Conversation with Fowler: Finding patterns that work on many platforms

[PROGRAMMERS REPORT, November 5, 2002] -- Our favorite technical books are often reference books. That is, there are some books that you don't read straight through, put down and then proceed with your task; instead, you read the reference book at some leisure, keep it near and refer to it as you go about your daily efforts.

Just out from Addison Wesley, Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture aspires to be such a book, and it succeeds pretty well. Author Martin Fowler, chief scientist with ThoughtWorks, provides some recipes for scalable app building that work across computer and software platforms.

Fowler is a font of distributed systems implementation knowledge, and some of his friends, several of whom contributed to this book, are fonts as well.

The book makes use of design patterns to organize ways of finding solutions to problems common in application development and design in the modern enterprise. A pattern, said Fowler in a recent conversation with Programmers Report, is a way of thinking in terms of common problems and solutions.

An example in enterprise application architecture is the Remote Facade, which is a coarse-grained wrapper placed over a web of fine-grained software objects. Fowler suggests such means as a useful way to approach so-called Web services designs. The pattern known as the Remote Facade has been described by key thinkers in software patterns before; Fowler's contribution is to give further real-world context to the application of such a pattern in software architecture.

Patterns as depicted here tend not to be tied to platforms. ''One of the things important to me about the book is that patterns cross different platforms,'' said Fowler. ''Java and .NET are the obvious two. These are patterns that apply whatever your basic platforms are.''

For more about Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture on the Addison Wesley site, please go to,4096,0321127420,00.html

For more about Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture on the Web site, please go to

Martin Fowler's Web site,

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About the Author

Jack Vaughan is former Editor-at-Large at Application Development Trends magazine.


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