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on 27 January 2009
This is an extremely good book on the use of patterns in developing enterprise architectures. It provides a discursive overview of the different patterns that are available for designing enterprise solutions and in so doing compares, contrasts and weighs up and pros and cons of different patterns and approaches to fulfilling your business needs. The book is broken into two parts.

The first part introduces you to software architecture and the concept of patterns and provides an introduction to UML, which is of great use in communicating design. This part is important if you are new to enterprise architecture.

The second part provides a details study of how to design four key layers in an enterprise architecture: Business, Service, Data Access and Presentation. In each of these chapters the book discusses in detail the needs of each layer and the different options available, including the many different patterns that are out there that can be incorporated in the design of each layer. The book also discusses various tools that are out there and does so with impartiality towards the vendor. The only partiality this book seems to have is that the appropriate technique is used for your individual business problem, and the weight of what would appear to be substantial real world experience in developing enterprise solutions. (N.B. it is a .Net oriented book)

This book almost comes across as a user guide for Fowlers book "Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture" (ISBN: 0321127420), which I also have. The latter is perhaps dry reading in the sense that it is a reference book on patterns, but this book is good because it helps you understand which patter to use. I feel that these two books are best used together and should be on every (.Net) Enterprise Architects desk. N.B. Fowlers book is not platform specific.
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VINE VOICEon 28 June 2009
A simple straightforward guide to designing applications. If you are involved in any designing or developing solutions running under the .net framework then you really should read this book!
This book takes you from first principles through how to, and more importantly why you should; architect a .net based application. The coverage is clear, concise and easily readable providing an enjoyable read whilst conveying the intricate nuances of this important topic. The text is frequently broken up by some simple diagrams and code examples showing how to apply the principles described in practice.
Unlike most architecture and design books this is not a slave to pattern oriented design; patterns are used throughout this text but are not exclusively used. Having said that the coverage of patterns is done in a wonderfully pragmatic way with emphasis given to ensuring the best design for the problem at hand rather than conforming to some predefined structure.
This book can be read in conjunction with, Microsoft® ASP.NET and AJAX: Architecting Web Applications (PRO-Developer), which provides a clear guide to applying these design principles to the world of ASP.net and AJAX.
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on 11 February 2009
Andrea and Dino made an excellent job, their book is a "reference of references", I mean that it groups concepts that are spreaded across many books (sometimes written years ago, but still valid and irreplaceable) from a different and real-world perspective and, most important, it offers an UP-TO-DATE architectural guidance, nomeclature and methodology applied with tools, languages and technologies available today (say Ajax, WCF, LINQ-to-SQL, Entity Framework and so on).
I appriciated each single page, from the in-depth explainations of a pattern, to the "Murpy's law of the Chapter".
A complete companion solution (Nortwind Starter Kit) is also available online.
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on 11 January 2011
Now I rarely review books and I never give five stars, but this one deserves both. I found the book had just what I needed: a comprehensive, detailed and practical review of modern architectures in the .NET environment. I have read a lot of books in and around this area and this is the best one by far.

I should give you my own position as it explains why I liked the book so much compared to the last reviewer. I used to be a developer and architect some years ago before I moved into management. I am now back architecting and developing on .NET and I am a bit (lot!) out of date on the modern techniques. I therefore was looking for a book that explained the new architecture paradigms, including comparing different approaches and explaining where and why each one is useful.

I got that in spades from this book. It covers (quickly) the history of each approach and is open in referencing others for their significant contributions - no inflated egos here. It explains each of the different approaches and the various pros and cons of each one. Then it goes that extra step that really is gold for me: it includes a very practical appraisal of the use of these patterns in the real world and where it's acceptable to `bend the rules'. It does include some sample code in C# which helps the explanation. They also have a sample framework you can download, but I haven't looked at that yet so I can't comment on it.

This book is obviously based on years of practical experience and it has helped me get up to speed on how things are done nowadays. Well done guys.

