Sun Certified Enterprise Architect for J2EE Study Guide (Exam 310-051)

Author: Paul R. Allen, Joseph J. Bambara
List Price: $59.99
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ISBN: 0072226870
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media (27 March, 2003)
Edition: Paperback
Average Customer Rating: 2.41 out of 5

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Customer Reviews

Rating: 2 out of 5
better to read articles than expending on this
The book has both good and bad in an unwanted blend. It is good because, it tries to cover each and every objective of the exam by name and reminds the exam at each point. It even tries to discuss the objective.

It is bad because it fails to show the required information in required form. The UML chapter (Chapter 3) starts with the explanation on OOA&D, which is irrelevant for the exam. The person who is ready to get certified as an architect from SUN would have obviously spent enough time in software development and be aware of the terms the book tries to explain.

If we think that it is OK, to our surprise there is no figure for the elements of UML (Example class, package, collaboration etc.,). The book tries to write 1000 words but does not show a figure for the same. Hope the authors do believe that a picture is worth 1000 words.

Even the figures that follow for other topics are not up to the mark. For example, a single class is shown in maximum size and the title says it is a class diagram. As per my knowledge, the class is just an element of a class diagram and not a diagram by itself.

The book never tries to be product neutral. It always tries to force the user to know about web-logic. More pathetically, the code is only for Weblogic and that too for a specific version. I am disappointed with this to a greater extent.

In my opinion, the book needs one more parse to make it ready for only architects.

Rating: 2 out of 5
Mundane and Dry - Not for Me
I have read dry and flat technical books before, but this one stands out as being unusually so. There is no passion for the subject here and it is the kind of book that does not make an impact. What really makes for a good architecture is not something that is really discussed and things that require further explanation often seem nipped in the bud. You are not going to get a feel for the nuances of J2EE architecture with this book, and I think it is when you understand those, your retention and grasp go up a great deal. Only then can you weigh options and consider the alternatives intelligently. Sorry guys, I think you needed a bit more time to organize and explain the material more fully. I also think the consistent, machine like quality of the prose detaches the reader rather than pull them in. Some may get what they want from this book, but it was not a book I enjoyed nor one that gave me much insight. Many facts are here and stated, but the pie was not finished when it was pulled from the oven.

Rating: 1 out of 5
Stay away from this book
Right from the start the book lacks a smooth flow and a sense of purpose. It rambles on and on about the greatness of all things irrelevant (from the exam point of view). The chapter on architecture never seems to end and before we know it we are being told about the parameters and bad practices when it is not clear in the first place what constitutes an architecture. The authors chose to quote some standard definitions but that does not cut it.

There is a chapter on UML which doesn't state anything in precise terms. This is the trend through out the book.

There is a chapter on design patterns and this is an example of how not to teach things. The authors write tons and tons of code detailing what could have been explained by a simple UML diagram. After all UML is on the exam and the chapter on UML precedes the chapter on design patterns. Most of the examples are meaningless.

Then there is a chapter on legacy connectivity which talks about JCA in the text but asks questions about everything non-JCA! This is written for somebody who is aware of JCA. This is not required for the exam. Since I was new to subject matter, I read the specification which like most specs from Sun is really written well and was an easy reading. When I went back to the book, things made sense.

The same patterns are repeated in the chapters on Security, EJB and Internationalization.

If I were to do it again, I wouldn't even touch this book. The books by Richard Monson-Hafael and Cade and Roberts are more than sufficient for the exam. For everything else, there is the spec which should be read at some point anyway.

Most people who take this exam are short of time and the kind of useless diversions offered by the book only waste time.

This examination resembles written exams taken by medical students where the subject matter is vast and trying to cover everything leads to a shallow knowledge. Just as there, the goals here are very clear and if one focuses on knowing the key points, one can reconstitute all the other material by reasoning. This book fails to emphasize the key points. Cade and Roberts do exactly that and that is the difference between a good book and this which is destined to be a door stop.

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