As an IIS Administrator I have spent quite a bit of time administering web sites and web services in my role where I work. Recently, I have been doing some work with Web Services in IIS to actually monitor them since we needed to do more than just simply monitor the Web Service Definition Language (WSDL) page.
For those of you who do this sort of work, you know this is a real challenge sometimes, since the web service can actually be broken– but the WSDL page shows up. So, I had to create something to actually consume the web service so that we could truely test the web service.
Web Services are basically (yes, I’m boiling it down to the bare minimum here…) web sites that accept input via the HTTP protocol, preform work based on those parameters, and return back some value via HTTP. Just like a FUNCTION! This is an exciting technology, becasue it essentially is distributed computing.
This caused me to look for public web services, again, because I was interested in the concept since I first heard about it 4 or 5 years back. I found a decent site that had a list of web services that were available on the internet at Xmethods.net. While they all aren’t free (and they all didn’t appear to be operational) — it did seem like a decent list of sometimes useful stuff to have handy.
Having found this, I can now share the consumption of web services from VBScript with you in another blog posting– Consuming and using a web service from within VBScript to create a WHOIS tool.