Can No-One Write A Good Book About Oracle SOA?

I’m frustrated. I’ve just read a couple of good, if somewhat repetitive, design pattern books: one on SOA design with a resolutely platform-neutral stance, and another on architecting for the cloud, with a Microsoft Azure bent but which struck an admirable balance between generic advice and Microsoft specific examples.

So far so good. However although the Microsoft Azure information may come in handy for my next role, what I really need is some good quality, easy to read guidance on how current generic guidance relates to the Oracle SOA/Fusion Suite. I identified four candidates, but none of them seem worth completing:

  • Thomas Erl’s SOA Design Patterns. This is very expensive (more than £40 even in Kindle format), gets a lot of relatively poor reviews, and I didn’t much like the last book I read by the same author.
  • Sergey Popov’s Applied SOA Patterns on the Oracle Platform. This is another expensive book, but at least you can read a decent-length Kindle sample. However doing so has somewhat put me off. There are pages upon pages upon pages of front-matter. Do I really want to read about reviewers thanking their mothers for having them before I get to the first real content? Fortunately even with that issue the sample gets as far as an introductory chapter, but this makes two things apparent. Firstly, the author has quite a wordy and academic style, but more importantly he has re-defined the well-established term "pattern" to mean either "design rule" or "Oracle example", neither of which works for me. However I really parted company when I got to a section which states "… security … is nothing more than pure money, as almost no one these days seeks fun in simple informational vandalism", and then went off into a discussion of development costs. If this "expert" has such a poor understanding of cyber-security it doesn’t bode well…
  • Harish Gaur’s Oracle Fusion Middleware Patterns. Again, this appears to have redefined "pattern" as "Opportunity to show a good Oracle example", but that might be valid in my current position. Unfortunately I can’t tell you much more as the Kindle sample finished in the middle of "about the co-authors", before we get to any substantive content at all. As it’s another relatively expensive book with quite a few poor reviews I’m not sure whether it’s worth proceeding.
  • Kathiravan Udayakumar’s Oracle SOA Patterns. Although only published in 2012, this appears to already be out of print. It has two reviews on Amazon, one at one-star (from someone who did try and read it) and one at three stars (from someone who didn’t!).

In the meantime I’ve started what looks like a much more promising book, David Chappell’s Enterprise Service Bus. This appears to be well-written, well-reviewed and reasonably priced. What really attracts me is that he’s attempted to extend the "Gregorgram" visual design language invented for Enterprise Integration Patterns to service bus architectures, which was in many ways the missing piece from the Service Design Patterns book. Unfortunately the book may be a bit out of date and Java-focused to give me an up-to-date technical briefing, but as it’s fairly short that’s not an issue.

After that it’s back to trying to find a decent book which links all this to the Oracle platform. If anyone would like to recommend one please let me know.

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