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Service-Oriented Architecture: Concepts, Technology, and Design (Prentice Hall Service-Oriented Computing Series from Thomas Erl) [Hardcover]

Thomas Erl
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

2 Aug 2005 9780131858589 978-0131858589 1

This is a comprehensive tutorial that teaches fundamental and advanced SOA

design principles, supplemented with detailed case studies and technologies

used to implement SOAs in the real world.

***We'll have cover endorsements from Tom Glover, who leads IBM's Web

Services Standards initiatives; Dave Keogh, Program Manager for Visual Studio

Enterprise Tools at Microsoft, and Sameer Tyagi, Senior Staff Engineer, Sun

Microsystems. All major software manufacturers and vendors are promoting

support for SOA. As a result, every major development platform now officially

supports the creation of service-oriented solutions.

Parts I, II, and III cover basic and advanced SOA concepts and theory that

prepare you for Parts IV and V, which provide a series of step-by-step "how

to" instructions for building an SOA. Part V further contains coverage of WS-*

technologies and SOA platform support provided by J2EE and .NET.

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Service-Oriented Architecture: Concepts, Technology, and Design (Prentice Hall Service-Oriented Computing Series from Thomas Erl) + SOA Principles of Service Design (Prentice Hall Service-Oriented Computing Series from Thomas Erl) + SOA Design Patterns (Prentice Hall Service-Oriented Computing Series from Thomas Erl)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 792 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1 edition (2 Aug 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780131858589
  • ISBN-13: 978-0131858589
  • ASIN: 0131858580
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 18.8 x 4.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 322,305 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

"Service Oriented Architecture is a hot, but often misunderstood topic in IT today. Thomas articulately describes the concepts, specifications, and standards behind service orientation and Web Services. For enterprises adopting SOA, there is detailed advice for service-oriented analysis, planning, and design. This book is a must read!"

–Alex Lynch, Principal Consultant, Microsoft Enterprise Services


"One primary objective of applying SOA in design is to provide business value to the solutions we build. Understanding the right approach to analyzing, designing, and developing service-oriented solutions is critical. Thomas has done a great job of demystifying SOA in practical terms with his book."

–Rick Weaver, IBM Senior Consulting Certified SW I/T Specialist


"A pragmatic guide to SOA principles, strategy, and best practices that distills the hype into a general framework for approaching SOA adoption in complex enterprise environments."

–Sameer Tyagi, Senior Staff Engineer, Sun Microsystems


"A very timely and much needed contribution to a rapidly emerging field. Through clarifying the principles and nuances of this space, the author provides a comprehensive treatment of critical key aspects of SOA from analysis and planning to standards ranging from WS-specifications to BPEL. I'll be recommending this book to both clients and peers who are planning on embracing SOA principles."

–Ravi Palepu, Senior Field Architect, Rogue Wave Software


"Finally, an SOA book based on real implementation experience in production environments. Too many SOA books get lost in the technical details of Web Services standards, or simply repeat vendor hype. This book covers the really hard parts: the complex process of planning, designing and implementing service-oriented architectures that meet organizational goals. It is an essential companion to any software developer, architect, or project manager implementing–or thinking about implementing–a service-oriented architecture."

–Priscilla Walmsley, Managing Director of Datypic


"Thomas Erl's Service-Oriented Architecture: Concepts, Technology, and Design is as good an introduction to service-oriented architectures as one could wish for. In a single volume, it covers the entire topic, from theory to real-world use to technical details. The examples are superb and the writing is wonderfully clear."

–Ronald Bourret, Author, "XML and Databases"


"Finally an SOA book which gets to the point with real world answers and examples. Erl guides you on a real world SOA journey. From architecture design to industry standards, this book is well written and can be easily referenced for everyday use. When embarking on your own service orientated adventures, this is the book you want in your bag."

–Clark Sell, Vice President, CSell Incorporated


"Organizations struggling to evolve existing service-oriented solutions beyond simple Web Services now have an expert resource available. Leading the way to the true service-oriented enterprise, Thomas Erl demystifies the complexities of the open WS-I standards with detailed practical discussions and case studies. Erl's depth and clarity makes this work a superb complement to his Field Guide."

–Kevin P. Davis, PhD., Software Architect


"This book is an excellent guide for architects, developers, and managers who are already working with or are considering developing Web Services or Service-Oriented Architecture solutions. The book is divided into four sections. In the first section the fundamental technologies of XML, Web Services and Service-Oriented Architectures are described in detail with attention given to emerging standards. The book is well written and very thorough in its coverage of the subject. I recommend this book highly to anyone interested in enterprise level service architectures."

