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Characteristics of a Web service that promote reusability and change

Characteristics of a Web service that promote reusability and change: 

  • Standardized Data Exchange Formats (XML, JSON)
  • Standardized communication protocols (Soap, Rest)
  • Promotes Loosely Coupled Systems 

Standardized Data Exchange Formats (XML, JSON)
XML defines Extensible Markup Language (XML) as a simplistic text format derived from SGML. XML was designed to solve challenges found in large-scale electronic publishing. In addition,  XML is playing an important role in the exchange of data primarily focusing on data exchange on the web.
JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) is a human-readable text-based standard designed for data interchange. This format is used for serializing and transmitting data over a network connection in a structured format. The primary use of JSON is to transmit data between a server and web application. JSON is an alternative to XML.
Standardized communication protocols (Soap, Rest)
Soap defines SOAP as a simple XML-based protocol. This protocol lets applications exchange data over HTTP.  SOAP provides a way to communicate between applications running on different operating systems, with different technologies and programming languages.
In 2007, Stefan Tilkov defines Representational State Transfer (REST) as a set of principles that outlines how Web standards are supposed to be used.  Using REST in an application will ensure that it exploits the Web’s architecture to its benefit.
Promotes Loosely Coupled Systems
“Loose coupling as an approach to interconnecting the components in a system or network so that those components, also called elements, depend on each other to the least extent practicable. Coupling refers to the degree of direct knowledge that one element has of another.” (, 2007)
“Loosely coupled system can be easily broken down into definable elements. The extent of coupling in a system can be measured by mapping the maximum number of element changes that can occur without adverse effects. Examples of such changes include adding elements, removing elements, renaming elements, reconfiguring elements, modifying internal element characteristics and rearranging the way in which elements are interconnected.” (, 2007)


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