REVIEW - Understanding Enterprise SOA


Understanding Enterprise SOA


Eric Pulier, Hugh Taylor



Manning Publications Company (2005)




Peter Hammond


April 2007



According to the back cover blurb, the authors are a technology evangelist and a marketing executive. It shows. There is a brief mention at the beginning that service oriented architecture is not the same as Web Services, and that there are no "magic bullets". It then spends the rest of the book telling us how SOA (read Web Services) is going to save us all from the evils of expensive software engineering, and even help to cure cancer (I kid you not, page 82).

Various parts of the book expose either a lack of understanding of the software engineering process, or a degree of simplification that is truly misleading. It seems to suggest that simply by exposing interfaces via a web service, components can be changed at will with no software development effort to integrate them, and that change control and software maintenance are made cheaper. It even suggests that web service components can be deployed on a different platform without porting effort (page 155). It spends several pages talking about benefits of SOA that are actually benefits of open standards, and makes no mention of how SOA is supposed to help if there does not happen to be an open standard for your application yet. Instead there is an implication that using web services standards to pass your messages means that the other side will just understand them, as if by magic.

This book may be useful if you have decided that a Web Services architecture is appropriate, and you need to convince non-technical management. If you are looking for a balanced or detailed introduction to the technology, look elsewhere. Not recommended.

Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.

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