Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Good, approachable book on SOA

SOA is becoming increasingly hot and lots of developers are wondering what they need to know to implement it without getting lost in the competing standards, the infinite implementation details, and the lack of robust tools.

To the rescue comes SOA for the Business Developer from Ben Margolis, which presents the core technologies of SOA without doing the usual deep dive to the lowest levels of detail. This refreshing approach enables you to read about the five central technologies (XML, XPath, BPEL, and the upcoming SCA and SDO) without it being a massive effort. These technologies are presented clearly (the style is remarkably readable) and each is highlighted with a few key examples consisting of working code. The purpose is not to convert you into an expert into any of these, but to give you enough familiarity that you understand how the pieces work, how they fit together, and from there how to go about writing a simple SOA application, should you want to.

The book is perfect for development managers who want to come up to speed on the SOA components and look at some code without getting dragged into minutia. It's also just right for real geeks who need talking knowledge of the same. The easy style, good examples, and compact size (300 pages) mean that you can go from 0-60 pretty quickly.

Recommended (with the hope that other volumes that provide such a gentle intro for existing developers will become more common).

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