Its purpose is to communication between two devices on a network. This is done over HTTP using coding such as XML, SOAP, WSDL and UDDI.
Those who provide such services are often referred to as an application service provider. The services that are provided can vary, and can include storage management and CRM (Customer Relationship Management), or even simpler tasks for example checking bids for auction items.
The majority will access this through a central server, however these web services can be accessed through peer-to- peer arrangements. Middleware can also be used. Web Services are readily accessible to individual users and businesses that use the Internet itself. It makes use of the XML programming language to standardise the format of data and allows a smooth process of data exchange.
New programs are always becoming available to software developers to build or adapt existing applications used as Web Services. It is therefore imperative that IT professionals, particularly those within Software Development roles, keep up-to-date with the latest offerings.