SF Gate: Will web services be the savior of the computer industry?

In reality, the basic premise behind Web services is fairly simple. They’re meant to be an easy way to build networked applications from modular, distributed components. You take a library of code, put it on the network somewhere and give other software the tools to access that code as if it were running on the local machine, and — voila! — a Web service (more or less). The “Web” part is even something of a misnomer. It stuck because these services are often accessed using HTTP, the Web-server protocol.

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