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"Real World Web Services": Your Field Guide to the Wild and Woolly World of Non-Trivial Deployed Web Services

Press release: November 2, 2004

Sebastopol, CA--After years of seemingly endless hype surrounding the promise of web services, the question still remains: what are the major players really doing with web services? What are the technologies that are actually in use, and how can developers incorporate them into their own applications? According to Will Iverson, author of Real World Web Services (O'Reilly, US $29.95), even the outwardly simple question, "What are web services?" can be answered in a number of ways, few of which are incorrect. "Much of this is because the typical conversation about web services suffers from the blending of several distinct concepts," Iverson points out. "Most software developers focus on the technical underpinnings that make communication possible (such as SOAP and XML-RPC). Others add developer infrastructure, such as the Web Services Description Language (WSDL). Some others include a wide host of other pieces, including a mind-numbing array of standards--some real, some theoretical."

Iverson asks readers to think of Real World Web Services as a field guide to the wild and woolly world of non-trivial deployed web services. The heart of the book is a series of projects that demonstrate the use and integration of Google, Amazon, eBay, PayPal, FedEx, and many more web services. Some of these vendors have been extremely successful with their web service deployments. As Iverson notes, eBay, for example, processes more than a billion web service requests a month.

In Real World Web Services, Iverson dispenses with the idea that just because something is a specification, it must be used. Instead, he trains a practical and frequently critical eye to the problems facing Java developers, focusing on the use of working web service APIs. The result is a clear, concise guidebook for developers seeking to make use of the power of today's best web service options.

Real World Web Services guides developers through the building of eight web applications. The book documents how to add functionality like automating listings for auctions, dynamically calculating shipping fees, automatically sending faxes to suppliers, using an aggregator to pull data from multiple news and web service feeds into a single format, or monitoring the latest weblog discussions and Google searches to keep web site visitors current with topics of interest. For each example application, Iverson provides a thorough overview, architecture, and full working code examples.

This book doesn't engage in an intellectual debate as to the correctness of web services on a theological level. Instead, it focuses on the practical, real world usage of web services as the latest evolution in distributed computing, allowing for structured communication via Internet protocols. Readers will see that this includes everything from sending HTTP GET commands to retrieving an XML document through the use of SOAP and various vendor SDKs.

Additional Resources:

Real World Web Services
Will Iverson
ISBN 0-596-00642-X, 207 pages, $29.95 US, $43.95 CA
1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

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