A Developer's Guide to Amazon SimpleDB

Author: Mocky Habeeb
Publisher: Addison-Wesley
Pages: 288
ISBN: 978-0321623638
Aimed at: Developers who want to use or evaluate SimpleDB
Rating: 4
Pros:  Comprehensive
Cons: Lacks clarity
Reviewed by: Ian Elliot


A whole book on SimpleDB? Is it as simple as you might be led to expect?

Author: Mocky Habeeb
Publisher: Addison-Wesley, 2010
Pages: 288
ISBN: 978-0321623638
Aimed at: Developers who want to use or evaluate SimpleDB
Rating: 4
Pros:  Comprehensive
Cons: Lacks clarity
Reviewed by: Ian Elliot

A whole book on SimpleDB? Is is, after all, called "Simple" DB. However, this book isn't so huge as to overdo the explanations or go off topic and, if you are well-versed in SQL or traditional database ideas, then you might find the SimpleDB isn't quite as simple as you expect. It does have elements of SQL but, being a cloud database, there is a lot that doesn't work in the same way.


Banner

In fact the first problem you will face is working out when it is a good idea to use SimpleDB at all. The first chapter deals with this topic by explaining what SimpleDB is and what moving to the cloud means in terms of costs and its effect on working practices. There is also a lot of "persuasion" that using something other than SQL isn't a mortal sin. There is a particularly nice section on "Dodging Copies of C.J. Date" and how to cope with other SQL devotees and their reaction to anything other than pure SQL.

My guess is that, if you believe that SQL is the one and only true way to deal with database, the evangelism isn't going to be effective in changing your mind. If this is that case you are going to have to forgo the delights of the cloud because SQL really doesn't take advantage of the way it works.

Some readers will get all they need to know from Chapter 1 but, if you are still with the program, Chapter 2 explaines how to get started with SimpleDB. After signing up to Amazon AWS your first task is to build an Administration tool using Java. This makes heavy use of a client implementation which is discussed in Chapter 10. This probably isn't a good way approach to SimpleDB because the reader doesn't get to see any real working code; just method calls which don't really explain what is going on. It might be a useful tool to have but it isn't a good introduction to SimpleDB. 

Chapter 2 does a better job of introducing the basics and you should give the earlier chapter a quick read and move on. It describes how to work with three of the main libraries - Java, PHP, C# and Python.  Chapter 3 continues the introduction with a "code-snippet tour" of the API. This shows you how to do the basic operations in each of the languages.

The remainder of the book deals with more advanced topics. Select and bulk data operations are the subject of Chapters 4 and 5. Chapter 6 is a general look at the consequences and benefits of working in a distributed way. It deals with issues of availability and eventual consistency. It also discusses the particular problem of working with items bigger than 1K, including working with S3.

From here the book looks at lifecycle, security and performance until we reach Chapters 10 and 11, where the client code that was used in Chapter 2 is introduced.

Overall this is not the best possible book on the topic because it doesn't make it really easy for the complete beginner. If, on the other hand, you are a fairly competent programmer then this has a lot to offer. If you are thinking of using SimpleDB then you probably should buy this book to find out if this is the way to get the job done.

With the caveat that the reader isn't a complete beginner this is certainly worth getting hold of if you are using, or are planning to use, SimpleDB.


Banner


Professional jQuery

Author: Cesar Otero & Rob Larsen
Publisher: Wrox
Pages: 336
ISBN: 978-1118026687
Audience: Intermediate JavaScript programmers
Rating: 3
Reviewer: Ian Elliot

jQuery is mostly easy to use - it would have to be to become so popular - but that doesn't mean that there aren't some more sophisticated b [ ... ]



HTML5: The Missing Manual

Author: Matthew MacDonald
Publisher: O'Reilly, 2010
Pages: 448
ISBN: 978-1449302399
Aimed at: JavaScript programmers
Rating: 5
Pros: An easy, yet authoritative, read
Cons: Weak on CSS3
Reviewed by: Ian Elliot

 

HTML5 - there's no way to avoid it and no going back. Does this book help you embrace it?


More Reviews

Last Updated ( Thursday, 06 October 2011 )
 
 

   
RSS feed of book reviews only
I Programmer Book Reviews
RSS feed of all content
I Programmer Book Reviews
Copyright © 2014 i-programmer.info. All Rights Reserved.
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU/GPL License.