Category Archives: Reviews

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.

Posted in Agile & Architecture, Reviews, Thoughts on the World | Leave a comment

Cloud Design Patterns

This is a very useful introduction to key cloud concepts and how common challenges can be met. It’s also a good overview of how Microsoft technologies may fit into these solutions, but avoids becoming so Microsoft-centric that it becomes useless Continue reading

Saturday, June 13, 2015 in Agile & Architecture, Reviews

Service Design Patterns

One of the most influential architecture books of the early 00s was Enterprise Integration Patterns by Gregor Hohpe and Bobby Woolf. That book not only provided far and away the best set of patterns and supporting explanations for designers of Continue reading

Friday, June 5, 2015 in Agile & Architecture, Reviews

Edge of Silence

We’ve just finished our 30th anniversary viewing of Edge of Darkness. I must now have seen the series at least 10 times, but in this case familiarity breeds respect. Like the best Shakespeare play or Verdi opera the series rewards Continue reading

Friday, May 29, 2015 in Photography, Reviews, Thoughts on the World

Next Generation SOA

This book sets out to provide a concise overview of the current state of, and best practices for, Service Oriented Architecture. While it may achieve that for some managerial readers, it is simultaneously too general for those with more background, Continue reading

Thursday, May 28, 2015 in Agile & Architecture, Reviews

A Tide In The Affairs Of Men

Observations on the Inaudible, Incomprehensible and Impossible “Interstellar” Continue reading

Sunday, November 9, 2014 in Reviews

Man Up

This is a comedy thriller very much affecting the style of Carl Hiaasen. Hiaasen’s latest, the hilarious Bad Monkey, uses almost exactly the same Floridan and Bahamian locations, and reading this book almost immediately afterwards did feel a bit like Continue reading

Tuesday, April 29, 2014 in Reviews


This is a fascinating book, although its title and blurb are rather misleading. I was expecting something along the lines of a Welsh Defiance (the story of the Belorussian Otriads which successfully battled the Nazis behind the Eastern Front), or Continue reading

Saturday, April 26, 2014 in Reviews

World War Z – One from the Ministry of Strange Coincidences…

I’ve just posted my review of World War Z – The Book. In it, I liken the book to a science fiction version of “The World At War”. Now here’s the real oddity – the book of The World at Continue reading

Tuesday, July 9, 2013 in Humour, Reviews, Thoughts on the World

World War Z – The Book

“The World At War” with Zombies! Continue reading

Saturday, July 6, 2013 in Reviews, Thoughts on the World

El Dorado Blues

Like the predecessor novel, Wahoo Rhapsody, this is an enjoyable romp which charges on at an impressive pace. As a complete antidote to all the “Templar Treasure” novels of recent years, while this does feature a long-buried fabled treasure, which Continue reading

Wednesday, May 1, 2013 in Reviews

Review – Olympus TG2 “Tough” Camera

There’s a salutory lesson here about not jumping to premature conclusions. Based on my first impressions of this camera I had mentally started drafting a review based on praising the hardware, but with some criticism of the software and firmware. Continue reading

Monday, April 29, 2013 in Photography, Reviews