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About the Web Services

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[Applies to: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0]

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 provides a dynamic Web service interface for applications to use to access and manipulate platform data as well as interact with platform services. These services allow ISVs to write applications using Microsoft Visual Studio or other developer tools by simply referencing the platform Web service. The Web services exposed by the platform are WSI BP 1.1 compliant. This compliance support makes the Web services interoperable with non-Microsoft platforms. The Microsoft Dynamics CRM SDK includes the following Web services:

  • Discovery Web Service (DiscoveryService.asmx)
  • CRM Web Service (CrmService.asmx)
  • Metadata Web Service (MetadataService.asmx)

The Discovery Web service is a mechanism to find the correct CrmService endpoint for your organization or to obtain a CRM ticket for Internet-facing deployment (IFD) or for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.

The CRM Web service provides strongly typed access to all entities in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, including custom entities and attributes. This Web service also allows execution of all supported operations, including those with built-in business logic as well as specialized operations. It provides a valid Web Services Description Language (WSDL) that is dynamically generated on the server to include the latest customizations and provides a single endpoint for your code.

The Metadata Web service provides methods to read and write the metadata for an organization. This includes the definitions for entities, attributes, and relationships.

In Microsoft Visual Studio 2005, you use the Add Web Reference command to point to the Web services. After the Web reference has been added to your project, all of the Web methods and classes in the Web service's namespace are available in your project.

For more information about Web services, see The Microsoft Web Services Developer Center msdn.microsoft.com/webservices/. You can also read the article "XML Web Services Basics" at http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms996507.aspx.

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