Download PDF version of this article PDF

Enterprise Service-Oriented Architectures: Concepts, Challenges, Recommendations

James McGovern, Oliver Sims, Ashish Jain, and Mark Little, Springer-Verlag, 2006, $59.95, ISBN: 140203704X

SOA (service-oriented architecture) is a much hyped and talked-about topic in the information technology industry. Those architects who want to delve into the subject would do well to go through this comprehensive book.

The authors have included an “about the book” chapter, which clearly outlines its purpose and ways of using it. It also recommends other books to readers interested in allied topics. The book’s content is excellent for a technologically oriented person to learn about SOA. It presents the fundamentals of SOA, component-based services, orchestration, registries, management, transactions, event-driven architecture, and distributed computing.

The success of SOA is largely dependent on the proper governance of the adoption process in the enterprise. Therefore, the authors would have done well to spend more time on this topic. Another aspect that is lacking is the business scenario and related pitfalls. Since SOA needs to find sponsors directly from corporate management for its success, it would have been useful for the book to look at this aspect in more detail for the CEOs, CTOs, and CIOs of the organization. That would have provided more of a well-rounded approach. The book does touch on some business aspects, such as the effect of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act on the SOA approach, but a more detailed chapter for issues of this kind would have enhanced the book’s focus.

Nonetheless, the book is an excellent guidebook for technologists. The authors have done a good job of showing how the various aspects of services should be taken care of while using the SOA approach. They have effectively used Web services and other standards to demonstrate these aspects. Demonstrating the difference between Web services and services in SOA, however, would have made the description more lucid. The value of the book could have been further enhanced if it had included pointers to Web resources.

Although there are aspects that could have been improved upon, overall this book is well worth having for a technologist. The material is presented well, and the experience of the authors is evident in the narration of the book. —Shantanu Bhattacharya

Hitchhiker’s Guide to Visual Studio and SQL Server: Best Practice Architectures and Examples, 7th edition (Microsoft Windows Server System Series)

William Vaughn and Peter Blackburn, Addison-Wesley Professional, 2006, $59.99, ISBN: 0321243625

To all those who think corporate data is difficult to tame, this book will come as a welcome relief. It is a comprehensive, in-depth review of almost every way to design, implement, and connect to efficient and reliable data sources. The authors are now freelance consultants, but have worked for Microsoft. Therefore, they know first-hand about the products they write about, yet they provide independent, no-nonsense advice, often with a sprinkling of welcome wry humor.

The book is divided into 15 chapters and four appendices. The first three chapters act as an introduction, exposing the internals of SQL Server, including how to install it and how to create tables and set up relations among them so that data can capture the correct corporate environment. The following chapters deal with querying existing databases through Visual Studio and other tools. The appendices deal with installing the test databases provided on the companion DVD, monitoring SQL performance, and using server-side cursors. Additional references to books and Web sites can be found in footnotes throughout the book; a companion DVD contains sample code and a video lecture.

This book will quickly find its way to server farms, corporate IT departments, and freelance consultants. Those who will benefit the most from the book are software developers who can find here (almost) every conceivable way to connect to (almost) every conceivable data source. Database administrators will find this book useful too, as it deals with some database design and configuration issues, but its main focus is still on procedures to connect to existing data sources. The sheer size of the book may be intimidating at first, but it has the potential to become a trusted desktop companion to be consulted in many situations. —Andrea Paramithiotti


Originally published in Queue vol. 5, no. 5
see this item in the ACM Digital Library


© ACM, Inc. All Rights Reserved.