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Difference between a web application and a web service

 
Tushar Madhukar
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Hi,

I would like to know what is the difference between a web application and a web service? Given a scenario, how do I decide whether a web app or a web service will be a better solution?

Am I correct in assuming that web services are preferably used when the functionality of an existing application needs to be accessed over the web (where the clients can be diverse applications)?

Thanks
 
Merrill Higginson
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Originally posted by Tushar Madhukar:
I would like to know what is the difference between a web application and a web service? Given a scenario, how do I decide whether a web app or a web service will be a better solution?

The distinction is pretty simple. A web application is for use by a human being. A web service is for use by a program. So, if you are creating something you want a human being to interface with, it should be a web application. If you want to create something another program will interface with, it should be a web service.
Originally posted by Tushar Madhukar:
Am I correct in assuming that web services are preferably used when the functionality of an existing application needs to be accessed over the web (where the clients can be diverse applications)?

Whether it's an existing or new application doesn't matter. The important thing is that you have some service you want another program to use, and you want that program to communicate with your service via the web. The strength of a web service is that it can be accessed from any language or platform. The client program could be written in c++, java, any of the .net languages, ... anything at all, and it can still communicate with your web service.
 
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