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Essential COM [Paperback]

Don Box
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
RRP: 34.99
Price: 32.94 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

22 Dec 1997 0201634465 978-0201634464 1

Written by a leading COM authority, this unique book reveals the essence of COM, helping developers to truly understand the why, not just the how, of COM. Understanding the motivation for the design of COM and its distributed aspects is critical for developers who wish to go beyond simplistic applications of COM and become truly effective COM programmers, and to stay current with extensions, such as Microsoft Transaction Server and COM+. Box examines COM from the perspective of a C++ developer, offering a familiar frame of reference to ease you into the topic.


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Essential COM + Effective COM: 50 Ways to Improve Your COM and MTS-based Applications (Object Technology Series)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 440 pages
  • Publisher: Addison Wesley; 1 edition (22 Dec 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201634465
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201634464
  • Product Dimensions: 2.7 x 18.7 x 22.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 284,362 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Authors

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Product Description

From the Author

About My Book...
My lifestory (or at least the COM aspects of it) will finally make it into print this year. My sincere thanks to everyone who has been patiently awaiting this book. You can surf to my book's web page (http://www.develop.com/dbox/combook) for a table of contents and other relevant information.

From the Back Cover

"Don Box makes it possible for mere mortals to join the COM cognoscenti. If youire a C++ COM programmer, buy this book." -David Chappell, Principal, Chappell & Associates and author of  Understanding ActiveX and OLE

Written by a leading COM authority, this unique book reveals the essence of COM, helping developers to truly understand the why, not just the how, of COM. Understanding the motivation for the design of COM and its distributed aspects is critical for developers who wish to go beyond simplistic applications of COM and become truly effective COM programmers. As the COM programming model continues to evolve, such insight also becomes essential to remaining current with extensions, such as Microsoft Transaction Server and COM+. By showing you why Distributed COM works as it does, Don Box enables you to apply the model creatively and effectively to everyday programming problems.

This book examines COM from the perspective of a C++ developer, offering a familiar frame of reference to ease you into the topic. You will also find comprehensive coverage of the core concepts of Distributed COM (interfaces, classes, apartments, and applications), including detailed descriptions of COM theory, the C++ language mapping, COM IDL (Interface Definition Language), the remoting architecture, IUnknown, monikers, threads, marshalers, security, and more. In addition, the book offers a thorough explanation of COMis basic vocabulary, provides a complete Distributed COM application to illustrate programming techniques, and includes the authoris tested library of COM utility code.



