This is correct. I’m definately a fan of web services! My current company doesn’t use them, but a previous one did.
Basically, I believe when people talk about web services they are talking about Microsoft’s implementation of SOAP. Essentially what a web service does is takes input from an application on a client machine and processes it somehow to return an output back to the client.
Basically, the exciting thing about this is that the client doesn’t have to be a windows machine at all. A previous company used a web service wrapper around a sales tax caluclation COM object that allowed their AS/400 to make calls to the webservcie to calculate tax– thereby getting rid of a subscription on the 400 and saving money.
Webservices can be used in .net applications as well as a form of distributed computing or as a security mechanism when someone needs access to the data but you don’t want to give them access to the data. Essentially, it is Webified DCOM (Distributed Component Object Model)!