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Web Application Architecture: Principles, Protocols and Practices 2nd Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0470518601
ISBN-10: 047051860X
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

It is not enough for Web application developers to be proficient in just one platform. As platforms grow and evolve, and as new ones arise, developers must be able to transfer their proficiency across platforms in order to build complex Web applications effectively. This book helps developers understand the underlying core technologies so that they can learn new APIs and application frameworks more quickly.

Web Application Architecture provides an in-depth examination of the basic concepts and general principles associated with Web application development, using examples that illustrate specific technologies. This conceptual knowledge is critical when building and deploying complex systems that are scaleable, extensible, maintainable and reusable. The book explains the underlying protocols and languages that support Web application development, and delineates the best practices associated with building robust applications. It describes mechanisms for providing Web access to heterogeneous data sources including relational databases and multimedia.

The new edition includes brand new and fully updated chapters on:

  • Internet protocols - from TCP/IP to HTTP and beyond
  • software components - servers, browsers, proxies and agents
  • the dynamic web - how web applications present dynamic data
  • markup languages – HTML, XML and CSS
  • tools, libraries and frameworks - AJAX, Struts, and Ruby on Rails
  • search technologies – underlying principles, application design, and SEO
  • future directions and emerging technologies – XML Query, RDF, and the Semantic Web

Ideally suited for course usage and self-study, this practical, engaging textbook is essential reading for students, programmers and system architects and designers alike. It provides a comprehensive, timely overview of modern web technology.

Visit the supplementary website at www.wileyeurope.com/college/shklar

About the Author

Leon Shklar currently works for Thomson Reuters where he is the head of technology for Reuters Media. Previously, Leon headed up the development team for the online edition of the Wall Street Journal at Dow Jones. Prior to joining Dow Jones, he spent six years at Bell Communications Research and almost as long in the world of dot-coms and Internet software. Leon holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Rutgers University.

Rich Rosen is a senior developer in the Fixed Income Systems Group at Interactive Data Corporation. Previously, he was an Application Architect at Dow Jones. Rich began his career at Bell Labs, where his work with relational databases and the Internet prepared him the world of Web application development. He is a co-author of Mac OS X for Unix Geeks, 4th Edition (O'Reilly). Rich holds an M.S. in Computer Science from Stevens Institute of Technology.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 440 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 2 edition (April 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047051860X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470518601
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #676,895 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Marc Tobell on October 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
Have to disagree with prior reviewer's complaint that the book doesn't cover Java EE 5. It's not supposed to, it's not a Java book, it's a book on the principles and protocols of web application development. Authors say upfront they don't focus on a specific API, toolkit, or framework. They cover HTTP, XML and HTML through HTML5, core protocols and languages of the web. In discussing server-side web application frameworks and client-side techniques using Javascript and Ajax, they have an agnostic attitude that doesn't endorse one approach. Instead they survey the many available options contrasting their benefits and shortcomings. The end result is that you learn what all approaches have in common, reliance on underlying standard protcols. The new material improves on what was already a great text book. Coverage of new frameworks since the last edition has been added. Two new chapters on search engines and on Javascript/Ajax are excellent. The administrative interface sample application is the most objective tutorial on Rails I've read. There's also expanded coverage of semantic web and web services, both SOAP and REST.
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I was fortunate enough to be an undergrad in college in the early to mid 90's when Internet was taking off. This gave me the opportunity to use the world wide web long before Internet access at home was commonplace. I've been involved with the web as a user since the early 1990's, and as a developer since the mid/late 1990's.

The first chapters of this book were a trip down memory lane for me, I remember scouring public FTP sites for open source/shareware/freeware software I could install on my PC at home, or even use on the Unix boxes of the university. I remember using telnet to connect to remote systems around campus. When the world wide web came around, I remember using the Mosaic browser being flabbergasted at how cool it all was.

Nowadays, a lot of web application developers never had the opportunity to use these earlier protocols that were commonplace before the world wide web took off. This book provides an overview of these protocols.

Additionally, in this day an age, we have several powerful IDE's, frameworks and libraries that make our lives easier when developing web applications. While these tools are a boon to productivity, in many cases these tools shield web application developers from what actually happens "behind the scenes".

The proliferation of these tools have caused a new generation of web developers that are not familiar with fundamentals such as the HTTP protocol, XML and even HTML and Javascript.

Shklar and Rosen present these fundamentals in a clear, concise way. After going through this book, web application developers will have enough knowledge to know what is going on behind all their IDE generated applications that rely on a bunch of libraries.
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This book covers a lot of ground, taking the reader logically and historically through the development of web technologies. The authors explain in a clear and coherent narrative the progression from web pages to web sites and into modern web applications. The book is more a survey than a cookbook. Examples are given at every step, but a lot of the details are left as an exercise for the reader. The book could serve as graduate-level reading to lay a groundwork for independent study.

The authors do not try to provide authoritative reference material for all the sundry topics, instead giving enough salient details to explain the reasons why we have the array of tools available today. They hold to a very determined balance of subject depth versus brevity, successfully maintaining the thread of their narrative throughout.

All the usual players are here: LAMP, DHTML, Ajax, XML (et. al.), PHP, SEO. While familiar with most of the material to some degree, I found the book filled in gaps in my understanding and illuminated connections that I had not considered before. The authors' approach of historically-informed, progressive development-- something akin to first principles-- provides a solid foundation for evaluating design choices and for continued learning after the book is finished.

Near the end, we are brought so up to date that clear choices no longer present themselves. Struts is presented next to Ruby on Rails and Java Server Faces and HTML5 are briefly discussed. Such are the vagaries of an active and developing field. This book can show us how we got to today, but at some point, the current edition will no longer carry you to the forefront, nor leave you confident and comfortable with current production systems. Still, it's value will hold for the foundation it provides and the approach to thinking about further developments.
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This book gives a great overview of web concepts and how they relate to each other. It goes into enough technical detail to describe the concept, but doesn't get bogged down in technical details. I am recommending this book to experienced members of my team to establish a strong foundation of web concepts.
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I have been involved as a project manager and data architect on various web development projects since the late 1990s, and have seen the preferred architectures evolve over this time. As of April, 2013 I have not read all of this book, but from what I have read this book seems to cover a broad range of important topics, above and beyond functional application design. Examples include networking, load-balancing, and various ways to apply the MVC model, for both JAVA and .NET based systems. Important frameworks (Spring, Hibernate, etc.) are also covered.
What I especially liked was the historical perspectives which explained how at one time a particular approach was considered a best practice, but that current best practices have changed, (accompanied with explanations on why the change occured.)

What I especially liked were that diagrams (in somewhat conventional and consistent standards) were used throughout, which has an added benefit of suggesting a standard for Architects to follow on their projects (I am shocked how many architects and development leads are completely clueless on how to draw UML or SOA-modeling diagrams; and it seems like every person has to use their own unique approaches, usually not related to anything published by thought leaders in analysis and design techniques.)
I also liked that there are recommendations on what architectures work best in certain situations; many books ramble on and on about an approach and either (a) at the end conclude that it is not the best approach (so why waste my time for several pages!?), or (b) worse, offer No conclusions, advice, or best practice recomendations.

Again - I am not completely finished with this book, so there may be some weaknesses and strengths I have missed in this review.
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