A Web services/SOAP map such as the OSI model in networking would be very helpful and how all the products fit in to that model.
The OSI model represents networking technology. It is based on the layered service design pattern. Each layer depends on the services of the layer underneath it. Web services doesn't quite fit the same design pattern, so it's pretty difficult to render the same type of model (although I've seen a lot of people try to do so).
Web services technology is a distributed computing system (quite reminisent of CORBA and RPC systems). Distributed computing systems run on top of networking technology -- from an OSI model standpoint, all of Web services runs in Layer 7 or above. Web services technology consists of a set of related services, all operating as peers rather than as layers.At its simplest level, Web services are applications that communicate by sending XML messages. The core technologies are:
- XML: the data format for the messages.
- XML Schema: the definition of the message structures and the data types of the elements within the messages
- SOAP: the message protocol, providing a consistent mechanism to pass XML messages. SOAP messages can be transported over a number of different network protocols (HTTP, HTTPS, SMTP, FTP, JMS, etc.)
- SOAP runtime servers: a system that processes SOAP messages, translatesXML messages into language-specific data/objects, and dispatches applications (the code that implements the web service). A SOAP runtime system generally only supports one language/platform (where Java/J2EE and .Net are language/platforms.
- WSDL: a description of what the service does (the operations it performs and the messages that must be exchanged for each operation), how to communicate with it (the protocols that it supports), and where to find it (its access point)
- UDDI: a registry used to advertise and discover web services. A UDDI registration identifies a business, lists the services that the business offers, and points to the specification of the service (the WSDL description).
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