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Understanding UDDI Services Entities

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

UDDI Services includes a directory of groups or organizations and the Web services that they provide on your intranet or extranet. The directory provides various kinds of information about these organizations and services that Web services developers can use when they design new applications. In a UDDI Services directory, the different types of information are called "entities."

UDDI Services entities

The entities that describe a Web service in UDDI Services include the following:

Provider

A Provider is any business or physical or conceptual group that offers one or more XML Web services. For example, a business, business unit, organization, organizational department, person, computer, or application can be a provider in UDDI Services. In the UDDI Services data structure, a provider represents the parent entity under which all contact, service, and interface information is stored and organized.

Contact

A Contact can be a human or computer resource that can be contacted for information about a provider or the XML Web services that it offers. A provider may have as many contacts as necessary to identify each of its available contact points.

Service

A Service entity describes and provides access to a function that you want to share with other UDDI Services users. Services can perform any function across a network, from simple requests to complicated business processes. A stock ticker feed and an online procurement system are examples of functions that can be published as a service. Services may have one or more bindings.

Binding

A Binding is the point where a specific implementation of a service can be accessed, such as the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) where an interface can be found. Bindings may also include one or more Instance Info structures.

Instance Info

An Instance Info is a reference to a tModel that contains relevant technical information about a binding, such as an interface specification document or Web Services Description Language (WSDL) file.

tModel

A tModel is typically used to provide technical information about an interface, such as a WSDL file, that describes the conventions that are supported by the interface. tModels are also used to represent an organized unit of descriptive data, such as an identification or categorization scheme. How tModels are used in your implementation may vary, depending on your organization's Web services publishing data model.

Entity attributes

Each entity is described by one or more of the following attributes:

  • Categorization Scheme

  • Overview Document URL

  • Discovery URL

  • Identifier

  • Relationships

  • Instance Parameters

Categorization Scheme

A Categorization Scheme is a collection of categories and subcategories used to describe and locate providers, services, and tModels. A categorization scheme may contain public classifications, such as the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). It may also contain company-defined categorizations. For example, useful categorization schemes might be constructed according to geographical locations, industry segments, or a company's organizational structure. Categorization provides a consistent means by which users can search for providers, services, and bindings or locate interfaces of a particular type, location, or other attribute.

Overview Document URL

The Overview Document URL is an address of a Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)-accessible resource that hosts data or information that you want to associate with an entity. For example, a tModel overview document might provide the URL to an interface definition or WSDL file that provides technical information that is required to invoke a service through an interface. For an Instance Info, an overview document might provide additional technical information that is applicable only to a specific implementation of an interface.

Discovery URL

The Discovery URL is an HTTP-accessible resource that typically responds to an HTTP-GET request with technical information that describes a provider. When a provider is created, UDDI Services automatically creates a Discovery URL pointing to that provider's <businessEntity> in that installation of UDDI Services. The term <businessEntity> refers to the UDDI description of the provider in XML format using UDDI language.

Identifier

An Identifier is an organization-wide identification scheme that logically groups providers and tModels by a common form of identification, such as a cost code or D-U-N-S Number. Identifiers are optional descriptions. They are intended to enhance the discovery of providers and tModels in search operations.

Relationships

Relationships describe the identity, parent-child, or peer-peer relationships between providers. Relationships are useful, for example, for describing an organizational structure or advertising business partnerships.

Instance Parameters

Instance Parameters are the settings or parameters that are supported by an instance of a binding. An instance parameter may be either a list of settings and parameters or the URL of a file that contains a list of supported settings and parameters.

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