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Web Services

There has been much recent interest in service-based architectures as a very promising means to structure software development. This represents a convergence of simple ideas from the world of Objects with other concepts on component-based development, underpinned by cross-platform protocols based largely on XML.

Course dates

No future courses planned.


The course aims to give the student an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of a service-based architecture, informed by an ability to implement and deploy simple web services using a suitable development platform. They will also learn to define and design applications as combinations of services, with a suitable treatment of security, and to understand the research context and potential future directions for these technologies.


The protocol stack on the wire
A consideration of the relevant features of TCP/IP; HTTP; DNS; SOAP; other transports/bindings, with a brief discussion of XML.
The software stack
Hosting environments and applications servers; interaction styles; other web technologies.
Writing web services
Specification and design of services; publish--find--bind paradigm. Service composition; process management; BPEL4WS and similar approaches.
Non-functional issues
Policy, quality of service, and security.
Semantic web
Research agenda and an alternative approach.
Standards and linkages
Web service interoperability
Grid services
Different notions of Grid, and their convergence with Web services. The Open Grid Services Architecture; how it changes the service architecture.


An understanding of XML and an appreciation of the concepts object-orientation would be very beneficial. The ability to read and edit Java programs will aid in the practical exercises.