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Over the last few years, internet servers such as web servers served mainly static web pages. More and more web pages have started serving dynamic content during recent years and many web sites develop in more complex interaction such as on-line banking and on-line commerce. So, more of the businesses have been created using Web Services to enable interoperability between partners. Web services are software components that using popular web mechanisms and protocols such as HTTP to access over the internet.
Besides that, in mobile network industry most consumers become inseparable from their mobile telephones. Mobile web service is a combination of mobile technology with mobile device (example: wireless-LAN-enabled PDAs, laptop computers, and telephones) and web services to provide an opportunity for businesses offer services direct to consumers.
Web services offer at least three major application areas in the mobile industry. There are:
Web Service Clients can be act by mobile terminal, enabling many consumer and business scenarios. For example, applications that allow access from any location to backend database enable powerful inventory management, customer relationship management, and remote diagnostic applications.
Other service providers can offer web services from mobile terminals. For example, service providing information stored in the terminal such as calendar, contact, and other personal information can be offer from mobile terminal.
Mobile infrastructure provides information and service providers can leverage it. For example, the geographic location of a mobile terminal from a mobile infrastructure web service can obtain by service provider.
Service-Oriented Architectures (SOAs)
The Service-Oriented Architectures (SOAs) is a deployment of web services technology to describe an environment that software applications expose functionality via a service provider messaging interface. Software applications provide functionality to the user and it can act as both service consumer and service providers. For example, a travel agent's hand phone application can assist the user in planning a trip by accessing a hotel reservation service, and airline booking service. Thus, this application consumed two services in order to provide one service. There are major components of SOA basic on the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C):
Discovery - consumer can contact provider to obtain services and consumer must locate an appropriate provider.
Description - consumer need to learn the rules related to contacting the provider when provider has been located. The description typically in Web Services Description Language (WSDL) files and it can be returned as a part of the discovery process.
Messaging - communication between consumer and provide by sending messages and it usually using the SOAP protocol together with HTTP.
Figure 1: Major components of a service-oriented architecture
Component of Web Services
SOAP web services messaging protocol - a messaging envelope structure designed to carry application payload in the message body and control information in the message header. The SOAP header can be used to meet different messaging requirement such as security, reliable messaging, or addressing. The SOAP body contains one or more XML element text, blocks, or no content.
WSDL - an XML language to describe the characteristics of web service. It using XML schema to define the content of a message, operations, and transport protocol binding.
UDDI - a directory model that for locating, storing, and messaging service information related to web services. It similar to yellow pages.
Example Application of Mobile Web Services Framework
Assume: Amos is a manager of Company ABC and he spend most of his time outside the company but he use his mobile phone accessed by the secretarial of the company in order to know his daily meetings and task to schedule his calendar. Besides that, the secretary also needs to access his schedule to arrange the meeting with a particular organization/person.
First, the web application will searches the UDDI to get the address of WSDL file of service from mobile web server when Amos or his secretary requests this service from the web application running on their company. The WSDL document describe of the service such as details about the service and how to communicate with it.
Second, the mobile web server uses WSDL document to ensure the permission and privileges of the service client. If service client is allowed to use this service then the mobile web server communicates provides access to the functionality of the service with application via SOAP. After secretary update Amos's schedule and a notification could be sent to Amos that his schedule has been changed.
Besides that, in another situation consider that Amos would like to sell his car. He can use mobile web service application to configure details of this service. This service includes communication of Amos's mobile application with mobile web server through the mobile network operator. Amos can give a public access to this service because the application connects to the UDDI to publish this service.
Assume that Connie would like to buy a car with specific details. She can use her mobile phone to access mobile web services application and provide requirement of car. The application will connect to UDDI through Amos's mobile network operator to search that service and display the available service. After that, the UDDI will give the mobile application address of that service to the mobile service and mobile web server will process the service and send the results to the mobile application.