Working with Web Services in .NET
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by Joydip Kanjilal
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Web Service Description Language (WSDL)

Web Service Description Language, an XML based standard for describing Web services, is used for locating a Web service regardless of the underlying protocol that is being used. WSDL has been defined by W3C as "an XML format for describing network services as a set of endpoints operating on messages containing either document-oriented or procedure-oriented information. The operations and messages are described abstractly, and then bound to a concrete network protocol and message format to define an endpoint. Related concrete endpoints are combined into abstract endpoints (services). WSDL is extensible to allow description of endpoints and their messages regardless of what message formats or network protocols are used to communicate." Learn more on WSDL at Using WSDL in SOAP applications.

A typical WSDL document describes the type description, message description, port type, service description and the binding specification details. The following sample shows the structure of an empty WSDL document.

Listing 2

   definition of types
   definition of messages
   definition of ports
   definition of bindings

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