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"The first edition set a standard of excellence that has eluded all followers, and I have recommended it to my clients for years. The new edition is a gift to the field and should be required reading for all managers."
- Adrian J. Bowles, Ph.D., Vice President Giga Information Group
"One of the most readable introductions you will find. The new edition offers vital insights into the effective use of objects in business."
- Chris Stone, President Object Management Group
The first edition of Object Technology: A Manager's Guide is widely viewed as the classic introduction to this powerful computing concept. Object technology offers increased agility, significant time-to-market reduction, and the opportunity to exploit the potential of the World Wide Web by deploying globally distributed business systems. At a time when many of the world's largest companies are making the transition to object technology, David Taylor has updated his book to address the important issues facing the growth of object technology and to provide a glimpse into the future of this evolving paradigm. In updating this seminal work, David Taylor has retained the signature conciseness and,clarity of discussion that made the first edition a best-seller.
Object Technology: A Manager's Guide, Second Edition, covers the key terms, emerging concepts, and useful applications of objects. Managers, salespeople, engineers, software developers-anyone interested in understanding or implementing object technology-will find this a lucid introduction to the topic.
Highlights of this new edition include:
The first edition of this publication has been the classic introduction to object technology formanagers and executives for a number of years, and has been used worldwide in management related seminars, courses andworkshops. This revised and expanded version maintains the same focus on the benefits to businesscomputing wrought by this powerful object-oriented technology. The book covers object technology within the context of "...enabling technology for a new generation of adaptive software systems ...", and presents an executive overview of key characteristics that define object-orientation. In a clear and concise manner, it presents the underlying principles within the context of flexible business systems, and explains the nature of object interactions, examines classes, inheritance and other properties that turn objects into reusable business components. Learn about data sharing across programs, and find out about database requirements needed to implement object-orientation. The book also examines distributed objects, agents, tools and techniques required for scalable and adaptive business enterprises. Emphasis is on "The Adaptive Organization", and make no mistake, organizations will adapt to the new business paradigm ofobject-orientated technology and the Web, or pass into history.A very good and recommended companion volume by Dr. Taylor is, Business Engineering with Object Technology.
How is a company to cope with this kind of change? The message from the management gurus is clear and consistent: The key to survival in today's chaotic business environment is rapid adaption. The adaptive organization can move quickly into new market niches, deliver custom solutions instead of fixed products, and continuously outmaneuver its competition in the ongoing battle for market share.
Unfortunately, it's a lot easier to preach the benefits of adaptivity than to realize them. Organizations have a natural inertia that inhibits any change in direction, and that inertia increases with the mass of the company. Much of the resistance stems from human nature-people stake out their turf within organizations and tend to oppose any change that threatens their position. Reward structures keyed to quarterly earnings only serve to reinforce the status quo and discourage rapid change. But even if all the human and organizational barriers to change could be overcome, there is another source of inertia with a mass approximating that of a black hole- namely, corporate information systems.
For many years, the standard answer to this problem was to increase the speed of software development. Fourth -generation languages (4GLs), computer-aided software engineering (CASE) tools, and yes, object technology, have all promised and failed to deliver the "order- of - magnitude productivity improvement" that has long served as the holy grail of software development. Although I remain convinced that objects can deliver on that promise, I no longer believe it is the right goal. We have passed the point where building new applications faster can solve the problem. No matter how much we accelerate the development process, the increasing pace of business change will continue to outstrip our ability to create new software.
The only enduring solution to the challenge of constant change lies in the development of adaptive business systems-systems that can change at least as fast as the organizations they support. This is a radical departure from the time-honored practice of developing new applications from scratch to meet new business requirements. It requires us to construct software systems of sufficient flexibility that they can quickly be modified in response to new opportunities and challenges. In short, the answer lies not in productivity but in adaptivity.
The key to building adaptive systems is to understand and uphold the principles of object technology at every level of a system, from the lowest- level object to the enterprise itself. Fortunately, this isn't very hard to do. The most difficult part is simply getting out of the way-setting aside our preconceptions of how software should be built and discovering where objects will take us if we remain true to their principles as we build our way up to the enterprise.
The purpose of this book is twofold: to provide a firm grounding in the principles of object technology and to explore the future of adaptive systems that objects make possible. This chapter provides an executive summary of the principles to make them as accessible as possible. Later chapters deepen your understanding of these principles and then begin the process of scaling objects up to the enterprise.
The Three Keys The definition of object technology has been a source of debate throughout its history. However, there is an industry- standard definition of object-oriented technology, and it can be summarized in terms of three key concepts:
By contrast, the original versions of C, Ada, and COBOL are anything but object-oriented. Closer to the border are languages like Visual Basic (VB), which began as a conventional language but now supports most of the mechanisms of object technology. As you can see from the examples, many languages are adding object features, so the list of options is constantly growing. Visual Basic is a good illustration of this-all that version 5 lacks is inheritance, and VB could very well be fully object-oriented in its next release. The important point is not whether a language is "truly" object-oriented but how easy it is to apply the principles of objects in the environment provided by the language....
Who Should Read This Book.
How to Read the Book.
What’s New in This Edition.
An Invitation to Interact.
1. Three Keys to Object Technology.
Objects and Encapsulation.
Messages and Polymorphism.
Classes and Inheritance.
2. Objects: Natural Building Blocks.
Nature’s Building Blocks.
The Anatomy of an Object.
Constructing Composite Objects.
Designing Multilevel Systems.
3. Messages: Activating Objects.
The Anatomy of a Message.
Sending the Right Information.
The Power of Polymorphis.
4. Classes: Implementing Objects.
The Anatomy of a Class.
5. Objects as Software Components.
A New Industrial Revolution.
Making Software Components Work.
Building the Right Components.
6. Storing and Sharing Objects.
The Problem of Persistence.
A New Generation of Databases.
The Battle of the Generations.
7. Beyond Programs and Databases.
Integrating Procedures and Data.
The Evolution of Object Engines.
The End of Applications.
8. Objects for the Enterprise.
From Objects to Agents.
Designing for Scalability.
9. The Adaptive Organization.
Understanding Adaptive Systems.
Increasing Organizational Adaptivity.
Adaptivity Through Objects.
Appendix: A Software Construction Primer.
Posted September 14, 2002
The author presents and illustrates his points rather well in this book. However, he is over-selling certain concepts and philosophies as the be-all-solve-all; in particular, trees and nesting of application nouns (objects). Although trees and nesting are intuitive, they don't always map to the real world very well. A relational expert will point out that trees and nesting are only one of many possible simultaneous views of any given thing. Taylor presents an absolute viewpoint, suggesting that trees and nesting ALONE are a sufficient view of any given object. OOP (object oriented programming) tends to get rather complicated and competes with relational turf when it tries to give each object (record) multiple, relative, or ad-hoc views and relationships. A relational proponent may suggest that it is best not to manage all these relationships via programming code, since databases are better geared toward bulk cross-link management of "things". Further, Taylor's prediction that OO databases would trample relational databases has proven incorrect so far. OO databases have suffered huge commercial set-backs, and he offers insufficient information on how to handle OO in a relational world. Some OO proponents, such as Bertrand Meyer, have even suggested that the philosophy of OOP and "databases" in general is in conflict. Overall, this book may serve as a decent conceptual introduction, but it leaves out some important and tough philosophical rough spots that OO faces. I would suggest that one also read up on relational modeling to balance out the weak points of this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.