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Service Design Patterns
by Robert Daigneau


Addison-Wesley Professional
1 edition
November 2011
352 pages

Reviewed by Jan Cumps, January 2012
  (7 of 10)



There are a number of good books that teach you how to develop web services. But it is harder to find guidance on what architectural choices to make.

And that is what this book is about. It discusses the options (yes: patterns) you have when working with services, what choices you have, and - the part that I found very helpful - what the implications of these choices are.

It also tells you which design decisions bring you to the point of no return: once you make your choice, it will be hard to change to another approach later.

The organization is very structured. The chapters follow a strict schema of describing the patterns. That makes it easy to use the book as a reference, but it doesn't turn the book into a swinging story.

A good book if you need to make design choices, or if you want to understand merits and pitfalls of an architecture. It is not your book if you are looking for a web services implementation guide.

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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review on behalf of CodeRanch.

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Silver Clouds, Dark Linings: A Concise Guide to Cloud Computing
by Archie Reed, Stephen G. Bennett


Prentice Hall
1 edition
September 2010
179 pages

Reviewed by David O'Meara, November 2010
  (6 of 10)


"Silver Clouds, Dark Linings: A Concise Guide to Cloud Computing" aims to provide an executive level view of the state of Cloud computing, both in terms of definition and adoption.

When judged purely against this aim, the book is mostly successful as it is reasonably short and concise (179 pages for the soft version) and provides valuable information in a largely non-technical manner. In my opinion the author is knowledgeable in the area and does well in explaining the role that various Cloud services will fill, which helps the reader select whether to use Cloud services and what type of services would be applicable.

On the down side it does lean towards being a little repetitive in the discussion about the various service types and tends to being a dry and reading like a text book. This is partially balanced by the images and figures that help the text. At times it also felt like an extended advertisement for one particular offering and at times that became distracting.

"Silver Clouds, Dark Linings" won't be the best Cloud book available but it serves its stated purpose and assuming you don't lose focus it can provide some very valuable information.

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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review on behalf of CodeRanch.

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A Developer's Guide to Amazon SimpleDB (Developer's Library)
by Mocky Habeeb


Addison-Wesley Professional
1 edition
August 2010
288 pages

Reviewed by Andrew Monkhouse, October 2010
  (9 of 10)


If you are interested in the no-SQL database systems or in utilizing cloud computing to set up a database, this book will teach you more than enough to get you started.

Mocky Habeeb (the author) demonstrates his mastery of this subject in providing valuable hints throughout the book. These include simple warnings about certain processes that are "high cost", tuning queries, avoiding throttling server side, altering queries depending on local versus remote queries, and so on.

Although the book is primarily a Java centric book, Mocky also provides sample code in C# and PHP. He also provides comparisons between other cloud providers offerings, and discusses some methods of choosing between schema-less databases and SQL databases.

Finally, Mocky builds an API that makes it easier for newcomers to Amazon SimpleDB to use within their Java programs.

This book is well written, and an easy to read and understand introduction to Amazon SimpleDB.

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Addison-Wesley Professional
1 edition
August 2010
288 pages

Reviewed by David O'Meara, November 2010
  (2 of 10)


The knowledge and experience of the author is not in question, but it doesn't come out in the text of this book.

"Amazon SinpleDB" is not a large book at a bit over 250 pages and even though it is aimed at developers I was expecting some coverage of the practical uses or experience but that is not evident. More on the source code later, but the user tips were often useful but buried in the text and not that accessible.

Sample source code is provided for four languages, Java, PHP, C# and Python but personally the code was niether here nor there.
50 pages worth of the same code covered four times feels like padding, and while it is helpful that each language introduced a library to simplify interacting with the Amazon Web Services, I kept thinking that at some point the book would directly address the Web Services.

In my mind this wasn't the book that the author intended and it falls short in so many areas that it feels unfinished and leaves you wondering what wasn't covered. There are other positive areas about the book but overall for me it was difficult to recommend an audience for this book.

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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review on behalf of CodeRanch.

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Pro Spring 2.5
by Jan Machacek, Jessica Ditt, Aleksa Vukotic, Anirvan Chakraborty


Apress
1 edition
August 2008
920 pages

Reviewed by Mark Spritzler, December 2008
  (9 of 10)


8 1/2, but since we only have 8 or 9, I liked it enough to make sure I rounded up instead of down.

