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Web Application Architecture: Principles, Protocols and Practices 1st Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 072-3812241361
ISBN-10: 0471486566
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

It is no longer enough for Web application developers to be proficient in just one platform. As platforms grow and evolve and new ones arise, developers must be able to transfer their proficiency across platforms in order to design, develop and debug complex Web applications effectively. This book uncovers the underlying core technologies that developers need to understand to help them learn new APIs and application frameworks more quickly.

Web Application Architecture: Principles, protocols and practices provides an in-depth examination of the basic concepts and general principles associated with Web application development. It 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.

Includes 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 and XML
  • future directions and emerging technologies

This book explains the skills that developers need to design and build complex and sophisticated Web applications that are also scaleable, extensible, maintainable, and reusable.

About the Author

Leon Shklar heads 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.

Richard Rosen also works for the online edition of the Wall Street Journal as an Application Architect. He began his career at Bell Labs, where his work with relational databases and the Internet prepared him the world of Web application development, including e-commerce projects for 3Com, Outpost.com and Reuters. Rich holds an M.S. in Computer Science from Stevens Institute of Technology.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (October 22, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471486566
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471486565
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.8 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,528,216 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mike Tarrani HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on June 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is an ideal text for providing intermediate-level web developers with a solid grounding in architectural principles and more advanced techniques. Before going into why I like this book I do want to offer one caveat - the authors' approach is towards the Model-View-Controller paradigm, and is based on Java Standard Tag Library, Jarkata struts and Apache. These are solid elements, but if you are working in a different environment you will not appreciate this book as much.
The historical material in this book is not fluff if you approach it with the intent to gain a fuller understanding of the major components of the Internet and web. This material is rich with details about why the core web technologies developed and evolved, including design choices the pioneers made in the face of constraints. In a subtle way this part of the book is a primer on design and architecture.
What makes this book so valuable is the non-trivial application that brings this book alive. This is a refreshing change from other books that use thinly contrived snippets of code or trivial applications. The code for this application can be downloaded from the book's supporting web site, which also contains errata (thus far there are only two entries), and articles that are valuable resources with or without this book.
Overall this is one of the better books on web application design and development, and one that dives into code and technical details.
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Format: Paperback
I have to disagree with the reviewer who disparaged this book's emphasis on history. The background on TCP/IP protocols explained how HTTP came to be and why servers and browsers work the way they do. Discussion of how web development platforms evolved provided insight into the problems newer approaches tried to solve and the problems some of them created. The authors may have gone overboard spouting the merits of "separating content from presentation" and touting the praises of MVC approaches, but their point is a valid one you can really relate to if you've worked with page-centric platforms like ASP and JSP. The historical review of different approaches explained the authors' reasons for ultimately choosing an MVC approach with Struts and JSTL, and offered insights into how development platforms may evolve in the future. This is a book that starts with basics and builds on them, covering protocols, markup languages, and development platforms. The history helps drive the points home. Personally, I learned a lot from this book. I agree that they could have provided a CD-ROM, but it turns out their website (webappbuilders.com) is pretty good and has other good info aside from the app's source code, including some articles from the authors.
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By A Customer on February 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
I am not an expert developer but I have a fair amount of experience building financial applications in Java and C++. I spent quite some time looking for a book that would get me started with Web technologies. It is not easy. Yes, there are many books that describe one or another technology but I wanted to find one that puts these technologies in prospective. I was very pleased when I found this book. I can always dig deeper in one direction when I need to but this book helps me to understand how to get started and where to concentrate my efforts. I like it, I think it is very useful.
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Format: Paperback
I'm really impressed by the diverse coverage in this book, from e-mail protocols, HTTP transactions, server and browser architecture, XML and XSLT, to best practices for web application development. I've seen too many hodgepodge books on web application development that try to cover a broad range of topics that are slapped together haphazardly. This book has a well-defined learning path and a consistent style throughout, doing justice to each topic covered and tying all the information together cohesively. They say it's not supposed to be a tutorial on Struts, but the chapter for the book's sample application is better than many dedicated Struts tutorials. It explains clearly why MVC approaches are better than code-focused platforms like ASP, .NET, PHP, and JSP Model 1 -- because those approaches don't divide component responsibilities appropriately. The chapters on browser and server architecture explain the processing flow of HTTP requests and responses better than any other book I've seen, and the figures are quite helpful.
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I've been writing Windows-based mutlimedia applications since Windows 95 was released. I've been looking for a good book to help the crossover to web application development, and I found that this was just the ticket. Explanations were solid and presented in a way that made experimentation easy (both from the browser and server side). Quite simply, this book served as a great jumping off point for deeper exploration into session management, security, web services (both SOAP and Rest), etc. Definitely a great introduction for folks with a software engineering background.
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In my career as a web developer, I had to pick up most of the material compiled in this book anyway I could, whether it was HTTP protocols or web server configuration, or Cold Fusion and PHP. This book seems to be two things: 1. a textbook for learning web application development from the ground up, including HTTP, HTML, XML and XSLT, and 2. a survey of the options available to web developers, starting with CGI up to today's frameworks, explaining the advantages and shortcomings of each approach. As the former, I imagine it would work very well as the text for a college course on this subject. As the latter, I can only say that it works very well for me. I wish I had it during my last project: the explanations for why some approaches are ultimately better than others might have saved us all a lot of headache in the long run. It's a good reference even for seasoned developers. The explanations of the meanings of various esoteric HTTP headers in the context of server and browser architecture, and the sections on best practices for building scalable extensible web apps have come in very handy.
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