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Download Ruby on Rails Enterprise Application Development: Plan, Program, Extend: Building a complete Ruby on Rails business application from start to finish epub

by Elliot Smith,Rob Nichols

This book is aimed at developers who already have some familiarity with the Ruby on Rails framework and who want to move on from the basic tutorials. In particular, it is aimed at those who wish to use the unique attributes of Rails to develop and roll out business applications. It concentrates on application development as a whole process, and is intended to complement existing Rails tutorials. This book is aimed at developers who want to find out how to rapidly build easily-deployed, easily-supported business applications. It is for developers who have learned Ruby on Rails, probably from one of the tutorial books, and want to apply that knowledge to effectively build full, realistic applications.
Download Ruby on Rails Enterprise Application Development: Plan, Program, Extend: Building a complete Ruby on Rails business application from start to finish epub
ISBN: 1847190855
ISBN13: 978-1847190857
Category: Technology
Subcategory: Web Development & Design
Author: Elliot Smith,Rob Nichols
Language: English
Publisher: Packt Publishing (October 22, 2007)
Pages: 528 pages
ePUB size: 1745 kb
FB2 size: 1158 kb
Rating: 4.9
Votes: 578
Other Formats: lrf rtf doc azw

It's very clear from posts on the rails email list that there's space for books that take the novice developer beyond what they learn in beginners' books like Agile Web Development With Ruby on Rails. Those books will help you build your first app and get a sense of the structure of Rails but before long you'll want to write code that needs to be reusable between models, or across projects, or to interface with services other than databases. The beginners' books, by definition, don't deal with intermediate topics. That's the niche _Ruby on Rails Enterprise Application Development_ sets out to fill, but sadly it doesn't offer much beyond those beginners' guides.

Based on the title, I had expected going in that the book would be mostly focussed on cross-systems integration such as the use of LDAP, web services (particularly SOAP), connecting to multiple and/or legacy databases and other topics often lumped together as "enterprisey" which push at the rails conventions or require them to be abandoned. In fact the book would be better titled along the lines of "Up and running on Ruby on Rails in a small business" as the application developed through the course of its chapters is very simple and doesn't demonstrate much about Rails itself that couldn't be gleaned from AWDwRoR or one of its competitors.

Where some may find this book most useful is in the attention paid to windows-based development and to deployment (where it focusses on unix-based systems). Most of the books currently on the market do touch on using windows, but the authors of this one clearly use it themselves and actually advocate the use of an IDE for windows development. If your tastes run to Eclipse on Windows, that may draw you to this.

Though the book references Rails 1.2.3, the application built inside could just as easily have been built on Rails 1.1. The app is CRUD-based, but there is no mention of REST or map.resources, despite the fact that they could have simplified it. Authors don't have to buy into the prevailing wisdom in the rails community, but it's a shame when strategies that can simplify apps aren't covered.

Perhaps more worrying given that Rails 2.0 is now out the door and will be the default for anyone starting out with this book now is the use of deprecated techniques such as dynamic scaffolds (the scaffold keyword was removed 10 months ago in changeset 6306) and old-style pagination (which left in changeset 6992 back in June)

There certainly aren't as many books out there for newcomers to Rails as there are for some other languages/frameworks, so its inevitable that more are to come. It's a shame that already at least two such books have been pitched at intermediate developers rather than their more correct audience, and hopefully that trend won't continue. It would also be very helpful if packt would publish an addendum to this volume detailing the aspects that no longer work in Rails 2.0. Missing some great new feature in Edge Rails is one thing, but it's quite another to rely on features that were scheduled for removal over six months before a book goes to press.

Disclaimer: I was sent a free copy of this book to review.
"Ruby on Rails Enterprise Application Development" states that it's aimed at corporate developers who already have a rudimentary knowledge of Rails but who want to move on to building a full-scale application with a view to deployment within the enterprise. Despite this, the book still covers some of the basics like installing Rails, creating a new application, getting an IDE, installing a database engine, and so forth, although there seem to be rather random expectations that you already know certain things about Ruby further on.

An interesting concept used in this book is an underlying narrative based around a fictional company that has various problems that can be solved using Ruby on Rails. It forms the basis of a chatty, friendly, but ultimately pragmatic approach that permeates the book. The narrative also enables the authors to guide readers through an "enterprise" problem in the way that developers at such an enterprise would approach it, which takes the book far out of the realm of dry, reference material, and into practical, hand-held, tutorial land.

In short, I really like this book and I think it's an excellent place for developers within a corporate environment (as opposed to independent developers) to start. Unfortunately, however, it also suffers from the breakneck speed that Rails is advancing at, as it squarely focuses on techniques used with the Rails 1.0.x, 1.1.x and 1.2.x revisions, with no coverage of formats, REST, and all the various Rails 2.0 goodies. I don't consider this a major failing, however, as this is a great book to bridge the gaping chasm between, say, Agile Web Development with Rails and The Rails Way, and it is perfectly tailored to its market.
Excellent manual which emphasizes the problem-solving process and the design / deployment issues involved in developing solutions, rather than taking a simple template or cookbook approach.

This book is not intended for users who want to develop exotic uses, nor does it require users to be familiar with more complex web-based applications. It is most valuable for the ways in which it instructs users in the planning, development, and deployment processes.

Rails is a great open-source framework, but, like almost all open-source, the documentation can be rather frustrating because it does not necessarily provide the materials a user might need. This book overcomes that shortcoming by guiding the user very clearly, and not restricting the applications.

One aspect of this manual that I like is that it can help make elearning solutions more efficient by using the Ruby on Rails web development framework. The book, which is intended for users who have a basic familiarity with the framework, and who wish to develop their own applications or enterprise solutions, contains valuable guidance and insight.