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Web Services: Concepts, Architectures and Applications [Hardcover]

Gustavo Alonso , Fabio Casati , Harumi Kuno , Vijay Machiraju
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Sept. 4 2003 3540440089 978-3540440086 2004

Like many other incipient technologies, Web services are still surrounded by a substantial level of noise. This noise results from the always dangerous combination of wishful thinking on the part of research and industry and of a lack of clear understanding of how Web services came to be. On the one hand, multiple contradictory interpretations are created by the many attempts to realign existing technology and strategies with Web services. On the other hand, the emphasis on what could be done with Web services in the future often makes us lose track of what can be really done with Web services today and in the short term. These factors make it extremely difficult to get a coherent picture of what Web services are, what they contribute, and where they will be applied.

Alonso and his co-authors deliberately take a step back. Based on their academic and industrial experience with middleware and enterprise application integration systems, they describe the fundamental concepts behind the notion of Web services and present them as the natural evolution of conventional middleware, necessary to meet the challenges of the Web and of B2B application integration.

Rather than providing a reference guide or a "how to write your first Web service" kind of book, they discuss the main objectives of Web services, the challenges that must be faced to achieve them, and the opportunities that this novel technology provides. Established, as well as recently proposed, standards and techniques (e.g., WSDL, UDDI, SOAP, WS-Coordination, WS-Transactions, and BPEL), are then examined in the context of this discussion in order to emphasize their scope, benefits, and shortcomings. Thus, the book is ideally suited both for professionals considering the development of application integration solutions and for research and students interesting in understanding and contributing to the evolution of enterprise application technologies.



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From the Back Cover

Like many other incipient technologies, Web services are still surrounded by a tremendous level of noise. This noise results from the combination of wishful thinking on the part of research and industry and a lack of clear understanding of how Web services came to be. These factors make it extremely difficult to get a coherent picture of what Web services are, what they contribute, and where they will be applied.

Based on their academic and industrial experience in middleware and enterprise application integration, Alonso and his co-authors clarify the fundamental concepts behind Web services and present them as the natural evolution of conventional middleware necessary to meet the challenges of the Web and of B2B application integration. From this perspective, it becomes clear why Web services are needed and how this technology addresses such needs.

Rather than providing a reference guide or a manual on how to write a Web service, the authors discuss challenges and solutions that will remain relevant regardless of how emerging standards and technologies evolve. Thus, this book is ideally suited for both professionals involved in application integration projects and researchers and students interested in understanding and contributing to the evolution of application integration technologies.


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In spite of the complexity and variety of distributed information systems, we can abstract a few characteristic design aspects. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book on web services Nov. 24 2003
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
A very nice introductory book on Web services, much different from all the others on this topic.
Excellent overview of the problematics of service oriented architectures on the Web and of their relationships with their EAI counterparts (corba,rpc,..).
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book on Distributed Systems April 4 2005
By Gregor Hohpe - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book is a little more expensive than most of the flashy Web Services books these days but it is well worth the money. Set in small font and not wasting pages on chapters like "History of XML and SOAP" this book is dense in content on the architecture of distributed systems, including Web Services. We get to learn about the issues of distributed transactions and the differences between conversations, coordination and orchestration. The text is precise but nevertheless easy to follow. One of the best books I have seen on Web Services architecture.

You can find a sample chapter on the author's site:

[...]
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear explanations, good fundamentals March 16 2007
By Boris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am using this book for a graduate level class about Web Services. I like the books approach on giving you enough background about middle-ware evolution that makes it easier to understand what Web Services are trying to accomplish. Given that the actual technology (implementation details) change so much in this area the books approach makes a lot of sense. I also found explanations to be concise and clear.

Advice: if you are looking for a hands-on how-to book about XML this is not the book to pick up. Otherwise, if you are looking for a good fundamentals book that will help you paint a big picture of Web Services this book is great!
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor Quality Kindle Edition March 17 2010
By Rob C. - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
The quality of the Kindle version of this book is very poor. It looks as if one is reading a poor quality scan rather than rendered text. The type face is very light and jagged. Worse still, are the whitespace breaks between letters within words. It's like reading code rather than prose. Unfortunately, I didn't start reading the book until well after the seven day return policy and now I'm stuck with it but, don't you get stuck with it. If you want this book, get the hard copy and avoid the Kindle version at all cost.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive Jan. 11 2005
By Cheeri - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
If you want comprehensive high level overview of today's enterprise software landscape, this is a must-read.

One of the best books which answers the question , Why Web Services?? Unique perspective on middlewares in general.

Do not expect any code examples or details of any particular middleware.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for historical context Feb. 19 2012
By Rodrigo De Castro - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
First, it is a very conceptual book, which is not a problem in itself, but it's not a book for those who are looking to find code examples or how to architect your web service. Given that is was published in 2004, the value of this book currently is mostly for historical context. It does not make assumptions about the reader's knowledge and starts with the detailed explanation of concepts of information system. From there, it explains the need for middleware to enterprise application integration to web technologies. The context that explains how web services came into existence is responsible for a big portion of the book.

When it comes to the part on web services, the focus is mostly on B2B integration and does not account for the varied application we see nowadays. In particular, it's natural that it does not touch on web services being the foundation in a multi-device world where we have phones and richer clients (running Javascript, Ajax, JQuery, etc.), what one would expect for a more modern book on web services.

Also, it's important to note that it focus primarily on SOAP and spends some time talking about technologies that ended up failing in the end (like UDDI registry) or may not of the interest of readers, like RosettaNet (at least wasn't of much interest to me). And more interesting technologies, like WS-Coordination or WS-Transaction, were not explained in the level of details that I would expect. WS-* standards like WS-Addressing, WS-Routing, WS-Security, and WS-Policy are barely talked about. These sections could have used the the same attention paid to the first section (web service history). In that sense, the book is a little inconsistent on how detailed it is.

I'd have rated it higher had I read it back in 2004. In 2012 it does have value for the historical context and definitely good for those who want to know how we got where we are, but it doesn't help much if what you're looking for is how to write your API to expose your Web Service. For a more modern approach (and potentially more practical) I would try to find other options.
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