by July 5, 2008 0 comments

Web services are applications through which one can provide different kinds
of online services to the web user. These services are hosted on the Internet
and can be accessed by authorized users to embedded on their web site. There are
a number of web service providers such as Google that provide a host of web
services: for eg, the Google search engine can be incorporated into your web
site. Windows Live is another such service that lets you incorporate Windows
Live Services to your web site, Windows Live Contact Service shows users’
contact list, Windows Live Messenger allows for chatting within the Internet
browser and authentication with Windows Live ID. Another example is ‘’
that allows you to develop a customized application which can search details of
products without even visiting the website.

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So, why should you implement web services within your website. Well, they
reduce your time and effort spent in doing the same job twice and making things
a lot easier for visitors to the website. For example if you want to show the
local weather report on your website it won’t be feasible for you to stand under
the open sky and study weather patterns. On top of it, you’ll have to update the
temperature continuously on your web site. So, what you can do instead is to
have a weather status widget on your website so that you can use the service
provided by any weather reporting website to your own website.

Likewise you can have a currency converter within your website which takes
the currency value right from the local stock exchange. Web Services works on
three different platforms:

1. SOAP: Simple Object Access Protocol is based on XML and is both
language and platform independent.

2. WSDL:Web Service Description Language which is also based on the
XML but is basically used to describe the web service and how you can access it.

3. UDDI: Universal Description, Discovery and Integration is a
directory service that is used where one can register and then search for web
services. UDDI uses SOAP to communicate and is built into the MS .NET platform.

Now let’s see how you can make your own web service in ASP.NET AJAX and also
how you can make use of it at the client side. For creating this we shall use
Visual Web Developer 2008. Start with creating a new web service and click on
File > New Web Site and select the ASP.NET web service template. Now click on
the browse button. Select the local IIS tab on the left hand side and then add a
new web service to it.

Give a meaningful name to the web service and click on ‘Ok’. As soon as the
development environment gets ready, you shall see a web service automatically
created. Delete the pre-created service and start the process for creating your
own web service. For deleting, right click on the ‘service.asmx’ file listed on
the right side; also delete the code associated with ‘service.asmx’, i.e. the
‘service.vb’ file. Now create a new web service by right clicking on the website
and then click on ‘Add new’ item; select the web service option, give a suitable
name and click on Add.

In Solution Explorer window,
open the Service.asmx file. In the code that shows up, change the class name
to ‘pcquest.webservice.service’

Once the new service has been added, find the line:

“To allow this Web Service to be called from script, using ASP.NET AJAX,
uncomment the following line:”


You need additional attributes to use this web service, so ‘uncomment’ the
above line. Now we shall explicitly mention the namespace and keep every single
code inside this namespace. An example of the code is shown below:

Imports System.Web
Imports System.Web.Services
Imports System.Web.Services.Protocols
Namespace pcquest.webservice
‘all the code inside this section
End Namespace

After this double click on the ‘service.asmx’ file and replace the class name
service with the name of the namespace i.e. pcquest.webservice. The line in
service.asmx file should like this:

“<%@ WebService Language="vb" CodeBehind="~/App_Code/Service.vb"
Class="pcquest.webservice" %>”

Once this is done, right click on the service.asmx file and view it on
Internet Explorer. It should show the web service page; click on the invoke
button on the web page to test the web service.

Now it’s time for client side coding. For this close the current Web
Developer 2008 project and start a fresh project. This time we will be creating
a new ASP.NET AJAX website. Provide a suitable name and click on Ok. As the page
appears we see a couple of standard code already written.

We shall modify those codes according to our needs. First give a title to
your web page, for eg, ‘Website for testing web services’ and then delete
everything that is inside the ‘Body’ tag. Place the following code inside the

Open the service.asmx file of
the server in the browser and copy the URL in the source code of the
client’s website for accessing the web service

<form id="form1" runat = "server">
<asp:ScriptManager runat = "server">
<asp:ServiceReference Path = "http://localhost/webservice/Service.asmx" />
<button id="hello" onclick = "callservice()">

And in the ‘head’ tag place these two functions:

<script type ="text/javascript">
function callservice ()
function callcomplete(textrecived) {
alert(textrecived )

And that’s all, save your project and view your client web page on the web
browser. Now click on the button which is on the web page and you will get an
alert which says ‘Hello’. Similarly you can use this to retrieve the status of
some process or project.
Web services can also be used to retrieve any data from the database and deliver
the required data to the client side.

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