Web services

When an organization aims to interconnect its software infrastructure with the infrastructure of business partners, web services are the way to go. They are the key to successful business-to-business integrations (B2B).

Usually a web service exposes part of the business logic of your enterprise application, but it can also offer a totally separate functionality without any ties to any enterprise application at all.

A web service is never targeted directly at a consumer and does not come with a user interface. Instead, it should be considered a "programmer interface". A developer however can easily build a web, desktop or any other kind of user interface on top of the web service, branded and layed out just the way he or she sees fit. In any programming language. In many cases, web services are integrated in enterprise applications and the end user of the application won't even be aware that a web service is used at the code level.

Examples of web services are ticket reservation services, translation services, file conversion services, payment processing services... in short, any service that can be offered online.