Saturday, June 15, 2013

Web Services, best invention since sliced bread






Probably you read about it in a tech blog or heard it in a conference.
If you end up here from a google search, you're probably searching for an easy definition for a web service.
Consider the following scenario:

Scenario #1
You at home watching TV in the living room, your mother is in the kitchen making dinner. She is out of cheese, so she asks you to get some from the store. You leave the house, buy some cheese, return home and hand the cheese.

Scenario #2
You are outside jogging in the park, your mother is at home making dinner. She is out of cheese, so she calls your cell, you answer, she asks you to get some cheese, so on your way you go to the store, buy some cheese, return home and hand the cheese.


First scenario is an application for local function calling. You have a software installed locally on your machine (kitchen and living room) that does something (getting the cheese)

Second scenario is a case where that function is online and you can access it from anywhere (home and the park) using a communication protocol (cell phone).


If a software can be called from anywhere it is called a web service. It is that simple, but some IT folks like to use words to make them sound sophisticated. Like REST and SOAP and SAAS etc...


It is its simplicity which makes it beautiful with so many applications.