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Lesson 2: Adding a Web Reference

Web service discovery is the process by which a client locates a Web service and obtains its service description. The process of Web service discovery in Visual Studio involves interrogating a Web site following a predetermined algorithm. The goal of the process is to locate the service description, which is an XML document that uses the Web Services Description Language (WSDL).

The service description describes what services are available and how to interact with those services. Without a service description, it is impossible to programmatically interact with a Web service.

Your application must have a means to communicate with the Web service and to locate it at run time. Adding a Web reference to your project for the Web service does this by generating a proxy class that interfaces with the Web service and provides a local representation of the Web service. For more information, see "Web References and Generating an XML Web Service Proxy" in your Visual Studio documentation.

To add a Web reference

  1. On the Project menu, click Add Web Reference.

  2. In the URL box of the Add Web Reference dialog box, type the URL to obtain the service description of the Report Server Web service, such as http://localhost/reportserver/reportservice2005.asmx?wsdl. Then click the Go button to retrieve information about the Web service.

    - or -

    If the Report Server Web service exists on the local machine, click the Web services on the local machine link in the browser pane. Then click the link for the ReportService2005 Web service from the list provided.

  3. In the Web reference name box, rename the Web reference to ReportService2005, which is the namespace you will use for this Web reference.

  4. Click Add Reference to add a Web reference for the target Web service.

    Visual Studio downloads the service description and generates a proxy class to interface between your application and the Report Server Web service.

For more information, see Accessing the SOAP API.

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