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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.