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Jaguar Development With Powerbuilder 7
by Michael Barlotta
Manning Publication Co.
ISBN 1884777864

Since this is the first Jaguar book targeted for a PowerBuilder audience I was pretty excited when I finally got a copy in my hands. However I was also a little apprehensive. For the up-to-date technical information I rely heavily on the Sybase newsgroups, technical seminars and magazine articles. It takes 6 – 9 months to publish a technical book. So by the time a technical book hits the stands the information it contains is approximately a year old. Given the above my expectations for the book were not set too high. I expected a lot of unrelated "filler" material and a relatively small section of current information. Boy, was I pleasantly surprised!

The book begins with a brief overview of distributed computing and introduces the topics of application partitioning as well as application server specific topics such as load balancing, connection pooling, and scalability. Next chapter provides an application server overview with a solid section on CORBA and Jaguar. What I like about the book is that all the topics are described from ground zero. The author does not assume an in-depth knowledge of any application server related subject matter. The appendix even contains a TCP/IP primer section. The description of Jaguar environment follows the introduction. Basic administration, organisation of packages and components, database connectivity, and connection caches are some of the topics. The real meat is in the PowerBuilder section. The book provides a detail description on PowerBuilder component design as well as client applications. The tips, notes and warnings are very appropriate and should save valuable hours of development time. Ample time is dedicated to proper design and coding techniques, highlighting some of the nuances specific to Jaguar component based development.

What is missing from the book are some of the more advanced EAServer topics, specifically a detail description of the EAServer load balancing  and failover configurations. However, the book was never intended to be a complete EAServer reference. Web datawindow component description is absent, possibly due to the its introduction late in the beta cycle. I would also like to see more coverage on Jaguar interfaces from other tools / applications: page servers, such as ASP or PowerDynamo, Java applets, etc... But I am getting ahead of myself. As the title implies the book is targeted to PowerBuilder developers looking to gain insight into n-tier application development with Jaguar. In this area the book will meet and exceed anyone’s expectations.

Why all this fuss about Jaguar, or application servers in general? According to the Forrester Research business analysts the U.S. business-to-business e-commerce revenues will grow to $1.3 trillion by 2003. This is why Sybase is talking about Enterprise Portal solutions. If you are a PowerBuilder developer and you want to be a part of the new wave of business application you HAVE TO master EAServer!

Jaguar Development with PowerBuilder 7 book by Michael Barlotta provides a solid application server foundation for any PowerBuilder developer. It offers a platform from which anyone can confidently dive into the world of enterprise e-commerce and e-business application development.

Jaguar Development with PowerBuilder 7, ISBN # 1-884777-86-4 is published by Manning Publishing company. More information is available on their website at




Reviewed By:

Boris Gasin

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Last Revised: February 15, 2004 03:58 AM.