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