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Programming Web Services with SOAP -- A Detailed Guide to Using SOAP and Other Web Services Standards

January 24, 2002

Sebastopol, CA--Web services are nothing new. As the authors of Programming Web Services with SOAP (Snell, Tidwell & Kulchenko, O'Reilly US $34.95) explain, web services represent the evolution of principles that have guided the Internet for years. Technically speaking, a web service is a network accessible interface to application functionality, built using standard Internet technologies. In other words, if an application can be accessed over a network using a combination of protocols like HTTP, XML, SMTP, or Jabber, then it's a web service. It's that simple.

In Programming Web Services with SOAP, coauthors James Snell, Doug Tidwell, and Pavel Kulchenko explain how SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol), the most popular web service protocol, operates to help programs communicate with each other through the Web, using XML, regardless of the operating system. They begin with an introduction to SOAP, detailing its history and structure, followed by an introduction to the three major types of SOAP applications: SOAP-RPC, SOAP-Messaging, and SOAP-Intermediaries.

"Web services are not just a passing fad," says coauthor Snell. "While there is a lot of hype out there, there is also a fundamental change going on in the way the Internet works, and the various web services technologies are part of this change. It will be important for people to understand these technologies and to know how they work.

"Web services technologies represent a fundamental shift in the way web applications will be written for e-businesses," Snell continues. "Sure, there will still be web pages and HTML, and JavaScript development, but many e-business applications will increasingly rely on programmatic interfaces that tie Internet-based applications together on a more functional level. This is what web services do for us."

Programming Web Services with SOAP decodes the standards, explaining the concepts and implementation in a clear, concise style. The authors also discuss the major toolkits for building and deploying web services. Examples in Java, Perl, C#, and Visual Basic illustrate the principles. Covered topics include:

-The web services architecture -SOAP envelopes, headers, and encodings -WSDL and UDDI -Writing web services with Apache SOAP and Java -Writing web services with Perl's SOAP::Lite -Peer-to-Peer (P2P) web services -Enterprise issues such as authentication, security, and identity.

While this book is primarily a technical resource for software developers, its overview of the relevant technologies, development models, standardization efforts, and architectural fundamentals can be easily grasped by a nontechnical audience wishing to gain a better understanding of this emerging set of new technologies. Programming Web Services with SOAP provides a solid core of information that will help the reader develop individual web services or discover new ways to integrate core business processes across an enterprise.

Online Resources:

Programming Web Services with SOAP
By James Snell, Doug Tidwell, and Pavel Kulchenko
January 2002
ISBN 0-596-00095-2, 244 pages, $34.95 (US), $52.95 (CAN)

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