Message Passing Server Internals
||Author: Bill Blunden|
List Price: $79.95
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Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional (19 May, 2003)
Sales Rank: 859,818
Average Customer Rating: 5 out of 5
Customer ReviewsRating: 5 out of 5
Cray meets Hunter S. Thompson
The author of this book has obviously seen combat in the trenches. The fact that he would discuss deployment requirements like auto-update and secure network communication is proof enough.
I particularly enjoyed the bits of storytelling that Blunden hides in between technical discussions. In one part, he talks about working at a company in the throes of Y2K conniptions: "Like a 15-year-old kid studying for an algebra test, the company that hired me had waited until the last minute to do its homework. In September of 1999, the CIO put down his copy of Fortune Magazine long enough to realize that something needed to be done. Angry customers might file lawsuits, which would ruin the CIO's plans for a weekend cottage in Bermuda."
Rating: 5 out of 5
Not a Toy Implementation
I bought this book with the expectation that the Bluebox message server would be a token implementation.
Whoa! Was I wrong; this book shows the full monty! It includes a message server engine, a log server, a database interface, a license server, and auto update engine, recovery facilities, and a heartbeat monitor. Fortunately, the 100 or so classes that make up the distribution are well documented and a user manual is included in the book. The last few sections of the book also have some interesting anecdotes that are worth reading.
Rating: 5 out of 5
Destined to be a Classic
There have been a couple of other books on message passing, but most of them have been anchored to a particular operating system or language. This book is the first to offer a general treatment of messaging, as a way to merge disparate middleware installations.
At the end of the day, messaging technology is just another way to allow distributed code to interact. Blunden takes the time to compare and contrast messaging against other distributing computing techniques. The result is that the reader can understands the relative advantages and limitations of messaging, so that they can use the right tool for the right job.
At every turn, Blunden grounds his explanations using concrete examples, so that the reader has a solid frame of reference (I can appreciate the author's humorous 10-page implementation of a DCOM server, basically to demonstrate how awkward a distributed technology can be... it's no wonder DCOM faded away).
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