The Internet is reaching a stage where automatic processes want
to rely on other sites and services presenting their uses in a
standard way. This is Web Services. What ever an organization or
repository of data contains the it needs to be exploited as fully
as possibly. This is exposing existing systems as Web Services.
These need to be accessible over well known protocols which combine
to provide a service over the web.
SQL provides the means to query data within a database. This is
a very well known and supported operation. The query may or may not
be able to make use of free text indexes to obtain results faster
and more accurately from textual sources. The source could even
come from a remote database contacted over ODBC, JDBC or OLEDB -
more well supported standards. The results may be shipped to
another server for further processing. Further processing could
include transformations into various XML's directly or via an XSLT
stylesheet. This collaboration of services can be enhanced further
with other Web and Internet protocols for the grand objective of
making parts of useful information or ability consumable over the
Internet as a Web Service.