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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Metadata Solutions: Using Metamodels, Repositories, XML, and Enterprise Portals to Generate Information on Demand
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Adrienne Tannenbaum
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent work Adrienne Tannenbaum..................

This book is not only essential for architects involved with portal design, but also the supporting cast of data architects, business analysts and process modelers. If the "XML" or "portal" keywords in the title led you top this book and you are not exactly sure what a "metadata solution is", the following definition from the book succinctly describes it and the theme of the book itself: Metadata solution An organized and integrated set of related metadata, logically connected but physically separate, with common access points and methods."
The author covers the topic thoroughly, starting with an exhaustive discussion of information and its value to business that spans the first six chapters. Some excellent case studies are included to reinforce concepts. Part II consists of five chapters that take information up one level of abstraction and introduce metadata. Topics in this section start with requirements, and move to modeling. It's worth noting here that the OMG Open Information Model notation is heavily used in this section of the book. This should not be a problem because the notation is easy to follow and is widely known and used, reducing any learning curve to zero for experienced architects and modelers.
Part III's three chapters delve into the underlying infrastructure technologies and tools. I especially liked the chapter on repositories, as well as the one that provided a balanced view of standards. Part IV is where the pace picks up with four chapters devoted to factors you need to consider before designing the solution. The case studies that are included in some of these chapters are important reading because they portray the issues and challenges that are associated with the factors. The last chapter in this section leads you through the design selection process. I especially like Section V, which is a catalog of solutions that thoroughly examine each aspect of the solution. It starts off with a chapter that describes a typical disaster, followed by viable solutions presented in a format that can be easily recast into design patterns. I also like Section VI, which covers post-implementation administration and maintenance. The three chapters in this section cover topics that are often overlooked until a solution is ready to go into production or (in too many cases) after it has been released into production.
Key points about this book: (1) It is unique in that it addresses the data abstraction requirements of portals, and does so comprehensively. (2) Provides an end-to-end view of metadata from concept to final solution using real life examples and sound techniques. This is a refreshing change from many books that address metadata, but are so abstract themselves that it is difficult to transform the concepts into a working solution. (3) Addresses post implementation issues, which is something I have never come across in a book on metadata.
This is an important work and is essential reading for key players in a portal design and implementation project. Five stars and my highest recommendation.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The C++ Programming Language (Special 3rd Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Bjarne Stroustrup
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
An oldie but still goodie

This book was pretty good for when it was written and it will teach you and cover basically everything that the C++ language has to offer. The writing in this book is somewhat stylish but the code examples on the other hand are rather crude. I read the second edition of this book and picked up the third hoping some of the examples would be re-worked in a more modern way but it wasn't. However this is what you get when you try to make this book suitable for both beginners and advanced programmers. You should only get this book if you're going to become serious with C++, otherwise for its price it would be a waste of money. If you're looking for something a little smaller and more to the point then I suggest you pick up the book by Koenig and Moo. However if you want something that covers it all and does so in one book then this is the one. The other large reference books on C++ don't come close to this one.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Photoshop CS Bible
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Deke McClelland
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent, insightful and informative

This is a great Photoshop CS book. As the other reviewer states, its not for the first time Photoshop user, but if you can handle the basics and you want to learn more, this is the book to get. I've had Photoshop for about a year, playing with it and trying to figure things out for myself, but after reading just 15 pages of this book, I learnt so many more tips and tricks - even for the basic tools! The full colour is really nice to read, and the author guides you through Photoshop in a friendly and helpful, and thankfully not arogant way.

I really recommend this book for the Photoshop user keen to learn more.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Thinking in C++, Volume 1: Introduction to Standard C++ (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Bruce Eckel
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
May be a good start for C developers, but not for 4GL folks.

First of all, I should not that I haven't get this book yet. I'am reading PDF versions of both Volume 1 and 2. If you are experienced in C but a novice developer for OO world this is one of the best books available to start with. On the contrary, if your experiences coming from a 4GL tool (PowerBuilder, Centura/SQLWindows, Delphi, VB...) you may get confused with the many recalls from C (SmallTalk and Java). Besides Volume 2 , which is not published yet, contains much more valuable stuff if your mission statement is "I know object orientation, but wanna learn how it's implemented with C++ and in STL". I probably wait for the second volume and buy that one, but use PDF for this one.