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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Unleashed
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Rand Morimoto, Kenton Gardinier, Michael Noel, Joe Coca
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excelent Migration Guide for Exchange 2003 !!!

If you are about to tackle a Migration from Exchange 5.5 to Exchange 2003 or from Exchange 2000 to Exchange Server 2003, this book is the guide you have been looking for. The author will tell you what you need to know in order to plan your migration and design the new Windows/Exchange 2003 environment. The book lists all the tools out there that can help you make your life a lot easier and it will take you through the process in a step-by-step fashion. On top of all the author does a wonderful work in aticipating most posible questions from the reader. I migrated from Exchange 5.5 to Exchange 2003 two servers in the same Active Directory Forest but in two different locations. All in a single weekend. I give it 5 Stars and a standing ovation. This book is a must have tool for a smooth Migration to Exchange 2003.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Expert One-on-One J2EE Development without EJB
Publisher: Wrox
Authors: Rod Johnson, Juergen Hoeller
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A great book that is a must-read for every developer/archite

I've read this book several times since the day it shipped and I have to say that this is an excellent book for anyone working as a developer or architect working in the Enterprise Java arena. I absolutely love this book given my bias - I guess I should start by stating my bias. EJB bashing is a favorite past time of a lot of people. I happen to love EJB's, with the exception of entity beans and think EJB's are a great way to create software solutions are remotable, loosely coupled and powerful. I will agree that EJB's are way too complicated with all the stupid artifacts that you need to create to create and deploy an EJB. Having worked with EJB's since 1999, I guess I am so used to all of nuances of EJB's, I can write up deployment descriptors in my sleep. Having said that, I approached this book with a little apprehension as I hate these EJB-sucks book that don't really offer any intelligent discussion about the shortcomings of EJB nor do they offer a viable alternative. Another assumption I brought to the book was that this was just a Spring book with a little EJB bashing thrown in for good measure.

To my pleasant surprise, Rod Johnson and Juergen Hoeller have written an awesome book. This book does not take cheap shots - Instead there is a intelligent, thought provoking discussion about the pros and cons of EJB. In fact, the first 120 pages (Chapter 1-5) are just a great breakdown of application architecture with a through treatment of EJB. I loved this section and re-read it several times and I found myself agreeing with pretty much everything in this section. I would equate this to a great meaningful discussion you would have with someone who really understood application architecture and development and you could debate the pros and cons of the many alternative approaches that exist today.

Chapter 6 starts the discussion of Lightweight Containers and the idea of Inversion of Control (IoC). This is not a chapter on Spring; rather it is an overview of Inversion of Control and strategies like Dependency Injection in the context of Spring and PicoContainer.

The next chapter offers a quick introduction to the Spring Framework. As everyone already knows, the Spring Framework is a very popular open source application framework created by Rod Johnson. The co-author Juergen Hoeller is another lead developer of Spring. The chapter is Spring is fairly light and people hoping for a in-depth Spring tutorial will be disappointed. Instead this chapter offers a rather high-level overview that will get you some basic understanding of the Spring Framework. I guess it's hard to cover Spring in 43 pages.

After the cursory introduction to Spring, the book moves into Aspect-Orientated programming (AOP) concepts. This section starts with a very introduction to AOP before jumping into AOP implementation strategies. After a brief discussion of AspectJ, AspectWerkz, and JBoss AOP, the authors move into SpringAOP. After AOP, the books moves into Transaction Management where current J2EE approaches are discussed and then contrasted with the Spring approach.

Review trimmed to comply with Amazon's review guildlines for length. For more details, check my blog at j2eegeek dot com.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Oracle PL/SQL 101
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Christopher Allen
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent place to start for PL/SQL

This is one of the best books that I've bought recently. I've been a programmer for 4 years, but I just recently started working with relational databases, specifically Oracle. This book is clear, concise, and very accessible. The writing style is very engaging, too. The author manages to present the material in a way that keeps your interest without sacraficing quality. Consequently, the book is fast to read, but of great value.
The chapter on using SQL*Plus is of great value. It helped me to more effective look at what is in our databases to get a feel for the results from the programs that I was testing.
After reading this book I felt like the author gave a solid overview of the PL/SQL language without being overly rigorous. If you are looking for an academic treatment with lots of theory, this is not the place. Those books are very import to broaden your understanding, but this book bridges the gap to make the advance texts accessible.
This is the place for Oracle beginners to get their hands dirty. There are plenty of examples that run throughout the book to demonstrate the concepts. As you work with PL/SQL and SQL*Plus, you will find yourself referring back to this book often as you come up to speed. It is definitely worth the money and the time.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Designing Web Usability : The Practice of Simplicity
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Jakob Nielsen
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Great book for Web Designers

I found this book very helpful in determining the best way to design web pages. It provided 'real life' examples of things that were done right as well as lessons to be learned by web sites that had done things wrong. The book was very easy to read and very applicable to the business world.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who want to design a website that keeps the user in mind!!