Microsoft .NET XML Web Services
With the release of Visual Studio .NET, XML Web Services have become a fact of developers' lives. For those who have yet to get their feet wet with this hot technology, Microsoft .NET XML Web Services conveys the what, why, and how of applying Web services.
The book quickly introduces simple examples designed to create that "aha!" moment when readers realize the world Web Services can create. All Visual Basic .NET code samples are translated into their C# counterparts, making this book accessible to both groups of .NET language users.
Entire chapters are dedicated to explaining the composition of Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), Web Services Description Language, and Service Discovery (DISCO) files. (The chapter on Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration is oddly positioned toward the back of the book.) There are chapters on using ASP.NET, ADO .NET, and Office XP with Web Services, as well. Now, however, Microsoft has released the SQL Server 2000 and Office XP Web Services toolkits, so the value in reading these chapters has been somewhat reduced.
The balance of the book touches on COM interoperability, using transaction and asynchronous operations within Web Services architectures, and manipulating SOAP headers and extensions further for custom requirements. I was particularly disappointed, however, to not find any discussion in the book on Microsoft .NET-authored Web Services' interoperability with other, non-Microsoft Web Services technologies. Those include Perl's SOAP::Lite and Python's SOAP libraries, as well as one or two Java client scenarios. After all, one of the primary reasons Web Services were standardized was to achieve vendor neutrality in the Internet Remote Procedure Call space. A case study of Web Services discussing real-world problem and solution scenarios (such as what to do when SOAP interoperability between cross-platform systems doesn't work as advertised) would have been a better topic for a chapter than the cursory overview of .NET My Services that caps the book.
Given these issues, the detail this book provides is not much greater than what you can find in a more comprehensive title about ASP.NET in general. Readers who are willing to spend a little extra money for lengthier alternatives will acquire a majority of the content this book offers.
- Mike Riley
Microsoft .NET XML Web Services by Robert Tabor, SAMS Publishing, http://www.samspublishing.com.
Cover Price: US$39.99