The “SOCKET” operating mode is a very universal interface based on TCP/IP. An important area of application for this interface is the provision of web services. The term web service is often mistakenly equated with the term web application. A web application is intended for use by people (via a web browser), whereas a web service is used by programs.
What is a web service?
A web service enables platform-independent communication between different applications. This enables the provision and execution of services via a computer network. A HTTP-oder HTTPS connection is established as the communication medium. The communication content is usually transmitted on the basis of XML or JSON.
Will eine Anwendung einen Web-Service nutzen, kann dieser über eine Uniform Ressource Identifier (URI) angesprochen werden. Jeder Web-Service besitzt eine URI, über die er eindeutig identifizierbar ist. Zusätzlich besitzt ein Webservice eine Schnittstellenbeschreibung, meist in einem maschinenlesbaren Format (z. B. WSDL auf Basis von XML), in der die Interaktion mit dem Service beschrieben ist.
One advantage of web services is that they can be used to make existing applications accessible to other applications, regardless of the technology used. Another advantage is the standardization of communication for all service participants. This makes it easy to add/exchange web services without having to adapt existing applications.
This allows data from conzept 16 software solutions to be made easily accessible to other applications. A practical example of such an application is the vectorsoft web service based on REST.
Example of a REST web service
Via the vectorsoft web service, our partners can retrieve status information, invoices and support tickets for their licenses. This enables our customers to integrate this information into their Software Asset Management (SAM).
The web service can be accessed via a REST interface. For this purpose, an SOA task in “SOCKET” mode waits for incoming HTTP connections. If the partner application has successfully logged in via HTTP, it receives a session ID. This session ID must be transmitted with every query via the interface. The partner application receives the data on the licenses in JSON format.
A detailed description of the interface can be found at https://services.vectorsoft.de/doc.
The example illustrates the use and functionality of a web service. SOA tasks in the “SOCKET” operating mode can use any TCP/IP-based transmission protocol to offer a web service. This makes it possible to offer external applications a general data interface, regardless of platform, programming language and protocol.
Another field of activity of SOCKET tasks is the provision of web applications, which is presented in the next article.