–Adam Hocek, President and CTO, Broadstrokes, Inc.


Additional praise quotes are published at:


The foremost "how-to" guide to SOA

Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) is at the heart of a revolutionary computing platform that is being adopted world-wide and has earned the support of every major software provider. In Service-Oriented Architecture: Concepts, Technology, and Design, Thomas Erl presents the first end-to-end tutorial that provides step-by-step instructions for modeling and designing service-oriented solutions from the ground up.


Erl uses more than 125 case study examples and over 300 diagrams to illuminate the most important facets of building SOA platforms: goals, obstacles, concepts, technologies, standards, delivery strategies, and processes for analysis and design.

His book's broad coverage includes

  • Detailed step-by-step processes for service-oriented analysis and service-oriented design

  • An in-depth exploration of service-orientation as a distinct design paradigm, including a comparison to object-orientation

  • A comprehensive study of SOA support in .NET and J2EE development and runtime platforms

  • Descriptions of over a dozen key Web services technologies and WS-* specifications, including explanations of how they interrelate and how they are positioned within SOA

  • The use of "In Plain English" sections, which describe complex concepts through non-technical analogies

  • Guidelines for service-oriented business modeling and the creation of specialized service abstraction layers

  • A study contrasting past architectures with SOA and reviewing current industry influences

  • Project planning and the comparison of different SOA delivery strategies

The goal of this book is to help you attain a solid understanding of what constitutes contemporary SOA along with step-by-step guidance for realizing its successful implementation.


About the Web Sites


Erl's Service-Oriented Architecture books are supported by two Web sites. provides a variety of content resources and supplies a descriptive portal to referenced specifications.


© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

About the Author


Thomas Erl is a best-selling IT author and founder of™®. Thomas has been the world's top-selling service technology author for over five years and is the series editor of the Prentice Hall Service Technology Series from Thomas Erl ( ), as well as the editor of the Service Technology Magazine ( With over 175,000 copies in print world-wide, his eight published books have become international bestsellers and have been formally endorsed by senior members of major IT organizations, such as IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Intel, Accenture, IEEE, HL7, MITRE, SAP, CISCO, HP, and others.


Four of his books, Cloud Computing: Concepts, Technology & Architecture, SOA Design Patterns, SOA Principles of Service Design, and SOA Governance, were authored in collaboration with the IT community and have contributed to the definition of cloud computing technology mechanisms, the service-oriented architectural model and service-orientation as a distinct paradigm. Thomas is currently working with over 20 authors on several new books dedicated to specialized topic areas such as cloud computing, Big Data, modern service technologies, and service-orientation.


As CEO of Arcitura Education Inc. and in cooperation with™®, Thomas has led the development of curricula for the internationally recognized SOA Certified Professional (SOACP) and Cloud Certified Professional (CCP) accreditation programs, which have established a series of formal, vendor-neutral industry certifications.


Thomas is the founding member of the SOA Manifesto Working Group and author of the Annotated SOA Manifesto ( He is a member of the Cloud Education & Credential Committee, SOA Education Committee, and he further oversees and initiatives, which are dedicated to the on-going development of master pattern catalogs for service-oriented computing and cloud computing.


Thomas has toured over 20 countries as a speaker and instructor for public and private events, and regularly participates in international conferences, including SOA, Cloud + Service Technology Symposium and Gartner events. Over 100 articles and interviews by Thomas have been published in numerous publications, including the Wall Street Journal and CIO Magazine.


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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful 16 Nov 2008
By C. Jack
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Really appalling introduction to SOA and for my money if you want to learn about SOA then Enterprise SOA (Dirk Krafzig, Karl Banke, Dirk Slama) is far better.

I also question the whole approach to SOA that Erl takes, the enterprise services approach with lots of upfront design is not a style of SOA that I think can work in many places. I'd therefore recommend that if you do read this book you actively seek out other opinions, including searching for views on "entity services" and how SOA can be used within an agile process.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Is this War and Peace for Software Architects? 27 Jun 2006
Service Orientation claims to be the solution to the problem of delivering large complex software systems that enhance organizational agility, that integrate .NET and Java systems, and systems from different vendors while maximising re-use. It's a big topic and this is a huge book running to over 750 pages. So, unless you're in the habit of reading War and Peace, this is probably the largest book that you're likely to be caught reading on the train. Its size is partly a consequence of the size of the topic but it's also a result of the breadth and thoroughness of the book, which covers both the theory and practice of SOA. The "theory" includes the historical context of SOA, the problems SOA attempts to address, the current and future standards, the tenets of service orientation and the common misconceptions about Web Services and SOA. The "practice" includes the design strategies for SOA and the technology platforms that support the standards. The book will be of most practical use to senior development managers, architects and business analysts having to make technology choices about system architecture and system integration.

