Real World XML Web Services: For VB and VB .NET Developers

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"You are holding in your hands my favorite book on Web services and .NET...What else can I say? Buy this book now, and be prepared for a new way of coding!"
—Keith Ballinger, Program Manager for XML Web Services, Microsoft

"If you've been searching for a book that goes beyond the Web services hype, distills the benefits of the actual platform, look no further, you've found ...

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Overview

"You are holding in your hands my favorite book on Web services and .NET...What else can I say? Buy this book now, and be prepared for a new way of coding!"
—Keith Ballinger, Program Manager for XML Web Services, Microsoft

"If you've been searching for a book that goes beyond the Web services hype, distills the benefits of the actual platform, look no further, you've found the right one."
—Aaron Skonnard, Instructor and Author, DevelopMentor

Real World XML Web Services is the Visual Basic programmer's definitive guide to designing and building .NET Web services. It provides experienced developers with a comprehensive understanding of Web services, covering everything from basic concepts and solutions to interoperability problems.

This book begins with a concise and practical introduction to Web services and the foundation on which they are built, including Web Services Description Language (WSDL) and Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP). Readers learn by example how to use each tool for developing Web services, starting with the SOAP Toolkit and the .NET framework.

Visual Basic programmers discover how to:

  • Use XML Schema to define Web service messages
  • Use SOAP for messaging and Remote Procedure Calls (RPC)
  • Read and modify WSDL documents
  • Build Web services with the SOAP Toolkit
  • Create and invoke Web services using the .NET framework
  • Implement SOAP headers and use SOAP Fault
  • Develop interface-based Web services
  • Handle data in .NET Web services including objects, arrays, and DataSets
  • Use SOAP exreusable infrastructure for security and compression
  • Use Universal Description Discovery and Integration (UDDI) at design time and run time
  • Understand the architecture of other popular toolkits such as Apache SOAP for Java and learn how to solve interoperability problems

The book closes by walking the reader through the creation of a Web service with .NET and Visual Basic 6 clients. Real World XML Web Services empowers Visual Basic programmers to design and build the next generation of applications using Web services.



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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Real World XML Web Services is a superb guide to building web services with either VB.NET or VB6 and the Microsoft SOAP Toolkit. Instead of trying to hide the XML details -- as some books do -- Yasser Shohoud illuminates them with compelling examples, shows how web services technologies fit together, and offers immensely valuable guidance for everything from architecture to coding.

Shohoud, one of the world’s leading XML web services developers, is also Microsoft MVP for ASP.NET. (Maybe you’ve heard him at VSLive! or read his articles in Visual Studio, XML, or MSDN magazines.) He begins by walking through the architectural foundation on which web services are built, including the XSD web services type system, XML serialization, SOAP messaging, and WSDL web services description.

Next, he moves on to tools and techniques. First, you’ll learn how to expose existing COM components as web services using both high- and low-level APIs. You’ll implement SOAP headers and faults; master interface-based web services development; and learn how to handle data. There’s also a full chapter on using SOAP extensions to build reusable infrastructure for security, error handling, or usage tracking.

The book concludes by walking you through building a live web service from start to finish: designing messages, forming them with .NET attributes, applying authentication/authorization infrastructure, and more. Shohoud assumes some familiarity with VB (or VB.NET) and ASP (or ASP.NET), but you needn’t have any web services experience: this book will give you all the practical skills you need. Bill Camarda

Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks For Dummies®, Second Edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780201774252
  • Publisher: Pearson Education
  • Publication date: 9/17/2002
  • Pages: 577
  • Product dimensions: 7.36 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Preface

There's no doubt that the Web was a catalyst for a revolution that changed the lives of software developers and end users alike. Web services provide the foundation for another profound revolution in the way we build and use applications. It is up to developers like you and I to take this foundation and make the revolution happen. With this book, I aim to give you the information and insight you need to design and build next generation distributed interoperable applications with Web services.

My treatment of Web services in this book is divided in two sections: The first four chapters explain the architectural foundation on which Web services are built. The remaining eight chapters explain the tools you use to build Web services including the SOAP toolkit and the .NET framework.

Intended Audience

This book is intended for experienced developers who have little or now experience with Web services. The book assumes you have programmed with VB 6, classic ASP, and VB .NET. It assumes you understand the fundamentals of Web application development and have a basic understanding of XML documents and the XML Document Object Model (XML DOM). This book is not for developers who have no .NET knowledge or experience.

