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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Few people understand web services and their implications as thoroughly as Eric Newcomer. Newcomer’s been there since the beginning. He helped to define SOAP, and now leads the web services efforts for IONA Technologies, a firm with unparalleled knowledge about distributed computing infrastructure. In this book, Newcomer offers an invaluable platform-independent view of web services technologies, standards, applications, and architecture.
Newcomer begins by outlining how web services compare with previous technologies, how key web services technologies fit together, and the diverse views of web services held by leading vendors. He explains how XML serves as a foundation for web services, concisely explaining the roles of schema, namespaces, DOM and SAX, and XSLT transformations, and demonstrating how XML liberates data types and structures from individual programming languages and vendor restrictions.
Next, he drills down into each of the three core technologies that have been layered onto XML to make web services development viable.
First comes WSDL, which establishes a common format for describing and publishing web service information. Both parties need copies of the same WSDL file, but once they do, it acts as a “secret decoder ring” for encoding and decoding messages regardless of whether you’re communicating with COM, EJB, JMS, CORBA, or whatever else.
Next, he moves to SOAP, which “accomplishes arguably the most important aspect of web services, getting the data from one place to another over the network.” He covers SOAP’s interaction patterns, messages and message processing, the components of SOAP messages, forthcoming changes in SOAP 1.2, and even “de facto” enhancements like SOAP Attachments.
You’ll learn how UDDI provides a powerful and flexible framework for registering and discovering business information across the Internet and behind your firewall. You’ll especially appreciate this chapter’s step-by-step usage scenario, and Newcomer’s willingness to discuss UDDI’s current limitations.
A bonus that isn’t included in the subtitle: a full chapter on ebXML, which provides a robust, secure, relatively low-cost communications environment for business transactions, and increasingly complements existing web services standards rather than seeking to replace them.
Newcomer concludes with a look at web services architecture and security, including coverage of new initiatives like the Security Assertions Markup Language (SAML), XML Key Management Specification (SKMS), and Microsoft’s WS-License and WS-Security proposals.
Whether you’re a decision maker or developer, Understanding Web Services gives you the essence of web services -- without the nonsense. (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.