Reviewed: May 2015
SOA with Java bills itself as “The definitive guide to building service oriented solutions with lightweight and mainstream Java technologies”. The foreword states that this is a self contained book, suitable for a complete novice, but according to the introduction it assumes a basic knowledge of fundamental service orientation. While the pre-requisites are not entirely clear, this book should not be approached without a basic understanding of Java and XML.
There are a large number of SOA related standards defined for Java and without a good guide it can be quite hard to understand the relationship between the many different standards. SOA with Java tries to walk the reader through all the major standards, giving their historic context and examples. It also introduces the Glassfish, WebSphere and Weblogic platforms. As it only has 400 pages, excluding appendices, to achieve this, it is quite a challenging goal.
The writing is quite dense, but mostly clear. At times it can be too abstract and jargon laden and the jargon is not always explained beforehand, but, if you stick with it most of the jargon is explained eventually.
When discussing specific technologies there are plenty of examples, however they are quite brief, and running through the book are case studies, which I assume are imaginary, which also help to illustrate the intended use of the technologies.
Chapters 1 and 2 introduce you to the book and the case studies. Chapters 3 to 6 make up Part 1I– fundamentals and run through terminology, Java and XML standards and APIs, and the basics of SOAP and REST technologies. Part II – Services consists of Chapters 7 to 9 and takes the reader through service orientation principles and various different types of service. Part III – Service Composition and Infrastructure contains chapters 10 to 12 and covers task services, service composition and the use of Enterprise Service bus technologies. Finally the appendices are grouped as Part IV.
Overall this book seems to me to offer a good overview of the SOA standards for Java. It doesn’t provide sufficient detail to be a reference for any of the Java SOA standards and frameworks, but it gives a good overview which could be a good starting point for selecting technologies of interest for further investigation.