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An Overview of ASP.NET

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An Overview of ASP.NET - Web Services

An Overview of ASP.NET

by John Peterson

Web Services

Let's talk about ASP for the moment... (this is probably the only time you'll even hear me say this, but I mean Application Service Provider!)

If you want to provide a service from your servers that people can program against how would you do it. Maybe develop an XML schema for it and then have to tell everyone about it? Or set up something using SOAP? Well like everything else in ASP.NET, Microsoft has done it for you.

Enter Web Services. ASP.NET files have a .aspx extension. Web services have a .asmx extension. The technologies are similar, but instead of outputting HTML, your service outputs a computer readable answer to the input it recieved.

What does this mean? Well imagine if you wanted to validate a credit card. Until now you were stuck either using an ugly post routine to the clearing house's web site or you got a CD with their objects on it and loaded them on your machine. Imagine if you could point to their server and ask for a URL you could use as if it were a component. Well you can.

Web services allow you to create such a service using the same familiar syntax and languages and it automatically generates all the stuff to be able to use the service over the internet. And ASP.NET and tools like the next version of Visual Studio will allow you to use them just as easily as if they were locally installed components.

Being an ASP just got a whole lot easier thanks to ASP.NET!

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