Web Services in Finance Hardcover – 24 Jun 2010
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About the Author
Dr. Paul A. Watters is a senior lecturer in computer science at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. His books include Solaris 9: The Complete Reference, Solaris 9 Administration: A Beginner's Guide, Sun Certified Solaris 9 System and Network Administrator All-In-One Exam Guide, Solaris 8: The Complete Reference, Solaris Administration: A Beginner's Guide, Sun Certified Solaris 8 System Administrator All-In-One Exam Guide, Sun Certified Solaris 8 System Administrator All-In-One Exam Guide, Solaris 8 Administrator's Guide, Integrated Test Design and Automation: Using the Testframe Method (with Hans Buwalda, Dennis Janssen, and Iris Pinkster), Web Services Security (with Mark O'Neill, Phillip Hallam-Baker, Sean MacCann, Mike Shema, Ed Simon, and Andrew White); and Visual C++ .NET: Your Visual Blueprint with Jeff Cogswell.
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On the contrary. The example shows an excellent optimisation of computation versus bandwidth. You WANT this situation. Also, if you are coding that application, and you can change it so that out of every 10 minutes of computation, it takes only 0.5 seconds to transmit that data, then you should do so. That is an improvement.
In the example cited, the network is only using 0.16% of its capacity. "Idleness of 99.84% is not effective resource utilisation". He is quite correct about that. But wrong to suggest that therefore there is something wrong with that application. Rather, this lets many other computers, running instances of this application or other applications, share the network. In fact, purely from the vantage point of this application, it is good, because it helps the application scale to many instances of it on the same network.
Plus, there is also the issue of latency. Even if the application puts out data at 1Gb/s, that data takes time to reach its destination. Even at the speed of light, this gives rise to times that are often long compared to those times for onboard computation on modern CPUs. Notice also that in many realistic cases, the data has to pass through switches and routers. Adds to the latency. Furthermore, the application would typically expect a reply from where ever it is sending the data so. More delays.
Watters gives his example in the context of quoting George Gilder's law about bandwidth tripling every year. Gilder is famous for saying this, and also saying that bandwidth is effectively free and infinite (or words to that effect). But this is often misunderstood by others, who ignore latency.
All this goes to the core of the book. Web Services are fundamentally a distributed computation, often on machines at different companies, possibly separated by large distances. If you use this book to design a Web Service, it still behooves you to minimise the sizes of packets going on the net, between the different parties. And also to minimise the occasions (frequencies) on which these packets need to be sent. Both factors reduce the overall bandwidth usage and latency. Helps the scaling of your application.
I had read a number of books on SOA and Web services in general, but I found the "how-to" approach of this book very helpful. Not that the author does not cover the basics of Web services, but he does so with demonstrating the concepts thru code samples and workable programs throughout the chapters. Background information on how and why Web services fit into the finance industry start the book - followed by an introduction to why the current systems such as CORBA and various MOM's are not doing the job right now. He follows up with the basics of data representation: XML, DTD and XML Schema. These topics are covered very briefly, and can be skipped over.
Messaging with SOAP is an essential part of Web services. All other protocols and layers rest atop of SOAP - and messaging. Two subtopics are worth highlighting: SOAP binding with HTTP and the available software packages in .NET and Java. Later in the text, the author discusses other SOAP binding protocols such as SMTP, POP, JavaMail and IMAP. WSDL is needed to define the endpoints that represent services. Examples from the SOAP chapter are expanded to take into account WSDL and UDDI, in the chapter that follows.
Security is an important topic and much more so in the finance industry. Authentication, Authorization, Secrecy and trust are some of the requirements that Web services security protocols need to fulfill. The problem with security standard is that there are too many of them: 7 protocols that cover the security aspects of Web services to be exact. The author covers these topics as they pertain to the finance industry and follows each discussion with the appropriate example.
In about 200 or so pages, Paul covers the topic of Web services quite well. His examples are applicable to the finance industry and are very easy to follow. Even if you have read other books on Wed services, I highly recommend this book to you as it will make a very good edition to your book collection.
This book acts as a field guide of sorts, illuminating a path but not providing enough depth to serve as a guide for implementation. Illustrations were under-used and the small amounts of code that were provided weren't given much in the way of annotation.
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