A Live Book

The world of Web services is changing rapidly. There are new standards being defined every month and new implementations of those standards are being released on a hectic schedule. It is impossible for a traditional printed book to keep up with this rapid pace of change. When I set out to write this book, I decided to combine the print version with an online version that will be maintained and kept up-to-date with thestandards.

As an owner of a print copy of this book, you have access to the online version of this book including all the new content being added as standards emerge and tools change. Please make sure you take a look at what's new online.

Chapter 1: Introduction to Web Services

To start things off I explain what Web services are and the scenarios where they prove useful. I also show you how to create Web services with .NET and with the SOAP Toolkit. The idea is to give you a head start on creating and invoking Web services before digging into the details.

Chapter 2: XSD The Web Services Type System

This is the first of three chapters that cover the fundamentals of Web services. This chapter explains the syntax and usage of XML Schemas and shows examples of validating schemas using VB .NET and VB 6. the chapter also covers XML Serialization and shows examples of shaping the XML generated by the .NET XML Serializer.

Chapter 3: SOAP Invoking Web Services

Having understood schemas, this chapter explains SOAP, the Web services protocol. It explains how you can use SOAP for messaging as well as Remote Procedure Calls (RPC). It also shows you how to communicate error information to SOAP clients and the built-in mechanism for extending SOAP.

Chapter 4: WSDL Describing Web Services

This chapter completes the fundamentals by explaining the Web Services Description Languages, WSDL. The chapter begins with an overview then goes into the details of WSDL documents. It shows you practical examples of writing and reading WSDL documents. While it's unlikely that you'll need to create WSDL documents form scratch, it is likely that you'll need to read them and possibly modify them.

Chapter 5: The Microsoft SOAP Toolkit

Chapter 5 is the first of a series of chapters that cover the tools you use to build Web services. This entire chapter is dedicated to building Web services with the SOAP Toolkit. It shows you how to expose an existing COM component as a Web service using both the high-level and low-level APIs. It also explains how to handle SOAP headers and SOAP faults.

Chapter 6: .NET Web Services

After learning the SOAP Toolkit, this chapter explains creating and invoking Web services using the .NET framework. Beyond the basics, this chapter shows you the various features provided by the .NET framework such as output caching, data caching, and SOAP message shaping. The last section of this chapter dives into the details of Web service clients explaining how Web service proxies work and how you can customize them.

Chapter 7: SOAP Header and Fault

This chapter builds on what you learned in chapters 3 and 6 and shows you how to implement SOAP headers with the .NET framework. It shows you how to create SOAP headers that must be understood by the Web service and how to process headers on the service. It also shows you how to use SOAP Fault to communicate rich error information between service and client.

Chapter 8: Interface-Based Web Service Development

This chapter explains the process of interface-based Web services development which is necessary for large-scale projects and useful even for smaller projects. The chapter goes through the steps of defining and implementing an interface then covers implementing multiple interfaces on one Web service.

Chapter 9: Handling Data In .NET Web Services

When building real-world Web services, most of the problems you'll encounter will center on data. Whether you are sending or receiving data, you'll almost always need to decide the optimum format for this data and how to get it into this format. This chapter focuses on the mechanics of handling data in .NET Web services. The chapter is divided in sections covering ADO.NET DataSets, XML documents, custom objects and object arrays.

Chapter 10: Reusable Infrastructure with SOAP Extensions

.NET provides an architecture for performing custom request/response processing at the SOAP message level via SOAP extensions. This chapter explains how SOAP extensions work and shows you three example SOAP extensions including one for compressing/decompressing SOAP messages.

Chapter 11: UDDI: A Web Service

This chapter explains the Universal Description, Discovery and Integration standards and demonstrates scenarions where UDDI is useful. The objective of this chapter is to open your mind to design patterns and usage scenarios that leverage Web services registries. Such registries will become commonplace within the intranet with future versions of Windows server.

Chapter 12: Other SOAP Toolkits

Throughout the process of building and maintaining Web services you're likely to run into interoperability issues with other SOAP implementations. This chapter explains some of the more common SOAP toolkits including Apache SOAP and PocketSoap and shows you how they interoperate with .NET Web services.

Chapter 13: A Web Service Walkthrough

To wrap things up, chapter 13 walks through the steps of building a .NET Web service with .NET and VB 6 clients. The chapter also covers registering the service with UDDI.



