March 9, 2021
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VB.NET Uncovered: Services Rendered

  • By Karl Moore
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Welcome to the fourth part of VB.NET Uncovered - Services Rendered.

If you haven't yet caught the first three instalments, check them out before continuing - Getting Started, Big Changes and Working the Web.

Now, back in the days of Visual Basic 6, we had COM. And what a wonderful thing that was - you could run code inside a separate file (perhaps a DLL or EXE) by writing just a few lines of code.

Then we got a little more technical and had DCOM, which was described as 'COM on a longer wire'. This allowed you to run code inside a separate file on another machine somewhere in just a few lines of code.

With VB.NET, we get Web Services, which is effectively DCOM on an even longer wire.

Web Services allow you to call a method or function on a machine anywhere - over the Web, on a local intranet, on the same machine - and return a result.

The good news is you don't have that "tight-coupling" of application and DCOM component that you had with VB6. In VB.NET, you just "discover" what a Web Service can do - and then use it. No messing around with GUIDs or type libraries or registering or any of that rubbish.

And today, we'll be building our own groovy Web Service - then knocking together an application to use it. Wahoo - onward we go!

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This article was originally published on October 23, 2002

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