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Characteristics of Web Services

Web services have the following characteristics:

  • XML-based
  • Coarse-grained
  • Loosely coupled
  • Capability to be synchronous and asynchronous
  • Supports RPC


A web service uses XML at information representation and record transportation layer. Using XML, there is no need of networking, operating system, or platform binding. Web offering based application is highly interoperable application at their middle level.


In the coarse-grained operation, a few objects hold a lot of related data. It provides broader functionality in comparison to fine-grained service. It wraps one or more fine-grained services together into a coarse-grained service. It is fine to have more coarse-grained service operations.

Loosely Coupled

A web service supports loosely coupled connections between systems. It communicates by passing XML message to each other via a web API. Web API adds a layer of abstraction to the environment that makes the connection adaptable and flexible.

Capability to be synchronous and asynchronous

Synchronous Web services are invoked over existing Web protocols by a client who waits for a response. Synchronous Web services are served by RPC-oriented messaging.

Asynchronous Web services are invoked over existing Web protocols by a client who does not wait for a response. The document-oriented messaging often used for asynchronous Web services. Asynchronous Web Service is a crucial factor in enabling loosely coupled system.

Servlets, HTTP, and XML/SOAP are used to implement synchronous or asynchronous endpoints.

Supports RPC

A web service supports RPC through offering services of its personal, equivalent to those of a traditional aspect.

  • A web service is a web resource. We can access a web service using platform-independent and language-neutral web protocols, such as HTTP. HTTP ensures easy integration of heterogeneous environment.
  • A web service is typically registered. It can be located through a web service registry. A registry enables service consumers to find service that matches their needs. The service consumers may be human or other application.
  • A web service provides an interface (a web API) that can be called from another program. The application-to-application programming can be invoked from any application.

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