WSDL Full Form

What Is The Full Form Of WSDL? 

The full form of WSDL is Web Services Description Language

WSDL is an XML-based file that describes a web service to the client application, developed jointly by IBM and Microsoft. A WSDL file gives all the necessary information to the client that they might require to connect to the web service- so that they can use all the functionalities that the web service provides. The WSDL document specifies the methods and location of the service using a few elements like <types>, <messages>, and more. 

History Of Web Services Description Language (WSDL)

  • Microsoft, IBM, and Ariba jointly developed and released the WSDL 1.0 in September 2000 by blending two service description languages- (SDL) Service Description Language from Microsoft and Network Application Service Specification Language (NASSL) from IBM. 
  • WSDL 1.0 was formalized and published as WSDL 1.1 in the market in 2001, March. There were no distinct changes between 1.1 and 1.0. 
  • The WSDL was a working draft in June 2003 at W3C. It was flexible and easier than the previous versions for developers. 
  • WSDL 1.2 renamed and evolved into WSDL 2.0 with substantial differences from 1.1. 
  • The WSDL 2.0 was a W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) recommendation in June 2007. 

Characteristics Of WSDL 

  • WDSL specifies the operations that a web service performs and how to access them. 
  • It is an XML-based protocol used for information exchange in distributed and decentralized systems. 
  • WSDL is independent of platforms. 
  • It is a language that describes the specifications needed to interface with the XML-oriented services. 
  • WDSL forms an indispensable part of UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration). 
  • It can set a defined endpoint in the web service along with output, input, and fault messages. 
  • WSDL can also be used for node configuration in the SOAP domain. 

WSDL Documents 

A WSDL document describes a particular web service. Here are the elements that it uses to specify the methods and location of service: 

<types> – It defines the data types (XML Schema) that are used by the web service. 

<messages> – This element defines all the data elements for each operation. 

<binding> – It describes the data format and protocol for each type of port. 

<portType> – This element describes all the operations that one can perform and the involved messages. 

Benefits Of WSDL 

  • WSDL follows a systematic approach for defining web services. 
  • A user can update WSDL dynamically so that they can upgrade to new patterns without any hitch. 
  • WSDL reduces the total LOC- which is a prerequisite to access the web services. 
  • The WSDL file is written in plain old XML- so its files are easily readable by all programming languages. 

Limitations Of WSDL 

  • One-way messaging (Single-mode) is not allowed in WSDL. It requires both output and input. 
  • It does not allow overload operations. 
  • Every operation needs to be of one kind, i.e., all doc/literal or RPC-encoded. 
  • It does not support SOAP-encoded structures and SOAP-encoded arrays. 
  • There is no support for output mapping (header in response). 
  • It only considers SOAP operations and ignores HTTP and MIME operations. 
  • WSDL can’t include more than one element of <wsdl:include> (cannot have more than one file). 

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