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How do I connect a 3rd party application to Salesforce to retrieve data?



I have been trying to figure out how to connect to a third party site to pull down the XML that I need to populate a page in my org.  I have generated the Enterprise WSDL and reviewed the XML of my org.  What I am confused about (first time doing this) is how I can connect by using one bit of info (ex like a zip code) on my salesforce page and connecting to the source site where I will get an XML return of the City that matches that zip code and how I display that on a page. 


Another example would be to type in the vehicle identification number of an automobile, and submit to a service to pull down that bvehicle traits based on the vin.  I have a site that will return the xml, but how do you setup the page to accept my enterprise wsdl data and the xml data that is returned from the api call?


Please help?!?!