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Service-Oriented Architecture: A Field Guide to Integrating XML and Web Services [Kindle Edition]

Thomas Erl
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

As XML becomes an increasingly significant part of the IT mainstream, expert guidance and common-sense strategies are required to avoid the many pitfalls of applying XML incorrectly or allowing it to be used in an uncontrolled manner. This book acts as a knowledge base for issues relating to integration, and provides clear, concise advice on how to best determine the manner and direction XML technology should be positioned and integrated. The book will be one of the first to provide documentation for second-generation Web services technologies (also known as WS-*). The importance of these specifications (which include BPEL, WS-Transaction, WS-Coordination, WS-Security, WS-Policy, and WS-Reliable Messaging) cannot be understated. Major standards organizations and vendors are supporting and developing these standards. ***David Keogh, Program Manager for Enterprise Frameworks and Tools, Microsoft, will provide a front cover quotation for the book.

Product Description

From the Back Cover

Web services is the integration technology preferred by organizations implementing service-oriented architectures. I would recommend that anybody involved in application development obtain a working knowledge of these technologies, and I'm pleased to recommend Erl's book as a great place to begin.

—Tom Glover, Senior Program Manager, Web Services Standards, IBM Software Group, and Chairman of the Web Services Interoperability Organization (WS-I).


An excellent guide to building and integrating XML and Web services, providing pragmatic recommendations for applying these technologies effectively. The author tackles numerous integration challenges, identifying common mistakes and providing guidance needed to get it right the first time. A valuable resource for understanding and realizing the benefits of service-oriented architecture in the enterprise.

—David Keogh, Program Manager, Visual Studio Enterprise Tools, Microsoft.


Leading-edge IT organizations are currently exploring second generation web service technologies, but introductory material beyond technical specifications is sparse. Erl explains many of these emerging technologies in simple terms, elucidating the difficult concepts with appropriate examples, and demonstrates how they contribute to service-oriented architectures. I highly recommend this book to enterprise architects for their shelves.

—Kevin P. Davis, Ph. D., Software Architect.


Service-oriented integration with less cost and less risk


The emergence of key second-generation Web services standards has positioned service-oriented architecture (SOA) as the foremost platform for contemporary business automation solutions. The integration of SOA principles and technology is empowering organizations to build applications with unprecedented levels of flexibility, agility, and sophistication (while also allowing them to leverage existing legacy environments).


This guide will help you dramatically reduce the risk, complexity, and cost of integrating the many new concepts and technologies introduced by the SOA platform. It brings together the first comprehensive collection of field-proven strategies, guidelines, and best practices for making the transition toward the service-oriented enterprise.


Writing for architects, analysts, managers, and developers, Thomas Erl offers expert advice for making strategic decisions about both immediate and long-term integration issues. Erl addresses a broad spectrum of integration challenges, covering technical and design issues, as well as strategic planning.

  • Covers crucial second-generation (WS-*) Web services standards: BPEL4WS, WS-Security, WS-Coordination, WS-Transaction, WS-Policy, WS-ReliableMessaging, and WS-Attachments
  • Includes hundreds of individual integration strategies and more than 60 best practices for both XML and Web services technologies
  • Includes a complete tutorial on service-oriented design principles for business and technical modeling
  • Explores design issues related to a wide variety of service-oriented integration architectures that integrate XML and Web services into legacy and EAI environments
  • Provides a clear roadmap for planning a long-term migration toward a standardized service-oriented enterprise

Service-oriented architecture is no longer an exclusive discipline practiced only by expensive consultants. With this book's help, you can plan, architect, and implement your own service-oriented environments-efficiently and cost-effectively.


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.

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.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 10471 KB
  • Print Length: 560 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1 edition (9 Oct. 2007)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000OZ0NB2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #619,758 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive and relevant 14 Oct. 2004
Erl's book is magnificent. Most software developers and architects will be aware to some degree or another of the hype surrounding Service-Oriented Architectures, but relatively few people will actually be doing it and even the ones who are will be asking themeselves if they are doing it properly. The vast majority of software developers/architects will be asking themselves why and how? Erl answers these questions very comprehensively. Erl compares and contrasts common application and enterprise integration architectures and demonstrates why a SOA approach is a viable alternative. He then provides a series of best practice guides to show you exactly how. This is the first book you should buy to get up to speed in this field. It is technology agnostic and is as relevant to the J2EE community as its is to the .NET community.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent theoretical introduction to SOA 18 Aug. 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
After being hearing all kinds of hype about SOA all over the place, I decided to take a plunge into this apparently new paradigm. I have to say that although I was previously rather fluent with xml and related technologies, Erl's book gave a sufficiently deep insight into such a complex matter. Maybe, being a .Net practitioner, I would have relished some .Net oriented approach, but I have to admit that Erl's neutral approach is much better, allowing you to see the whole picture without marring you with technology details pertaining to a concrete implementation. All in all, an excellent buy and a book you'll sure revisit after having read it, for concepts that may blur with time in your memory. Recommended.
The only thing is that some of the drawings are a bit too obvious, and big, and could have been done away with so the book could be 20 or 30 pages less.

