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Issue of March 2004 

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Securing Web services

There is a lot of talk that the benefits of Web services have been hyped a bit too much. Whatever may be the reality, it is important to be aware of the issues involved in security of Web services, considering the ever increasing importance of Web services in an enterprise.

Web Services Security is a good book to get the rudimentary principles of securing Web services right. Although it is targeted primarily at software developers and architects, the CIO will also find strategic value. The content provides a thorough look at the security offerings in various Web services concepts like XML, SOAP, .NET, UDDI and, ebXML.

The book starts off with primers on Web services, security, new challenges, and threats. XML security is discussed in detail and comprises XML signatures, encryption, SAML, XACML, and XKMS. Security in SOAP using WS-Security, and security Web services frameworks are also discussed.

A section dealing with the legal considerations required has also been included in the book. This includes topics like digital signatures, SSL, and biometrics.

Going pervasive

It is possible today to surf the net from a PDA or a laptop hooked to a cellular phone. As is very evident, the age of wires is slowly receding to the past. Mobile computing is on the way to occupy centerstage position without us being aware of it.

Principles of Mobile Computing is for those who require a basic overall view of the various mobile computing technologies. This has been done in a comprehensive manner without getting too technical. So if the expectations are to develop mobile computing platforms or something on those lines, this is not the book. But if the purpose is to know more about the technologies, this is a good starting point.

The book covers the entire spectrum of mobile communication. Topics covered include mobile computing devices, software, connectivity, back-end server infrastructure, and new services.

Understanding HR

The days when a CTO/CIO was supposed to be just a 'techie' are long past. Today's organizational needs call for CTO/CIOs to be well-versed with business aspects like Human Resources (HR) management.

To get the best results, it is necessary to get the right talent. The glitches usually arise at this stage. A good understanding of HR practices will not only smoothen the hiring process, but also retain employees more effectively. It will also help effective management of human and organizational resources. Human Resource Management is a good book to get a better understanding of this essential discipline.

The book starts off with a real-life case section that portrays problems faced by an organization and a devised solution. HR management issues and practices are also talked about here. The third section is a manager's guide to illustrate the role of a manager in the HR process. It also highlights the relationship that exists between managers and HR professionals.

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