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Pro PHP XML and Web Services
March 27, 2006
Week: 29 All time: 110
manuellemos.netOver time XML has become more and more important, not only as a means to store structured information in a human-readable format, but also to exchange messages of networking protocols between heterogeneous platforms.
PHP has built-in support to parse XML formats since version 3. PHP 4 enhanced XML parsing and generation capabilities with the DOM XML extension. PHP 5 introduced new extensions to provide simplified XML documents access and built-in support to SOAP Web services support.
If we add to that the numerous classes that exist to perform all sorts of actions on many XML document formats, it would take a lot of time to describe the real extension of PHP XML support.
"Pro PHP XML and Web Services" is a book that attempts to do that. It is a 900 pages hard cover book that covers some of the most important extensions and PHP classes to parse and generate XML documents, as well build clients and servers of XML based Web services.
The books focus mainly on solutions available for developers working on PHP 5 based applications. Despite PHP 5 is still far from being the main PHP version in use, many new PHP projects are already starting with PHP 5 versions.
The book has 21 chapters. The first chapters cover XML definitions and several related standards.
It continues with other chapters that cover the different PHP XML extension APIs, such as: DOM, SimpleXML, SAX (also known as Expat), XMLReader, XSLT.
There is one chapter of particular interests that provides comparative information about these APIs, as well recommendations about when the APIs should be used individually or in combination.
The remaining chapters are about parsing and generating XML documents to exchange with external systems and Web service protocols such as: RSS, WDDX, XML-RPC, REST, SOAP and UDDI.
There are several other chapters and appendixes that cover other interesting PHP XML and Web services subjects. Of particular interest, the chapters about DOM and SAX contain information for those interested in migrating from PHP 4 to PHP 5. Similarly, there is an appendix with information about changes to several APIs expected in PHP 6.
These chapters contain precious information for those that need to make decisions like whether newer PHP versions are worth the effort of working around known backwards incompatible changes between different PHP versions.
Overall this is an extraordinary book with probably all you need to know about PHP XML support.
If you want to develop PHP applications that handle XML documents, or communicate with remote services using XML based message exchange protocols, like for instance SOAP, this book will be very valuable to you.
This is particularly true for those planning to upgrade to newer PHP versions that provide better XML and Web services support.
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