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on June 24, 2002
I found this book almost PERFECT for my needs. Short, concise, and focused on the exam. The sample questions were also very reflective of the exam. If you pass the sample questions, you are probably ready for the exam. With what you learn from the sample questions, content as well as question style, you should actually do a bit better on the exam. That was my experience- about 75% on the book questions, 87% (42/48) on the exam, with no extra study after my initial reading.
And considering the purpose of architect certification is to certify someone with 5+ years experience and deep understanding of design and architectural issues, then a more detailed book would be a thick painful experience. Also, a more detailed book would commit the authors to exposing more of the exam content, and devalue it as a fair measure of an architect. The fact that it requires a wide professional background with some core reading is excellent. If you struggle with the exam, enjoy the honest feedback! You have more reading to do, and experience to gain.
With sufficient experience in Java, UML, design patterns, security, general IT and web knowledge, and basic architectural principles, the book more than suffices. Basic EJB knowledge is sufficient since the book doesn't expect a programmer's knowledge of APIs and such.
If you are new to architecture, my recommendations are similar to another reviewers:
UML Distilled, Martin Fowler
Design Patterns, Gamma et al
Mastering Enterprise Java Beans, Roman, Amber, Jewell
EJB Design Patterns, Floyd Marinescu
And if you don't know enough about design patterns and UML to pass those chapters before even reading the chapters, you may be taking the exam a bit prematurely.
I will agree with one statement- the book lacks chapters on some of the objectives. But, considering that they might be considered fair prerequisites for someone qualified to take the exam, I'm not complaining. Though, in looking over my exam results, most of my wrong answers were from the sections without corresponding chapters...common architectures, legacy connectivity, messaging :(. I think my proclivity for screen-scraping did me in.
All-in-all, a masterful book and exam.
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on May 9, 2002
I disagree with what some readers feel about the book. This book is just what a study guide should be. Concise and focused on the objectives of the exam. I read the book, took the exam and passed. I had very little time to study and this book, being so concise, definitely helped.
If it had taken 1000 pages to help me prepare for a 48 questions exam, then I would think that the author merely just did a 'cut and paste' from EJB specs and a few other books. Instead, this author bothered to extract the essence of the information required for SCEA and presented it to the reader.
Most of the sections - Security, I18n, Protocols, EJB, and Design Pattern are well written in an easy to understand and concise manner.
Having said all that, I wonder why some objectives are missing. Common Architecture, Legacy Connectivity and Messaging are left out completely. Also, the UML section could have covered a few more notations.
Still a good book for SCEA candidates but take note, it says "Study Guide" not "Idiot's Guide". So don't expect the book to teach you how to write the "Hello World" Bean.
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on March 28, 2002
This is the first published book for the SCJEA certification.
Although it's very light (less than 200 pages), it does cover
EJB, UML, Design Patterns, Security, Internationlization, and Protocols. It provides useful information on how to apply your
knowledges on these topics, but you should learn the knowledges
from practice or from other books. It contains some very interesting mock questions, on UML, Security, Internationalization, Protocols, which help you a lot to understand the concept in an architect's way. It provides a case study for part II and part III, although it is a good example, you need to know enterprise java architecting before reading this chapter.
I finally decide to give it 4 stars instead of 5 because of two reasons:
1. There is nothing about messaging. legacy connectivity.
2. They copied the nine sample questions from Sun's site, but gave no more explanation. What's more, in the book, the answer of question 5 is incomplete (it should be A, E, but in the book, the answer is E), and the answer of question 9 does not appear in the book (which is D).
Since it's the only one available, I suggest you buy (or borrow) this book...
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on March 3, 2003
Writing a certification guide poses some serious challenges to the author. Having co-authored a guide my self, I understand how tricky it is to decide how much to cover. It is not unusual to attract criticism from both sides of the aisle - too much detail or too little detail. A test like SCEA that covers such a broad ground makes the job even tougher.
The first ever SCEA guide met most of my expectations. It is concise, covers most of the exam objectives and most importantly, maintains the focus on the test without digressing over to J2EE trivia. Every chapter attempts to cover a set of objectives, and has a review section followed by some sample test questions. The accompanying answers not only explain why an answer is the correct answer, but goes a step further to elaborate why other answers are not correct, or not-so correct. The book also introduces a case study that introduces the reader to skills essential for solving the part II assignment.
