This is an O’Reilly book by Will Iverson, whom I don’t know. Given my frequent public grumbling on the subject, I thought I should give it a serious look.

The title could have been Practical Web Services and been just as accurate; this book is blessedly free of architecture astronautics. It devotes almost no space to theory or models or specifications maps, but it has actual code-complete Web-Services apps which talk to Amazon, EBay, Google, FedEx, PayPal, CDDB, Blogger, and LiveJournal, often several at once. The nearest it gets to theory is crash introductions to Apache’s Tomcat, XML-RPC, and Axis, plus the Quartz scheduler, plus RSS. All the implementations are Java, in particular there’s quite a bit of JSP.

It has a frankly dismissive closing Future Web Services Directions chapter, which seems about right to me. Money quote, which does not 100% reflect my world-view but is worth reproducing: Unfortunately, if the examples as shown in this book are any indication, REST-based projects are liable to lead to considerably more client code for the maintenance of the XML processing as compared to SOAP-based solutions.

People who care about Web Services in the wild should check this one out. And so, especially, should WS-Architecture-Astronauts.

[Disclosure: O’Reilly sends me notifications of new releases, and when I ask for them, I get the books free.]


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I am an employee of Amazon.com, but the opinions expressed here are my own, and no other party necessarily agrees with them.

A full disclosure of my professional interests is on the author page.