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October 22, 2002

New Guide to Building Web Services with ASP.NET and C#: O'Reilly Releases "Programming .NET Web Services"

Sebastopol, CA--Web services are poised to become a key technology for a wide range of internet-enabled applications, spanning everything from straight B2B systems to mobile devices and proprietary in-house software. While there are several tools and platforms that can be used for building web services, many developers are finding a powerful tool in Microsoft's .NET Framework and Visual Studio .NET. Designed from the start to support the development of web services, the .NET Framework simplifies the process--programmers find that tasks that took an hour using the SOAP Toolkit take just minutes with the .NET Framework.

Alex Ferrara, coauthor with Matthew MacDonald of the new Programming .NET Web Services (O'Reilly, US $39.95), recalls how his discovery of the new platform's support for web services: "I was doing work with Microsoft's SOAP Toolkit to create web services for a content provider back in the fall of 2000," says Ferrara. "I thought the idea of web services, as a standard mechanism for machine-to-machine data communication, was very promising but the development tools were immature and required a detailed knowledge of XML and SOAP for even simple tasks." Ferrara found that the SOAP Toolkit's high-level API wasn't very powerful and the low-level API wasn't efficient. Moreover, it was challenging to manage client/service interoperability, to figure out how to implement caching, state management and security, and create service descriptions. Tools on other platforms had similar issues.

"At the same time, I started testing the first public beta version of the .NET Framework and Visual Studio.NET. I was blown away by the improvements over ASP 3.0, and was especially amazed by the support for web services."

"Web services aren't a new technology, but .NET is the most elegant approach developers have seen in awhile," adds MacDonald. "It's interesting that we aren't just seeing a whole new platform with .NET, but also a whole new Microsoft--one that's remarkably devoted to third-party standards like XML and SOAP, and arguably abandoning some of its traditional attitudes."

"Programming .NET Web Services" is a comprehensive tutorial that teaches the skills necessary to develop web services hosted on the new .NET platform. Written for experienced VB or C# programmers, this book goes beyond the obvious functionality of ASP.NET or Visual Studio .NET to provide a solid foundation in the building blocks of web services, leading readers step-by-step through the process of creating their own.

Beginning with a close look at the underlying technologies of web services, including the benefits and limitations of these technologies, "Programming .NET Web Services" discusses the unique features of the .NET Framework that make creating web services easier, including the Common Language Runtime (CLR) and the namespaces used in .NET programming. Filled with numerous code examples in both C# and Visual Basic .NET, the book explores some of the more challenging issues of web services development, including the use of proxies, marshalling of complex data types, state management, security, performance tuning, and cross-platform implementation. The book also covers:

  • Creating and publishing one's first web service
  • The UDDI project, tModels and what they mean for web service publishers
  • Generating proxy applications from existing web services
  • Securing web service applications for private use

Written for programmers who are familiar with the .NET Framework and interested in building industrial-strength web services, "Programming .NET Web Services" is full of practical information and advice. It's the tutorial and reference book web service developers will want beside them as they work.

Additional resources:

Programming .NET Web Services
Alex Ferrara and Matthew MacDonald
ISBN 0-596-00250-5, 396 pages, $39.95 (US), $61.95 (CAN)
1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

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