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Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Comments on WS-BPEL 2.0 for SOA Composite Application with Oracle SOA Suite 11g, by Matjaz B. Juric, Marcel Krizevnik

On the bright side, the text is written in American English, formal, well organized and neat, having the last sentence of each paragraph linking to the following one. Although the title sounds pretty familiar, the content of the book is actually about the newer version of BPEL 2.0. That's what makes this particular book unique, as the time of this writing. I quote: "Oracle SOA Suite 11g PS2 supports BPEL 2.0. However, BPEL 2.0 is only supported at runtime and not in JDeveloper. BPEL 2.0 support in Oracle SOA Suite 11g PS2 is not yet production ready, so by default, BPEL version 1.1 is used. However, we can write BPEL 2.0 code in text mode (graphical mode is currently not supported)." This book will help readers utilize BPM suite for integrating BPEL with BPMN. Readers will be able to explore BPEL 2.0 activities, loops, decisions, flow control, variables, scopes and other constructs that will enable them to develop BPEL processes. The authors dig into advanced BPEL topics, such as fault handlers, event handlers, compensation, concurrent activities, links, correlations, message properties, dynamic partner links, process lifecycle, and more. The text is accompanied by two online appendices about the syntax of the BPEL versions 1.1 and the newer 2.0, the  full source code, in addition to a sample chapter and its table of contents, which can be found here. Furthermore, the authors use UML sequence, activity diagrams to describe the composite applications, which is useful to the analysts and designers and scarce to find in competitive books.
On the dark side, there are a few spelling errors, the first 3 chapters are rather tedious to read, since there is no hands on practice, nor questions and answers for the reader to exercise.  The action starts in chapter 4 and forward on. However, there  is only purely descriptive text, with no full, step by step detailed instructions how to build from scratch the application, or how to setup the SOA suite. In addition, parts of the application source code is given as is, i.e. java classes, without any explanation how it was created, or how to deploy it correctly; For example, EmployeeTravelStatus,  in chapter 4, should perhaps be deployed as a shared library, or a stand alone application? 
All in all, the book is a complete and detailed treatise on BPEL 2.0, presenting its origins, other BPEL servers available in the market such as tibco, exotic themes such as Oracle service registry, Business process architect, and so on. Its project is an application about employees travel requests and booking the cheapest available ticket offered by the airline companies,  etc. The book is no introduction to BPEL, but of fairly advanced level, since drag and drop operations are rarely mentioned, the authors prefer to edit the source BPEL and XML code directly, which can be error prone, especially for beginners. Its source code is full of advanced java classes, so developing web services using java, XML basics, look like  prerequisites.
Further references:
You can visit the book page at the publisher's site

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