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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Java Web Services

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.

Product Description
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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