0201634465B04062001


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I bought and read this book about 16 months ago.
I've re-read it twice since then. This is not because I didnt understand the book the first time -- its because there are so many layers of information in the book.
Some authors seem to be able to write 20 books on a subject -- You've seen the authors that do 3 C++ books a year, or 3 COM books a year. This is great for publishers, and the successful "serial author". (I am aware that Stroustrup has 2 other C++ books and Don has taken part in Effective COM -- but they're not on the same subject material)
Don takes a different approach. He's only going to write one COM book and do it properly. He does. This book is the most dense in terms of giving solid information to help you understand whats going on. Whats going on when your product is about to ship and there's only 3 "showstopper" bugs left. Thats when understanding it properly matters. It also matters when you want to design something. These details also matter to VB projects when they ship, or when they're being designed.
I generally read any COM book I see sitting around. So I've probably read about 6000 pages on COM. I've seen about 1000 wizard screenshots. I've seen 40 analogy-riddled COM explanations. I've seen "cute and funny" examples. This is the only one I've bought and I've never regretted it or covetted my neighbour's book.
Similarly with C++ books, there are authors who sell a rehash of the same material 20 times. I read any of these lying about too -- another 10,000 pages with 50 useful per book. I only _bought_ Stroustrup.
It's not (nor was it intended to be) _the_ tutorial. It doesnt have screenshots. Its not 'funny'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just What I wanted ! 15 Feb 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Starting from the progressive definition of an informal set of requirements for modular software architectures, the first chapter of Essential COM highlights how, by itself, the C++ language is not capable of satisfying many of them, even when associated with DLLs. Several possible design alternatives are then evaluated, and the final decision leads to the rough engineering of COM. This is perhaps the most vaporware-free introduction to the subject I have ever read because it explains through facts and not conjecture how and why the C++ object model maps well to COM... As the book proceeds, more and more room is given to complex technical issues and useful (while not trivial) COM programming idioms, such as tear-off interfaces for saving memory as the number of interfaces climbs significantly but not all of them happen to be constantly in use. In all cases the solutions make use of only the raw COM API and interfaces at the C++ level. Neither the theory, nor any of the numerous code snippets sprinkled throughout in the book, mention high-level frameworks such as ATL or MFC. The dissertation on multithreading issues and marshaling are very detailed and betray the vast experience of the author in the implementation of nontrivial COM systems.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing else truly explains the "Why" of COM 10 Nov 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Some woodworkers are content to read books on "100 router tricks" and "50 cool projects you can build with your table saw". Those who would be masters of the craft read books on how to select wood for a particular purpose, or when to use a particular type of join, or how to design a piece of furniture for a specific purpose.
There are dozens of COM books of the first type. There's only one of the second. This is it.
There are a lot of books that will tell you how to develop COM applications. Most of them are aimed at the journeyman programmer who is capable of following directions and making small extensions to cookie-cutter sample apps. They serve this need quite well. Don's book isn't aimed at that sort of person, and doesn't fill that need.
If you need to understand why COM looks the way it does, or how COM grew, or what its underlying philosophies are, or if you need to deeply understand the whole COM paradigm, Essential COM contains the answers.
COM is full of jargon; terms that convey only a small amount of information themselves. The richness of an object model relies upon the abstractions that serve as its foundation; if you don't understand the abstractions, you can't really apply the model creatively.
Sure, the sample code gets pretty deep, and does so rather quickly. Take the time read the samples, and understand them; consider them "exercises for the reader". There is much to be learned from them.
Yeah, the macros get deep, too. COM is layer upon layer of abstraction; the implementation is layer upon layer of code. Macros help flatten that out; they keep the programming level of abstraction high enough that one can see a forest rather than an endless collection of trees.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Obviously, Don Box is a COM and C++ master, which is where the problem lies. Admittedly, he does cover many aspects of COM quite extensively. The first chapter is the best background material on COM that I have read. But thereafter, Box changes his approach. He then seems to lapse into gratuitous, uncontollable programming razzle-dazzle when covering COM topics. His multi-page macros are just plain confusing and distracting. [Who is his intended audience: COM neophytes or his COM cronies?] His explanations concerning his use of the subtleties of C++ are entirely too feeble. While COM is at heart a subtle C++ application, surely programming virtuosity can be de-emphasized when explaining COM basics. His examples have questionable utility. However, again, his book does fill in some of the gaps of COM that other books gloss over. But I'm still waiting for that five-star book on COM.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Still incredibly useful
.NET may be the new big thing but COM is most likely here to stay. It's worth pointing out, as another reviewer did, that . Read more
Published on 11 Nov 2003 by J. Hotchkiss
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't write low-level COM without it
If you write low-level COM then this is the book to read. The GIT, Free Threaded Marshaller, custom marshalling, threading are covered. Read more
Published on 24 Oct 2001
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book many usefull bits for advanced programmers.
Probably should be on every COM programmers library and well written.
Published on 5 Sep 2001
2.0 out of 5 stars Not worth such high praise in my opinion.
Weak writing style, incomplete explenations, not enough code in book, some good bits in book and in software and if not for the existance of ATL it may be worth slightly more... Read more
Published on 5 Sep 2001
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book
This is a very good book, highly recommended for people wanting to learn COM. However, it does assume a reasonable knowledge of C++ so if you don't have this amount of knowledge,... Read more
Published on 6 Aug 2001 by Johnny Ooi
5.0 out of 5 stars Best COM Book
I had been to COM programming 2 years back.This is the best book for all serious COM programmers. I purchased this book 2 years back and still love to read it.
Published on 4 July 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for intermediate level Com Developers
Its a superb book for knowing everything in COM,but I feel it requires you to have intermediate knowledge of COM.Its one of the best bargain I had in Years. Read more
Published on 14 Jan 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars The first chapter worth the price of the book
I spend a few months programming COM using ATL and MFC and still didn't fully understand why we want it. This book tells me why in 30 minutes. Best COM book available.
Published on 19 Aug 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a must have for COM developers
I met Don Box (the author) at the Microsoft Global Summit in New Orleans in 1998 and was impressed. It was interesting to see Microsoft personnel listening and learning from an... Read more
Published on 8 Aug 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes! Definitely the best book on COM I read.
In a world full of poorly written books about COM this book is really something else. In just a few hundred pages (about 400) Don Box manages to cover all basic aspects of COM... Read more
Published on 4 Aug 1999
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