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Software Project Secrets: Why Software Projects Fail, George Stepanek. This book reaches out to managers, developers, and customers who use industry-standard methologies but those projects still struggle to succeed. The author uncovers 10 hidden assumptions in project management that aren't valid for software development, then shows how these assumptions can cause projects to fail.
The author also analyzes the project management methodology, explains how it can create problems, and describes 12 ways in which software projects differ from other project types. He then offers seven techniques that can help developers create a realistic plan and stick to it.
Apress; www.apress.com; 1-59059-550-5; 192 pp.
FIT for Developing Software: Framework for Integrated Tests, Rick Mugridge and Ward Cunningham. The Fit open source testing framework can bring unprecedented agility to the entire development process. Using a realistic case study, the authors describe each of Fit's underlying concepts and techniques, then explain how readers can put Fit to work incrementally, with the lowest possible risk.
The book's highlights include integrating Fit into development processes; using it to promote effective communication between business people, testers, and developers; expressing business rules that define calculations, decisions, and business processes; and connecting Fit tables to the system with fixtures that check whether tests are actually satisfied. A companion Web site ( http://fit.c2.com/) offers additional resources and source code.
Prentice Hall PTR; www.phptr.com; 0-321-26934-9; 384 pp.
Core Security Patterns: Best Practices and Strategies for J2EE, Web Services, and Identity Management, Christopher Steel, Ramesh Nagappan, and Ray Lai. This book offers a hands-on practitioner's guide to building robust end-to-end security into J2EE enterprise applications, Web services, identity management, service provisioning, and personal identification solutions. Written by three leading Java security architects, the book describes a patterns-driven approach that fully reflects today's best practices for security in large-scale, industrial-strength applications.
The authors explain the fundamentals of Java application security from the ground up, then introduce a powerful, structured security methodology; a vendor-independent security framework; a detailed assessment checklist; and 23 proven security architectural patterns. Several realistic scenarios cover architecture and implementation and present detailed sample code.
Prentice Hall PTR; www.phptr.com; 0-13-146307-1; 1,088 pp.
Agent Intelligence Through Data Mining, Andreas L. Symeonidis and Pericles A. Mitkas. Knowledge, hidden in the voluminous data repositories routinely created and maintained by today's applications, can be extracted through data mining and transformed into inference mechanisms or used simply to determine the behavior of agents and multiagent systems. The authors address this issue and the arguable challenge of generating intelligence from data while transferring it to a separate, possibly autonomous, software entity.
This book contains a methodology, tools and techniques, and several examples of agent-based applications developed with this approach. It focuses mainly on using data mining for smarter, more efficient agents. Designed for a professional audience of researchers and practitioners in industry, this book is also suitable for graduate-level computer science students.
Springer; www.springeronline.com; 0-387-24352-6; 206 pp.
Learning Design: A Handbook on Modeling and Delivering Networked Education and Training, Rob Koper and Colin Tattersall, eds. Still in its infancy, e-learning lacks content portability and user-friendly tools to exploit the opportunities offered by current technologies. To overcome these deficiencies, the IMS Global Learning Consortium released the Learning Design Specification in 2003. Developers can use Learning Design to create and present advanced, interoperable e-learning courses that embrace educational role- and game-playing methods, problem-based learning, learning-community approaches, adaptivity and peer coaching, and assessment methods.
The authors have assembled contributions from members of the Valkenburg Group, which consists of 33 experts deeply involved in e-learning and, more specifically, learning design. The result is a rich source of information for both e-learning courses and tool developers that provides information about the specification itself, how to implement it in practice, what tools to use, and what pitfalls to avoid.
Springer; www.springeronline.com; 3-540-22814-4; 412 pp.