In my experience most of the other books on SOA and ESB are of little practical use as they either cover only the early implementations of XML Web Services (JAX-RPC) or focus too much on a single vendor's proprietary solutions and are of limited usefulness as a guide to building real-world systems (assuming one of your objectives is platform independence).

Unlike other books on the subject this book is focussed on the delivery of SOA using vendor-independent and standards-oriented solutions.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Impressive 23 Jan 2014
By femi
I think this books remains one of the most comprehensive literature on SOA in bookshelves today. Besides the delivery came in right on time.....Impressive!!
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4 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SOA explained, without the hype 28 Nov 2006
This is a great book on SOA. It's the first book I found that really explained the concepts in a clear and concise way. It gives an overview of what SOA really is and what not and then goes on to explain how to design an SOA.

This book is especially helpful for those who have been wrestling with Web services (SOAP) as a technique, but haven't seen any of the SOA promises yet. Thomas Erl can probably explain to you, where you've gone wrong.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  66 reviews
50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chapter by Chapter Review 25 May 2006
By M. Carter (reviewer) - Published on
This book is superb. I have read every SOA book available (up until Apr/06) because it's part of my job as a technology research analyst and all-around techno-geek. From those that I have read and studied, this is the only one I feel compelled to write a review about. AND - because I did have to go through it in such detail I'm going to raid my research notes and share with you a detailed review of not just the book, but each of its chapters.

Chapter 1 - Introduction

Nothing special here, this is just a chapter that introduces the rest of the book. Call it a glorified table of contents if you will. At first I felt like skipping it altogether, but then I did what I'm supposed to do for my job and that is read each and every part. In the end, I'm glad I took the time for two reasons: By reading a summary of each of the chapters I got a good feel for what this book was going to cover and what it wasn't going to cover. Secondly, I liked the author's intro stuff about ideal and not so ideal (real) SOA. Kind of insightful and stinging at the same time. Still, though, this is still just a description of other chapters. It's also a chapter you can get for free at the book's web site.

Chapter 2 - Case Studies

Here the author provides background information for the two companies he uses as case studies. If you're into case studies, then you'll definitely want to read through this. But - I found the subsequent samples pretty easy to follow and I think you could get away with skipping this chapter if you really wanted to.

Chapter 3 - Introducing SOA

Here's where I started getting into the meat of the book. If you think you don't understand what soa is or what the industry's made of it or turned it into then you need to read this chapter. It breaks it all down and builds it all up again in a very systematic manner. Make sure you leave this chapter with an understanding of how primitive and contemporary variations of soa are different because the author uses these terms later.

Chapter4 - The Evolution of SOA

Finally someone who makes a distinction between specification and standard and gets it right. This chapter talks about the soa industry and how vendors are responsible for soa but are also causing problems at the same time. How standards organizations are working for soa but also competing at the same time. Pretty interesting stuff and even though this was the least technical chapter, not once was I bored. It ends by comparing Ssoa with older architectures. I especially like how the author differentiates between soa and "traditional" distributed architecture that uses web services. (hint: rpc has a lot to do with it)

Chapter 5 - Web services and primitive soa

I read the author's first soa book last year and this chapter seemed to repeat a few sections from that. But if I remember correctly it goes into more detail and provides case study examples that the first book didn't have. If you're a web services veteran you can probably skip this one.

Chapter 6 -Web Services and Contemporary SOA (Part I: Activity Management and Composition)

Here he goes up a gear and dives right into that scary thing we've been calling ws-* Everything from transactions to context mgmt to orchestration and so on is covered. I really felt the author did a brilliant job building this chapter up by starting with simple meps and building up to activity management and bpel and so on. He really showed how each adds a layer over the other and how all add layers to soa.

Chapter 7 - Web Services and Contemporary SOA (Part II: Advanced Messaging, Metadata, and Security)

Yup, the rollercoast ride continues here as he gets into addressing, reliable messaging, security and other ws-* specs. All of these are specs I had already heard about and I think this type of coverage is appropriate forwhere soa is going. I forgot to mention that in this chapter and 6 he introduces 'in plain english' sections that are hilarious. They are humorous analogies that compare these complex technologies to analogies he writes about a car wash. Good, fresh writing in the usual dull and dry techno world.

