In this chapter, we provided you with a definition for Web services and helped position where these technologies will benefit businesses. We also provided a conceptual framework—service-oriented architecture—you can use to think about problems related to Web services. We introduced the alphabet soup of Web services technologies and illustrated an organizational framework around three related interoperability stacks.
The rest of this book builds upon what we introduced here. Chapter 2 explores the root of all Web services technologies: XML. Chapter 3 builds upon that discussion by examining the wire stack and, in particular, the SOAP technology as the access mechanism of choice for many Web services. Chapter 4 shows how SOAP is implemented in the Apache Axis project. Chapter 5 expands upon SOAP and Axis, describing how other e-business aspects such as security can be layered into a Web service. Chapter 6 explores the service description stack, focusing on how the service requestor knows what kind of message to send and where to send it. Chapter 7 examines the discovery stack and in particular the UDDI standard. Chapter 8 explores other Web services infrastructures. We close with Chapter 9, "Future Concepts," which discusses some future trends for Web services.