Alex Staveley is a software professional passionate about software engineering and technical architecture. He blogs about architectural approaches, Java topics, web solutions and various technical bits and pieces. Alex is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 48 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Book Review: Essential Software Architecture

07.04.2012
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This book begins by defining what software architecture is - a term that can be mean different things to different people and different organisations. It then explains all the avrious non-functional requirements (performance, scalability, security etc) things that I think everyone would agree are very important in software architecture. It then explains various architectural approaches used in enterprise systems. This includes web services, message orientated systems, model driven architecture, aspect orientated architectures. There is also a case study which shows how some of concepts described can be applied.

My favourie part was on message orientated architectures. All the fundamental and sophisticated aspects are very explained. These include: the asychronous nature of message systems, the way you can cluster message ques and brokers, the hierachial naming formats in publish subscribe message topics and the different approaches to reliability (best effort, persistent and transactional). There was also some really good discussion regarding the background and importance of message brokers.

As well as technical concepts there are also some interesting sections on architectural processes, documentation and even my old favourite UML!

This book serves as a very good reminder to the importance of software architecture - especially in enterprise systems. Architectural approaches don't just need to be properly understood, they need to be compared with other approaches especially with respect to the non-functional requirements that are important to your system.

 
Ian Gortan
Ian Gortan is a super writer. His style is very succint, concise  and erudite.  It would be very interesting to hear his opinions on various Big Data / NoSql options, the return of the fat client and explosion of JavaScript usage and what the key points are in all this are for software architects.  I would recommend this book to any developer, architect or anybody with an interest in the key concepts of enterprise systems.
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