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I have a hard time formulating requirements for clients using our web service. The company I work at runs a web service and clients will write programs that will access that web service for its functionality. The problem is to specify requirements to what programming languages and development environments clients can use.

The web service accepts requests via HTTP and so it can be used from any environment that can send HTTP requests - there's no SOAP or anything similar, just plain HTTP.

So it's something like "any development environment for creating programs with Internet access", but that sounds kind of dumb. Is there an industry-acceptable term for that?

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2 Answers

To make it easier for the less tech-savvy people, you might want to list some major languages and tools, e.g.

This web service can be accessed by programs written in C#, VB.net, Java, PHP or any other language capable of creating and processing HTTP requests. Our clients may use MS Visual Studio, Eclipse, Netbeans and other Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) to create such programs.

With a text like that, a manager can scan for buzzwords like "C#, Visual Studio" and recognize "yes, we have that, we use that" and see that it is possible to access your service. Maybe there is someone using Z80 assembler on a microcontroller and could still use your service, but such a technician is certainly clever enough to recognize that.

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+1 this sounds more "sales-y and market speak" –  Darknight Mar 15 '12 at 11:21
Darknight: that's the idea ;-) –  user281377 Mar 15 '12 at 11:32
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json, xml, soap, plain text:

What does it matter? they all use http transport protocol.

Ultimately its just a data format.

Just say, "Web Service API" under protocol put "http, get/post". under content type put "plain text"

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The problem is it must be marketing-friendly so that marketing dudes can say that, so "put X under Y" is not the best idea. –  sharptooth Mar 15 '12 at 10:40
then just call it "web service"? –  Darknight Mar 15 '12 at 10:44
Well, no problem saying we have a web service, the problem is to say you can use whatever Internet-aware environment to develop software that use our web service. –  sharptooth Mar 15 '12 at 10:58
hmm, then I'm not sure what your after in terms of wording, I think ammoQ answer is better? –  Darknight Mar 15 '12 at 11:20
His answer looks useful, the only problem I see it's rather long, but maybe it's no big deal. –  sharptooth Mar 15 '12 at 11:43
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