WMS – The OpenGIS® Web Map Service Interface Standard (WMS) provides a simple HTTP interface for requesting geo-registered map images from one or more distributed geospatial databases. A WMS request defines the geographic layer(s) and area of interest to be processed. The response to the request is one or more geo-registered map images (returned as JPEG, PNG, etc) that can be displayed in a browser application. The interface also supports the ability to specify whether the returned images should be transparent so that layers from multiple servers can be combined or not.
WFS – Web Feature Service Interface Standard (WFS) provides an interface allowing requests for geographical features across the web using platform-independent calls. One can think of geographical features as the “source code” behind a map, whereas the WMS interface or online tiled mapping portals like Google Maps return only an image, which end-users cannot edit or spatially analyze. The XML-based GML furnishes the default payload-encoding for transporting geographic features, but other formats like shapefiles can also serve for transport. In early 2006 the OGC members approved the OpenGIS GML Simple Features Profile. This profile is designed both to increase interoperability between WFS servers and to improve the ease of implementation of the WFS standard.