I said the book covers "most" of the objectives. That's where it falls short of expectations. Any study guide should, at the least, cover all the test objectives. Some test objectives such as Legacy connectivity and Messaging have been totally left out which made me question the seal of approval from Sun Education! It is one thing not to cover an objective in detail, but totally dropping a couple of them is inexcusable. The editorial bragging "..in-depth coverage of every exam objective.." is simply a prevarication when the guide itself totally drops a few objectives. A good reader can easily point out some spottiness too - such as not including the state diagram for entity beans along with that of stateful and stateless session beans.
In summary, this guide will help you prepare for the test but you will need to supplement it with other study resources and notes. They badly need to fill some gaping holes, and to the extent possible, work towards completeness.
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on February 9, 2003
I carry around far too many books in business travel, so I appreciate the short ones: Fowler's UML Distilled comes to mind, as does Clark's Designing Storage Area Networks, Brooks's The Mythical Man Month, and Bloch's Effective Java.
Cade and Roberts have reduced their guide's content to the essential elements for test preparation; I appreciate that good work. Plenty of books try to boot-strap the reader into their topic in the name of reaching a broader audience. Trust me, you'll appreciate this effort less as the overlap in your book collection grows. You'll appreciate it even less still when you have to box them all up for a move.
If you've been working with web designs for a few years and have used a practical, higher-level language to describe new systems to other people, and you've been through J2EE systems a few times, you're probably ready to certify. All you need is some focus and an idea what to expect to build your confidence; this little study guide, complemented perhaps by studying with other test candidates, will take you the rest of the way.
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on October 8, 2002
This is a good book if you are serious on becoming an Architect. This book shows the right direction and clarifies the expectations of the Architect exam. If you are experienced with Java/J2EE technology and distributed computing, then this book is sufficient to clear the exam. I am an experienced J2EE professional and I got 81% by studying only this book. This book helped me to know the expectations of the exam objectives. I recommend this book, if you got over 3 years of experience with Java/J2EE technologies.
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on June 19, 2002
This book summarizes things that you must find out from years of experience and from a host of other books. Some people would expect this book to teach them everything, but the architect test is too broad for one book to ever do justice to.
I would buy the Design Patters book (Gamma), the Professional EJB book & Java Server Programming J2EE Edition (Wrox), UML Distilled (Fowler), the Designing Enterprise Applications with the Java 2 Platform Enterprise Edition (Sun). Then I would write some i18n apps, write some simple beans on JBoss, disect the Java Blueprint sample app, then READ THIS STUDY GUIDE, and THEN I would take the test.
But then what do I know, I missed 3 questions on the test. If you're lazy and want to pass the test from reading one and only one book, you're SOL, it ain't gonna happen.
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on September 5, 2002
I'll try not to repeat what others have said because they have been pretty accurate. This is not a "Training Manual" for the test but is instead a "Study Guide". It helps you focus on what you need to bone up on before the test but you'll need to get detailed information elsewhere.
For example, the design patterns section gives a very brief description of each pattern. If you are new to the GoF patterns you need to study another book, but if you are familiar with them and need just a quick review you'll get it here.
I've only got 2-3 years of Java experience but have 12 years of industry experience. I found most of the test questions to be easy but still only got 87% overall.
I gave it four stars because it is the only book out there, it didn't waste my time by being filled with fluff, and it helped me identify my weak areas.
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on March 28, 2002
This book has very little content in terms of J2EE itself. The title is very misleading - this cannot in itself be a study guide for the exam. To tell you truthfully, I am dissapointed with the book and would not recommend anyone to buy this book as anything more than a objectives refresher. This is an unbiased review - I am a software engineer planning to take the test in about a month. If you are planning to take this exam skip this book - it didn't help me much in my preparation and I'm sure you will be hearing the same from others who have bought this book.
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on April 3, 2002
Firstly, I must say that the SCEAJ2EE certification is supposed to test candidates on a wide range of knowledge on J2EE and other enterprise technologies. I am not sure if it is possible to comprehensively squeeze all the information required for the exam into one single book of acceptable thickness. Probably a few good books are needed to serve the purpose.
In the past, many candidates faced a lot of problems preparing for the exam because they may not know where to start searching for the relevant information. There were quite a few books they have to read and each of them probably deals with one topic in great depth. There was no overview, just focus.
This book provides an overview to what kind of knowledge is needed to pass the exam. It may not be complete, but it provides a skeleton for one to build one's knowledge for the exam. After achieving a good breadth of knowledge, one can then go in-depth.
If the right kind of expectation is set, I believe this will proof to be a good book.
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