REVIEW - Client/Server Survival Guide


Client/Server Survival Guide


Robert Orfali, Dan Harkey, Jeri Edwards



Wiley (1999)




Mark Batty


December 1999



By page 728 I was coming out of the final spin, stuck to the wall, soaking wet, trying to prise the door open.

Split into ten sections, the book has a humorous tone with little green aliens who journey with us through the client/server world; using the book as a guide. We begin with operating systems, moving through NOS and middleware, onto servers and TP monitors. From here it's groupware, distributed objects and the internet. We finish with how to design and manage in the client/server universe.

The descriptive detail is at the correct level for the subject, that is, the entire client/server world is evolving and changing almost daily; making a description of it almost impossible to do without being highly speculative. The low level techy who writes 60 line client/server programs around simple socket calls (like me!) may find this book restrictive with too much theory and not enough facts about where client/server is going. On reflection however, the whole client/server world is leading towards not worrying about the underlying details of 'things' in the universe.

By the time I had read 200 pages, I was left wondering which part of the client/server wash cycle I was going through. By page 728 I was coming out of the final spin, stuck to the wall, soaking wet, trying to prise the door open. I was however much better for it, clean, vibrant and fresh, eagerly waiting to be dragged through the dirty rivers of the client/server world once again.

In summary I thought the book was interesting and as accurate as can be considering the subject matter. Anyone who is touched by client/server (practically everyone in the modern computing world!) would benefit from the guide in some way, however I feel it is better suited to the 'big picture' thinker rather than the hard core low level techy.

Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.

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