The principal strength of this text is its introduction to the theory and practice of business objects created with a modeling tool (included on the accompanying CD-ROM) called the Business Object Facility (BOF) Light. The authors first contrast traditional application architecture with the brave new world of applications written with distributed objects. In a series of simple, effective exercises, which can be done by virtually anyone (even without programming expertise), the authors work to create simple business objects needed for a car rental and apartment rental application. They also introduce UML basics for modeling classes. They avoid committing to CORBA or DCOM as technology platforms (though later chapters describe BOF in terms of CORBA services, including support for naming, transactions, and events). A later chapter looks at the advantages of business objects for Internet applications.
By avoiding the CORBA vs. DCOM vendor war, this book achieves a balanced view of component design that will be appreciated by any manager or developer who wants the "big picture" about the advantages of business objects for reuse and reliability. While some of the details here are already a year old (such as the description of the older Java 1.1 standard), this book is still a useful choice for any IS manager or designer who wants a perspective on today's distributed objects. --Richard Dragan
Topics covered: OMG business objects and UML basics, business processes, analysis, design, distributed components, Business Object Facility (BOF) basics, Business Object User Interfaces (BOUIs), BOF services, transactions and events, CORBA, DCOM, business objects on the Web (and Java), and BOF Lite (a modeling tool).