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Java and J2EE Bookshelf: A list by Michael Valentino, SCJP 1.4, SCWCD J2EE 1.4

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Java Web Services
by David A. Chappell, Tyler Jewell

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Edition: Paperback

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Editorial Reviews
At the end of the day, Web services aren't hard to conceptualize. They're just a bunch of software modules with specific rules about how they go about discovering one another and sending messages back and forth. Implementation is another story, however. In the Java language, writing Web services requires an understanding of half a dozen specialized APIs at minimum, and more than that if you want to do fancier stuff. Java Web Services does a very good job of dispersing the confusing terminology (and obfuscating hype) and of showing you exactly how to do Web services work in Java. This doesn't sound like a revolutionary concept, but unfortunately it is. David Chappell and Tyler Jewell have comfortably fit into less than 250 pages what others have not done as well in twice as much space.

Take Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration (UDDI) work as an example. UDDI exists to help software locate other software that does what it wants. How do you do that? Chappell and Jewell present two concise program listings--a client and a server--that show how to do a UDDI lookup. They then refine their code by using a third-party API that makes the work easier. Similarly pragmatic attention goes to Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), in which they show how to create a message, populate it with XML, make an attachment if necessary, and send it on its way. You won't find a lot of frills or conceptual explanations (though there are enough "why" sections to ensure that you're not just typing recipes blindly); the emphasis is on writing Java code that interacts with Web services protocols and standards. --David Wall

Topics covered: How to write Web services software in Java, with respect to Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration (UDDI), Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), and Web Services Description Language (WSDL). There's also coverage of interprocess communication under JAX-RPC and ways to implement security. All of the low-level stuff is here. Look elsewhere for architecture and design information.

Book Description
For many Java developers, web services appeared to come out of nowhere. Its advantages are clear: web services are platform-independent (like Java itself), language-agnostic (a clear advantage over Java RMI), can easily be tunneled through firewalls (an obvious benefit to anyone who has dealt with modern enterprise networks), object-oriented (we all know about that), and tends to be loosely coupled (allowing more flexible application development). But these advantages have been obscured by a cloud of hype and a proliferation of jargon that are difficult to penetrate. What are SOAP, UDDI, WSDL, and JAXM? To say nothing of JAXR, tModels, category bags, WSFL, and other friends? And assuming that you understand what they are, how do you do anything with them? Do they live up to their promises? Are they really the future of network computing, or a dead end?

Java Web Services gives the experienced Java developer a way into the Web Services world. It helps you to understand what's going on, what the technologies mean and how they relate, and shows Java developers how to put them to use to solve real problems. You'll learn what's real and what isn't; what the technologies are really supposed to do, and how they do it. Java Web Services shows you how to use SOAP to perform remote method calls and message passing; how to use WSDL to describe the interface to a web service or understand the interface of someone else's service; and how to use UDDI to advertise (publish) and look up services in each local or global registry. Java Web Services also discusses security issues, interoperability issues, integration with other Java enterprise technologies like EJB; the work being done on the JAXM and JAX-RPC packages, and integration with Microsoft's .NET services.

The web services picture is still taking shape; there are many platforms and APIs to consider, and many conflicting claims from different marketing groups. And although web services are inherently language-independent, the fit between the fundamental principles on which Java and web services are based means that Java will almost certainly be the predominant language for web services development. If you're a Java developer and want to climb on the web services bandwagon, or if you only want to "kick the tires" and find out what web services has to offer, you will find this book indispensable.

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Product Details
  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly; 1 edition (March, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 0596002696
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.7 ounces. (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: based on 10 reviews.
  • Sales Rank: #98,265 in Books
  • (Publishers and authors: improve your sales)

Look Inside This Book
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Front Cover | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover

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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful:

Good intro to WSDL, SOAP, and UDDI but light on JWSDP, June 5, 2002
Reviewer:M. Woinoski (New Paltz, NY USA) - See all my reviews
At 250 pages, this book is a good introduction to Java web services but there just isn't enough material here to do serious Java development. The coverage of WSDL, SOAP, and UDDI gives a good overview but is too short for some actually deploying a web service. And there are only 26 pages devoted to JAX-RPC and JAXM, the most important Java APIs for web services. A better book is "Building Web Services with Java" (Sams) but even that has only a cursory review of Sun's Java Web Services Developer Pack. If you're a serious developer, you'll need to download JWSDP from Sun and go through the tutorial to learn the APIs.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:

Makes it understandable..., January 11, 2004
Reviewer:Thomas Duff (Portland, OR United States) - See all my reviews
This book covers the topic of web services, primarily from a Java perspective. It assumes a familiarity with Java and XML so as to be able to follow the code examples. The chapters are as follows: Welcome To Web Services, Inside The Composite Computing Model, SOAP: The Cornerstone Of Interoperability, SOAP-RPC, SOAP-Faults, and Misunderstandings, Web Services Description Language, UDDI: Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration, JAX-RPC and JAXM, J2EE and Web Services, Web Services Interoperability, and Web Services Security.

