Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture
- By Martin Fowler
- Published Nov 5, 2002 by Addison-Wesley Professional. Part of the Addison-Wesley Signature Series (Fowler) series.
- Copyright 2003
- Dimensions: 7-3/8x9-1/4
- Pages: 560
- Edition: 1st
- ISBN-10: 0-321-12742-0
- ISBN-13: 978-0-321-12742-6
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Product Author Bios
Martin Fowler is an independent consultant who has applied objects to pressing business problems for more than a decade. He has consulted on systems in fields such as health care, financial trading, and corporate finance. His clients include Chrysler, Citibank, UK National Health Service, Andersen Consulting, and Netscape Communications. In addition, Fowler is a regular speaker on objects, the Unified Modeling Language, and patterns.
The practice of enterprise application development has benefited from the emergence of many new enabling technologies. Multi-tiered object-oriented platforms, such as Java and .NET, have become commonplace. These new tools and technologies are capable of building powerful applications, but they are not easily implemented. Common failures in enterprise applications often occur because their developers do not understand the architectural lessons that experienced object developers have learned.
Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture is written in direct response to the stiff challenges that face enterprise application developers. The author, noted object-oriented designer Martin Fowler, noticed that despite changes in technology--from Smalltalk to CORBA to Java to .NET--the same basic design ideas can be adapted and applied to solve common problems. With the help of an expert group of contributors, Martin distills over forty recurring solutions into patterns. The result is an indispensable handbook of solutions that are applicable to any enterprise application platform.
This book is actually two books in one. The first section is a short tutorial on developing enterprise applications, which you can read from start to finish to understand the scope of the book's lessons. The next section, the bulk of the book, is a detailed reference to the patterns themselves. Each pattern provides usage and implementation information, as well as detailed code examples in Java or C#. The entire book is also richly illustrated with UML diagrams to further explain the concepts.
Armed with this book, you will have the knowledge necessary to make important architectural decisions about building an enterprise application and the proven patterns for use when building them.
The topics covered include
· Dividing an enterprise application into layers
· The major approaches to organizing business logic
· An in-depth treatment of mapping between objects and relational databases
· Using Model-View-Controller to organize a Web presentation
· Handling concurrency for data that spans multiple transactions
· Designing distributed object interfaces
101 of 109 people found the following review helpful
Great book, but nothing particularly new,
This review is from: Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture (Hardcover)I agree wholeheartedly with an above post which pointed out that the subject material is mostly known to the average enterprise developer. I am at best an average developer and found I'd already thought of much of this stuff myself.
One thing I would like to add is that this book was still excellent reading and skimming through the patterns sparked my creative energies. I find that when I read through it, even if I 'know' the patterns already, it helps me explore their organization and consequences.
I was disappointed that I wasn't blown away with helpful new concepts, but quite happy with my purchase all the same. Buy this if you want a thorough guide to EAA and maybe some enjoyable afternoon reading.
(The following was added about 2 months after the original review) After owning this book for awhile, I've found it more and more indispensible. My original review, above, mentions that few of the concepts seem new, however, now that I've read it more thoroughly and applied some... Read more
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
The right path to creating enterprise applications.,
This review is from: Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture (Hardcover)Fowler avoids giving a precise definition of an enterprise application, preferring to list a set of characteristics that most share. In general, they are very large systems, with many user interface screens used to concurrently access and update an enormous amount of data. In nearly all cases, the data must be persistent, in fact it most often is very persistent, meaning that it has to live through iterations of the software, alterations of the operating system, changes in the hardware, and staff and programmer turnover.
Furthermore, enterprise applications usually must communicate with other applications, which are often just as large and complex. Examples include payroll and patient records, credit card processing, insurance claim processing, banking, and foreign exchange trading. In short, most of the programs that run the modern global economy, which are many of the most complex software projects currently in use. Finally, the programs must be constructed so that they can... Read more
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
Best J2EE / .Net Design Pattern Book,
This review is from: Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture (Hardcover)This is the best book I've found on J2EE and .Net patterns. I think it's destined to become a classic. I found the discussions on when to distrbute ('sell your favorite grandmother first'), Unit Of Work, Domain Model and Data Mapper patterns extremely useful. It has changed the way I think about enterprise applications.
