- Release Date: 01 October, 2003
- Availability: Usually ships within 24 hours
- Third Party Used Price: $37.94
Authors: Gregor Hohpe, Bobby Woolf, Kyle Brown, Conrad F. DCruz, Martin Fowler, Sean Neville, Michael J. Rettig, Jonathan Simon
Customer Rating: 4.4 of 5 (10 total reviews)
- The best technical book of 2004
I had been waiting for this book for several years. There are many good books on software architecture using synchronous communication, but nothing on asynchronous communication --- the typical scheme when connecting existing applications. This is surprising since the underlying products (MQ, MSMQ, WebMethods, Vitria, etc.) have been around for a while, some for more than 10 years, and the techniques have become increasingly well understood by the practitioners. There are even some books on the individual products --- several on MQ for example --- but nothing more general about how to use messaging, message routing, and message transformation to build a larger system.
This is the book I had been waiting for. Furthermore the authors have avoided the usual three pitfalls of technical books: it is well organized, it well written, and it is deep treatment, not at all superficial.
The book is organized into 65 patterns (in the manner of the classic _Design Patterns_). Each pattern shows one typical problem in integrating applications, and how it is solved. Each pattern gives enough implementation details so it is clear how it would work, and an example or two so it is clear how it works in practice. For example the Message Expiration pattern addresses the problem of "How can a sender of a message indicate when a message should be considered stale and thus shouldn't be processed?"
The writing in this book is clear. For example "A Message Expiration is like the expiration date on a milk carton. After that date, you shouldn't drink the milk." The authors have also invented icons for each of their patterns. Their icon language allows a integration architecture to be visuallized in a way that UML does not provide.
Amongst the 11 pattern-describing chapters are 3 "interludes", chapter-length examples that explain a problem, show how patterns can combined to solve it, and then provide implementations in different technologies (JMS, .Net, TIBCO, MSMQ, etc.).
My only beef with this book is that it is long and dense: almost 700 pages. I bought it in late December 2003 and I am only finishing it now. But it is hard to say what should have been cut. Certainly none of the patterns are unnecessary, and the decription of each feels like about the right length. The interludes are also useful for seeing how the patterns fit together. So maybe this book just needs to be 700 pages.
- Great Message Pattern Language
This a book about enterprise integration solutions, authors claim that they are technology neutral, it is true. In the examples and implementations, they chose 3 most popular messaging frameworks to illustrate the patterns. However, they are pretty biased toward messaging as the "better" solution to enterprise integration strategy. It may have a lot of edges over the other approaches, sometimes it is just easy to use a simple wrapper/facade to do the integration. But I guess authors really intend to push their messaging solutions as the subtitle indicates.
Having said that, this is an excellent book of message pattern language, which I believe is the first one introducing the interesting topic. The books touches from the architectural patterns, e.g., messaging bus, pipe and filters, to common design patterns, e.g., publish/subscribe, request/reply, to some patterns that most MOMs provide as integrated solutions, e.g., durable subscriber, message filter, message expiration etc. With all these patterns at hand, a system architect would be able to craft a messaging pattern-oriented enterprise integration architecture by applying the appropriate patterns compositely.
The book would be better if authors describe some patterns implementation in more detail. E.g., it would be interesting to see how the message expiration is implemented, does the message contain a timer or the message channel monitor each individual message from start up? How does the channel interact with the message and check the expiry? Guaranteed delivery is another example. I know most of these implementation details only interest MOM developers, whereas pattern users are only interested in how and when to apply the patterns, but now that the book is about patterns themselves, implementation details would be appreciated.
Since all the patterns introduced in the book form a messaging pattern language, knowing each pattern's strength and limitation under the context, scope and different forces, and how it interacts with other patterns to form a bigger(composite) pattern are essential to grasp the pattern language. A collaboration diagram to show each pattern's transition/migration/composition to each other would be helpful.
- A Wonderful, Wonderful Book
Gregor has a gift for explaining design patterns. We were trying to explain the problems with passing a large file up and down a messaging bus to our bioinformatics users, when I ran across Enterprise Integration Patterns. As soon as I showed the Claim Check pattern to our designers, they got it instantly. Five of my colleagues purchased the book, and we asked Gregor to come teach a class on it. This is the best written book on design patterns I've seen. I reallly like the list of patterns inside the book cover -- nice terse explanation, and great mnemonic icons.