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on 27 June 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. It covers both the already well-established request-response web services, (so-called first-generation web services technologies), and the more recent web services standards that implement more advanced "message exchange patterns" (such as send-and-forget and publish-subscribe) and more demanding scenarios such as reliable delivery, transactions and secure transmission, functionality that has previously only been provided by platform-specific and proprietary solutions such as JMS and TIBCO.

Unfortunately the chapter on platform support for the standards, which covers the .NET and J2EE platforms, is too brief to be of any real value. Plus the differences between different J2EE vendors' implementation of the standards aren't mentioned at all. So if you're involved in vendor selection the book will help you work out the right questions to ask but won't help you much with the answers. This perhaps reveals the author's background as a consultant who has been directly involved in the definition of the web services standards. This is the both the book's main strength and at the same time a weakness. Nonetheless it's well worth the (large amount of) time it takes to plough through the myriad of examples.
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on 16 November 2008
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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on 2 September 2015
I do not recommend this book to anyone. Perhaps if you are a student and have spare time to read a long, very well-written book, then go for it.
For any other professional, this book is a waste of time.
I appreciate "completeness", but I deslike "repetitiveness".
Instead of 800 pages, it should have been compressed to 300 pages or less.
It is a shame!.
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on 23 January 2014
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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on 18 April 2016
Good book and great service
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on 15 July 2014
all good
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on 28 November 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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