I highly recommend this book to learn Core Spring. It is the only book currently out by Dec 08 that covers version 2.5. Other books still only cover 2.0

I found the writing easy to understand, I found that they covered the material very well with good examples. They cover a lot of material and leave you with great in-depth knowledge in each of those Spring technologies.

Now, I don't agree with everything they say in the book, but it isn't that they are wrong, but that I just disagree with certain statements. For example, in a Note section they stated that "They do not encourage the use of annotations on the objects you will persist using Hibernate." Using JPA Annotations, from an ORM tool expert, is a best practice and makes your life so much easier, in my opinion, and many other ORM experts. This note should have been left out of the book, unless they wanted to fully cover why.

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Developing Jini Applications Using J2ME
by


Pearson Education
1 edition
March 2002
368 pages

Reviewed by Paul Stevens, May 2002
  (3 of 10)


I was disappointed in this book. Over 200 of the 300+ pages were API. While the remaining pages did an ok job of explaining the technology, there were very few examples. This book would make a much better white paper or web page than a book. If you want an overview of the technology and the API, then this is your book. I think it was a very bad idea to have more pages on the API than actual content.

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Early Adopter JXTA: Peer to Peer Computing with Java
by Sung Li


Peer Information
1 edition
December 2001
200 pages

Reviewed by Kyle Brown, February 2002
  (4 of 10)


While I was excited when I received this book, my excitement did not last through the ordeal of reading it

The book begins slowly by covering why Peer-to-Peer (P2P) is important. However, it then quickly moves from basic to very advanced topics without enough intermediate steps. Chapters 2 & 3 provide a detailed overview of the JXTA technology, without any guidance as to how to use it to build P2P systems. The author doesn't "ground" the reader in the topics they've seen before moving on to other detailed issues.

The book improves later, though. Chapter 4 has some interesting peer-to-peer patterns (which would have been better earlier) but they end far too soon. Also, there are no code examples for the patterns. There is a case study in the book - unfortunately in the penultimate chapter, too late to clarify the earlier issues. What's more, the example wastes too much time on covering unnecessary Swing GUI code.

However, it was the book's editing and composition that disturbed me the most. For instance, this book doesn't include an index - something absolutely unforgivable! Also, the editing of the book was terrible - grammar errors abound. It made me wonder if the book had been proofread before going to press.

So I would not recommend this book. Instead, I felt I learned more about JXTA by reading the white papers and documentation on the JXTA web site (www.jxta.org).

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Pure Corba
by Fintan Bolton


Sams
1 edition
July 2001
944 pages

Reviewed by Peter Tran, September 2001
  (7 of 10)


Let me be the first to say that understanding the CORBA specification is not a trivial exercise. The best you can hope for is to find some good references and try as many examples as possible. Unfortunately, this is no guarantee that things will get any easier, since one has to choose an implementation by a vendor and every vendor will add their own unique proprietary enhancement. Pure Corba by Fintan Boltan will help you with the former while leaving the latter decision to your discretion.

The book is pack full of great examples in both JAVA and C++. If you're working with only one of the two languages (e.g. 100% JAVA), then the format will be a little annoying since you'll have to flip pass the C++ example to find the JAVA example. However, I quickly got use to the format and found reading both examples useful, because Fintan does a commendable job of pointing out the difference and similarity between the two languages.

This is not a beginner's book on CORBA. I've been working with CORBA for over a year now, and I found the detail explanation excellent. The nice thing about the CORBA specification is I don't need to know the gritty detail if I wasn't interested, but when I do this book is the first place I look.

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The Remote Method Invocation Guide
by Esmond Pitt, Kathleen McNiff, Kathy McNiff


Addison-Wesley Professional
1 edition
July 2001
320 pages

Reviewed by Michael Ernest, November 2001
  (9 of 10)


This guide well-written, concise and thorough in its treatment. RMI programming can be simple if one doesn't venture out too far. But when you need to know the subtleties of object serialization or mobile code deployment, the specifications aren't complete and accurate, and most tutorials don't cover an area unless the spec does.

This guide sets out to "re-document" RMI and raise awareness of important (and often sublte) points, in cases correcting Sun's formal papers. It's invaluable as a refresher or reference. If it contained example code to verify its assertions, it would be hands-down the only RMI book to bother purchasing.

