on July 22, 2003
I have had the pleasure of working with David Frankel for a number of years on Object Management Group efforts, so I expected a lot from this book. I wasn't disappointed.
Dave has written a clear, pragmatic guide to what MDA is and, more importantly, what really can (and cannot) be practically accomplished with MDA today. He unerringly focuses on the highest payoff areas for most projects, such as the generation of code from data models. He also brings his years of experience in developing enterprise systems to bear, clearly describing the specific issues involved in applying MDA in this difficult area.
The book gives a thorough presentation of the concepts behind MDA -- including the clearest discussion I have seen anywhere of OMG's Meta Object Facility, a perennial topic of confusion. Nevertheless, I don't really consider this a book on "MDA" as such. It is, indeed, a book on APPLYING MDA, as the title states.
If you are looking for a more theoretical presentation or a grand vision of how MDA will work someday, you may be disappointed. But if you are looking for techniques you can start applying the week after you finish the book, this is the book you want to be finishing.
I am currently Chief Architect at a company that is in the process of making the cultural and technical shift to model-driven development. I found this book so relevant to where we are and the next steps we need to take toward MDA, that I had the company buy copies for all our architects, plus a few extras to circulate among the developers. I even had my boss (the company president) read Part One, which provided just the right level of overview for him (plus Michael Guttman's forward, which is a fun read in itself).
If you are in a similar situation where you work, I couldn't suggest a better book as a helpful change agent. And if you simply want to know how to start applying MDA techniques for enterprise development, this is where to find out.
on February 18, 2003
This is a seriously good book. If you're at all interested in MDA, get it! Not only does it provide a comprehensive introduction to MDA - with detailed but simple examples, not only does it set MDA squarely in its industry perspective, not only is Part I an excellent overview that stands by itself, not only does it put the discussion in the context of a typical scalable enterprise distributed architecture, not only only is it authoritative, but it's also easy to read!
There are respected practioners in the industry who say that MDA will eventually turn out to be the thing that moves the effort and intellectual property involved in applications away from being embedded in code, and into design - just like in most other industries. In other words, MDA will be the catalyst for a fast evolution to a much higher level of application development - equivalent to the move from Assembler to 3GL (and a few say Assembler direct to 4GL!). Certainly the tools vendors seem to be jumping on the bandwagon, and not just in their hype, but in the MDA capabilities their products are providing. Whatever side you're on, if you want to equip yourself with the facts to better assess MDA, then this is the book to buy.
on February 10, 2003
Dave Frankel is the perfect person to write a book on MDA. First, he's been on the Architecture Board of the OMG for as long as I can remember. He has been involved in the development of MDA from the beginning, and is intimately aware of all the details of this complex undertaking. And, he's a writer with a very precise and clear style. I can remember, several years ago, being asked to edit a paper Dave had written. He'd written a 24 page paper on CORBA, J2EE and .NET. I was asked to create a 15 page version of the paper. After several days I gave up. The only solution was a completely new paper. The paper Dave had written was so well put together, so clear, and preceded by such logical steps, that the removal of any paragraph, let along two pages, would simply ruin a really great piece of instruction.
Dave has another virtue that he brings to this book: He is scrupulously honest. At each step, he explains just what currently exists, what will need to be created, and what one can do in the meantime. This book not only explains MDA, but it lets managers know exactly what will really be involved in actually implementing MDA in their organizations.
This is a book for corporate managers and architects who are thinking about MDA and need to really understand how it works. Such a reader would have a basic knowledge of UML, and the ability to read pseudo code. The book develops a currency options trading example to illustrate some of the concepts. This book will be the bible for everyone who is trying to learn or use MDA in the course of the next few years. I can't imagine that anyone could write anything clearer about this very complex and powerful new approach to software development. Every software architect needs to read this book.
on March 17, 2003
This has got to be one of those books you will see on your computer shelf for years to come. Frankel has taken a seemingly complex topic, model driven architecture, and reduced it to straight-forward explanations written in an easy to understand style. His command of the topic is astounding (as were his contributions to MDA itself)! I highly recommend this book to enterprise architects, senior analysts and IT professional consultants.