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I am new to web services. I have been working with Java web applications for the past 3 years. Are there books that explain the basics of web services clearly. I have read Starting Java Web Services and feeling lost but I did not find a proper book recommendation there.

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I agree, there needs to be a book that does for Java web services what "Head First Servlets and JSPs" did for Java web applications ... a book that explains the theory and gives practical examples. –  Eric Wilson Nov 9 '11 at 13:59

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Restful Web Services was a real eye-opener for me. It actually focuses you on designing truly RESTFul services, irrespective of the implementing language (although there are plenty of Java examples). Libraries and languages always evolve, but the concepts of this book have stayed with me through out (much like some of the GoF patterns)

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what makes this book good ? I don't find excellent reviews in amazon. –  user2434 Nov 9 '11 at 13:08
Updated answer to give reasoning –  Martijn Verburg Nov 9 '11 at 18:03
+1 RESTful Web Services is an excellent book that I refer to again and again. Combined with the JAX-RS annotations to implement what the book describes it's a winning combination. –  Gary Rowe Nov 10 '11 at 11:34

I liked J2EE Web Services, but it's a bit dated now. Still good for its summaries of XML, XSD and JAXP from a web services standpoint, but it's totally focused on SOAP and doesn't discuss RESTful services at all. If you're working in a SOAP environment it's definitely handy, and it's certainly worth picking up a copy if you can find one used for ten bucks or so.

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