This book is meant for computing technical professionals with some experience building Web applications and distributed computing systems. You don't need to be a seasoned veteran of the distributed object wars to appreciate this book, but some familiarity with Web-based architectures and techniques such as HTTP and HTML is assumed. If you do not have any experience with these techniques, some of the material could be a little confusing—particularly some of the code examples—but you should still be able to get a lot out of this book.
We assume you are familiar with Java, and in particular the Java Server Pages (JSP) and Java servlet technologies. We also briefly discuss the relationship between Enterprise Java Beans (EJBs) and Web services, so some familiarity with EJBs is helpful as well. If you need to supplement your understanding of these techniques, many, many good books on programming with Java, JSP, servlets, and EJB are available on the market.
You will also discover that the Extensible Markup Language (XML) is at the core of all things dealing with Web service. Although we devote an entire chapter to explaining the core pieces of XML needed to build Web services, the more understanding of XML you have, the more successful you will be in building Web services.