Understanding Web Services: XML, WSDL, SOAP, and UDDI Paperback – May 13 2002
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Web services, the new way of stitching data and processing resources together to form elaborate, distributed applications, aren't like other software systems. They differ even from other architectures for distributed applications. In his fantastic Understanding Web Services, Eric Newcomer helps his readers figure out what Web services are all about. This book is better than any other book out there in helping readers come to grips with the terms, technologies, behaviors, and design requirements that define the Web services universe. It's remarkably light on code--Newcomer's logic appears to be that you should dig into the details of implementation only after you thoroughly understand the design concepts--and emphasizes definition and exposition of SOAP, UDDI, WSDL, and ebXML.
Newcomer's work looks and reads almost like a notebook, with succinct statements in the margin (for instance, "SOAP processors first have to check the mustUnderstand attribute, if any"), adjacent to paragraphs that go into greater depth. He's careful to call attention to differences among the relevant standards documents, and points out differences among implementations. Graphical learners may wish for more conceptual diagrams, as there aren't a lot of them here. Newcomer's prose is brilliant, though, and it's pretty easy to determine what he means. Perhaps best of all, Newcomer isn't cheap with his opinions and forecasts. It's helpful to read his informed feelings and predictions. --David Wall
Topics covered: The specifications, implementations, and popular trends that define the Web services movement. Conceptual coverage of Extensible Markup Language (XML), Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), Web Services Description Language (WSDL), and the Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration (UDDI) protocol fills these pages. Emphasis is on how it all works rather than on how to program for it.
From the Inside Flap
I first encountered XML as an integration technology in early 1998 during a visit to KPN Telecom in the Netherlands. The company was asking for proposals to help it develop an enterprise integration architecture based on the hub and spoke model, using XML as the canonical message format that would tie together the company's thousands of systems and hundreds of programming languages. My employer at the time, Compaq (Digital), did not win the project, but the controversial idea of using XML in a data-independent integration layer stuck with me. Now Web services are fulfilling that promise for everyone.I joined IONA in the fall of 1999 and among other things soon began chairing the Object Management Group submitter's team drafting the XML Value specification, mapping XML to CORBA. In early 2000, I got involved in the new effort Microsoft was leading to define a distributed computing protocol for the Internet: SOAP. Previous attempts to promote the CORBA protocol had failed by then, and the W3C's own attempt, HTTP-NG, had also fallen flat. But the idea of serializing XML over HTTP seemed to hold promise for a solution.IONA formally joined the SOAP effort in March 2000, before IBM joined and put the effort on the map. I worked with Andrew Layman, David Turner, John Montgomery, and others at Microsoft to bring IONA into the picture as a SOAP supporter and, in fact, as the first J2EE vendor to support SOAP. IONA demonstrated Web services interoperability at several Microsoft events during that year. The Microsoft presenter would introduce its SOAP Toolkit and demonstrate interoperability with a COM server. Then the IONA presenter was called on to describe how the same SOAP interface could interoperate with a Java server.After that, I organized IONA's initial participation at W3C, supported the establishment of the XML Protocols Working Group, helped write the group charter, and began representing IONA at the XML Protocols Working Group, and more recently, at the Web Services Architecture Working Group. IONA has supported the submission of SOAP to W3C, WSDL, SOAP with Attachments, and XKMS. One thing led to another, and I eventually took on the responsibility of delivering IONA's implementation of Web services integration technologies.In October 2000, I represented IONA at the UDDI kick-off meeting. It was then that I realized the potential for Web services technologies for application integration inside the firewall. Why not use SOAP, UDDI, and WSDL for internal projects? Then you could use the same approach for integration, regardless of whether it's inside the company or across the Internet.David Vaskevitch presented at the UDDI conference, and this reminded me of the 1995 chapter in The Future of Software that I coauthored for Digital Equipment Corporation. David was author of the Microsoft chapter in that same book. In the Digital chapter, "The Key to the Highway," Peter Conklin and I compared the potential power of software standards to the impact of standards on the automobile. Standardized parts enabled mass production, which revolutionized the industry and society. Today, software remains essentially a craft business, as automobiles were at the start of the twentieth century. Having widely adopted standards has remained elusive despite many attempts. We may be at the crossroads; Web services may finally do the trick.I hope this book helps you understand what Web services are all about. If it serves as a decent introduction to the main ideas, concepts, and technologies, it will have done its job and find its place in the Web services community.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is NOT to say the book does not explain Web Services, whatever those are. It MIGHT explain what Web Services are, but we're never really sure. It's sort of like Microsoft's spiel on Web Services - you know, how they are always talking about how GREAT Web Services are. Web Services are just wonderful. That is apparently all we need to know.
