Totally Disjointed Ramble with Snippets of Source Code
It is most surprising to see a PACKT book that simply could not have been proof read. Apart from many sentences actually making no sense there is so much bad English that you are not sure whether the authors are talking in technical terms or figuratively, for example "However, at the transport (transport sender), we have blocking behaviour" - is the author talking about the transport layer, or the server or sender? It is however, the lack of coherency across the topics, makes me think the authors had some source code and listings that they hacked into the sections of a document and then tried to document the code to form a book. The result is that there is very little flow in and between the sections that have source code, indeed if you don't have the actual source code listing, you would never be able to piece this together! Unfortunately not all the source code is available either, so sometimes you are stuck with the snippets that lie within the book. For example, even though Chapter 9 talks about the use of Asynchronous services, and provides codes snippets, there in chapter 14, there is almost identical code snippets used with no reference to the earlier chapter, hence you are left wondering (especially as the actual source code is missing from the download!)as to what the purpose of the new section is or whether it was just poor editing.
Paradoxically, where the book reads well, say in the early sections and the area on ESB Integration there is no source code at all, so after having spent a great deal of time explaining how the various open source ESB works, e.g. Synapse there is not a single piece of code to shown how all the other snippets could come together to re-enforce the imports of this integration technology.
To give due credit, of the code sections that were available for download, and those that I tried, relating to asynchronous services, did work and were educational - more from looking at the application code than as a result of reading the book. And this comes to my point - a book like this only makes sense to purchase, if the code is well documented and is put together with the narrative in a coherent way. For example, I don't need to buy a book like this to learn about architecture Axis2, there is heaps of material on the net, the purpose of the book should be to show you how to apply it, and sadly with respect to this, it does not do a good job simply because it is so utterly and badly written.
Let me leave you with one gem from chapter 14. "We do not need to worry about the source code, because in real life, we are not going to use the following code to start Axis2". Well maybe so, but a single sentence on why we therefore need this extra bit of code would be illuminating!
If you after after better book on this subject infinitely better written, then you should look at Developing Web Services with Apache Axis2 byKent Ka Iok Tong.