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Real-Life MDA: Solving Business Problems with Model Driven Architecture (The MK/OMG Press) Paperback – December 5, 2006
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"[There is] need for this book: No one has published a similar compendium of MDA case studies-making a transition to new technology is not simply a technical affair, although many of us tend to overlook this point. The authors are superb writers; these are people who have seen a lot in the industry and have a gift for articulating important trends." -David Frankel, consultant and author
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The nebulous aspect of "what is really MDA" is not clarified in this book, rather it is confirmed because you will see that each case study presents a project using some form of MDA, and they are all different.
So who do I recommend this book to? First, let's recognize that this book is fist-in-class, so it cannot be compared to others --the OMG has had MDA case studies posted on their Website for a while, but not with this substance.
If you are curious regarding what MDA is about, surprisingly, this book offers a great introduction by way of analogy to manufacturing -- I found the analogy very powerful. And browsing the case studies can paint a picture as to what the MDA experience entails.
If you are flirting with MDA, you might find the case studies compelling and perhaps start thinking about your first MDA pilot project.
If you are part of an MDA (or any model driven whatever) project, this book is mostly for you -- without meaning to preclude the first two.
Real-life MDA, as the title suggests, is basically a book of case studies. Each case has a similar structure describing the problem being addressed, why an MDA approach was chosen, the goals, the challenges faced, how MDA was used, what processes and tools were used, the results and benefits, and the client's assessment of the MDA experience. But that's where the similarity ends. One case show MDA in an Agile environment, another highlights MDA and code generation, another shows how MDA is used to create Enterprise Architecture, yet another shows an MDA approach to outsourcing. This illustrates the variety of MDA approaches, while providing a framework to understand and compare the different examples.
I should of course mention that the book is easy to read, in spite of the non-trivial nature of the subject. Both Guttman and Parodi are excellent writers who keep the flow interesting and insightful. If you've thought MDA sounded good, but couldn't articulate the value, now you'll be able to. If you never quite bought the idea of MDA, hopefully this book will change your mind. In either case, you'll enjoy the read and learn something in the process.
If you are thinking about MDA and like the idea of the approach then this book will give you some concrete examples to reference and to use to persuade others. I felt, however, that many of the stories were more about moving from very old-fashioned approaches to a more current approach and that most of the benefits could have been gained without labeling it MDA.
For those of you who read The Halo Effect: ... and the Eight Other Business Delusions That Deceive Managers you might be thinking "where are the comparisons to MDA projects that didn't work". I though that too and think it would have made a stronger book to present both sides. In the end the book is not compelling for someone who has not decided to adopt MDA or who considers MDA just another Computer Aided Software Engineering or CASE tool. It might be a useful tool for those who are already convinced about MDA who want examples and stories to share.