Over the past six months or so I have been on the lookout for some good web services books I could recommend. It’s turned out to be harder than I thought, for a couple of reasons (I think). Firstly, it is a technology that is evolving as we speak, and therefore the shelf life for such books is quite short – if a web services book is more than a year old, the odds are it is out of date, and the technology and standards have moved on since it was written. The other factor is, web services, SOAP, et al, are actually not that complicated, so a good book needs a good angle to it, and some authors seem to have struggled to fill their page quote, and stuff that would have been a couple of decent articles have been padded out to fill a book.
So, what is there out there . . .
“Real World Web Services” by Will Iverson. I quite liked the idea of this book, focusing on web services in the real world, but the content was based on non-Microsoft technologies, so for me, not much use. It does also assume a reasonable knowledge of web services up front, so not a beginners book.
“Securing Web Services with WS-Security : Demystifying WS-Security, WS-Policy, SAML, XML Signature, and XML Encryption” by Jothy Rosenberg, David Remy. I’ve just got this one, and not had time to give it a proper look, but I like the idea of a book that focuses in WS-Security. This is a big topic in its own right, and now that it’s a standard, care of OASIS, it’s a fairly stable piece of technology, so this topic should remain relevant for the next year or two. And, developers never know enough about security (and I include myself in this).
“Understanding SOA with Web Services” by Eric Newcomer, Greg Lomow. I have just bought this, and this looks the most promising book out there, at least from my perspective. Eric Newcomer is co-author of “Principles of Transaction Processing”, an excellent tome, and this book carries on that tradition. It has a good architectural slant, and seems to cover all the core web service areas. Check it out.
“.NET Web Services: Architecture and Implementation with .NET” by Keith Ballinger. Keith is (or rather, was, when he wrote it) program manager on the WSE team at Microsoft, so he is an authority on the topic and it has good technical content, but it is focused more at WSE 1.0 (which has now been superseded) and doesn’t really stand out as a great book, which is a great shame.
“Expert Service-Oriented Architecture in C#: Using the Web Services Enhancements 2.0” by Jeffrey Hasan. This is not a bad book, and its up to date, in terms of being focused on WSE 2.0, which is great. I’m not so sure about the SOA angel – it seems more to have been an after though than a pervasive art of the book, but that aside, not a bad book to get going with on WSE 2.0.