Web Services--A Manager's Guide. Last month I suggested that someone do a comparative review of this new book by Anne Thomas Manes and my latest book. Last week, I had the opportunity to meet Anne and get a copy of her book. Rather than wait, here are my own--admittedly biased--comparisons.
"A Manager's Guide," as the title suggests, is the perfect pragmatic guide for managing a current web-services project. If you want to know what works today, right down to the specific products from individual vendors, Anne's book is the one to buy. .NET versus Java? Which J2EE platform or UDDI registry server? The current state of the basic protocols: SOAP, WSDL, UDDI? You'll find the answers in one place. As with my book, there are no code fragments or XML listings. It's for managers, not programmers. But this book is the one to buy for your tactical requirements.
"Loosely Coupled," on the other hand, takes a more strategic view, and in a sense picks up where Anne's book leaves off. I don't explain any of the protocols. In fact I rarely mention them by name. I assume (a) you'll learn about them somewhere else (such as from Anne's book), and (b) they'll change quickly anyway. Anne has a 30-page chapter on "Advanced Web-Services Standards," which is where my book kicks in. As the subtitle suggests, I look more deeply at the missing pieces of web services: transactions, security, reliable asynchronous messaging, orchestration and choreography, QoS, contracts and other business issues, infrastructure, and the big one: industry-specific semantics.
Both books cover the fundamental concepts of web services such as service-oriented architectures. Anne, however, sees web services as being fundamentally about application integration, which clearly is the sweet spot today. I look at the issues surrounding inter-organizational loosely coupled web services, taking a longer-term and more strategic view. If you're thrust into managing a web-services project, need to ramp-up quickly, select vendors and products, and be able to communicate with your developers, buy Anne's book. If you need to develop a long-term web-services strategy for your organization, buy mine. In other words: buy them both. I think you'll like the combination.
Posted Wednesday, July 16, 2003 8:31:16 AM