interoperability between software that runs on varying platforms. When used in combination, web services remain capable of tackling complex logistical situations. Like major companies, JAVA also offers its users a few web services which are discussed below in this article.
What are Java Web services?
Java Web Services are those services developed by JAVA that can be accessed on a client-server basis over the Internet. Two major Java Web Service API’s are JAX-RS and JAX-WS. The interoperability of web services by other programming languages make it possible for the services to be accessed by .NET and PHP. A complex language format, Web Services Description Language (WSDL) is used as the mode of communication and operation between the services.
Types of Web Services
Web Services can be broadly classified into two parts (based on how the services are coded).
- SOAP – Such services follow the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) that make use of XML messages to communicate. Each XML message conforms to a message structure that contains both the information as well as the action description. JAX-WS follows SOAP.
- REST – Stands for Representational State Transfer, services using this protocol do not need XML to communicate. REST is mostly used to developed integrated web services and it follows a fixed pattern. More used as compared to SOAP, REST is gaining ground due to its simplistic approach.
Deciding which type of Web Service to Use
You would want to use SOAP or JAVA-WS when it comes to building or accessing enterprise applications. Applications of this type especially require high Quality of Service (QoS) that XML coded SOAP can provide. If your service has a requirement of integration over several factors like loose coupling and simplistic architecture, REST (JAVA-RS) is your go-to.