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Jini Example by Example
by W Keith Edwards, Tom Rodden


Prentice Hall PTR
1 edition
June 2001
592 pages

Reviewed by Frank Carver, November 2001
  (7 of 10)


If you learn better from an example than from a dry reference, this book will be a great way to get into Jini.

It has little by the way of background explanation or reference material, but the example code (and the instructions on installing, configuring and running the various parts of Jini) are comprehensive and detailed, building into two interesting case studies - a chat system and a distributed remote storage system demonsrating all the Jini features.

For discussion, hints, tips and experience get "Core Jini". For a reference get "Jini in a Nutshell". For the best and most interesting examples, get this book.

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The Jiro Technology Programmer's Guide and Federated Management Architecture
by Paul Monday, William Connor


Addison-Wesley
1 edition
June 2001
464 pages

Reviewed by Michael Ernest, November 2001
  (8 of 10)


Federated Management Architecture (FMA) specifies a unified management interface for all the varied storage products in an enterprise. Jiro is Sun's implementation of that scheme.

You may recognize the term "federation" from Jini, but actually it predates that. FMA is/was Sun's term for distributed, cross-platform file system management. (Ever see a "/xfn" directory in Solaris?).

This book starts out as a high-level justification for Jiro. It's not intended for API programmers, but it is important. Storage management is evolving rapidly; people are reading books like Toigo's "Holy Grail of Data Storage Management" in search of hands-off ("policy-based"), standards-driven techniques for maintaining 7x24 storage.

Web Based Enterprise Management (WBEM) and the Common Information Model (CIM) are already quite popular, so creating a niche for Jiro requires some persuasion. If vendors don't make their products talk Jiro, there's not much the programmer can work with.

Jiro can be nonetheless quite interesting. For one, its developers have written an extended RMI (ERMI). Jiro's "proxy" is similar to RMI's stub but adds features I found stimulating to think about.

If you're already reading about policy-based storage management, this book covers the major issues well. But it's not a casual reader's guide. Technology officers and architects working with diverse storage environments are the primary audience; I would consider some background in storage management as a useful prereq.

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Java Programming With CORBA
by Gerald Brose, Andreas Vogel, Keith Duddy


Wiley
third edition
January 2001
720 pages

Reviewed by Nathan Pruett, December 2002
  (9 of 10)


If you re a Java programmer that needs a good introduction to CORBA, get this book! The Third Edition of Java Programming With CORBA has been updated to cover CORBA 2.3, and much more material has been added. Up-to-date information about CORBA programming in Java has been hard to find. This book explains everything you need to know, and does so with a level of detail that is impressive.

CORBA programming can get confusing with all the acronyms being thrown around: OMA, POAs, IDL, ORBs, PSS, and CCM, just to name a few. This book helps you wade through the alphabet soup, and provides in-depth explanations of exactly what CORBA does, the mapping of IDL to Java, what the ORB provides, how to program a POA, and how to use the Naming, Trading, Event, Notification, Security, and Persistent State Services. Information on security, performance, and scalability is also covered. Lots of code examples are provided throughout the book that will give you a concrete illustration of how to apply the concepts you are learning.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who needs a good introduction to CORBA, or needs to brush up on new features added in CORBA 2.3.

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Core Jini
by W Keith Edwards


Prentice Hall PTR
second edition
December 2000
1008 pages

Reviewed by Frank Carver, October 2001
  (7 of 10)


At just over 6cm (2.5 inches), it's a thick, heavy, book and the spine bends alarmingly as you read it. Despite this it's surprisingly readable, but I wouldn't want to carry it about with me.

This book covers Jini 1.1, and takes great pains to spell out everything you need to do compile and run the examples, as well as listing the code. It's comforting to see complete command lines for Windows and Unix in every case. There are code listings for all of the major areas and a couple of non-trivial worked examples but for a book this size there is not a lot of code. A working knowledge of Java and at least a passing acquaintance with RMI is assumed, but you don't need to know any Jini.

Most of the book is given over to a detailed discussion of the standard Jini services , and how to use them. Each service is covered at two levels - using the basic APIs and using Sun's supplied utility classes. There is also a lot of discussion of the complexities inherent in distributed systems, and how to use Jini to build robust, scalable "self-healing" networks. Scattered through the text are "Core Notes" which offer more detail or different perspectives on the material, and these are always interesting.