So, if you are looking for another book that describes in acronym-laden (not explained) detail how great Web Services are, without actually explaining WHAT they are then this book might be for you. There is a pretty picture of a peacock on the cover so that's nice.
P.S. For those interested to know what Web Services are, I'll save you money and tell you right away, since I just recently discovered the answer on my own: Web Services are an idea that involves everything being online, and not sitting on your desktop - that is on servers. Like files and folders for instance, software, video games, etc. - with Web Services it would all be online and you could 'lease' or 'rent' the stuff you needed when you needed it and you would get it for a certain amount of time over the net, presumably downloaded onto your computer where you would use it feverishly until your time expired and it 'dissolved' into zeroes and one's. That's my thinking on the topic, and this book won't make you any wiser.
Here are the topics that Newcomer addresses:
1. Introduction to Web Services (XML, WSDL, SOAP and UDDI)
2. XML - Describing Information
3. WSDL - Describing Web Services
4. SOAP - Accessing Web Services
5. UDDI - Registering Web Services
7. Other Web Service technologies
8. How to Implement
Overall, this book is a great teaching and learning tool to the basics of web services. Newcomer does a fine job of describing the various technologies and trying to "dumb" down the technology to describe how it works. One of the great things about the book is the "margin" notes on each page that highlight the definitions and key concepts that he tries to highlight. This makes the book easy to follow along with and helps to reinforce the concepts. Overall, this is great for a textbook.
However, keep in mind that the subject is very technical so if you are not a techie there are parts where you WILL get lost. Overall though, you still come away with a good understanding of what these technologies are and how they can help your business.
Overall, Newcomer does a fine job of covering the various technologies and issues that deal with web services and how they can be applied to business. While the subject is technical and you may got buried in some parts the book's style is still easy to follow.Read more ›
As clearly stated in the introduction, the book is intended for IT professionals who need to understand Web Services, how they work, and (most importantly) what they are good for - the book is not intended to describe how to implement Web Services using a particular product offering from IONA (Eric Newcomer is the IONS CTO) or any other vendor.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I have been thrown into the web services technology without a parachute and this book has helped to put things into perspective. Read morePublished on April 9 2004 by Barry Svee
This book is about the data side of XML as opposed to the document side. It is the first excellent (and mature) one I read so far. Read morePublished on Jan. 12 2004 by ws__
Very nice book. I have been following some great technolgies over the last 10 years. With Web services, I was overwhelmed with the bundle of various APIs, tools, standards,... Read morePublished on Dec 29 2003 by Prasad Reddy
You must have a very good understanding of XML, WSDL, SOAP, AND UDDI and html code. The book explains everything from the point of view of a programmer/developer.Published on Nov. 13 2003 by JerryA
An excellent book for any business or IT executive that really needs to understand the concepts and implications of Web services. Read morePublished on Aug. 13 2003 by Craig Anderson
i'm very disappointed after reading the book. the contents were "OK" and explained technical details; however, it completely lacks why you would ever use web services,... Read morePublished on May 18 2003
I would like to learn more things in detail so i think this book is not meant for me. otherwise good for beginners who want to wade in these murky waters of web services.Published on May 15 2003
This book is very thorough. I thought that it was an excellent source of knowledge about the world of web services. Read morePublished on April 2 2003 by David Swaw
I'm buying web services books like mad it seems. This book is nicely written, OK authority and accuracy (given the 2 book or so
book back ground I have so far) but ZERO code. Read more
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