Book Review: Enterprise AJAX — Strategies For Building High Performance Web Applications
In the interest in full disclosure, I was sent this book by Prentice Hall in hopes that I would review it. I'm reviewing this book, however, in the interest of my audience.
Enterprise AJAX -- Strategies For Building High Performance Web Applications
David Johnson, Alexei White, Andre Charland
Prentice Hall / Pearson Education
Writing for enterprise developers, architects, and user interface specialists, the authors explain why AJAX offers such great promise in large-scale development. Next, they systematically introduce today's key AJAX techniques and components.
You'll walk through developing frameworks for building AJAX applications that combine data tables, Web forms, charts, search, and filtering: the very systems businesses depend on in CRM, ERP, BI, and beyond. Then, building on this strong foundation, the authors identify proven AJAX architectural patterns, and present case studies drawn from actual .NET and Java AJAX applications. Coverage includes:
- Using AJAX to implement Model-View-Controller (MVC) in the browser
- Encapsulating user interface functionality to facilitate code reuse and reduce cross-browser development problems
- Overcoming the unique security challenges associated with AJAX Web applications
- Optimizing AJAX usability: the "back" button, caching, bookmarking, offline usage, and beyond
From security to scalability to project risk, this is the only book to cover all the issues facing AJAX developers in the enterprise. Whether you're migrating legacy HTML interfaces or building new applications from scratch, you'll find it absolutely indispensable.
Nothing is more important to me than credibility when it comes to programming and technical books. As any seasoned programmer knows, the reference / guide book gets you 30% there and the other 70% comes from banging your head against the wall for hours (until you read my blog, of course.) That's why Enterprise AJAX: Strategies For Building High Performance Web Applications started off on the right foot with me. The authors of this book are the architects of Nitobi Software, creators of AJAX Components for .NET, Java, PHP, ASP, and ColdFusion.
Chapter seven, Web Services and Security, discuss keeping your AJAX scripts secure from automated and user-based attacks. Chapter eight moves on to AJAX usability. Usability is key in the web today and when it comes to AJAX, usability tends to become an afterthought. The authors of Enterprise AJAX provide many workarounds and best practices for dealing with specific browser quirks.
The book rounds out with three more useful chapters: User Interface Patterns, Risk and Best Practices, and Case Studies.
Chapter six, AJAX Architecture, was my favorite chapter of them all. Chapter six provides strategies and examples with regards to caching and throttling AJAX code. Speed is AJAX's main purpose, in my opinion -- if not for AJAX, we could simply make clicking links refresh the page. As with most aspects of computer development and speed, caching is extremely important. For developers who obsess over optimal loading time, this book may be worth the price just for this chapter.
This book is clearly still relevant and provides great insight into AJAX -- its power and drawbacks.