In the previous posting, we took a shot at defining the term “web services”. We continue that discussion today.
The quiet growth of web services.
Since part of the idea is that we don’t have to directly interact with web services by using a browser, their explosive growth has been very quiet. Many websites are powered by input they get by using web service APIs. These second-hand websites are often called “portals”, and many portals integrate information from a number of sources and give us access to information that would otherwise be intractable for us to find on our own.
The relationship between web services and the Semantic Web.
In fact, web services underscore the difficulty in making a sharp distinction between the Semantic Web and Web 2.0/3.0, something we talked about recently. Both of them depend highly on automating the movement of information around the Internet.
And information “portal” sites commonly rely on web services to automatically fetch information from multiple sources. Web services are thus a critical building block for many of the multimedia, highly interactive websites that constitute much of the Web 2.0 effort.
So, a cornerstone of the Semantic Web – web services – also contribute greatly to the creation of Web 2.0 sites.
The bottom line.
Web services are transforming the web into something incredibly powerful and are a driving force behind browser-based information portal web sites, as well.