The apocalyptic title of this book rather gives the impression that any CIO who fails to read it and implement the measures detailed within should prepare themselves to their fate. Perhaps there's a circle of hell destined for executives who thought inside the box, failed to look for cheese and who don't wear raincoats, where the souls of damned executives forage for scraps from the companies that have made it.

Of course, a book on SOA needs such a title. In an area that lends itself all-too-easily to business jargon, the authors have at least chosen something that catches the eye. It's certainly a crowded marketplace - a brief search reveals more than 30 books with SOA as a theme - but this is a book with a difference. It's primarily aimed at business executives who want to learn more about SOA, rather than the techies who are actually charged with implementing it. I'm not convinced they've entirely succeeded, I found the 'jargonwatch' sidebars to be either glib and patronising, or not explaining anything at all, merely repeating the main body of the text in a different way.

But where the book does triumphantly succeed is by tying the business and IT case for SOA together. In fact, it goes further than that: it sets out an argument for a re-engineering of enterprises to support a business case, decrying what the authors call a "rats' nest of IT" where a bewildering array of technology and products have been used to kludge together a way of working. The authors set out clearly the procedures to be followed, I think techies will be irritated by the business jargon but they're not really the target audience.

The book does take some time to get going: far too much time is taken up with replaying the downsides of the dotcom boom and the fate of ecommerce. That could certainly have done with some judicious editing.

But the concluding chapters are excellent. If you're looking for a basic primer to explain why SOA has got hold of the consciousness of CIOs, this is the one.

Service Orient or Be Doomed
By Jason Bloomberg and Ron Schmelzer
Published by Wiley
ISBN 0-471-76858-8
Price £25.99