"Web services are all about two things: XML and WSDL. When you
build a Web service in a commercial platform such as Microsoft .NET
or J2EE, you are building a smart server that can describe itself
with WSDL, be invoked using a HTTP-Get, or SOAP, and return an XML
"This article will step you through building such an XML
delivery server using PHP and MySQL, both of which are open source
and free. In addition, the software will run on an Apache platform,
giving you an end-to-end open source experience.
"The example application I'll build in this article is for a
company that provides sports data and statistics to the Web sites
of different newspapers and other media companies, who want to
present league standings in a way that is appropriate to their
audience and style..."