Web services are almost like normal a web page. The difference is that they are formatted to make it very easy for a program to pull data from the page, to the point of probably not using any HTML. They generally also are more reliable as to the consistency of the format, may use a different formal process to define the content such soap or raw xml, and there is often also a descriptor document that formally defines the structure for the data.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is the organization that governs the rules and regulations for domain name registrations. ICANN requires, for various reasons including to determine ownership of a domain should a dispute transpire, that a publicly accessible database be maintained that contains the contact information of all domain registrants. In layman's terms this means your domain name will be searchable by anyone and those search results will include your full name, physical address and other contact information. In order to protect your privacy in this regard, Domain.com offers WHOIS Domain Privacy which then masks your information using our own and implements a procedure for you to control who is able to then gain access to your contact information via a WHOIS search. Whenever you buy a domain name, no matter what domain name registration service you use, you are subject to the same ICANN rules, for this reason it is important to use a reputable service who cares about your privacy. Domain.com always recommends enabling WHOIS Domain Privacy.
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A web service is something that a website chooses to offer to those who wish to read, update and/or delete data from your website. You might call it a "backdoor" to your data. Instead of presenting the data as part of a webpage it is provided in a pre-determined way where some of the more popular are XML and JSON. There are several ways to communicate with a webservice, some use SOAP, others have REST'ful web services, etc.
* NTT America endeavors to make the domain name availability search process reliable; however, NTT America does not guarantee availability of domain names or the accuracy or security of the WHOIS system. There are several factors that could cause a WHOIS.NET query to incorrectly display that a currently registered domain is available. Regardless, if a domain name is already registered, WHOIS.NET will not be able to register the domain or gain possession of the registration from the current registrar without the permission of the current owner. The registration process is not complete until the domain name requested by you has been registered in your name with the appropriate registry. Because there are delays in the actual registration of a domain name with the appropriate registry, NTT America is not responsible if domain names requested by you are actually registered to third parties. Registration of the domain name through NTT America is not complete until you receive the final confirmation e-mail from NTT America. All registrations through NTT America are subject to NTT America's Global Terms and Conditions.