Buying the other soa book by Erl soon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A good general overview of using relatively current (as it is a fast moving target) XML and Web Services standards for Service-Oriented Architectures. Can recommend the book and my only dis-like is that Erl tries to create a lot of his own brand of terminology for SOA.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars editor ;-) ? 14 Jan. 2009
By Ramses
Obviously on the matter of SOA etc, everybody knows Erl is one of the gurus and this is a dense and interesting book (dense for me because I have no background in this and used it as an intro: in that it is more or less ok).
What I fail to understand is this common mistake by authors who pick up examples in French and make language mistakes (pages 286 and 369 for example). It is surely a minor point but this is ridiculous, can't Prentice-Hall afford a native speaker to review this ?
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  32 reviews
45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good overview, but needs more examples; it's not a tutorial 27 Feb. 2006
By B. Baker - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I hesitate to say anything negative about this book, given the glowing reviews by most other readers. Many of those reviewers appear to be experienced in SOA deployment. I am fairly new to the field, though I have a decent grasp of XML and Web services. I wanted a good guide on how SOA was an advance over a loose collection of Web services.

This book is chock full of information on the standards for Web services and the ingredients for SOA. Part one, on XML and second-generation WS specs, is excellent.

However, potential readers should know that this is an overview of these specs, not a tutorial or implementation guide. Certainly too many of these specs exist to give details of implementation, but if you're looking for a general guide to the specs, this is a good text for that.

Things get more muddled after that. I hoped that the chapters in Part II on integrating Web services into applications would be a practical guide to this task. I found it difficult to relate the abstract discussion and diagrams to how one would actually perform this difficult chore.

Later on, the book suddenly introduces EAI as if the reader would naturally know this technology. It uses EAI and similar concepts in more rather abstract discussion of principles of SOA. The discussion features few real-world examples about how the principles would translate into action.

The chapters toward the end on best practices are quite good and worth reading. Again, though, the discussion avoids getting into examples and details.

I kept having the feeling that the bottom line was that, to properly implement SOA, you need a consultant who knows the field well...and that the author's firm might be happy to provide that consulting. The SOA adoption methodology described in the book was basically what that firm follows, I gathered.

I suppose in a sense, the "field guide" name is appropriate here. A field guide to birds, for example, typically lets you identify the species so that you can say, "I saw this bird". It doesn't tell you the life history of the species, how to conserve it, or its ecological relationships to other species. This book has a similar role: it enables you to recogize SOA acronyms and understand the basic process for how an SOA operates and might be implemented. It will not give you enough to actually go out and build an SOA or fully evaluate SOA-related software. Perhaps the other book in the series provides more examples and completes the picture, though to get know-how on actual implementation I suspect you'd need more material.
47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Written for systems architects 30 May 2004
By Jack D. Herrington - Published on
If you think about the software development world as architects and engineers. Where architects take a very high level view of the world and don't get into fine grained implementation details. Then if you consider yourself this kind of architect, you will get a lot out of this book.
Though the book is fairly long (~500 pages) the depth of the content is still at the 'field guide' level. This means that the book focuses more on understanding the components of SOA at a holistic level without getting too deep into implementation details.
The first chapter of the book does delve into the basics of the XML core technologies (XML, XML validation, XSL, etc.). After that the book stays at the high level, describing most of the concepts with graphics that do an excellent job showing the document flow between systems.
I recommend this book to architects involved with XML based systems integration projects. I also recommend the book for engineers involved with these types of projects because they will benefit from the high level overview of the entire range of XML technologies.
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What This Book Is and Is Not. 7 May 2004
By Ben Pilantro - Published on
I had high expectations when I ordered this book, and just having completed it, I felt like taking the time to share my opinions. I've read numerous computer books on various subjects. Most follow predictable form, and there's nothing wrong with that. These types of books meet an educational requirement and the more predictable they are the easier it is for readers to use them. This, however, is not such a book, and nor does it claim to be. This book calls itself a Field Guide - a guide you would want with you when you are in "the field". As such, it is structured with quick reference in mind. Not the type of quick reference guide you'd use to look up language syntax or reserved characters. This is a reference guide that you look to for cold, hard advice. If you are struggling with the many new issues that SOA and XML are hitting all of us with, you would use this guide to look for answers. And, on that basis, it really delivers. The author clearly has a depth of expertise that would cost an arm and a leg right now to hire. He has spilled his guts with this book, sharing not only product knowledge but also insights. The real benefit of this book is the insight, because that represents a body of knowledge gained from experience. That type of knowledge is hard to come by, which is why I can see this guide becoming valuable to organizations who lack experience with the whole XML/WS/SO field. I'm reluctant to give any book five stars. I feel that rating should be reserved for books that achieve unparalleled levels of excellence. I gave it four stars, because I feel this book is very, very good. It sets out to cover a cross section of organizational and technical areas that are most likely to be impacted by the arrival of SOA and all that comes with it. It blends strategic advice with best practices and an abstract exploration of common architecture blueprints. What the author has chosen to cover is appropriate and the manner in which he communicates the subject matter is efficient. I have no quarrels with recommending this guide, and I know I will continue to reach for it as new issues come my way in the future. If I had to change one thing about this book, it would be the location of the SOA modeling tutorials. For some reason they were placed at the end of the book, away from the other tutorials. I think a knowledge of SOA fundamentals up-front would help readers better understand the rest of the guide. Finally, I'd like to comment on what this book is not. This book does not talk about specific programming languages or middleware products. It sticks to standards, common architecture and general best practices. I find that approach appropriate for the world of SOA. SOA is fundamentally about neutral standards and platform independence. That makes this book also useful for just about any environment. Regardless of what vendor platform you are currently subscribing to, most of the information expressed in this book will be relevant, or, at the very least, of interest. This is equally useful from a learning perspective. Learning about XML/WS/SOA, middleware and integration without having to learn about the specific characteristics or unique features of commercial products gives you a reference point and plenty of ammunition for when you actually need to assess the product marketplace. Obviously, if you are working in a Java environment, you will want books on Java to build your systems. But when you design your system, I'd reference this book first. It helps you design a better architecture in abstract, before you implement your system with whatever development tools you choose. In other words (and to finally conclude this review), this book will not help you build Web Services. It will help you prepare for them, design them, position them, and integrate them.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Web Services and SOA explained to great extent 25 Jun. 2005
By Kishore Dandu - Published on
This can be considered the defacto reference for Service oriented infrastructure setup initiatives and approaches.

