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Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture
by Martin Fowler, et al

Addison-Wesley Professional
1 edition
November 2002
560 pages

Reviewed by Junilu Lacar, March 2003
  (10 of 10)

Simply put, you can't go wrong with a Martin Fowler book and this one is no exception. If you climbed the mountain to get advice from the IT guru at the top, he'll probably quote from this book.

Born on the web and rarefied by reviews and discussions with Fowler's colleagues and peers, including JavaRanch bartender Kyle Brown, this book is full of ideas that will help you make decisions related to enterprise applications architecture.

Writing in the same easy-to-read style as his past works, Fowler presents over fifty patterns that are mainly focused on layered architectures. And while Fowler readily admits that none of the ideas are new, developers, experienced or otherwise, will nonetheless benefit from the collective wisdom and experience of Fowler and all who contributed to the book.

To get the most out of this book, be sure to read the introductory chapters and understand the author's intent. There are many code examples, mostly in Java with a few in C#. I doubt though that you can use the code without some sort of tweaking; they are all meant to show the core of the pattern. Ultimately, you have the best understanding of your requirements and you have to make the decisions that affect your application's architecture. To paraphrase Fowler, don't use the examples as glorified macros but as a way to stimulate your own thinking. And believe me, this book has more than enough to get you thinking.

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Addison-Wesley Professional
1 edition
November 2002
560 pages

Reviewed by David O'Meara, March 2003
  (9 of 10)

It's a patterns book, it's by Martin Fowler, and it's good. But how good is it?

It is actually two books in one. This is discussed in the book, but the second half is a list of patterns including the information required to make them useful. Reasonably standard, except that the patterns are presented in a language neutral manner that gives Java developers a view into the .Net world and vice versa.

The best part is still the first section. There is a general discussion on enterprise applications including common problems and ways to solve them depending on the way it shows up in your application. Not all of it will be new to everyone, but I'd challenge anyone not to learn anything. Even if you don't agree with all the solutions posed, it has very concise coverage of the problems.

There appeared to be the assumption of a respectable level of experience in the reader, so the book may not be useful to programmers with less than 3-5 years under their belts. This isn't necessarily a down side, but it should be considered if you're considering purchasing the book.

Now a small complaint. Although the first section was great, it discussed the patterns from the section in too much detail. There were some patterns I wasn't familiar with and some that I knew by different names, and it made some sections confusing.

Still well worth a place on the shelf.

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