A Web service may be defined as an independent and self-sustained unit of a software application that is hosted on the Web and implement specific functionalities to execute the business logic. A Web service provides so many functionalities, such as generating pay slips for employees, computing tax, broadcasting weather report, and providing updated news. The Web service allows application to share information or exchange data with other applications across different operating systems and hardware.
Therefore, the work of a Web service is to unite software by exchanging data irrespective of their operating systems, supported hardware, and programming language used in their development. The Web services transfer data in the XML format and use Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) to communicate. It is an XML based protocol. The Web services use Web Services Description Language (WSDL) and Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration (UDDI) to describe itself.