Too big for a reference, but a detailed and well-structured book to get you up to speed on Jini quickly and efficiently.

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Jini in a Nutshell
by Scott Oaks, Henry Wong


O'Reilly
1 edition
March 2000
400 pages

Reviewed by Frank Carver, November 2001
  (6 of 10)


You know what you are getting with the typical O'Reilly "Nutshell" book, and this one is no exception. It's about half tutorial/introduction and half API/service reference and (just about) small enough to carry around. Just the facts, Ma'am

This edition covers Jini 1.0 in detail, with a glance at some of the 1.1 features. Don't let that worry you, though - Jini 1.1 and 1.2 only add a few new classes, services and tools, and a full understanding of Jini 1.0 is still vital. The introductory text is concise, and doesn't offer much by way of insight or experience. The examples in the tutorial are minimal and don't quite give enough information on installing and running the full set of services, but they cover enough of the API to be useful in almost all cases.

If you need an API/service/tool reference for Jini 1.0, or a handy set of code snippets to solve your immediate head-scratchers, this is great. If you want to learn and understand Jini in depth or track the very latest API changes, you are better off with (for example) "Core Jini".

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JavaSpaces(TM) Principles, Patterns, and Practice
by Eric Freeman, Susanne Hupfer, Ken Arnold


Pearson Education
1 edition
June 1999
368 pages

Reviewed by David O'Meara, December 2002
  (4 of 10)


This is a great book. I found I related better to the tone in which it was presented than any technical book I ve read. Technical enough to quickly convey information without being long winded, and light enough to make it enjoyable without being silly. It is the best I ve encountered, since it is more like a water cooler conversation than a technical manual.

The coverage of many simple subjects is bypassed, but this is more of an advantage rather than a detraction. The authors assume the reader is already a competent programmer, allowing them to ignore many side issues and focus on the primary subject.

Unfortunately JINI and JavaSpaces have moved a long way since this release and it hasn t been updated since, making it sadly out of date. I still enjoyed reading it, and much of the Patterns and Practices are still useful, but the time of this book has passed. I would love to still recommend this book for anyone to read, but this would only be possible if you didn t intend to go any further. It is a well-written technical book, but only really of historical use.

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CORBA for DUMMIES
by Schettino, John / O'Hara, Liz


Hungry Minds
unknown edition
October 1998
408 pages

Reviewed by Kathy Sierra, May 1999
  (8 of 10)


CORBA's not rocket-science, but why does it feel like it is? This is a perfect first-look at CORBA, and includes both C++ and Java examples. It even shows the SAME example done in both languages (guaranteed to remind you why you like Java SO much more than you like C++). If you're already programming in CORBA, then you should start with one of the other CORBA in Java books and skip this one.

And if the whole Dummies thing embarrases you (and you can sure spot a Dummies book a mile/kilometer away), get over it. On the other hand, having a client catch sight of your "Negotiating for Dummies" book might hurt your chances just a bit. Ditto with "Sex for Dummies".

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Secrets & Lies - Digital Security in a Networked World
by Bruce Schneier


John Wiley & Sons
1 edition

pages

Reviewed by Ulf Dittmer, February 2010
  (8 of 10)


Although several years old by now, this book about computer and network security is still as relevant today as it was when it was first published. Bruce Schneier is one of the best-known computer security experts, and he imparts his expertise in a very readable and highly informative way.

The core message is that "security is a process, not a product or technology", and it must be designed into any system from the start, instead of trying to bolt it on as an afterthought. The other important point is that defense against an attack should consist of prevention, detection and response; neither of these is likely to work perfectly, so only a combination can make a system secure. And lastly, security is in interactive process between attacker and defender - advances on one side will lead to advances one the other, thus creating an eternal cat and mouse game.

After surveying in depth the various technologies available to secure systems, and analyzing their respective strengths and weaknesses, as well as how they might be circumvented by a different attack, Schneier presents strategies for dealing with them. This involves threat modeling (determining ALL the ways in which a system might be attacked), defining a security policy that defends against those threats, and putting in place the prevention/detection/response mechanisms that implement that policy. This approach can be used for every system (and for non-computer systems as well).

Throughout the book, many examples are used to illustrate the points which help the reader think about security (not just of the computer kind) in a wholly new way. It thus holds applicable lessons that go way beyond the immediate audience of the book.

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