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Programming Web Services with XML-RPC (O'Reilly Internet Series)
by Simon St. Laurent, Edd Dumbill, Joe Johnston

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Edition: Paperback


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Editorial Reviews
Book Description
Have you ever needed to share processing between two or more computers running programs written in different languages on different operating systems? Or have you ever wanted to publish information on the Web so that programs other than browsers could work with it? XML-RPC, a system for remote procedure calls built on XML and the ubiquitous HTTP protocol, is the solution you've been looking for.

Programming Web Services with XML-RPC introduces the simple but powerful capabilities of XML-RPC, which lets you connect programs running on different computers with a minimum of fuss, by wrapping procedure calls in XML and establishing simple pathways for calling functions. With XML-RPC, Java programs can talk to Perl scripts, which can talk to Python programs, ASP applications, and so on. You can provide access to procedure calls without having to worry about the system on the other end, so it's easy to create services that are available on the Web.

XML-RPC isn't the only solution for web services; the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) is another much-hyped protocol for implementing web services. While XML-RPC provides fewer capabilities than SOAP, it also has far fewer interoperability problems and its capabilities and limitations are much better understood. XML-RPC is also stable, with over 30 implementations on a wide variety of platforms, so you can start doing real work with it immediately.

Programming Web Services with XML-RPC covers the details of five XML-RPC implementations, so you can get started developing distributed applications in Java, Perl, Python, ASP, or PHP. The chapters on these implementations contain code examples that you can use as the basis for your own work. This book also provides in-depth coverage of the XML-RPC specification, which is helpful for low-level debugging of XML-RPC clients and servers. And if you want to build your own XML-RPC implementation for another environment, the detailed explanations in this book will serve as a foundation for that work.

Book Info
Guide for computer programmers, to using XML-RPC to creating Web application gateways, and program Web services. Compares and contrasts XML-RPC with SOAP. Covers the details of distributed applications in a number of platforms, including Java, Perl, Python, ASP, or PHP. Softcover.

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Product Details
  • Paperback: 230 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly; 1 edition (June, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 0596001193
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.0 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.8 ounces. (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: based on 5 reviews.
  • Amazon.com Sales Rank: #290,558 in Books
  • (Publishers and authors: improve your sales)

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful:

Webservices started from XML-RPC, January 15, 2003
Reviewer:Foti Massimo (Savosa Switzerland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)  
Not many people are aware of how the whole idea behind SOAP and, later, Webservices, started from XML-RPC. It covers some interesting background information on how XML-RPC was born, and good coverage of its strengths and shortcomings, plus examples in five different languages (Perl, Python, ASP, PHP, Java)

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Customer Reviews
Average Customer Review:
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:

good intro for XML/RPC, October 21, 2002
Reviewer:"alangauld" (Cumbernauld, Scotland) - See all my reviews
Good coverage but a bit repetitive since it explains
the same thing for each of several languages. Only
read the chapters you need... Sadly XML/RPC seems
to be losing ground to .NET/SOAP which is a shame
coz RPC is much simpler and less bandwidth intensive.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:

All About XML-RPC in Five Languages, January 8, 2002
Reviewer:Eric R. Dunstan (Whittier, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)  
This book explains fully how to use XML-RPC in five languages: Java, PHP, Perl, Python, and ASP. Becuase XML-RPC is so simple to use (I got it working for both Java and PHP), it does not take much explanation to set up this technology and actually use it. This book is a good up-to-date reference for this technology, which will has been established and is being implemented in more and more languages as time progresses, making this technology an alternative to CORBA.
This is a small book, because the subject is very easy and fast to learn. By using the Universal Language XML, This technology enables programs in one language to call procedures in programs in another language across the internet, regardless of firewalls, because it runs on HTTP.
Some of the possibilities of using XML-RPC are in SOAP applications, distributed applications, even internet games.

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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful:

lack depth make this one a ..., August 29, 2001
Reviewer: A reader
overall an okay book. charpter 3 is poorly written (no complete example showing how to use servlet as XML RPCserver! perhaps the author have never done it himself) the reader should wait for a better book on this topic.

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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful:

Good coverage of a new topic, July 12, 2001
Reviewer:Michael R Bernstein (Las Vegas, NV United States) - See all my reviews

As with most O'Reilly books, this one is a comprehensive treatment of an emerging technology, and is probably destined to become a standard reference on the subject as it moves into mainstream development. Unfortunately, it is not without its flaws.

The book does an excellent job of covering What XML-RPC is, what it does, and how it can be used from a variety of programming environmments to build web-services, including touching on my web-development environment of choice, Zope.

Notable in it's absence however (and the reason I gave this book four stars instead of five), is any mention in the book's main text of the environment that spawned XML-RPC, UserLand Frontier. Although Dave Winer (creator of Frontier) wrote the foreword to the book, I think that some coverage should have been given to using Frontier with XML-RPC.

I could wish that the subject of designing web services had taken center-stage, rather than some specific implementations, but the design of web-services is covered more than adequately in chapter eight.

Make no mistake, this is an excellent book, especially if you build web applications in any of the five programming environments covered (Perl, Python, ASP, PHP, Java), and I can reccomend it wholeheartedly to anyone who is creating or designing web-services.

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