Most helpful positive review
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Great for developers of all levels
on October 4, 2002
Any book on ASP.NET will mention Web services development, but "XML Web Services for ASP.NET" is an entire book dedicated to explaining all of the different sub-areas within the technology platform. And very well done. It's written by everyone's friend in .NET, Bill Evjen, one of the most outspoken advocates of .NET technology around.
The book is outstanding and takes an in-depth look at XML Web services, and Microsoft's specific implementation of the paradigm. All of the major considerations are explained well and adequately to become productive in developing your own library of Web services, or by extending the functionality of your applications.
The book's tone is very friendly, and non-intimidating, so it's a very easy, quick read. Bill also uses lots of practical analogies to make the more complex topics relevant, so it's an added bonus that this book appeals to the beginning as well as the seasoned developer.
Bill discusses areas critical to a thorough understanding of WS technology using .NET such as SOAP, UDDI, remoting, security, authentication, performance, and client development for calling an XML Web service from an ASP.NET WebForm or Windows Form, VB 6.0 app, or an ASP 3.0 Web page. The book also features some really good appendices, especially those on .NET's Web service classes, and an XSD primer for schema development.
The book is not about ASP.NET development, and so providing the reader has some experience with building third-generation Web applications, gets right to the meaty stuff. The chapters are short and to the point, and Bill's overview of ADO.NET is one of the better ones I've read in recent times. The most outstanding thing to me is that Bill liberally uses real-world code samples, with all code presented in both Visual Basic .NET and C#. Snafus in the code are very minimal, and I know form personal experience that good ol' Bill is extremely available and answers all his e-mail...about anything.
However, the book's printed code samples (I haven't checked the downloadable source code from the publisher) tend to reflect code generated from Visual Studio .NET, which in my opinion become confusing and therefore more difficult to replicate in an IDE environment like Dreamweaver MX or ASP.NET Web Matrix or non-IDE environment like Notepad due to all of the proprietary code VS.NET generates, and in doing so, using code behind. It's been my experience that it's easier to go the other way - provide the raw code and leave it up to the developer to implement in whatever means they see fit.
Another thing I did not care for (some of you may agree, I'm assuming most may not) was the physiology of the book itself, which was beyond the author's reasonable control. The binding is very flimsy and the spine breaks without much trouble. The paper isn't very durable, and doesn't lay flat for very long. I hope Wiley Publishing take into consideration that books of this nature get used & abused for their content more than most, and consider making corrections in the book's composition to make them last longer.
But beyond this, the book is a must-have for a user group as it's cross-language, multi-developmental platform, multi-subject appeal make it applicable to many different levels of developers, and is great for team environments.