REVIEW - Applying COM+


Applying COM+


Gregory Brill



Sams (2001)




Paul Whitehead


December 2001



If you're looking for an overview of COM+, this book isn't it. What it is, however, is a fine summary of the vagaries of what has become known as 'classic' COM programming. The first five chapters cover this ground and they do so in surprising depth. In many ways, although this is a book on COM+, classic COM programmers would do well to read at least these chapters - they are far more focused and applicable to writing actual code than any book on COM I've read.

The same pace is kept up with the remaining seven chapters on COM+. An excellent topic coverage together with those extremely useful 'gotcha's' that most COM/COM+ theory books seem to miss out; thus a book for the practicing developer with real-world solutions to code. This same depth of topic coverage, however, can sometimes make the book heavy going. I would rather this than a lightweight or even incorrect coverage of the subject.

Code examples are provided in C++ and Visual Basic - and occasionally in Visual J++. Whilst I can't say too much about the validity of the code in the small number of Visual J++ samples, the Visual Basic code is generally ok with the odd mistake that could be put down to typographical error. The same is almost always true of the C++ examples - except at times statements are made regarding C++ that are untrue. For example, the author states; 'you cannot implement the [pure virtual] functions in the abstract base class'. This is untrue. Errors in the printing of the book are the thing that lets it down most with such things as a blank space where there quite clearly should have been a picture and one C++ code segment being printed twice, with the second listing taking place of what should have been a Visual Basic example.

The author does not go in for a whole raft of screen shots or page after page of code listings (though towards the end we do get a three side listing, although it is heavily commented to almost form part of the main text anyway) which is always welcome, as the full code, should you want it, can be downloaded from the New Rider's website (although at 6Mbyte for the base code plus an update of 82Kbytes you may want to think twice before doing so).

In summary, this is one book I'm glad I've read and if you can get over the minor niggles with printing errors, etc. then I suspect you too will be glad you have read it.

Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.

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