Are you fed up with over 800 pages SOA-books full of conceptual blah blah? Letting you know it is completely nuts not to implement SOA? Telling you SOA is about business and not about technology, or just the other way around? Outlining huge expensive roadmaps involving every bit of the company? Stressing to you not to start if you didn't restructure your business- and IT-organization in advance?
Don't worry, there is some hope for you. I discovered a mind-sized book of less than 200 pages practical no-nonsense knowledge on SOA; 169 pages to be exact.
The authors clearly have a thorough understanding of SOA from a business point-of-view as well as of the application level implementation aspects. They succeeded in bringing SOA to earth, presenting no more and no less of SOA than it is. In their own words:
We convert the business processes to "services" and expose it to be "oriented" with its business goals. The software design "architecture" that conforms to this is SOA.
Not only does this book offer practical insights in the architectural and business aspects of SOA, why XML and web services is a good idea at the implementation level, the limitations of RESTful services, why using an ESB, aspects of data handling in SOA, and tight coupling (which has advantages and disadvantages) versus loose coupling (which has other advantages and disadvantages). The authors also demonstrate how all of this can be implemented with today's available tools and frameworks in a Java environment. You really can try out at home how these concepts work. For this purpose the Java code snippets used in the book are downloadable from the publishers website.
There is an easy case study included which compares a traditional EAI solution with an SOA-based solution of a simplified business problem. Really a brilliant and yet easy to understand illustration.
If you are a programmer (not necessarily a Java programmer) and you want your SOA-programming understanding to be state-of-the-art, this book is one that should be on your shortlist for reading shortly.
But also if you are a designer or an architect with little or no Java knowledge, the book is still very valuable in understanding when and how to apply an SOA-approach; you just skip the Java details.
As I said, it is not an overloaded book as many others are, but just a mind-sized set of interesting need-to-know knowledge from a holistic point-of-view, business as well as implementation, written in a style which offered me a few hours of delightful reading.