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Search in Book Reviews

The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1918 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Title:
Guidelines for Application Integration
Author:
Microsoft
ISBN:
0-7356-1848-8
Publisher:
Microsoft Press
Pages:
135pp
Price:
£14-99
Reviewer:
Francis Glassborow
Subject:
management
Appeared in:
16-3
This is another book that is not for the programmer but if your work extends to general consultancy for medium sized companies (large ones are beyond the scope of the individual) you may find this book worth reading. Almost twenty years ago, in the first essay in 'Programming Pearls', Jon Bentley was making the point that we should understand the problem rather than simply answer the question we have been asked. So often we are asked 'How do I...?' usually the only correct response is 'Why do you want to do that?' People are very good at deciding that if only they knew how to ... they could fix their problem. If only they would present the problem we could tell them how to fix it. Very often the effective fix is very different from what they wanted to do.

The above is not a digression, as software developers we have a responsibility to our clients. That responsibility extends to recognising circumstances where more software or replacement software is not what the client needs. This book addresses a particular and widespread problem; that of getting already existing applications to work together. Sometimes the solution can be as simple as changing a few work habits. At other times it can requires some special bespoke software to mediate between an application supplying data and one consuming it. If you are faced with a client that has several applications that need to work together this is a book that you should read. The rest of us have better and more profitable things to do with our time.