One point to bear in mind is that this version is based on .NET 3.5. As far as I know they haven't done a .NET 4 version. Don't think it affects things too much, but worth noting so you aren't disappointed.
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on 13 April 2011
This book is an interesting read for everyone who has a couple of years experience in software development. It goes over the several layers found in most software solutions and discusses the possibilities and the wide variety of choices developers and software architects have during the development proces. Is there a best choice? No, there are several choices each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

Don't expect clear answers to architectural questions. What can you expect? A little help in considering the pro's and con's of certain solutions. I noticed that the authors are very fond of keeping the discussion alive in a development team. But keeping discipline in mind, at a certain point a decision needs to be made.

There were ideas and concepts in the book that weren't new to me, so for those parts it was mostly a confirmation of what I already knew. What I did learn is the importance of communication about these technical (and architectural) ideas in a team.
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on 28 April 2010
I was disappointed with this book. I had hoped for a detailed practical guide to enterprise architecture using .Net. What I got was a wide ranging summary of a lot of topics that are covered better in other books.

Do we really need yet another book that explains coupling and cohesion?

The first chapter is a discussion of what Architecture is. Unless you're absolutely new to all of this it will contain little that you don't know already.

Chapter two is a primer on UML. Again, if you're reading this book, chances are you already have at least two other books that cover this stuff. In fairness UML diagrams are dotted throughout the rest of the book, so it's fair that they give the back ground for those new to this stuff.

Chapter three is more newbie oriented principles and practice. If you're making the step up from Programmer to Architect then you really should know virtually everything in the first three chapters before you start. If you don't you should be learning this stuff from better more detailed books.

The remaining four chapters cover four layers in a typical architecture - Data, Business, Service, Presentation.

There's some good stuff in here, but it all feels like a summarized version of other books. The mention of .Net in the title is misleading. There are examples using .Net, but this is not a .Net oriented book.

At times it feels like the authors are deliberately trying to annoy the reader. On page 333 (towards the end of the book) they discuss Stored Procs, and quite rightly acknowledge that anyone reading this far probably knows what a Stored Proc is ... a subroutine.

They then quote Wikipedia of all things to explain to us what a subroutine is!!!!

It's bad enough that you are telling me what a subroutine is, but it is frightening to think that you felt the need to check Wikipedia for a definition.

One of the reviews mentioned that this is a good companion to Fowler's book. I couldn't disagree more. If you are the type of developer that has read Fowler's book then you will get very little from this. In fact you'll spend a good deal of the time being annoyed.

I'm giving the book two stars because if you don't know any of the stuff in here then it's probably a reasonable introduction.

Microsoft's Resource Roadmap on the back of the book suggests that this falls in the Focused Topics category. Deep coverage of advanced techniques and capabilities, promotes full mastery of a Microsoft Technology.

If the book was pegged in the Developer Step By Step category...Prepares and informs new to topic programmers, I'd have probably given it 4 stars. I still wouldn't have forgiven the Wikipedia reference.
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on 6 October 2009
If you are an experienced OO-developer and want a good overview of what a layered architecture in .Net looks like this is the book for you. Plenty of practical advise from people who've clearly done what they're talking about for real. I often found myself asking, "...but what about such-and-such", only to turn the page and read, "You're probably asking yourself about such-and-such, well this is what we think....". Superb.
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on 19 May 2014
Hopefully the authors could revisit this book. Enterprise Architecture is far more widely established now and many techniques have been and gone since the document was published. Still a valuable read though, at least if you blow away the Windows Vista and SQL 2000 cobwebs.
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on 8 December 2013
Fundamentally this book covers advanced software engineer practice and techniques to stream line distributed systems. If you know this field well, the early chapters are a nice recap to it all. Found it a very easy read and something I will recommend for many in future.
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on 17 February 2009
Overall I have really enjoyed this book. Although sometimes I have found it a little confusing; alot of references to the GoF which is excellent as extra sources of reading material, but I would end up spending "all" my time reading, and not enough coding!! Any developer/architect might want to take a gander at this, and it's concepts
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