Distributed Computing / Transaction Processing Books

Distributed Applications Integrating XML Web Services and .NET Remoting 
With sample code in VB this book covered a lot of material with a refreshing approach. The last three chapters were case studies covering different implementations of web services. The final chapter contains descriptive links to many different web sites where you can obtain free WS implementations to study or cut and paste for your own use. The book covers: intro to distributed technologies, .NET components, disconnected data concepts, .NET remoting, XML WS,  threaded clients, thread pools and services, messaging queueing (ex-alias MSMQ), COM+, enterprise application modeling, advanced remoting techniques, data tier optimizations, security, monitoring, logging and profiling, deployment strategies, and finally the four chapters of case studies and links.
(MS Press, 716 Pages)

XML Web Services in the Organization
Not a code sample intensive type of book as much as an overview of how to use and apply web services. Worth its merit as it explained how to enable an HTTP-GET in a web service, something that the step-by-step WS and both certification books failed to cover. There is downloadable source code which may be obtained if you want to run the examples illustrated throughout the book. Topics covered: basics of XML-based WS, supporting remote access, integrating disparate applications and systems [via SoapHeaders] , developing electronic B2B communications [bye bye EDI], connecting with customers, securing web services, and finally monitoring, scaling and the future. For monitoring there is a interesting illustration of performance counters. The chapter on security delves into the cryptographic APIs and how to use them with Web Services. Security is covered in good detail. (MS Press, 190 Pages)
.NET XML Web Services - Step by Step
With sample code downloadable from the MS Press web site this book takes you on a good tour of what you can do with web services. The sample code applies a credit card validation application to all forms of Web and Forms based web services. Well worth the read and not as painful or lengthy as some of these tomes. Chapters are: introduction, developing WS using VS.NET, building the credit card validation service, building a SOAP client, building an HTTP client, data types in XML WS, exception handling, debugging XML WS with VS.NET, publishing and discovering XML WS, state management, the dataset and XML WS, caching and application events, securing XML WS, custom SOAP headers, consuming XML WS asynchronously, and manually creating proxies. (MS Press, 409 pages, CD-ROM)
Developing XML Web Services and Server Components with Visual C# .NET and the .NET Framework
Good code examples, at 1000 pages give your self some time to cover this one. Recommended reading in particular after reading the MS Press book on the same topic for the 70-320 exam. In addition to all the coverage there is also a free mock exam as well as some quizware. Book covers all aspects of distributed topics along with examples, exercises and review questions. Chapters are: Creating and manipulating datasets, accessing and manipulating XML data, .NET remoting, basic web services, advanced web services, windows services, component services, calling unmanaged code, testing and debugging, deployment, and security issues. Summary section on ADO.NET in the appendix. (Que, 1004 pages, CD ROM)
Developing XML Web Services and Server Components with Visual C# .NET
Covers all of the topics for the distributed exam along with code examples. Would recommend reading this one first followed by the more in depth Que book. Book comes along with a complete mock exam on the CD. Chapters are: understanding the .NET framework, creating and managing windows services, creating and consuming serviced components (COM+), creating and consuming .NET remoting objects, database programming using ADO.NET, accessing and manipulating XML data, creating and consuming XML web services, advanced XML web services programming, , testing and debugging XML web services, and deploying XML web services and windows services. Appendix on COM interoperability. (MS Press, 651 pages, CD-ROM)
Mastering RMI
Good writing style, takes you through a tour on how to implement and deploy applications utilizing RMI with Java. Good code examples, concise and to the point! They should have elaborated a little more about rmic though. (Wiley, 305 pages, CD ROM)
Professional Java SOAP
Excellent introduction and detailed description on developing SOAP implementations with via the Java language. Additionally covers deployment of LDAP, WSDL, and UDDI. Details the technologies via development of an online TP application using the SOAP protocol written in Java using Apache Tomcat. Great writing style! (Wrox, 525 pages)
This book, now out of print is a good "managers" introduction to COM/DCOM technology. A little trying in the first three chapters due to the "worker elf" analogies it opens up around chapter four and gives good explanations on how to use and deploy this technology via VB and Java. Author has a later book out on COM+ which is an updated review of how the technology has grown and evolved (Wiley, 492 pages)
Principles of Transaction Processing
Good walk through of transaction processing architectures plus a review of various vendors TP products such as IBM (CICS, IMS, MQSeries), X/Open (XA, STDL, TX), BEA (Tuxedo) Digital (ACMS), Transarc (Encina), AT&T (Topend), Tandem (Pathway), OMG (OTS) and Microsoft (Transaction Server). (Morgan-Kaufmann, 358 pages)
Java Programming with CORBA
While this covered all of the material regarding CORBA deployment using the Java language, including concrete examples, the writing style was flat. Would recommend this book only as a secondary reference. (OMG, 710 pages)
.NET Framework Essentials
A no nonsense overview of what .NET is about. The promise of .NET is no more CLSIDs, less usage of the registry and no more .DLL hell. Issues which would make COM programmers crazy. Although they added something new called the Global Assembly Cache Utility (GAC). Examples are given of developing applications in C#, C++ and VB and the interoperatability which .NET provides. There is a XML schema definition tool which translates from XML to XSD and from XSD to classes and vice versa. The VB language has overgone a major overhaul making it more OO. Additionally examples of ADO.NET, ASP.NET, Web Services with WSDL and SOAP, and Web Forms (similar to JFC) are given. (O'Reilly, 307 pages)
Pragmatic ADO.NET
While I have slung my share of SQL code for database apps, they test my interest and it was a struggle to read this book. It is worth reading as it details the ideas, concepts and methods to utilize the "disconnected" nature of ADO.NET. There is a whole chapter devoted to migration strategies to move from ADO to ADO.NET. Concepts covered include connections, error handling, executing commands, the datareader, filling/searching/navigating/merging datasets, schemas, typed datasets, business objects, handling concurrency, xml, data binding with windows forms, scalability, best practices and migration strategies. (Addison-Wesley , 357 pages)
ADO.NET 2.0 Step by Step
I avoided earlier editions of this book as the reviews stated the book was full of technical errors. This new edition went under a technical review in 2005 and had new life injected into it via some of the new features in 2.0. The book comes along with SQL Express and source code examples for each chapter. So you can test drive real examples along with the reading. While I have slung my share of SQL and it and this book make me snore it is nice to see how much easier it is these days to use wizards and tray components to create complex data access and displays. The book chapters and topics are: Getting Started, Using Connections, Using Data Command and DataReaders, Using DataAdapters, Transaction Processing in ADO.NET, Modeling a Database by Using DataSets and DataRelations, Using DataTables, Using TableAdapters, Using DataViews, Editing and Updating Data, Manual Data Binding in Windows Forms, Data Binding in Forms by Using the Binding Source Component, Using ADO.NET in Windows Forms, Basic Data Binding in Web Forms, Data Binding in Web Forms by Using the Data Source Component, Data Bound and Validation Controls, Reading and Writing XML, The XMLDataDocument, and finally Using ADO and ADOX in the .NET Environment. (Microsoft Press , 506 pages)