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Difference Between Web Service and Web Application

Web Service vs Web Application

An application that the users access over the internet is called a web application. Generally, any software that is accessed through a web browser could be called a web application. Web applications have gained an immense popularity due to the easiness of use. According to W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) a web service is a system of software that allows different machines to interact with each other through a network. Web services achieve this task using XML, SOAP, WSDL and UDDI open standards.

What is a Web Application?

An application that the users access over the internet is called a web application. Generally, any software that is accessed through a web browser could be called a web application. When using web applications, users do not have to worry about installing and maintaining the application. Furthermore, web applications provide support for different platforms. Also, it is very easy to use web applications since the only requirement is a web browser. Due to these reasons, web applications have gained an immense popularity. Popular web applications include web mail applications, online auctions, wikis, etc. Generally, web applications are organized in to tiers, where each tier is responsible for a specific task. In the early days, web applications were made up of a single tier, while today, most web applications are built on the three-tier architecture and some complex applications use n-tier architecture (n>3). In the three-tier architecture, the three tiers are dedicated for presentation, application (or logic) and storage from top tier to bottom tier.

What is a Web Service?

A web service is a system of software that allows different machines to interact with each other through a network. Web services use XML, SOAP, WSDL and UDDI open standards to achieve this task. XML is a language that can be used to send messages with different platforms and different programming languages and it is used to tag data in web services. SOAP is a protocol that is based on XML that would allow applications to communicate over HTTP and it is used for accessing a web service. WSDL is used to describe and locate a web service. Web services are mainly used to achieve reusability of application components. Application components such as weather reports, currency converters, etc. are widely used. Therefore, without developing them again and again, they are offered as web services, which can be easily used. We services can also be used to exchange data between different applications running on different platforms.

What is the difference between a Web Application and a Web Service?

A web application is an application that is accessed through a web browser running on client’s machine whereas a web service is a system of software that allows different machines to interact with each other through a network. Most of the times, web services do not necessarily have a user interface since it is used as a component in an application, while a web application is a complete application with a GUI. Furthermore, web services can be used to communicate or transfer data between web applications running on different platforms.


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