Sun Certified Enterprise Architect for J2EE Study Guide (Exam 310-051)
Paul Allen, Joseph J. Bambara
Reviewed by Ajith Kallambella, May 2003
(8 of 10)
More is better and that's where this book comes out as a winner!
Chapters cover all objectives and are neatly organized. Every chapter concludes with a small test and a "Two minute drill" that is great for last minute reviews (and index cards!). "Exam watch" sections are interspersed throughout the book to draw your focus on test specific issues and "Scenario-Solution" sections present potential design/architectural issues with solutions in a quick to read format. Many chapters include exercises for problem solving and essay-type answering required for the final part of certification. A sample case study of a securities trading system helps the readers to prepare for part II assignment.
Here's where the "more" factor comes in - the accompanying CD contains a large collection (250+) of questions in the form of two simulated tests. One can register free on their website to download an additional test. The testing software not only includes detailed answers for every question, but will also generate a score report to help you identify your weak areas. The CD also contains code samples referenced in the book and all chapters in electronic (pdf) format. That's very helpful for someone on the run!
This book is much more than a certification guide. It can very well be used as a complete J2EE quick reference guide. Some of the extras packed in the book include XML coverage in Common architectures/protocols section, a great OOAD/UML refresher, lots of J2EE best practices and tips, introductory coverage of JCA and working code for many design patterns. The "On the Job" sections present the reader with some interesting real-life architectural scenarios.
Some code samples are two to three pages long, and one of them has a three-page output listing!! Perhaps that's the only not-cool thing about the book.