I think it fits somewhere between the original 'Design Patterns' book, by Gamma, et al, and a book like 'J2EE Patterns' in terms of its scope. 'Design Patterns' describes existing patterns that are applicable to any kind of application. 'J2EE Patterns' describes patterns in terms of one platform (although many of them apply to other platforms as well.) Fowler's book describes a set of patterns that work with a certain kind of application, business apps, but that are applicable to more than one platform.
It's better than the 'J2EE Patterns' book, which doesn't do a good job explaining which parts of J2EE to avoid, and which 'patterns' are in fact workarounds... Read more
› See all 81 customer reviews...
Online Sample Chapters
Table of Contents
I. THE NARRATIVES.
II. THE PATTERNS.
In the spring of 1999 I flew to Chicago to consult on a project being done by ThoughtWorks, a small but rapidly growing application development company. The project was one of those ambitious enterprise application projects: a back-end leasing system. Essentially what this system does is to deal with everything that happens to a lease after you've signed on the dotted line. It has to deal with sending out bills, handling someone upgrading one of the assets on the lease, chasing people who don't pay their bills on time, and figuring out what happens when someone returns the assets early. That doesn't sound too bad until you realize that leasing agreements are infinitely varied and horrendously complicated. The business "logic" rarely fits any logical pattern, because after all its written by business people to capture business, where odd small variations can make all the difference in winning a deal. Each of those little victories is yet more complexity to the system.
That's the kind of thing that gets me excited: how to take all that complexity and come up with system of objects that can make more tractable. Indeed I belive that the primary benefit of objects is in making complex logic tractable. Developing a good Domain Model (133) for a complex business problem is difficult, but wonderfully satisfying.
Yet that's not the end of the problem. Such a domain model has to persisted to a database, and like many projects we were using a relational database. We also had to connect this model to a user interface, provide support to allow remote applications to use our software, and integrate our software with third party packages. All of this on a new technology called J2EE which nobody in the world had any real experience in using.
Even though this technology was new, we did have the benefit of experience. I'd been doing this kind of thing for ages now with C++, Smalltalk, and CORBA. Many of the ThoughtWorkers had a lot of experience with Forte. We already had the key architectural ideas in our heads, we just had to figure out how to apply them to J2EE. Looking back on it three years later the design is not perfect, but it's stood the test of time pretty damn well.
That's the kind of situation that is where this book comes in. Over the years I've seen many enterprise application projects. These projects often contain similar design ideas which have proven to be effective ways to deal with the inevitable complexity that enterprise applications possess. This book is a starting point to capture these design ideas as patterns.
The book is organized in two parts. The first part is a set of narrative chapters on a number of important topics in the design of enterprise applications. They introduce various problems in the architecture of enterprise applications and their solutions. However the narrative chapters don't go into much detail on these solutions. The details of the solutions are in the second part, organized as patterns. These patterns are a reference and I don't expect you to read them cover to cover. My intention is that you can read the narrative chapters in part one from start to finish to get a broad picture of what the book covers, then you can dip into the patterns chapters of part two as your interest and needs drive you. So this book is a short narrative book and a longer reference book combined into one.
This is a book on enterprise application design. Enterprise applications are about the display, manipulation and storage of large amounts of often complex data and the support or automation of business processes with that data. Examples include reservation systems, financial systems, supply chain systems, and many of the systems that run modern business. Enterprise applications have their own particular challenges and solutions. They are a different animal to embedded systems, control systems, telecoms, or desktop productivity software. So if you work in of these other fields, there's nothing really in this book for you (unless you want to get a feel for what enterprise applications are like.) For a general book on software architecture I'd recommend POSA.
