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This chapter introduced you to the concept of web services, an architecture allowing the transfer of data from one location on the Internet to another. You learned about the evolution of web services and associated technologies, such as SOAP, WSDL, and REST. The similarities and differences between SOAP and REST services were also discussed.

Next, you learned how to create your own web service using ASP.NET and C#. This involved downloading the .NET SDK and using the built-in web service creation and management tools. You learned how to inspect and test your web service using the generated .NET test harness.

You then moved on to create a test harness client for Internet Explorer, and then one for Mozilla, using different techniques to call the web service. You were introduced to the web service behavior for Internet Explorer and the high-level SOAP classes in Mozilla. The last test harness created is intended to be universal, using XMLHttp to send and receive SOAP messages.

Last, you learned about cross-domain issues with web services and how to avoid them using a serverside proxy.

In this chapter the SOAP specifications were used to pass arguments between the client and the server. Although this is a robust and flexible method, it adds a lot of overhead to the process and means that the client must be able to handle XML and all its attendant complexity. The next chapter shows a simpler and less formal way of passing data between machines called JavaScript Object Notation (JSON).

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