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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:
Developing Applications with Java&UML
Author:
Paul Reed
ISBN:
0 201 70252 5
Publisher:
Addison-Wesley
Pages:
463pp
Price:
£34-99
Reviewer:
Silvia de Beer
Subject:
java
Appeared in:
14-5
Before I started reading this book I thought it would just be another introduction to UML. I was mistaken; it is actually a good case study on how to follow the Unified Process. The theory of the Unified Process and UML is very well interwoven with a case study. Attention is given to all development process concepts and they are put into a practical context. Only the most useful details of UML are explained.

A strong point of the book is that the design of use cases is well explained. This is especially important for people new to the Unified Process, because this is the first point where developers can fail. They do not have a good idea what to achieve exactly. The book warns on the pitfall of too many small use cases, which, as the author explains, should only be a pathway through a use case. Some additional tools like event tables are described, to ease the transition to other phases in the development process.

General task lists and templates are given, after which the case study fills them, which serves as a concrete example. The case study handles an ordering system for musical instruments, which goes through the inception and elaboration phases. The various activities during those phases are shown, including a little coding during the early iterations. The transitions between iterations are well explained. It is a pity that no chapter has been dedicated to the construction phase, especially after the good efforts of going through all earlier iterations. Even if those phases were not worked out in detail, some text could have been dedicated to the implementation and transition phase.

Java is used to implement the case study. Java Beans, Servlets, JSP and Enterprise Java Beans are used to show different possible implementations during the elaboration phase. This might make the book slightly less useful if you have not worked at all with this technology and even more useful if you work in that area.

This book would be very well suited to get a small team of developers who start using the Unified Process, on one line. It could also be used to support a university project of a few students. A starting developer would get a very practical view of the essential tasks in the Unified Process.