Sponsored links

Valid XHTML 1.0!
Valid CSS!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Core J2EE Patterns: Best Practices and Design Strategies
Publisher: Pearson Education
Authors: Deepak Alur, John Crupi, Dan Malks
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
An all-star guide for practical J2EE enterprise architecture

Having just completed the initial design and development phase of a J2EE web-based implementation of a major application vendor�s product, I bought this book. I don�t know whether I was trying to see what I could have done better or what I, hmmm, messed up?
A little history � I have been in the application development field for 25 years, working up from being a coder to a consulting enterprise architect. Having worked with a lot of technologies over the years, I have noticed that while some things change every 18-36 months, some things don�t change all that much. I didn�t acknowledge this trend as �patterns� because I called it experience.
I�ve bought a hundred books over the years, from the Martin books back in the 70�s to Monson-Haefel in 2000. With very few exceptions, such as Alexander�s Timeless Way of Building and a few others, they were trivial or excellently focused on a very small segment of what you need to know (such as EJB) to be a system architect. Or, in attempting to focus on the bigger picture, they show absolutely no practical detail, and in their own way, are useless.
Now, after all that BS, I get down to the book. This is an outstanding document of a large number of essential enterprise level patterns applied to the J2EE context. Just as Bruschmann�s Pattern-Oriented Software Architecture, A System of Patterns took patterns that, by themselves, are trivial and combined them into architecturally significant frameworks; this book shows architectural patterns that are significant in the light of J2EE and Javasoft�s Model 2 reference architecture.
Anybody that has worked with Model 2 knows that it is a naïve architecture. It uses practically every part of J2EE because it is there (remember that both were created by Sun) and the patterns of communication and service support really don�t work robustly. You will have to significantly enhance the Controller, how the View gets data from the Model, exception handling and propagation, how services are provided and much more.
It seems that the authors of this book realize that. Look at the Front Controller, Service to Worker and Dispatcher View patterns. Check out how the Business Delegate, Session Façade and Composite Entity patterns work. For services, the Service Locator and Service activator patterns are significant. If you have any reservations about Entity Beans (more later), check out the Data Access Object.
If the View Helper, Composite View, Value Object, V.O. Assembler, Value List Handler are new to you, read this book. As an architect, they shouldn�t be new.
On Entity Beans, I have to say that the authors did an excellent job. In providing patterns such as Composite Entity and DAO, they help to reduce the triviality of the 1.0 Entity Bean Specification. Within the Composite Entity, the Composite Entity Contains Coarse-Grained Object Strategy and the Composite Entity Implements Coarse-Grained Object Strategy may seem the same, but they are not. They are both powerful ways of leveraging Entity Beans. The Lazy Loading and Dirty Marker Strategies are excellent, also.
A few places in the book have what I believe are errors, or at least naïve statements. The introduction to Entity Beans reads like a java marketing hack wrote it. If you�ve worked with Entity Beans, you might have run into the fact that they are a relatively simple solution to what can be an extremely complex problem. Many people do not even use them. I usually don�t. The Synchronizer Token is interesting, but it seems to assume a single VM on a single machine. What happens to this token when you are stateless, in a multiple VM, multiple node load-balanced cluster? You have to address the location transparent, session state management service scheme before you can deal with this.
Look at the bad practices. I did, with one hand over my eyes! Luckily, I wasn�t guilty. These are things that should be obvious to you as a system architect. If not read them and remember them.
All in all, this is one of the best books I have read this decade! In terms of practicality, this is the J2EE architecture book to buy.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Mastering Windows 2000 Server
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: Brian M. Smith, Doug Toombs, Mark Minasi
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great explanations of stuff I know nothing about

This book is great. He makes complex concepts easy to understand. I highly recommend this book. I have read his Mastering NT Server book and it is equally as good.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: A+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Michael Meyers, Scott Jernigan
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Best book for A+ hands down!!!

Mike Myers is the king of the A+ certification exam guides. He covers everything you need to pass both the hardware and operating systems exam to gain your A+ certification. He even goes beyond what is required in the A+ exam with sections that cover historical facts to explain why certain things in the PC world ended up the way they are now. He also dabbles in newer technologies that may be included in future revisions of the A+ cert. Don't waste your money buying any other book because this pretty much covers the key fundamental points that any serious technician or technician to be needs to confidently pass the exam. Good reference guide with down to earth english that will simplify and speed up your understanding of various concepts about the PC/OS.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Agile Software Development with SCRUM
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Ken Schwaber, Mike Beedle
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Scaling Up Agile Process Effectively

Scrum is the lever that can people-wise scale the development methods of XP and some of the other agile processes...
I used Scrum with a cross-functional team of 40+ people split into four smaller teams. It worked exceedingly well. We used some of the XP engineering disciplines as well, but what I love about Scrum is that it really doesn't have anything at all to do with software. You can use it for any task-oriented project that has ambiguity associated with the way the work should be done.
Scrum is IMHO the relatively undiscovered gem of the Agile Methods family. Corporate IT professionals in particular ought to learn and apply Scrum...