-- RobAllan - 18 Nov 2004

Emerging standards such as XML and SOAP are enabling a new generation of so-called ``Web Services'' that allow systems to make remote procedure calls to other systems over the Internet. The remote procedures are self-describing and language independent. A business example might be for a corporate inventory management sytem to publish a service that allows a customer system to check in real-time stock levels of a particular product.

In the wider sense, services are what we define in terms of logical (as opposed to physical) integrated system components. There could be more than one component for each service, so a service could be an ``aggregation'' of components. We consider a portal to be both a user interface and a means of managing aggregated components.

The recent announcement of the Open Grid Services Architecture, OGSA, gives us insight into how the Grid API may be accessed as a set of persistent Web services or time-limited Grid service instances. We have tried to include a description of how Grid Services might help with development of an e-Science environment. The existing library-based API may be presented as a layer over a service API.

Recently within the JISC programmes, there has been much discussion of using a Service Oriented Architecture and common services as much as possible. For further information see the following Web links:

Topic revision: r1 - 18 Nov 2004 - RobAllan
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