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php|architect's Guide to Enterprise PHP Development
Marco Tabini & Associates
June 26, 2008
Week: 13 All time: 168
Mauricio Garcia Nascimento"Guide to Enterprise PHP development" is a book by Ivo Jansch that covers important topics about Software Development Life Cycle - SDLC.
The book is directed to PHP professionals, not only developers, but also to Software Engineers, System Architects, Software Testers and IT Project Managers.
Do not expect an advanced on PHP programming. As the author says, "this book is about PHP, but it is not about code" and "writing PHP code is only a part of the entire development life-cycle". It is definitely not about coding, neither about technical programming tricks.
The book describes best practices, lessons learned, practical experiences, tools, techniques, methodologies and other related knowledge areas that all PHP professionals should follow to develop better enterprise software products.
In the beginning you may not realize what is meant by "talking about PHP, but not coding in PHP". You need to understand that SDLC books are not necessarily related to a programming language.
"Growing Software" by Louis Testa, is another great book that could be adopted by all developers and programming environments. It is not about a specific programming language.
It is important to notice that this 300 page book should be read as an introductory guide. SLDC and its related tools and methodologies concern an huge body of knowledge. There is no book that could comprehensively cover all its subjects.
The author clearly states in the introduction section that he "will cover those topics just briefly enough to get you interested, or to get you started". Fortunately, he always references external sources for further information in most of chapters.
In spite of including too much coding lines for a SDLC book, particularly in chapter 6 - Architecture, I think the author did a great job of balancing the scope of his book that could be interesting for many different kind of readers. It is not an easy task, absolutely.
Part I - Background - includes two chapters that present basic explanations about what PHP is, historic information, trends and challenges of the language. It is interesting only if you do not know PHP or just want to improve your knowledge as a non-technical team leader.
I think the majority of readers will jump right to Part II – Enterprise Development. It contains many chapters which are the core of the book. That is why you have to read most of these chapters carefully.
Each chapter talks about a specific area of the SDLC, starting from team building techniques, moving on to software deployment and daily operational maintenance.
Chapters 3, 4 and 5 describe important initialization and planning processes that every System Engineer and Project Manager should adopt as best practices to launch a solid enterprise software project.
This group of chapters contains common Human Resources management techniques related to team building, recruitment and training. Then it discusses requirements gathering and the advantages of adopting formal tools to achieve better practical results.
Chapter 6 talks about different structures that a System Architect can use to build a consistent system design. It covers topics about OOP, UML and Design Patterns. These topics are really very interesting, but I think this chapter has excessive technical and programming explanations. In my opinion, all coding lines are totally dispensable for this kind of book.
Chapter 7 shows a great balance between presenting support development tools and external references for additional information. The author describes some IDE tools, debuggers, code documentation, source control and issue tracking systems. As I mentioned previously, none of them are deeply reviewed. The author just mentions them briefly.
A sentence can summarize Chapter 8: "Do not reinvent the wheel". Like with the previous chapter, read this one carefully. There are lots of tricks and tips inside it. Before starting any IT information system, you must assure that you have at least superficial knowledge about CMS, blogs, forum, PHP frameworks and components already built by others. This way you can avoid loosing time and team effort building just another brand new wheel.
Be careful with Chapter 9. The author tries to expose some concerns related to Web system security in just 10 pages. In my humble opinion, it is very difficult, maybe even impossible, to describe and explain security concepts in just one chapter.
Security is vital for any enterprise system. You have basically two choices at this point: trust this task to experienced security professionals, or jump right to the last page of this chapter where you may find two excellent security books recommendations.
Next three chapters must be read by any PHP developer. Chapter 10 describes tips about best coding practices, including standards and formal documentation. The next chapter is about quality assurance, theory and practical measure tools.
Chapter 12 shows some system optimization tricks, starting from basic caching concepts through database and environment optimization concerning hardware, networking and storage.
Chapters 13 through 16 close Part II. Although the last three chapters are very brief, they cover essential subjects about post-development tasks, such as defining a consistent deploy environment and implementation, and finally some usual day-to-day operational procedures, like performance monitor and system maintenance.
Part III is the last part of the book. It introduces some development methodologies, like: Waterfall, RAD and Agile. A little bit about ITIL and Project Management concepts are presented here as well.
Like in Part I, you can skip this section, because I think it is too basic for a team leader or project manager, and too superficial for initiating a technical developer. You should try more specific literature if you are interested about these areas.
This is definitely a very interesting book about SDLC - Software Development Life Cycle.
Despite it is difficult to focus the scope and the target public of the book writing about an area that encompasses too many topics of interest, Ivo Jansch, the author, did a great job to achieve this result with success.
We should keep in mind that he is also aiming to increase the perceived value of PHP in the enterprise by publishing the first SDLC directed to PHP market.
The author lent his knowledge, experience and thoughts about the PHP language in every chapter. That is why it is very appropriate for PHP professionals.
It fills the gap of books about enterprise software development using PHP, which is an area that is already well covered by other books about other languages and platforms, like Java or .NET.
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1. PHPClasses.org: Book Review: php|architect s Guide to Enterprise PHP Development (2009-06-10 11:01)