Web services let developers extend website capabilities to their applications. By integrating web services into an application, a programmer can integrate capabilities that correspond to e-commerce operations at Amazon, search operations at Google, airline reservations at an airline, and more. Web services provide a platform to extend a company’s key capabilities beyond the company’s website.
In this chapter you learned how to build Visual Basic .NET and C# programs as well as ASP.NET pages that consume Web services. Across the Web, many sites offer web services that your programs can use to interact with the services the site offers. In this way, you can create programs that offer the same operations a user would traditionally find only at a company’s web page.
The Microsoft Visual Studio .NET environment makes it very easy for you to integrate a web service into your programs. To start, you add a Web Reference to the remote web service by specifying the WSDL (web service definition language) file that defines the service (the methods the service offers as well as the parameters each method uses). Then, you create an object that corresponds to the service. Finally, you use the object to call the web service methods.
This chapter taught you how to use existing web services. In Chapter 2, you will create your own web services.