Chapter 8 - Principles of Service-Orientation

Essentially a whole bunch of theory about designing services and then eight specific 'principles' (dos and don'ts) about how to design services the right way for soa. I had to go back and reread this chapter after I finished the book. I sort of glanced thru it at first but then found out that later chapters really use these principles. When I went through it again I actually thought this was pretty important stuff. This really is the next oo. You can get this chapter for free at the book web site too.

Chapter 9 - Service Layers

STudy this if you're a application architect or enterprise architect. It shows what you canh do with services built with service-orientation. The diagrams showing different types of layers combined together are pretty cool.

Chapter 10 - SOA Delivery Strategies

If you're a PM you'll love this chapter. It gets into the different phases in a soa project and how you can reorganize them using 'delivery strategies' depending on your budgets and priorities. I'd pay extra close attention to the pros and cons parts where, after documenting these strategies in abstract, the author points out their true colors.

Chapter 11 + 12 - Service-Oriented Analysis I + II

Don't know where to start when it comes to figuring out your services? Well, the author lays it all out here. He provides a process for systemtically breaking down your business logic and divying it up into services. Chapter 12 is like an instruction manual about service model. Being froma web services background this was all new to me.

Chapter 13 - 16 - Service-Oriented Design I, II, III, IV

Roll up your sleeves man, because here is where you get into the real muck of building web services for an soa. There are a bunch of processes that hash out the nitty gritty of wsdl, xsd, and bpel and show you how to build services for the types of layers set up in ch.9. Tons of code and case study samples and tips for design. This is probably the most valuable part of the book for developers and architects.

Chapter 17- Fundamental WS-* Extensions

I forgot tomention that in chapters 6 and 7 no code samples are given. He only covered ws-* specs conceptually. All of the corresponding code is placed in this chapter. A bit inconvenient if you're a developer who wants to see the code while learning about the spec, but not tragic. The neat thing is he ties the code samples into the case studies. This was my first experience with ws-* in real world tyhpe scenarios.

Chapte r18 - SOA Platforms

The author documents j2ee and .net frameworks here first in total abstract and then about how they support the different parts of soa. This was very interesting because it related a lot of the concepts stuff to actual technology and the let you compare different technologies in how they support soa.

I recommend this book to colleagures and clients and I'm recommending it here. If you have questions about SOA then this book probably has the answers you're looking for. I say that because by the time I finished reading it I ran out of questions myself.
38 of 44 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Verbose, Mostly High Level Concepts 26 Aug 2006
By David Douglass - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book might be best described as SOA for managers. Most of the book covers high level concepts. In some parts everything is presented as an abstraction, leaving the reader to wonder what the connection with the real world is.

Even as a book focused on a high level overview this book doesn't work. This should have been a 300 page book. Who has time to put up with an extra 400 pages?

If your interest is in actually implementing something, you'll need to go far beyond this book. I've given it 2 stars instead of 1 because I did learn a few things from it.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Excessively long winded for my use 14 Dec 2007
By Steven R. Mocarski - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It's hard to understand how the same author wrote this and SOA Principles of Service Design (The Prentice Hall Service-Oriented Computing Series from Thomas Erl) and Service-Oriented Architecture: A Field Guide to Integrating XML and Web Services (The Prentice Hall Service-Oriented Computing Series from Thomas Erl), both of which had more useful information in a much more compact package.

The only real use I can think of for this book is perhaps to quote in a sales context regarding the benefits of SOA to someone who hasn't heard of it. That said, although I believe in SOA as a powerful mechanism, I believe the claims in the book are less well supported then the heft of the book might imply. Other technical details like the importance of UDDI are largely out of date.

I disagree with some of the other reviewers who call the book overly theoretical: I would not give it that much credit. Theory would call on or reference solid research; this book provides anecdotal evidence at best.

Aside from some potential use to sales folks (perhaps why Sun, IBM and MS endorse the book), I think most will want to pass on this one.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A painful political explaination for SOA 6 Aug 2007
By Donald J. Bales - Published on
The author should be a politician not a writer. This book is painful to read because it goes on-and-on but doesn't actually say that much. The same material could have easily been covered in 300 pages.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Like a really, really long survey of SOA standards 30 Aug 2007
By Malcolm D. Mcroberts - Published on
If you want a book that covers most of the SOA standards in one place, this might be helpful. I think you could get that from Wikipedia. Lots regurgitation of SOA platitudes, not much value add. If you're looking to make the light go on about key SOA concepts, this isn't the book. It would make a good management summary of the technology, if it was about 1/3 as long.
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