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The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1918 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Title:
Programming .NET Web Services
Author:
Alex Ferrara and Matthew MacDonald
ISBN:
0-596-00250-5
Publisher:
O'Reilly
Pages:
396pp
Price:
£28-50
Reviewer:
Huw Lloyd
Subject:
.NET; web services
Appeared in:
15-2
I think this book is more general than the title implies. Although '.NET' features in the title, the use of Visual Studio .NET is not implicitly assumed. Where .NET specifics are presented, such as in the use of C#, I do not think a programmer will find it difficult reinterpreting the small programs in terms of his own implementation.

Web service fundamentals are narrated first, these are not .NET specific, such as the deployment of files to establish and use Web services; they are well documented, for example, both HTML and SOAP are given exposure.

One caveat; the book does not hold all the answers. My reading concurs with the authors' claim that the remaining text is '... aimed at providing the reader with strategies for web service security, state management and transactions.' However, the strategies provided on security are a little thin especially regarding ticket systems; they inevitably leave more questions open than closed, although they are at least drawn to the programmer's attention. The small closing chapter on web service interoperability issues works to this end.

This version of the book refers to WSDL version 1.1 and represented the state of the technology as of mid 2002.

Overall, I think developers will find the book of practical merit. The content presents the information a programmer needs for a practical understanding of what web services are, what they can do for them and how they are implemented. Recommended.