The term web services describes a standardized way of integrating web-based applications. They allow different applications from different sources to communicate with each other and because all communication is in XML, web services are not tied to any one operating system or programming language. This application-to-application communication is performed using XML to tag the data, using:
SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol: A lightweight XML-based messaging protocol) to transfer the data;
WSDL (Web Services Description Language) to describe the services available;
UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery and Integration) to list what services are available.
Web services can be considered in terms of the direction of flow, outbound/accessing and inbound/implementing, which are supported by the IBM® Cúram Social Program Management infrastructure for development and deployment as described below:
Outbound Web Service Connector
An outbound web service connector allows the IBM Cúram Social Program Management application to access external applications that have exposed a web service interface. The WSDL file used to describe this interface is used by the web service connector functionality in IBM Cúram Social Program Management to generate the appropriate client code (stubs) to connect to the web service. This means developers can focus on the business logic to handle the data for the web service. See Outbound Web Service Connectors for details on developing outbound web service connectors.
Inbound Web Service
Some functionality within the IBM Cúram Social Program Management application can be exposed to other internal or external applications within the network. This can be achieved using an inbound web service. The IBM Cúram Social Program Management infrastructure will generate the necessary deployment artifacts and package them for deployment. Once the application EAR file is deployed any application that wishes to communicate with the IBM Cúram Social Program Management application will have to implement the appropriate functionality based on the WSDL for the web service. The infrastructure relies on the web service class to be modeled and it utilizes Axis2 tooling in the generation step for inbound web services. See Inbound Web Services for details on developing IBM Cúram Social Program Management inbound web services.