About the Author
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 CloudSchool.com™ andSOASchool.com ®, 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.
Priscilla Walmsley serves as Managing Director of Datypic, a consultancy specializing in XML architecture and design, SOA and Web services implementation, and content management. She is the author of Definitive XML Schema (Prentice Hall), as well as XQuery (O'Reilly Media).
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After we completed this manuscript, I checked the schedule and noticed our original start date. From the initial kick-off call during which everyone was given the green light to begin writing their chapters to the day I had to hand over the manuscript to Prentice Hall for indexing spanned a period of about 32 months. I initially didn't think too much of it because I already knew this project had taken over two years. But when I looked at that number again sometime later, it struck me.
The time it has taken for this book to be developed and authored is actually comparable to the time it originally took for several of the XML and Web services-based technology specifications covered in this book to be developed into fully ratified standards.
Though a curious statistic, this comparison doesn't do the subject matter justice. The development processes these technology standards were subject to are on entirely different levels, in that they were vastly complex both from human and technology perspectives.
There's the human element that emerges in the technical committee that is tasked with the responsibility of producing a standard. Such a committee will be comprised of members with different agendas, different perceptions, and different personalities. So many differences can turn a standards development process into a rollercoaster of group dynamics, ranging from strong teamwork to stages of scrutiny, confrontation, and even raw tension. Trying to achieve a consensus in an active technical committee is not for the weak at heart.
And then there's the technology element, which is reflected in the deliverables produced by the committee. Technical specifications are meticulously crafted and worded and revised and reworded in continuous, patient, and sometimes mind-numbingly tedious cycles. But despite best efforts, creating a new language or vocabulary that will meet the ever-escalating needs and expectations of the industry as a whole is a daunting prospect. Not to mention that there is a constant possibility that the particular standard a committee might have spent a good part their lives working on will be overshadowed by a competing effort or perhaps even rejected by the industry altogether.
But amidst these challenges, there have been many success stories. In a way, this book is a testament of this in that it documents a collection of respected and widely-recognized de facto standards that have established themselves as important IT milestones.
Ultimately, though, this book is about you, the reader. It was written for you to fully leverage what these technology standards have to offer. As successful as these technologies have been, what counts in the end is how effective they are for you.
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