If you read the chapter headings and say "What does THAT mean?", then you probably have a reasonability good idea as to whether this book is for you. As stated in the preface, this is not a "For Dummies" treatment of web services. While it covers all the different technologies that make up web services, it does it at a pretty high level of detail with a lot of code samples in Java.

The good thing here is that many of the examples are given using the Apache Tomcat server as the mechanism for processing the request. This is great in that you can download that software for free from the Apache site. This book doesn't go into detail as to how Tomcat is set up and configured, however. You need to work through that on your own. Once you get to that point, you can use Tomcat to play with the examples that are used throughout the book. While they can look complex and intimidating, you can learn a lot from them.

As a Notes/Domino developer, I learned a lot by reading the book. Am I ready to start developing web services? Not hardly. But I do understand more of the concepts behind how they work. Since web services often use servlets to process requests, Notes/Domino 5 doesn't fit the traditional picture of the technology. But since web services usually involve SOAP XML statements sent to a server, there's no reason you couldn't program a web service in Domino as a web agent that runs when a user submits a web page or runs a URL that activates a server agent. The processing is done and then returned to the client as an XML page. Once you read and digest the basic concepts behind it all, it all starts to come together.

If you are a Notes/Domino developer who is trying to understand "web services", this book could be useful. The book gets progressively more complex and detailed, so you may find yourself skimming at the end. If you are to the point of being ready to run an implementation of a servlet and SOAP engine (like Tomcat), this book will help you get started with your understanding of web services.

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Customer Reviews
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:

Nothing Special, February 13, 2004
Reviewer:Terry Smith " --" (Little Rock, AR USA) - See all my reviews
I wish I could recommend a better introduction to Java Web Services. David Chappell usually does a good job at explaining new technologies in simplified form; however, he falls short with this one. It comes very close to being a step-by-step, build-up tutorial but falls short. If you already know SOAP, perhaps coming from the .NET world and you just need to make the right connections in the Java world, then this would be a good book for you. However, if you don't know SOAP and you're looking for a thorough understanding of what's going on under the covers before you move on to advanced APIs, then this is not your best bet. Actually, I'm not sure what is. I started writing such a tutorial myself but got distracted by other projects. However, this book is solidly average, nothing necessary wrong with that, and if you can find it at a good discount it's a decent buy.

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:

Nice intro, clear layout, November 22, 2003
Reviewer:JTSterling "jamestthomas" (Burlington, CT USA) - See all my reviews
Not that dated, you will get the background that is behind all the hype and you will get some hands on. Not a first choice but it is a solid review and a book I still keep on my desk. Get this and of course one of the newer titles. The new ones may be hyping something that isn't going to happen, at least with this one you will find most of the topics still are the cornerstones of web services. There is gold in them there hills, and those hills are strewn with books discarded too soon as old. Many explain things very well and offer knowledge. Nice book.

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful:

The content is dated!, May 30, 2003
Reviewer:Jennifer Hampton (Chicago, IL) - See all my reviews
The content in this book is a little dated. For a current book on Web Services check out either the Wiley book (Developing Java Web Services) or my favorite Java Web Services Architecture.

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1 of 34 people found the following review helpful:

Bravo Chappell and Jewell!, April 12, 2003
Reviewer:Leroy Beavis (San Antonio, TX) - See all my reviews
Once again, authors David A. Chappell and Tyler Jewell produce a masterpiece of technical genius. Just when we thought they couldn't top their opus maxum, we find yet another fine jewell in their collection.

Personally, I read Java Web Services in about 20 minutes, which is an amazing accomplishment considering I was asleep at the time.

This book gives object oriented programming a boost of adreline and steroids and allows them to all run on the same platform.

I first bought this book because I was looking for a compiler that I could run in AIX and EBCIDC, but then I just ported it to my Windows 98 machine because that was too complicated for me.

My favorite chapter was where Chappell illustrates the parable of the bicycle and the Java programmer. I wont tell too much or I'll give it away. You'll need to buy the book to find out more about the parable.

Needless to say that Larry King can't be wrong about this book. He's read it and is now programming CNN's mainframe computers.

They said it could not be done, but I drank enough Java cola to read this sucker in 20 minutes. I'm reading it again right now as I type this review. I loved this book. I'm going to buy copies of it for my entire family. I gave one to my wife as an anniversary gift.

Buy it, you can't go wrong, if for nothing else, buy it for the cool goat design on the cover.

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