Web Services, Part I: Introduction
With the momentum behind XML Web services growing among developers, computer companies are building platforms to help them write, deploy, use, and manage these services. Sun is promoting its Sun Open Net Environment (Sun ONE) for these purposes. Microsoft has its own platform, the .NET (pronounced dotnet) platform. It contains both products and services developers need to build and run XML Web services. It also enables integration of XML Web services with other computers, smart devices, and other Web-based services. Because XML is an open standard, Microsft assures us that the products and services within Microsft .NET will interoperate with a broad set of XML- and XML Web services-enabled infrastructure and developer tools from other vendors.
Under the umbrella of the .NET environment, Microsoft is promoting two major tools: Visual Studio.NET and .NET Framework. Visual Studio.NET is Microsoft's next generation multi-language development tool. It helps developers quickly build XML Web services and applications that scale easily, using the language of their choice. The supported languages are: Visual Basic, which includes new object-oriented programming features, Visual C++, which advances Windows-based development and enables you to build .NET applications, and C#, which brings RAD (Rapid Application Development) to C and C++ developers. Other languages will be supported by third parties: Perl, Python, COBOL, and Eiffel.
The .NET Framework is a high-productivity, standards-based, multi-language application execution environment that handles essential plumbing chores and eases deployment. The .NET Framework improves the reliability, scalability, and security of your application. It includes several parts: the Common Language Runtime, a rich set of class libraries for building XML Web services, and ASP.NET, the next generation Active Server Pages.
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