Service discovery is the automatic detection of devices and services offered by these devices on a computer network. A service discovery protocol (SDP) is a network protocol that helps accomplish service discovery. Service discovery aims to reduce the configuration efforts required by users and administrators.
Service discovery requires a common language to allow software agents to make use of one another's services without the need for continuous user intervention.
There are many service discovery protocols, including:
- Bluetooth Service Discovery Protocol (SDP)
- DNS Service Discovery (DNS-SD), a component of zero-configuration networking
- DNS, as used for example in Kubernetes
- Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)
- Internet Storage Name Service (iSNS)
- Jini for Java objects.
- Lightweight Service Discovery, for mobile ad hoc networks 
- Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP) standards-based neighbor discovery protocol similar to vendor-specific protocols which find each other by advertising to vendor-specific broadcast addresses (versus all-1's), such Cabletron (Enterasys) and Cisco Discovery Protocol (both referred to as CDP but different formats).
- Local Peer Discovery, or Local Service Discovery
- Multicast Source Discovery Protocol (MSDP), usually used for unicast exchange of multicast source information between anycast Rendez-Vous Points (RPs) to service mcast clients.
- Service Location Protocol (SLP)
- Session Announcement Protocol (SAP) used to discover RTP sessions
- Simple Service Discovery Protocol (SSDP), a component of Universal Plug and Play (UPnP)
- Universal Description Discovery and Integration (UDDI) for web services
- Web Proxy Autodiscovery Protocol (WPAD)
- WS-Discovery (Web Services Dynamic Discovery)
- XMPP Service Discovery (XEP-0030)
- XRDS (eXtensible Resource Descriptor Sequence) used by XRI, OpenID, OAuth, etc.
- Berners-Lee, Tim (2001-05-01). "The Semantic Web". Scientific American. 284 (5): 34–43. Bibcode:2001SciAm.284e..34B. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0501-34. Retrieved 2008-03-13.
- Lim, Byong-In; Choy, Kee-Hyun; Shin, Dong-Ryeol (2005). Sunderam, V.S.; van Albada, G.D.; Sloot, P.M.A.; Dongarra, J. (eds.). An Architecture for Lightweight Service Discovery Protocol. International Conference on Computational Science. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. pp. 963–966. doi:10.1007/11428862_148. ISBN 978-3-540-32118-7. Retrieved 2021-10-04.
- Service Discovery S-Cube Knowledge Model
- Dong, H., Hussain, F.K., Chang, E.: Semantic Web Service matchmakers: State of the art and challenges[Online]. Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience 25(7) (May 2013) pp. 961–988. Accessed on June 16, 2015.
- Sun, L., Dong, H., Hussain, F.K., Hussain, O.K., Chang, E.: Cloud service selection: State-of-the-art and future research directions. Journal of Network and Computer Applications[Online] 45 (October 2014) pp. 134–150. Date accessed: 16 June 2015.