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Web Application Vs Web services application in ASP.NET

Posted on 2006-06-20
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I would like to know the difference between Web Application and Web services application in ASP.net.

Can we convert a web application to web services application?

thanks
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Question by:jskfan
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by:fruhj
fruhj earned 100 total points
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I don't have VS in front of me so my terminology might be off, but
If memory serves,
A web application type project is used for creating websites where the user interacts with the web pages via a browser.

a "Web Service" is a method of providing data to another program using http over port 80.
So for example, say you were into Stock market quotes.
If you wanted users to see these quotes, you'd design a web application.
If you had a bunch of large corporations that wanted a reliable way to look up specific quotes and feed the results into their internal systems, you'd want to make a web service.

hope that helps.
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by:ewsgreg
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The answer to your question is possibly, however you need to make sure that there is a good reason to.

The difference between the two is that a Web Application has a user front and a Web Service does not.

A Web Service is an asp.net application that only has specific functionality.  As fruhj stated, the primary functionality is to deliver data, however it can also be used to recieve requests to execute specific code.  If you coded in the vb6/asp world, it has similar function to a dll.

So, you can use a Web Service as part of a Web Application, to help split apart some of the front end vs. back end coding.  However, you need to realize that the Web Service is accessible directly from your web space, so you have to make sure that you have a security model built into the Web Service, or anyone could just call it.  Generally I still create class libraries (dlls) to do my backend work.  Generally it is best practice to only have a Web Service if you need to have multiple applications or external applications get at your data or send in a request.

The only other place that I think you will start to see more Web Services is in the Ajax/Atlas world, since they work over http.

I hope this helps.
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by:jskfan
ID: 16950917
So if I develop an ASP.NET web application, then I will have to deploy it so that businesses can use the same application GUI to access the data and make queries.

if I develop a web services application, what do other business use to access it?

please explain clearly.

thanks
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ewsgreg earned 400 total points
ID: 16951485
Yes if you built a web application then they would everyone would need to use that GUI to access the data.  If you build a web service they could access it with whatever technology they wanted to, basically any technology that can make an http call and recieve back results.  The results are normally XML, but there are other types of data that can be returned.

Basically the webservice is called just like a web page, something like
http://domain.com/webservice.aspx?op=Function but it is generally called through some type of

Code Project has an example of calling from asp 3.0 at http://www.codeproject.com/soap/ConsumWebServicefromASP.asp.  It uses SOAP to make the call to the web service.

ondotnet.com has a decent small example that is just a hello world, but it shows creating a web service and accessing it from a browser.  http://www.ondotnet.com/pub/a/dotnet/excerpt/progdotnetws_2/index1.html?page=1

dotnetbips.com has an excellent example of calling a web service using AJAX at http://www.dotnetbips.com/articles/displayarticle.aspx?id=308

These are a bunch of examples, but please note that it really depends on what you users are going to be calling the data from.  There are many examples available on the internet for almost every type of programming language.  Also, the caller does not have to be a web application, it can actually be a desktop application also, as long as the user as access to the internet to get to your site.

Hope this helps.
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