The Community for Technology Leaders

Book Reviews: A Useful but Inadequate Introduction to Web Services

Marek Kowalkiewicz, Poznan University of Economics, Poland

Building Web Services and .NET Applications

Lonnie Wall and Andrew Lader

608 pages


McGraw-Hill/Osborne 2002

ISBN: 0-072-13047-4

At 600-plus pages, Building Web Services and .NET Applications thoroughly and comprehensively presents concepts related to Web services and .NET programming. Lonnie Wall and Andrew Lader discuss topics including XML basics, XML schemas and document object model data modeling, Extensible Style Sheet Language Transformations, and SOAP. They also cover Web services and related concepts, such as Web Service Description Language and Universal Discovery, Description, and Integration. After providing theoretical background, they introduce other topics: the .NET Framework and especially Common Language Runtime, .NET Framework classes, SQL Server 2000 integration, ADO.NET, and finally ASP.NET Web services.

Wall and Lader are experienced developers who focus on distributed applications, Web applications, and .NET technology. They have prepared an all-inclusive book, covering the most important topics for an intermediate programmer. You don't need to know a particular programming language, because the code examples are clear and informative (and available for download from the book's Web page, located at McGraw-Hill's site /getpage.php?page=osborne_downloads_centercontent.php&template=osborne"). As Wall and Lader point out, the book aims to introduce readers not to programming but to application design. The overview of the theoretical background of Web services and .NET applications is fairly complete, and you don't have to visit many Web sites to build a bigger picture. However, because Web services technology is constantly developing, you should review the latest technological achievements after reading this book.

The 17 chapters are divided into three sections: "Overview of XML," ".NET Framework," and ".NET Services and Applications." No section explicitly relates to Web services, which isn't what you would expect from the book's title. The two chapters devoted to Web services are definitely not sufficient. In contrast, Wall and Lader cover XML technologies and .NET programming in satisfying detail. Although the Web services sections are inadequate, carefully studying them will enable you to develop Web services. For advanced information, however, so you will need to search relevant content on the Web.


Overall, Building Web Services and .NET Applications is interesting, informative, and readable. It's a good introduction to the concepts of XML, Web services, and .NET programming. It would have been more useful had Wall and Lader put more effort into the Web services parts.

Related Links

  • "Web Services Interoperability Specifications," Computer
  • "Bypass Testing of Web Applications," 15th Int'l Symp. Software Reliability Engineering
  • "A Universal Service Description Language," IEEE Int'l Conf. Web Services

Cite this article: Marek Kowalkiewicz, "Building Web Services and .NET Applications," IEEE Distributed Systems Online;, vol. 7, no. 6, 2006, art. no. 0606-o6007.

About the Authors

Marek Kowalkiewicz is a researcher at Poznan University of Economics, Poland. Contact him at
59 ms
(Ver 3.x)