The term discovery, as far as Web services (WS) are concerned, refers to the process of finding WS that match certain computational needs and quality requirements of service users or their software agents. More technically speaking, WS discovery mechanisms take a specification of certain functional or non-functional criteria characterizing a service and try to locate machine-readable descriptions of Web services that meet the search criteria. The services found may have been previously unknown to the requester.
Since Web services were introduced in the early 1990s, service-oriented architectures had to deal with the discovery problem, and it still persists. Initially, the possibilities to describe Web services properly were limited. XML remote procedure calls (XML-RPCs), which were used early on to connect WS, offered no proper way of describing a Web service’s capabilities and therefore forced system designers to find other...
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