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Programming Web Services with SOAP [Paperback]

James Snell , Doug Tidwell , Pavel Kulchenko
2.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 30 2001 0596000952 978-0596000950 1

The web services architecture provides a new way to think about and implement application-to-application integration and interoperability that makes the development platform irrelevant. Two applications, regardless of operating system, programming language, or any other technical implementation detail, communicate using XML messages over open Internet protocols such as HTTP or SMTP. The Simple Open Access Protocol (SOAP) is a specification that details how to encode that information and has become the messaging protocol of choice for Web services.Programming Web Services with SOAP is a detailed guide to using SOAP and other leading web services standards--WSDL (Web Service Description Language), and UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration protocol). You'll learn the concepts of the web services architecture and get practical advice on building and deploying web services in the enterprise.This authoritative book decodes the standards, explaining the concepts and implementation in a clear, concise style. You'll also learn about the major toolkits for building and deploying web services. Examples in Java, Perl, C#, and Visual Basic illustrate the principles. Significant applications developed using Java and Perl on the Apache Tomcat web platform address real issues such as security, debugging, and interoperability.Covered topic areas include:

  • The Web Services Architecture
  • SOAP envelopes, headers, and encodings
  • WSDL and UDDI
  • Writing web services with Apache SOAP and Java
  • Writing web services with Perl's SOAP::Lite
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) web services
  • Enterprise issues such as authentication, security, and identity
  • Up-and-coming standards projects for web services
Programming Web Services with SOAP provides you with all the information on the standards, protocols, and toolkits you'll need to integrate information services with SOAP. You'll find a solid core of information that will help you develop individual Web services or discover new ways to integrate core business processes across an enterprise.

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Product Description

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Programming Web Services with SOAP shows how to build distributed applications using XML Web services. The authors explain what SOAP is, and how it is implemented in Java with Apache SOAP, in Perl with SOAP::Lite, and on Microsoft's.NET Framework. They also present a snapshot of what is happening with Web services, with shrewd comments about standards, implementations and industry battlegrounds. The book is realistic about areas of weakness in the SOAP specification, highlighting problem areas such as incompatibilities and lack of security standards. James Snell and Doug Tidwell work on SOAP and related technologies at IBM, while Pavel Kulchenko is the author of SOAP::Lite, so this is a particularly well-informed team. Perhaps inevitably, they cover Java and Perl implementations in more detail than .Net, which means this may not be the best title for developers intending to work primarily with Microsoft's platform.

The early chapters offer an introductory overview, describing the SOAP specification and giving simple examples in Perl, Java and .Net. Next comes a more complex example, using a Perl server and an Apache SOAP client. There is a chapter on describing Web services with WSDL, and another on discovering Web services with the UDDI registry or the more recent WS-Inspection language. The authors then give a real-world example, explaining the CodeShare Service Network, an open source project for sharing code. Finally, there is a look at security and a peek into the future of SOAP. In the end SOAP is software plumbing, as the authors readily admit, and makes a rather dry topic. Even so, it is an essential part of Web development today and this short, clear presentation does a great job of showing how to put it to work. --Tim Anderson

From the Publisher

Programming Web Services with SOAP introduces you to building distributed Web-based applications using the SOAP, WSDL, and UDDI protocols. You'll learn the XML underlying these standards, as well as how to use the popular toolkits for Java and Perl. The book also addresses security and other enterprise issues

