Had this book been entitled 'An introduction to COM and COM+' I would have had no quarrel with it. As it is, the title promises more than the book delivers. I can understand the author's desire to make the book self-contained. However, it results in the book covering so many topics that there is only space for a superficial treatment of the interesting ones. Thus, apart from a few brief mentions in the introductory chapters, the coverage of COM+ only begins halfway through the book. Even in the second half, large parts of the material are not specifically related to COM+. For example, the chapter entitled 'Web Applications Using COM+' contains samples of the following technologies: HTML, CGI, client-side VBScript, ActiveX controls, ISAPI, ASP, ASP/ADO and ASP/COM. Connoisseurs of Microsoft acronyms will recognise that all these predate COM+.
That said, if you do treat the book as an introduction, it is not a bad one. It is a hands-on programming book, with plenty of sample programs. These come with clear explanations of what they are supposed to demonstrate, with step-by-step instructions for building and running them and with plenty of screen shots to show what the results should be. Not a bad book then:just one that fails to live up to its title. If you have an urgent need to get some hands-on experience of programming COM+, then you might give it a try. If you are more interested in concepts than programming, I would recommend Platt Understanding COM+ (Microsoft Press, 0 7356 0666 8). If you want an advanced COM+ programming book, you probably won't have to wait too long for a more advanced one than this.