Web Services: A Service Oriented Architecture
One of the key reasons for the interest in Web services is that they are well suited to enabling a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). When Web services are used to build an SOA, the solutions consist of collections of autonomous services that are identified by URLs that provide interfaces documented using WSDL, and that process well-defined XML messages. SOA is a natural complement to the object-oriented (OO), procedural, and data centric approaches to solution implementation. Indeed, when an SOA system is created, the individual services are typically constructed using one or more of these technologies.
A Service Oriented Architecture differs from OO and procedural systems in one key aspect: binding. Services interact based on the functions they provide and how the functions are delivered. OO and procedural systems link elements together based on types or names. The following sections provide more details.