There are many architectural issues in building enterprise applications. I'm afraid this book can't be a comprehensive guide to them. In building software I'm a great believer in iterative development. At the heart of iterative development is the notion that you should deliver software as soon as you have something useful to the user, even if it's not complete. Although there are many differences between writing a book and writing software, this notion is one that I think the two share. So this book is an incomplete but (I trust) useful compendium of advice on enterprise application architecture. The primary topics I talk about are:
The list of things I don't talk about is rather longer. I really fancied writing about organizing validation, incorporating messaging and asynchronous communication, security, error handling, clustering, application integration, architectural refactoring, structuring rich-client user interfaces, amongst others. I can only hope to see some patterns appear for this work in the near future. However due to space, time, and lack of cogitation you won't find them in this book. Perhaps I'll do a second volume someday and get into these topics, or maybe someone else will fill these, and other, gaps.
Of these, dealing with message based communication is a particularly big issue. Increasingly people who are integrating multiple applications are making use of asynchronous message based communication approaches. There's much to said for using them within an application as well.
This book is not intended to be specific for any particular software platform. I first came across these patterns while working with Smalltalk, C++, and CORBA in the late 80's and early 90's. In the late 90's I started to do extensive work in Java and found these patterns applied well both to early Java/CORBA systems and later J2EE based work. More recently I've been doing some initial work with Microsoft's .NET platform and find the patterns apply again. My ThoughtWorks colleagues have also introduced their experiences, particularly with Forte. I can't claim generality across all platforms that ever have been or will be used for enterprise applications, but so far these patterns have shown enough recurrence to be useful.
I have provided code examples for most of these patterns. My choice of language for the code examples is based on what I think most readers are likely to be able to read and understand. Java's a good choice here. Anyone who can read C or C++ can read Java, yet Java is much less complex than C++. Essentially most C++ programmers can read Java but not vice versa. I'm an object bigot, so inevitably lean to an OO language. As a result most of the code examples are in Java. As I was working on the book Microsoft started stabilizing their .NET environment, and their C# language has most of the same properties as Java for an author. So I did some of the code examples in C# as well, although that does introduce some risk since developers don't have much experience with .NET yet and so the idioms for using it well are less mature. Both are C-based languages so if you can read one you should be able to read both, even if you aren't deeply into that language or platform. My aim was to use a language that the largest amount of software developers can read, even if it's not their primary or preferred language. (My apologies to those who like Smalltalk, Delphi, Visual Basic, Perl, Python, Ruby, COBOL or any other language. I know you think you know a better language than Java or C#, all I can say is I do too!)
The examples are there for inspiration and explanation of the ideas in the patterns. They are not canned solutions, in all cases you'll need to do a fair bit of work to fit them into your application. Patterns are useful starting points, but they are not destinations.
Who This book Is For
I've written this book for programmers, designers, and architects who are building enterprise applications and who want to either improve their understanding of these architectural issues or improve their communication about them.
I'm assuming that most of my readers will fall into two groups: either those with modest needs who are looking to build their own software to handle these issues, or readers with more demanding needs who will be using a tool. For those of modest needs, my intention is that these patters should get you started. In many areas you'll need more than the patterns will give you, but my intention is to provide more of a head start in this field than I got. For tool users I hope this book will be useful to give you some idea of what's happening under the hood, but also help you in making choices between which of the tool supported patterns to use. Using, say, an object-relational mapping tool still means you have to make decisions about how to map certain situations. Reading the patterns should give you some guidance in making the choices.
There is a third category, those with demanding needs who want to build their own software for these problems. The first thing I'd say here is look carefully at using tools. I've seen more than one project get sucked into a long exercise at building frameworks which weren't what project was really about. If you're still convinced, go ahead. Remember in this case that many of the code examples in this book are deliberately simplified to help understanding, and you'll find you'll need to do a lot tweaking to handle the greater demands that you'll face.
Since patterns are common solutions to recurring problems, there's a good chance that you'll have already come across some of them. If you've been working in enterprise applications for a while, you may well know most of them. I'm not claiming to have anything new in this book. Indeed I claim the opposite--this is a book of (for our industry) old ideas. If you're new to this field I hope you'll like this book to help you learn about these techniques. If you're more familiar with the techniques I hope you'll like this book because it helps you communicate and teach these ideas to others. An important part of patterns is trying to build a common vocabulary, so you can say that this class is a Remote Facade (413) and other designers know what you mean.
Martin Fowler, Melrose MA, May 2002
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