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June 01, 2003

Book Review: Web Services Enhancements by Evjen

A few weeks ago, 'Web Services Enhancements - Understanding the WSE for .NET Enterprise Applications' by Bill Evjen dropped in my mailbox. It wasn't until this morning that I actually had time to go through it.

The book targets the novice who wants to start building applications with Microsoft's WSE 1.0 toolkit. The book has the usual light-weight into into xml, web services & soap, and combines that with some introduction material on the ws-* specs as they are relevant to the GXA architecture. Even though the title mentions enterprise computing the book offers no visionary insights in the use of the technology in enterprise specific applications.

The majority of the book is dedicated to the security facilities, with some additional chapters on routing, wsa & dime and on the filter architecture. The book is in its essence a tutorial: the examples are simple and consistent, the next chapter build on knowledge of the previous one and there is a 'putting it all together' chapter.

Unfortunately the book never rises above the level of a tutorial, so the reader who already had a look at the WSE help files, will encounter nothing new. The examples are trivial and handle no problems of any serious complexity. The examples from the routing, dime and filter sections are trivial, and provide no new insight. The examples do not add any additional value for someone who has already had a look at the examples that come with the WSE distribution.

I think this book suffers from the same syndrome that quite a few other technology book suffer from; because they are written before a product becomes widely available there is no knowledge yet about what developers would really would like some help with, and what they would appreciate in a book like this. As such the book is not able to be anything more than a alternative version of the product documentation.

Posted by Werner Vogels at June 1, 2003 09:50 AM
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