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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:
Manager's Guide to Distributed Environments
Author:
Richard L Ptak
ISBN:
0 471 19712 2
Publisher:
Wiley
Pages:
348pp
Price:
£25-95
Reviewer:
Silvia de Beer
Subject:
management
Appeared in:
11-6
This book gives managers an overview of the current state of the distributed computing environment. It explains the architecture of distributed environments and how this compares to older systems based on mainframes and client-server technology.

The book may be slightly prejudiced against managers in larger companies, although any manager wanting to give direction to his IS network would benefit from reading this book.

It gives him a technical background to communicate with others and makes him realise to what he should pay attention to moving the IT forward in his company.

The book is divided into three parts. Part one introduces the technical concepts in distributed systems. Part two, 'Managing Distributed Systems', gives management points to base the IT strategy on. It explains the use of network tools and applications. This part is sometimes vague and could have done with a few more practical examples and references. Part three deals with acquiring the correct skill set and questions related to outsourcing and the future of IT networks. XML is brought forward as a solution in Data Centric Computing, although no real in-depth proof is given.

The book has a clear layout and easy accessibility by providing introductions and summaries for each chapter, together with suggested books for further reading. The figures are clear and a good support for the text.

The book is recommended for each manager reflecting on the current and future state of his IT network and applications, helping him to analyse the requirements for his organisation in the light of the whole business view.