Web Services Discovery

This topic is specific to a legacy technology. XML Web services and XML Web service clients should now be created using Windows Communication Foundation.

Given the URL to a discovery document residing on a Web server, a developer of a client application can learn that a Web service exists, what its capabilities are, and how to properly interact with it. This process is known as Web service discovery.

Through the process of Web service discovery, a set of files is downloaded to the local computer containing details about the existence of Web services. The files can be service descriptions, XSD schemas, or discovery documents. Using the Wsdl.exe tool, you can create a proxy class to the Web service described by a service description or XSD schema. For details about creating a proxy class, see Creating an XML Web Service Proxy. A downloaded discovery document contains information about the existence of other Web services that might reside on a different Web server. For details about the contents of a discovery document, see How to: Enable Discovery for XML Web Services.

You can use the Web Services Discovery tool (Disco.exe) from a command prompt to perform Web service discovery on a URL.

Disco /out:location /username:user /password:mypwd /domain:mydomain http://www.contoso.com/my.disco


The arguments listed are the commonly used arguments for Disco.exe. For the full syntax of Disco.exe, see Web Services Discovery Tool (Disco.exe).

Parameter Value


The URL to enact the discovery process on.


The location to create the file containing the discovery results. The default value is the current directory. (Optional)


The user name to use when connecting to a Web server that requires authentication. (Optional)


The password to use when connecting to a Web server that requires authentication. (Optional)


The domain to use when connecting to a Web server that requires authentication. (Optional)

See Also


How to: Explore Existing XML Web Services Created Using ASP.NET
How to: Access XML Web Services from a Browser


Building XML Web Service Clients
Creating an XML Web Service Proxy
Communicating with XML Web Services Asynchronously

Other Resources

Creating Clients for XML Web Services