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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Martin Fowler
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Many pearls of wisdom but spoiled by poor edit quality

This is the only book I have encountered that describes .NET patterns. This is particularly useful when attempting to gain an understanding of how application architectures differ between .NET and J2EE.The Java patterns are also very interesting, especially when compared with those described in the J2EE design pattern specific books. Note that this book might best be described as "Enterprise Design Patterns for non J2EE systems". Some of the patterns can be used to implement DAOs (perhaps for a BMP entity bean). Many others are not really J2EE compliant (eg Identity Map). To some extent, the patterns would only form part of the J2EE container implementation.(However, "Server Component Patterns" by Volter, Schmid and Wolff provides a better coverage of the design patterns applicable to the design of a J2EE container).This book would certainly be useful to any one wrestling with the "are EJBs useful" question. It provides an excellent description of all the issues that need to be resolved for an industrial strength implementation.
Unfortunately, there are many edit problems. For example, The MVC text uses both presentation and view interchangably. In one sentence, a typo causes this to be confused with model ("Fundamentally presentation and view are about different concerns" pg 331)Other problems merely affect the sentence construction. (eg ".. and they people specialize in ..." pg331`) These problems are the only reason that I did not give a 5 star rating.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Office 2000 Introductory Concepts and Techniques Enhanced
Publisher: Course Technology
Authors: Gary B. Shelly, Thomas J. Cashman, Misty E. Vermaat
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Outstanding Series

You could have better information provided by illiterate people who have never used a computer. The way this book explains how to a simple action, leads you to believe you are breaking the code for DNA. I would not recommend this book to anyone serious about learning MS Office. You would be better off just clicking around aimlessly in the programs themselves. I myself unfortunately have to use this book to pass the course my college is giving. We going to petition my college not use this for this course again. Sorry, but this how not to learn MS Office save your money for a "Office for Dummies" book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Guru's Guide to Transact-SQL
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Ken Henderson
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Don't Judge This One By the Cover.

I must say I was quite disapointed in this book. For a "guru's guide" it is certainly not a power SQL guide, but is strictly for the mid-level user. I read through the first half of the book, and found nothing to interest an advanced developer.
I did, however, find plenty of mistakes, omissions, and misleading statements. The section on data types for instance; it doesn't distinguish between bit and bit-null data types. It gives a technically inaccurate definition of the new GUID datatype, lists several shortcomings of it, but not one advantage or example on when or where you'd use it. He gives a multitude of examples on the perils of using NULL types, again with no data or examples on how useful it can be (I'd hate to write a statistically accurate questionaire app without it, for one). Obviously any book has to omit some level of detail, but he found room for several pages of text on improving the SOUNDEX() function -- odd, in the middle of a chapter on datatypes.
Moving to "Selects", he talks of flattening EXISTS queries into joins for performance reasons, then gives as example a join that would perform _worse_ than what it replaced. I could give more examples, but you get the point.
The last half of the book may be better. Certainly Joe Celko, (who penned the book's forward and who authored one of the finest "Guru" guides of all times) had some nice things to say about it. The real problem is the title-- if you are looking for a decent SQL book somewhat beyond the beginner level, it is fine. If you're looking for a "Guru's Guide to Transact-SQL", this isn't it, regardless of what the cover says.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Managerial Accounting: Creating Value in a Dynamic Business Environment w/Student Success CD-ROM, Net Tutor & Powerweb package
Publisher: McGraw-Hill/Irwin
Authors: Ronald W Hilton
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Finest Managerial Accounting Text I've Read!

This text is very valuable in that it doesn't require the student to needlessly crunch numbers in order to get an understanding of the concepts. The author cleverly presents the information in such a way that by doing short exercises the reader gains insight as to the underlying processes involved in creating managerial/cost accounting systems. This is far more valuable than following the rote-memorization technique that most managerial accounting texts utilize. Also, the inclusion of the newer, more analytical, techniques of structuring costing systems was particularly helpful.
The proof is in the pudding: Since utilizing this text, I have been able to add significant value to a $4B organization's costing efforts.