mrc's Cup of Joe Blog

Join us in exploring the world of modern development, evolving technologies, and the art of future-proof software

3 ways web services can help your business

EducationSummary: Would you like to extend the life of your legacy systems? Would you like to bring modern features to your existing systems–without replacing the system itself? Or, would you like a way to connect disparate applications? Learn how web services helps you accomplish all of this, and more!

With the growth of cloud computing and SaaS options, enterprise applications are changing.

photo credit: FutUndBeidl via photopin cc
photo credit: FutUndBeidl via photopin cc

In the past, applications lived on-premise–controlled by the IT department. Now, applications live in multiple locations. Some applications live on a cloud host, while others live in-house. Some applications were replaced entirely with third-party SaaS applications.

This new reality comes with pros and cons. On one hand, businesses are now free to choose the best service or cloud host on a per-application or per-process basis.

On the other hand, business data now lives in multiple locations. How can you make all of these applications talk to each other when they live in different places?

That’s where web services come into play.

What is a web service?

Web Services help different applications communicate (and share data and services) with each other. They are platform and technology independent.

What does that mean? They connect all types of applications across the web—even those built with different languages. For example, a web service can let a .NET application talk to a Java application and vice versa.

What can web services do for you?

Web services help disparate systems communicate with each other. From a practical standpoint, what does this mean for your business? How do they help you? Here are three important ways:

1. Improve development productivity
Because web services let different systems share data and functions with others, they simplify development. Rather than build every feature into new applications, developers can simply call existing web services from other applications.

2. Extend the life of older systems
Web services let new applications communicate with legacy systems. This lets businesses bring modern features to existing systems—without replacing the system itself.

3. Take advantage of the cloud
As businesses adopt more Software-as-a-Service options, and move some applications to cloud hosts, the need for integration grows. How will they connect their cloud, on-premise, and SaaS applications?

In short, web services provide a simple way to tie everything together. They let apps communicate with each other and share data—regardless of physical location. This lets businesses take full advantage of the cloud without worrying about integration.

How can you create web services?

So, what now? How can you create web services? If you’d like to build web services from scratch, here’s a guide over on w3c schools that might help: .

If you want to automate the process, check out m-Power–our web application development platform. We recently enhanced m-Power to generate web services when users build a web app. No coding required. If you’d like to learn more, just fill out this short form and tell us what you’d like to accomplish.