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Table of Contents

Foreword
Foreword
Preface
Acknowledgments
1 Introduction to Web Services 1
2 XSD: The Web Services Type System 23
3 SOAP: Invoking Web Services 85
4 Describing Web Services 129
5 The Microsoft SOAP Toolkit 185
6 .NET Web Services 235
7 SOAP Header and Fault 273
8 Interface-Based Web Service Development 293
9 Handling Data in .NET Web Services 323
10 Reusable Infrastructure with Soap Extensions 365
11 UDDI: A Web Service 409
12 Other SOAP Toolkits 481
13 A Web Service Walkthrough 527
A: Data Type Mappings 555
B: .NET Web Services Tips and Tricks 559
Index 565
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Preface

There's no doubt that the Web was a catalyst for a revolution that changed the lives of software developers and end users alike. Web services provide the foundation for another profound revolution in the way we build and use applications. It is up to developers like you and I to take this foundation and make the revolution happen. With this book, I aim to give you the information and insight you need to design and build next generation distributed interoperable applications with Web services.

My treatment of Web services in this book is divided in two sections: The first four chapters explain the architectural foundation on which Web services are built. The remaining eight chapters explain the tools you use to build Web services including the SOAP toolkit and the .NET framework.

Intended Audience

This book is intended for experienced developers who have little or now experience with Web services. The book assumes you have programmed with VB 6, classic ASP, and VB .NET. It assumes you understand the fundamentals of Web application development and have a basic understanding of XML documents and the XML Document Object Model (XML DOM). This book is not for developers who have no .NET knowledge or experience.

A Live Book

The world of Web services is changing rapidly. There are new standards being defined every month and new implementations of those standards are being released on a hectic schedule. It is impossible for a traditional printed book to keep up with this rapid pace of change. When I set out to write this book, I decided to combine the print version with an online version that will be maintained and kept up-to-date with the standards.

As an owner of a print copy of this book, you have access to the online version of this book including all the new content being added as standards emerge and tools change. Please make sure you take a look at what's new online at http://www.LearnXmlws.com/book.

Chapter 1: Introduction to Web Services

To start things off I explain what Web services are and the scenarios where they prove useful. I also show you how to create Web services with .NET and with the SOAP Toolkit. The idea is to give you a head start on creating and invoking Web services before digging into the details.

Chapter 2: XSD The Web Services Type System

This is the first of three chapters that cover the fundamentals of Web services. This chapter explains the syntax and usage of XML Schemas and shows examples of validating schemas using VB .NET and VB 6. the chapter also covers XML Serialization and shows examples of shaping the XML generated by the .NET XML Serializer.

Chapter 3: SOAP Invoking Web Services

Having understood schemas, this chapter explains SOAP, the Web services protocol. It explains how you can use SOAP for messaging as well as Remote Procedure Calls (RPC). It also shows you how to communicate error information to SOAP clients and the built-in mechanism for extending SOAP.

Chapter 4: WSDL Describing Web Services

This chapter completes the fundamentals by explaining the Web Services Description Languages, WSDL. The chapter begins with an overview then goes into the details of WSDL documents. It shows you practical examples of writing and reading WSDL documents. While it's unlikely that you'll need to create WSDL documents form scratch, it is likely that you'll need to read them and possibly modify them.

Chapter 5: The Microsoft SOAP Toolkit

Chapter 5 is the first of a series of chapters that cover the tools you use to build Web services. This entire chapter is dedicated to building Web services with the SOAP Toolkit. It shows you how to expose an existing COM component as a Web service using both the high-level and low-level APIs. It also explains how to handle SOAP headers and SOAP faults.

Chapter 6: .NET Web Services

After learning the SOAP Toolkit, this chapter explains creating and invoking Web services using the .NET framework. Beyond the basics, this chapter shows you the various features provided by the .NET framework such as output caching, data caching, and SOAP message shaping. The last section of this chapter dives into the details of Web service clients explaining how Web service proxies work and how you can customize them.

Chapter 7: SOAP Header and Fault

This chapter builds on what you learned in chapters 3 and 6 and shows you how to implement SOAP headers with the .NET framework. It shows you how to create SOAP headers that must be understood by the Web service and how to process headers on the service. It also shows you how to use SOAP Fault to communicate rich error information between service and client.

Chapter 8: Interface-Based Web Service Development

This chapter explains the process of interface-based Web services development which is necessary for large-scale projects and useful even for smaller projects. The chapter goes through the steps of defining and implementing an interface then covers implementing multiple interfaces on one Web service.

