Web Services - Description Language (WSDL)


The Web Services Description Language (WSDL, pronounced 'wiz-dəl' or spelled out, 'W-S-D-L') is an XML-based language that provides a model for describing the functions of Web services.

For example, a banking Web service may implement functions to:

  • check an account,
  • print a statement,
  • and deposit and withdraw funds.

These functions are described in a WSDL file that any consumer can invoke to access the banking Web service.

A WSDL file is a public contract that specifies:

  • what the Web service looks like, such as the list of supported operations,
  • the signature and shape of each operation,
  • the protocols and transports that can be used when invoking the operations,
  • and the XML Schema data types that are used when transporting the data.


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