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Software Factories: Assembling Applications with Patterns, Models, Frameworks, and Tools Paperback – September 24, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0471202844 ISBN-10: 0471202843 Edition: 1st
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Software Factories does a wonderful job integrating modeling with patterns, frameworks, and agile development. The authors provide a compelling look at how a new generation of tools will make this a reality. A must read for software architects and developers."
—John Crupi, Sun Distinguished Engineer, and coauthor, Core J2EE Patterns

Many of the challenges currently facing software developers are symptoms of problems with software development practices. Software Factories solves these problems by integrating critical innovations that have been proven over the last ten years but have not yet been brought together.

A team of industry experts led by Jack Greenfield explains that a Software Factory is a configuration of languages, patterns, frameworks, and tools that can be used to rapidly and cost-effectively produce an open-ended set of unique variants of a standard product.

Their ground-breaking methodology promises to industrialize software development, first by automating software development within individual organizations, and then by connecting these processes across organizational boundaries to form supply chains that distribute cost and risk. Featuring an example introduced in the first chapter and revisited throughout the book, the authors explain such topics as:

  • Chronic problems that object orientation has not been able to overcome, and critical innovations that solve them
  • How models can become first class software development artifacts, not just documentation
  • How software product lines can be used to consistently achieve commercially significant levels of reuse
  • How patterns, frameworks, tools, and other reusable assets can be used to scale up agile development methods
  • How orchestration and other adaptive mechanisms can be used to enable development by assembly

About the Author

JACK GREENFIELD (Redmond, WA) is an Architect for Visual Studio Team System. He is an author, frequent speaker, and key contributor to component, model, and pattern technologies at Microsoft.

KEITH SHORT (Redmond, WA) is an Architect for Visual Studio Team System. He is responsible for strategy and architecture for enterprise tools at Microsoft.

STEVE COOK (Canterbury, UK) is an Architect for Visual Studio Team System. He was formerly an IBM Distinguished Engineer and a major contributor to UML and UML2.

STUART KENT (Bishop’s Stortford, UK) is a Program Manager for Visual Studio Team System. He focuses on modeling technology and is an internationally recognized authority on UML.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 696 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (September 24, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471202843
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471202844
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,421,849 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Billy McCafferty on April 6, 2005
Format: Paperback
30 second summary of the book:

- Software development is awfully inefficient. Most of the applications we write have more similarities than differences, yet we build every project from the ground up.

- UML is great for communicating on a white board but fails with respect to bridging the gap between requirements and code. The limitations of present-day CASE tools shows this inefficiency.

- Innovations such as the maturation of domain-specific languages (DSL), at varying levels of abstraction, and the support of these languages through IDEs are needed to make the next step in software development.

- These innovations will provide the key to creating product lines built on reusable processes and software frameworks: software factories. The adoption of this approach will lead to automated development, faster delivery time, systematic reuse, less testing, and greater maintainability.

5 second summary of the book:

Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team System is going to be really really cool.

The good:

Greenfield gives a very thorough (600 pg) introduction to the software factories approach to solution development. He presents a convincing case describing current deficiencies in the world of software development, how domain-specific languages and more advanced IDEs will correct these deficiencies, and what challenges remain between us and realizing the goal of having a true software factory.

The bad:

This book should not be seen as a technical how-to book. Do not expect to be able to apply much of what he describes within your software development routine...unless, of course, you're designing a next generation IDE.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mitch Barnett on November 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book in my mind represents the state of the art in software engineering today. The book is based upon the concept of building families of similar, but distinct products, which have been around for years in other engineering disciplines such as civil, mechanical and electronics engineering. These concepts promote the systematic reuse of like components and factored out variable components for customization in order to produce products that were similar but yet each one being unique. This is commonly known as mass customization, something that is very new to the software world, but "old hat" for other industrialized engineering industries.

I know Software Factories is an overloaded term, but consider this definition: "a factory is a highly organized production facility that produces members of a product line using standardized parts, tools and production processes." The "factory" term is common in the industrialized engineering world, but extremely uncommon in our un-industrialized software development world.

Jack and Keith initially introduce us to dealing with complexity and change, which are the two fundamental problems in designing and constructing quality software of any size. Anyone that has read the Standish Group's CHAOS report understands our incredibly poor track record in dealing with these fundamental problems, regardless of programming languages, platforms or methodologies used. The following chapter on Paradigm Shift assists the reader in understanding these problems as well as the critical innovations that solves these problems.

Software Factories goes on to explain their concept of what is a Software Factory within the context of economies of scale and scope.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By W Boudville HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
The authors present a massive and sophisticated approach to understanding and integrating patterns, models and frameworks into a project. The tone is scholarly, with many references to important previous papers and texts. The book is targeted at developers and senior programmers. Much of it deals with the different levels of abstraction, and how you move between these. So that if you have designed a project using patterns, then this is a high level structure. The book offers aid in migrating this into a framework, which might be considered a reification of the patterns.

An extensive survey is also given of various design/modelling tools that are available. These might be open source, proprietary or of the academic research type. One easy thing you can do with this book is to use its analysis of these tools. This is doable without having to wade through most of the rest of the book.

The book will not be an easy read to some. A lot of material is covered and a considerable amount is fairly abstract. Without significant prior experience in design and coding, you may miss the full meanings and appreciation of much of the text.

It makes a typical computer book look trivial.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Reader on January 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
Wow! I bought this book a long time ago and it lived on my "bibliophile" stack of bought but unread gems. It's a stunning book if you seek to understand the decomposition of complexity in modern software applications and the complex deployment architectures they work in. My only concern is the book is not an engineering book - there are no mathematical models of scale and performance for distributed decompositions. It has a excellent description of aspect oriented programming which I learned from. The authors could also benefit if they discovered the ideas in Carliss Baldwin's superlative "Design Rules" book and brought those ideas into their own discussion of the software construction domain. This is a WONDERFUL book for enterprise architects.
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