[Kc] review of "Real World Web Services" by Will Iverson

David Nicol davidnicol at gmail.com
Tue Dec 7 15:46:41 CST 2004

Real World Web Services starts with a recitation of the history of the
internet, then
discuses some of the web service offerings currently available,
including Java code
for programming remote procdure calls to them, then concludes with a
short visionary
chapter in which the author relaxes his prohibition against
opinionating and speculating.

The discussion of N-tier architecture, and the checklist of things to
be careful about,
when considering deployment of a web service, and the nod to
capitalist realities -- if
you don't have a business plan, you're just playing around, not like
that's bad or anything,
but the angels aren't going to kidnap you and issue you your very own
beach house -- are
most useful, and come from a solid perpective.

How do you choose between raw CGI, SOAP, REST, binary, and XML?  What are
the good points and drawbacks of each?  Real World Web Services discusses these
generalities.  Is UDDI worth the trouble when WDSL already comes with commercial
SOAP development tools? Real world web services will tell you, probably not.

As a developer of web services since before the term had been coined, I tend to
use the traditional Comman Gateway Interface key/value pairs data declaration
method for passing data to my web services rather than XML.  Iverson touches on
this legacy method, in a box, on page 99, while discussing PayPal's
Instant Payment
Notification system:  "Using a simple HTTP request/response is perhaps
the most basic,
universal web service.  It works with virtually every programming
language and requires no
special configuration to use.  It's a classic case of the simple
solution being the best

There is no further discussion of simple HTTP request/response, also known as
"common gateway interface."  Perhaps he wishes to discourage reinventing too
many wheels, when the available ones (SOAP) take care of a mess of details.

I suppose the plentiful Java example code will be welcome to fans of
Iverson's previous
books on Jakarta and J2EE

Four of five stars.

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