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Short examples doesn't get to the core... March 19 2002
By Sergio
This book would have been a great oportunity to get to the core to provide a
good set of examples of SOAP application development. Unfortunately it shows how hard is to get functionality of a SOAP app from
three differnt languages. It is a messy affair. One gets excited at the begining to see simple Perl implementations but then it starts with the Java mess and that other language... There are too many XML snippets thrown around without a careful presentation of the big picture. People who write on SOAP get all excited about the XML representation of the protol and forget completely that it is the programing API that counts: XML is not for human consumtion unless it is less than 10 lines long!!!!
The UDDI and WSDL stuff, forget it. It is easier to go and fetch examples from the web.
I hope the authors reconsider their approach and produce a really
really revised second edition including better overview the protocol (less on long XML listings) and sections on when does it make sense to use SOAP. So far this one is not a good one.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Missed the most versatile tool for SOAP March 9 2002
Looks like other reviewers have beaten this book up on other aspects, so I'm not going to repeat what they say.
Another important fact that this book misses is that the Python language has the most flexible and "make sense" implementation of SOAP library.
I have dealt with SOAP since mid-last year when we need to find a technology that will bridge COM and Java world that performs acceptably. The choice fell on SOAP. Since our system is Java-based, we need to use Java SOAP.
The interesting point is that it took us just 2 weeks to come up with a Python prototype program which we continuously use to measure up the Java SOAP implementation which ends up taking us months to complete.
This shows just how up-to-date the Python community is in keeping up with new technologies (those that have potentials).
So why Python is not included in the selection of the language in this book is beyond me.
NOTE: For readers who ask "Python-what??": Python is a typeless language that is more readable than Visual Basic but as versatile as Perl.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, not a good book for programmer Feb. 14 2002
Again, another bad book about Web Services. I was hoping that the O'Reilly version of programming with SOAP would be usable, but unfortunately, it's not.
There is only 174 pages of real information, and a lot is code. There is 70 pages of appendices, which is roughly 1/4 of the book. Any topics are so vaguely described that you still don't understand anything about programming with SOAP.
I got this book because it deals with Apache SOAP, something that I'm personally interested in, however a lot of the published stuff is almost taken straight from the documentation. Reading Apache's sparse documentation and going through their examples is probably a much better value that trying to go through this book.
The book also tries to deal with Perl, SOAP, and .NET programming. So for every example, he reiterates the same sample in 3 different forms, which is a waste of space. Because he splits his efforts amongst these three languages, his information is spread extremely thin.
There's not a lot of information that is given in this book, and I would avoid is entirely. Basically, it's [not worth it].
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1.0 out of 5 stars Cannot believe this an O'Reilly Title....... March 1 2002
I usually give preference to O'Reilly's books when looking to purchase a book on a certain programming technology. O'Reilly is generally ahead of the pack in terms of writing style, author's reputation, and knowledge of the subject. Unfortunately, I have little to no confidence in the knowledge of the authors in this book just from reading and trying out the introductory examples on SOAP::Lite in PERL. It starts off with the trivial "Hello World" example of writing a SOAP server and a client. The authors didn't even get this one right! Already threre are errata submitted for this example on the site. I couldn't believe it! I mean, if you cannot get the "Hello World" example right, then what confidence do I have in the authors of presenting something more complex?
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2.0 out of 5 stars It should have focused on SOAP. Feb. 20 2002
By A Customer
Hi I'm the one who wants to learn how to build cool apps with SOAP. To be honest, this book is not that practical. It certainly explains the overview, but in terms of developing a real application, I don't think this is useful.
It should have focused on only 1.) what is SOAP, 2.) how it works 3.) how to write code.
It tries to cover more broad, vague topic Web Services, which is more or less overview, as it is not ready for prime time.
How to use SOAP API should be not that difficult to understand, but what each SOAP envelope's xml tag syntax means are most important to me. It's so complex and this book doesn't explain clearly, which makes this book less valuable.
Looking forward to next improved edition.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing and thin Aug. 16 2002
This book was a disappointment. I got thrown into an XML/SOAP project and had to get up to speed in short order. After struggling on my own for a while I bought this book hoping it would have lots of meat on actually using SOAP::Lite, but it had pretty thin coverage.
I did like the big-picture overview of the various technologies, but it was not very helpful in writing an actual SOAP client to talk to a third party's SOAP server. Considering that the author of SOAP::Lite also wrote this book, it seems to me that there could have been a whole chapter on SOAP::Lite from the client view.
This will stay on my shelf as a reference, but for getting up to speed rapidly on actually writing a SOAP client, it was a bust.
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Barely Scratches the surface
Can be used as an incomplete introduction.
Published on March 23 2004 by DK
1.0 out of 5 stars Complete rubbish
I was so keen to learn from this book but no matter how hard I tried it was far more nonsence to be readable
Published on June 19 2003 by Kamran Shafiei
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice introduction
If you are new to SOAP and you want to get the overall picture, and you don't care for details, this is the book you need. Read more
Published on Dec 6 2002 by Wilfred Springer
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice introduction
If your pretty new at SOAP, and if you need an overview, then this is the book you want.
If you don't care about interoperability, and you just want a book on SOAP within a... Read more
Published on Dec 5 2002 by Wilfred Springer
4.0 out of 5 stars No Nonsense Broad Introduction
This book is a nice introduction to SOAP. It doesn't get caught in the Software wars and has examples of most existing systems. Read more
Published on Aug. 5 2002 by ws__
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't Waste Your Money
This book is a good candidate for the city dump. This, in my experience, the book is one of the worst O'Reilly books and should have never been published! Read more
Published on May 14 2002
1.0 out of 5 stars Not good enought
Book contains too short examples and samples are written
in many languages. The "clue of book" is also missing. Read more
Published on April 1 2002 by "penalehti"
1.0 out of 5 stars Could be better
What can I say, not worth of buying.
Too short samples that were written in too many languages.
Architectual overview for Web Services was too short too. Read more
Published on April 1 2002 by Pena
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