Chapter 9: Handling Data In .NET Web Services

When building real-world Web services, most of the problems you'll encounter will center on data. Whether you are sending or receiving data, you'll almost always need to decide the optimum format for this data and how to get it into this format. This chapter focuses on the mechanics of handling data in .NET Web services. The chapter is divided in sections covering ADO.NET DataSets, XML documents, custom objects and object arrays.

Chapter 10: Reusable Infrastructure with SOAP Extensions

.NET provides an architecture for performing custom request/response processing at the SOAP message level via SOAP extensions. This chapter explains how SOAP extensions work and shows you three example SOAP extensions including one for compressing/decompressing SOAP messages.

Chapter 11: UDDI: A Web Service

This chapter explains the Universal Description, Discovery and Integration standards and demonstrates scenarions where UDDI is useful. The objective of this chapter is to open your mind to design patterns and usage scenarios that leverage Web services registries. Such registries will become commonplace within the intranet with future versions of Windows server.

Chapter 12: Other SOAP Toolkits

Throughout the process of building and maintaining Web services you're likely to run into interoperability issues with other SOAP implementations. This chapter explains some of the more common SOAP toolkits including Apache SOAP and PocketSoap and shows you how they interoperate with .NET Web services.

Chapter 13: A Web Service Walkthrough

To wrap things up, chapter 13 walks through the steps of building a .NET Web service with .NET and VB 6 clients. The chapter also covers registering the service with UDDI.



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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2002

    A Genuinely Good Book for Web Service Developers

    The term 'web services' has been bandied around so long without anything the general public has seen to show for it, they probably shouldn't be blamed for wondering if it's anything more than vapourware. As developers of course, just the increase in system interoperability is enough to warrant continuing research time into the topic, and with Microsoft, IBM, Sun and a host of others backing web services, it's not going to go away. As a DevelopMentor branded book, Yasser's tome seemed as good a place as any to start learning about web services and I'm happy to say that it doesn't disappoint. Even though I'm a C# fan and his examples are exclusively in VB .NET or VB6, the text is easy to follow and packed with useful information and tips obviously gained from lengthy immersion in the subject. Chapter 1 is a quick introduction to the web service base platform, the standards it comprises, how they've been derived and how to write your first web service. It concludes with a short piece on when and when not to use web services. Essentially just an introduction to topics that are covered in the rest of the book, it's a quick 101 on the subject. Chapters 2 to 4 look in greater depth at three of the standards that make up the base platform - XSD, SOAP and WSDL. At 160 pages for the three topics, they are unsurprisingly covered in great detail and in a clear manner that leaves you with only thoughts of what to write first instead of the questions the chapters haven't answered. Sometimes the answers are in between the lines for you to figure out yourself but they are there. With the base technologies out of the way, Chapters 5 and 6 demonstrate its two 'web service toolkits', the SOAP Toolkit for COM developer and the .asmx functionaltity that's part of ASP.NET. The COM chapter is particularly good, working through both high and low-level APIs in some detail but without forgetting that it's introducing readers to something new and assuming prior knowledge. Chapters 7 to 9 build on the platform built in chapter 6, teaching us how .NET allows us to work with SOAP Headers and Faults, and how to move data around with web services using ADO .NET. These two subjects are separated by a look at how we can use a WSDL document and the wsdl tool in .NET as a start point to create both an abstract service implementation and service proxies for our clients. Again these are good chapters, especially the one on ADO.NET, but the other two seemed a little isolated. SOAP Headers are vital to the growth of web services and SOAP Faults are necessary for exception handling, but the discussion seemed to exist in its own small chapter simply because it didn't fit anywhere else. Why not expand the discussion to include or at least give a hint as to the headers that will be standardized soon. Likewise, in a chapter which talks about interface generation from a WSDL document, why not also mention the automatic generation of classes from the schema inside the WSDL file? A missed opportunity, but not one that really detracted from the chapter as a whole. Finally in Chapter 10, we learn how to extend the .NET web service platform using SOAP Extensions. This is the most challenging chapter of the book, but again it's explained well and Yasser provides some really good examples here to illustrate every point he makes. Like Chapter 9 though, I think he misses the opportunity to mention HttpModules, a less specialized but no less useful alternative in this area. UDDI is the topic for Chapter 11. Like chapters 2 to 4, this chapter looks at the surface of UDDI (what it is, typical usage scenarios, how to publish service info to a UDDI server), but quickly heads underneath to work through its main data structures and demonstrate how to use the UDDI API. This chapter was the biggest eye-opener for me, although the level of its discourse fluctuated throughout which sometimes annoyed. Last but one, Chapter 12 looks very practically at the key to web

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