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New Book Delves Deep into Building Java Web Services with SOAP: "Java and SOAP" Released by O'Reilly

June 21, 2002

Sebastopol, CA--The Simple Object Access Protocol, or SOAP, is the latest in a long line of technologies for distributed computing. According to Robert Englander, author of Java and SOAP (O'Reilly, US $39.95), SOAP differs from other distributed computing technologies in that it is based on XML, and so far it has not attempted to redefine the computing world. SOAP specifications are not bound to any specific programming language, computing platform, or software development environment, although there are SOAP implementations that provide bindings for a number of languages, such as C#, Perl, and Java. Without these implementations, SOAP remains in the abstract: a concept without manifestation. It is the bindings to a software development language that make SOAP come alive.

Java is a natural for XML processing, and therefore perfect for building SOAP services and client applications. In fact, it is so natural a fit that much of the work being done with SOAP today is being done in Java. "Java and SOAP" introduces the basics of SOAP: what it is, why it is being talked about, and what its features and capabilities are. If you are interested in building SOAP-aware software in Java, this book is what you will need to get started.

"This book delves deep into the development of Java software using SOAP, and also concentrates significantly on the actual SOAP XML messages that are generated and consumed," says Englander. "Most other books provide more of an overview of the subject, without getting into the depth that 'Java and SOAP' reaches.

"I think it's extremely important for Java developers to understand this technology now whiles it's still emerging," Englander adds. "Over time, SOAP will become a part of one or more larger protocols, so understanding how things work early on will be a great advantage."

In addition to covering fundamentals, such as the structure of a SOAP message, SOAP encoding, and building simples services using RPC and messaging, "Java and SOAP" covers many topics that are essential to real-world development. The author explains how to add support for your own object types, how to handle errors, add your own information to fault messages, and handle attachments. The book pays particular attention to how SOAP messages are encoded, showing how different types of documents are used in practice as they are generated by the different APIs.

"Java and SOAP" includes both the Apache SOAP tools and IBM web services toolkit, web services built over transports other than HTTP, and the use of Brazil as a small SOAP server. There are chapters on UDDI and WSDL. In addition, the book covers interoperability between the major SOAP platforms, including Microsoft's .NET. The book also provides previews of the forthcoming Axis APIs, JAX-RPC, and JAXM.

This book was written for anyone interested in how to access SOAP-based web services in Java, as well as how to build SOAP-based services in Java. "Java and SOAP" includes everything that programmers, students, and professionals who are already familiar with Java will need to know to start working with SOAP.

Additional resources:

Java and SOAP
By Robert Englander
ISBN 0-596-00175-4, 258 pages, $39.95 (US), $61.95 (CAN)
1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

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