Saturday, November 27, 2004

The Addison-Wesley Signature Series

The Addison-Wesley Signature Series Series is a great series of books for anyone interested in enterprise application architectures and whose daily work is designing and maintaining those systems.

I personally own three books of the series and each one is both a great reference and a well entertaining piece of literature as well. So let me introduce the three to you.

Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture

by Martin Fowler

As the title states the book focusses on enterprise application architecture patterns. It's one of the eariler books of the author. The first 100 pages or so build up typical scenarios and face you with the typical problems with enterprise applications. At that time Martin probably had more a focus in the backend and infrastructure. Therefore the typically 3-tiered approach comes a little short on business logic tier and presentation tier (still about 100 pages about those subjects and great patterns to deal with common problems).

What Mr Fowler really focuses this book on are relational database to domain model mapping patterns and concurrency issues that occur when more than one person tries to manipulate the same data or access a transactional service.

Since at the time I bought this book I was quite firm on the presentation tier and were just building a generic relational database to object mapping and persistence layer the book was absolutely perfect for me. I dug it! And you will, too! This book is perfectly structured. After the motivation part which introduces the main issues patterns to solve those issues are presented in a reference manner. Also the author puts great emphasis on educating the reader when to use specific patters. Basically all patterns also have a reference implementation either in Java or C#.

Enterprise Integration Patterns

by Gregor Hohpe, Bobby Woolf

The first book of the series I bought is a perfect addition to the Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture just introduced. It focusses on Service Oriented Architectures. The structure is basically identical to the previous one. An introductionary chapter makes you acquainted with the basic facts of life that occur in distributed applications.

I was pretty happy about the fact that this book does not focus on Web Services only but instead tries to explain, which technology is well suited in which cases of a messaging architecture.

This book also can be used as a reference as it introduces patterns in a way that suites this need.

Alltogether this is also a brilliant book which is worth buying if you have to deal projects which are not planned on the green but have to coexist, leverage and interconnect existing software architectures.

Beyond Software Architecture

by Luke Hohmann

This book unlike the other ones in the series is not intended for the developer or at least it does not intend to solve technical issues. It rather focusses on the facts how software is, can and should be developed not to built the ideal solution to a problem but rather to build a solution that fits the user requirements. Yeah, techies tend to ingnore the end-users more and more the more they start loving their creation. This is a dangerous path to go down since your ideals seldomly put food on your plate.

This book also does not ignore the fact that when the first requirements are stated by the customer, he probably has a rather vague idea of the final process or functionality he needs. In this context the book also focusses on delivery managment, iterative development of user requirements and product delivery and states roles which a team of developers need to take, when wanting to create a so called winning solution.