Architecture :: Using .asmx (web Service) Files Locally Within Web App As The Datasource?

Jan 5, 2011

I have been wrestling with web services technology/techniques for part of 2010 - learning how to reate/consume/deploy... I have also been experimenting with third party web controls from ComponentArt. In some of the samples from ComponentArt I observed that they use .asmx files locally to populate their custom data controls (datagrids, comboboxes, treeview controls...). What is interesting (and a little bit confusing to me) is that in the ComponentArt samples they reference the web services directly within their controls in the markup. My question is if this can be done normally with controls that ship with Visual Studio (any version -- I have em all 2005, 2008, 2010). I ask this question because from VS I only know to reference web services by right clicking on the project in the solution explorer to add a web reference.

Here is the services tag used by ComponentArt

<asp:ServiceReference path="FileExplorerTreeViewService.asmx" />

Then in the property grid of a data control -- say a treeview control-- they reference the web service, and when the project is run -- the control is populated with data from the web service.

Do data controls from VS support this technique? My other question is if there is a benefit to using a web service as a datasource for a control and what is this benefit? What is the criteria for using a web service in this manner?

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