What is Web Service Endpoint? - Definition & Concept

What is Web Service Endpoint? - Definition & Concept
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  • 0:00 Definition
  • 0:19 Further Understanding
  • 1:21 A Conceptual Metaphor
  • 3:07 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Lonny Meinecke

Lonny teaches psychology classes at King University, and has a bachelor's degree in IT and a doctorate in psychology.

In this lesson, we will explore web service endpoints. We will define a web service endpoint, investigate some of the words related to web service endpoints, and share a metaphor that will help explain the concept.


In simple terms, a web service endpoint is a web address (URL) at which clients of a specific service can gain access to it. By referencing that URL, clients can get to operations provided by that service.

Further Understanding

The following words will help you get an idea of what an endpoint is.

  • A port is a unique endpoint with its own address
  • A protocol is a specific way to interact
  • A message is a piece of abstract lingo that aids communication
  • A port type is what operations this port can perform
  • An operation is an action that the service can do for you
  • A service is a group of endpoints that share something in common

These words are part of Web Services Description Language (WSDL), a language used to help us figure out which service we want. Since there are tons of web services out there to choose from, familiarity with WSDL is crucial. Think of WSDL as the customer service department you call to find out what a service provider does.

A Conceptual Metaphor

In a way, you and I deal with web service endpoints every day. Whenever we use an ATM, we are visiting a kind of network endpoint for that bank. A bank is a service with lots of related endpoints (ATMs). That's pretty much what a web service is, too. Because a service is a bunch of related endpoints. When a service has many endpoints, we often refer to each one as a port.

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