The answer for What are Web Services? or What do you mean by Web services? is same.
There are many different definitions of Web Services.
Main definitions are listed below:
A web service may be a part of software which makes itself available over the web with the utilization of a uniform XML (extensible markup language) messaging system. XML encodes all communications to a web service. In simple, a client sends request for an online service by sending an XML message, then waits for a corresponding Extensible Markup Language (XML) response. As all communication is in or through XML, the web services are not bound to any operating system or programming language as a benefit Java can talk with Perl, Windows applications can talk with Unix applications.
Web services are self-contained, modular, distributed, dynamic applications which will be described, published, located, or invoked over the network to make products, processes, and provide chains. These applications are often local, distributed, or web-based. Web services are built on top of open standards like TCP/IP, HTTP, Java, HTML, and Extensible Markup Language (XML).
Web services are Extensible Markup Language based information exchange systems that use the internet for direct application-to-application interaction. These systems commonly include programs, objects, messages, or documents.
A web service can be described as a collection of open protocols and standards used for data exchange data between applications or systems. A software applications coded in different programming languages and running on various platforms can use web services for data exchange over computer networks in a similar pattern as the Internet to inter-process communication on a single computer. This interoperability (for example between Java and Python, or Windows and Linux applications) is because of the utilization of open standards.
After analysis of above web service definitions, we can summarize that, web service can be any service:
- Which is available over the Internet or intranet (private) networks.
- Utilize a standardized extensible markup language (XML) messaging system.
- Not bound to any operating system or programming language.
- It’s a self-describing service via a common XML grammar.
- It’s discoverable via a simple find mechanism.