Thomas Erl has made it a masterpiece with lot of positives, negatives and reasons for different choices that can be considered. First couple of chapters dwell into first and generation of web services including BPEL4WS, WS-S, WS-coordination etc. There is also explanations of strategic approaches of XML and database integration.

In the middle of the book, there are details about SOA and legacy integration and SOA and enterprise integration. Later parts of the book gets into best practises for integrating XML and integrating web services into the overall enterprise stack. All the SOA entities are shown in vivid details pictorially.

This is one of those books written with intent to help the readers with all the possible perspectives(both positive and negative) of the SOA. Great piece of work.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for both XML and Web Services 12 May 2004
By W Boudville - Published on
There has been a tremendous buildout in Web Services standards over the last two years. Its description forms the bulk of this book. The book factors neatly into two parts, which are interspersed as different chapters. One part is the above. The other deals with XML.
Consider the XML part first, because that is simpler, and Web Services build upon it. Even if you have no intention of using Web Services, this book has excellent advice on XML development. It assumes that you know about the syntax and parsing. So it doesn't waste any time going over that. Rather, it focuses on suggesting how to best implement/deploy it. Chapter 5 includes a nice analysis of the limitations of XML Schema and DTDs. Plus, there is something which lower level XML books often don't discuss. In those, XML examples are given using lengthy labels in tags, that have human-readable utility. Which is a strength of XML. But this comes at a cost of greater storage and processing time and bandwidth (when you transmit the XML). Given that XML is meant to be processed by software, and that humans should often only view it directly as a manual exception handling process, then having shorter tags might sometimes be acceptable, if you want to improve performance.
This is something I've encountered in my own coding, when I write/read 100Mb XML files. The sheer size of these leads me to define tags with labels of just one or two characters. Which does make them harder to manually read. But my reading routines run faster.
Erl also suggests that if you have personnel who want to learn XML, books may be far cheaper than training courses offered by third parties. Granted, this is a little self-serving, because he is saying this in his book. But no more so than asking some consulting company if you should hire them to teach XML.
Now consider the Web Services part of the book. There has been a veritable laundry list of second generation technologies developed. Like Transaction, Coordination, Security, Policy, BPEL4WS, Attachment and Addressing. Erl tries to pull these together into a coherent usage framework. The book does not go into the details to each technology. That is the purview of other books. Rather, Erl discusses integrating these into your development. Helpfully, he points out that any specific application usually only needs a subset of the above. Which is vital in learning and using them in a modular fashion. Analogous to how in java, you don't have to know all the class libraries that come with the latest java, in order to usefully program.
He offers another tip which alone may justify the entire book to you. If you asking a vendor for a full enterprise WS conversion of your legacy applications, she often gives a hub and spoke model. In this, the spokes are modifications of your applications, and the hub is written by the vendor. Typically, this gives a vendor lockin. So beware!
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