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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: MP - Systems Analysis & Design w/Proj Cases CD
Publisher: McGraw-Hill/Irwin
Authors: Jeffrey L Whitten, Lonnie D. Bentley, Kevin Dittman, Jeffrey Whitten, Lonnie Bentley, Kevin Dittman
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
The best I've seen, with a little room for improvement

This book is simply the best I've seen on this topic to date. The authors present the material in order of the systems development life cycle, which I feel is of great value. Another thing adding value is the use of an adapted version of Zachman's framework.
When I used this to teach class, I emphasized the development process, from the survey phase on. This book helped me do that well. Using the SDLC as a framework, the authors present specific and relevant skills, so a certain amount of repitition is unavoidable, even necessary. The chapter outlines of chapters 4, 9, 17 and 18 provide the life cycle framework. The chapters in between present the specific techniques and templates that are used to fill in the blanks.
But there are opportunities to improve the book. There should be complete examples of all the important documents, not just outlines. A complete example helps the student visualize what the real deliverables will look like. The process modeling chapter should cover IDEF0 activity modeling and process mapping. Data modeling needs to mention relevant modeling tools like ERwin. (And there were a few errors here in the example.)
Even so, this is a fine work that seems so lucid and well-structured that I still use it as a reference book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: MCAD/MCSD Training Guide (70-310): Developing XML Web Services and Server Components with Visual Basic .NET and the .NET Framework
Publisher: Que
Authors: Mike Gunderloy
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
This will work

Let me first say, I was using the Transcender tests to help prepare for this exam and they where totally irrelevant. So be careful. The tests have always been useful in the past, but NOT for this exam. I failed my first attempt.
I liked this book a lot from the moment I started it. Lots of hands-on examples. In fact, most of the book is example based. I went through and duplicated each one on my own PC, which I think is the way to go, rather than just reading it.
I didn't see anything out there that resembles the actual exam questions, but this book gave me the necessary foundation of knowledge to work through the questions. I passed the exam on my second attempt.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: A+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide, 4th Edition
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Michael Meyers
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
I passed the exam with ease after reading this book

After reading this book, I scored an 875 on the OS Technologies exam and a 993 on the Core Technologies exam. I did run in to a couple questions on the exam that were not in the book, but you should be able to pass this exam with no problem after reading and understanding this book. It also mixes in humor, which is very welcome! Thank you, Mr. Meyers!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Core Servlets and JavaServer Pages, Vol. 1: Core Technologies, Second Edition
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Marty Hall, Larry Brown
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The best concise source of documentation on Servlet and JSP

This book is a programmer's tutorial on Servlet programming. The author covers JSP and lightly touches on topics like JDBC and the HTTP protocol. The author teaches by walking through several fully working well documented code samples. The book (and Servlet programming in general) does not require the coder to be as Java savvy as say a book on Swing, EJB, or CORBA. I think any competent C++ programmer could pick up this code and figure out servlet programming as well. The JDBC chapters are brief but sufficient enough to get you connected to a database. This book even gives you a run down of configuring Tomcat. I didn't use Tomcat personally, so I don't know how accurate it is. However, I found the step by step process useful when trying to get servlets running under JRun and WebLogic.