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Web Services Description Language (WSDL)

"Web Services" refers to software that exposes functionality over the Internet without the significant coordination of development and deployment traditionally required between the software that provides functionality and the software that uses it. Based on open, widely supported standards such as HTTP and XML, web services greatly lower the cost of deploying, supporting and using distributed applications.

The Web Services Description Language (WSDL) is used to describe such networked, XML-based services. It provides a simple way for providers to describe the format of requests to their systems. Along with Universal Description, Discovery and Integration (UDDI) initiative, WSDL is a key part of the effort to provide directories and descriptions of on-line services for 'electronic business'.

A WSDL document is a collection of metadata about an XML-based web service- it is used to describe functionality and how that functionality is made available. The most prominent current use of WSDL is to describe web-based services available via SOAP. WSDL seeks to define the details that are needed to use a web service- the specific semantics of how to use a specific web service.

Additional Resources:

More Web Services Technologies:
< back to Web Services FAQ

   ebXML: Electronic Business XML
   JMS: Java Messaging Service / JTA: Java Transaction API
   Security Technologies
   SOAP: Simple Object Access Protocol
   UDDI: Universal Description Discovery and Integration
   WebDAV: Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning
   Web Services and WSDL
   XAML: Transaction Authority Markup Language
   XML: eXtensible Markup Language

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