A CDE Definition
Hardware and software components that interact when necessary, but remain uncoupled from each other. For example, computers in a network are loosely coupled. When the user's client machine requires data from the server, it sends a request to the server. Otherwise, it performs work independently. In a loosely-coupled multiprocessing environment, where several computers share the workload, a machine can be added and replaced without shutting down the entire system.
Software Loose Coupling
Loosely-coupled software means routines (modules, programs) are called by an application and executed as needed. For example, Web services employ loose coupling. When a function is required, the appropriate Web service module is executed. Loosely-coupled software often refers to programs with standard interfaces that serve multiple computing environments. Contrast with tight coupling. See Web services.
(1) In general, any online service delivered from a website. Since there are countless applications and services that emanate from the Web, such usage of the term is commonplace in articles from non-IT publications. Although the term may also appear in technical journals to refer to any offering on the Web, the astute journalist avoids such usage because "Web services" has a very specific definition (see #2). This is another example of generic names coined for specific technologies (see naming fiascos).
(2) When mentioned in the plural ("Web services"), the term often refers to an interface for a service oriented architecture (see SOA), in which Web-based applications dynamically interact with each other using open standards that include XML, HTTP, UDDI and SOAP. Such applications typically run behind the scenes, one program "talking to" another, server to server or client to server.
Services are registered on the Internet so that applications can search for, find and seamlessly exchange data with them. Both desktop and mobile devices can use them, and if the service is fee based, payment processing is included. For mobile Web services protocols, see DPWS.
Web services are also used when large enterprises need to exchange data with their divisions, subsidiaries or clients. In such controlled situations, the data being passed are easily defined. In addition, since Web services use open standards, vendors can supply customers with client-side software no matter what the platform.
CORBA and DCOM
In the past, the Web services style of architecture was occasionally realized within private networks using the industry standard CORBA and Microsoft's DCOM distributed component platforms. See CORBA and DCOM.
It's Just a Protocol
Web services define the format, transport and interface standards, not the meaning of the data exchanged. Before any Web service can be put into operation, there must be industry agreement on the vocabulary and functions each service component must provide (see ebXML). See Web services protocols and XML.
Web Services Protocol Stack
Before/After Your Search Term
|loop back||loosely coupled|
|loopback IP address||LOS|
Terms By Topic
Click any of the following categories for a list of fundamental terms.