Packt have made another Oracle book available for free today as part of their Free Learning initiative. For the next 24 hours you can get a book on Oracle Data Integrator 11g Cookbook from https://www.packtpub.com/packt/offers/free-learning
So aside from a horrible couple of weeks with everyone being ill and manic work loads. Its been busy time with the books.
The final chapter review for a new Packt book on Apache Camel (Mastering Apache Camel) went back. So I’d expect the book to coming out soon. I’d suggest this is a companion text to the exceedingly good Apache Camel Developer’s Cookbook (which I’ve blogged about previously here). The new book approaches Apache Camel more from a pure development platform mentality rather than from the integrator approach. If you’re familiar with Camel basics or want to focus on realising good pattern based integration then start with the Cookbook. If you’re new to Camel and/or being asked to write custom Components or End Points then start with Mastering Apache Camel but go on to the Cookbook as it should show best practise Camel integration will be applied. The Mastering Apache Camel doesn’t address advanced things such as SEDA which the Cookbook definitely does. The Mastering book does an excellent job of covering things like Unit testing (in part because the Camel capability has developed).
As one book wraps up, another starts, with a 2nd Edition of Java EE Development with Eclipse which I expect will bring the book upto date with the latest capabilities of Eclipse and take in the JEE updates upto JEE v7; we’ll see where this takes us.
This the final part of the detailed look at Packt book, Learning Ansible. As the book says in the opening to chapter 6 we’re into the back straight, into the final mile. The first of two final chapters look at provisioning of platforms on Amazon AWS, DigitalOcean and the use of the very hip and cool Docker plus updating your inventory of systems given that we have dynamically introduced new ones. The approach is illustrated by not only instantiating servers but delivering a configured Hadoop cluster. As with everything else we’ve seen in Ansible there isn’t a standardised approach to all IaaS platforms as that restricts you the lowest common denominator which is contrary to Ansible goals described early on. But deploying the Hadoop elements on the two cloud IaaS providers is common. Although the chapter is pretty short, I did have to read through this more carefully, as the book leverages a lot of demonstrated features from previous chapters (configuration arrays etc) which meant seeing the key element of the interaction with AWS was harder. It does mean if you tried diving into this chapter straight away, although not impossible does require a bit more investment from the reader to see all the value points. That said it is great to see through the use of the various features how easy to setup the provisioning in the cloud is, and the inventory update. Perhaps the win would have been to just so the simple provision and then the clever approach.
Chapter 7 focuses on Deployment. When I read this, I was a little nonplussed, hadn’t we been reading about this in the previous 6 chapters. But when you look at the definition provided:
“To position (troops) in readiness for combat, as along a front or line.”
Excerpt From: “Learning Ansible.” Packt Publishing.
You can start to see the true target of what we’re really thinking about, which is the process of going from software build to production readiness. So having gone through the software packaging activities you need to orchestrate the deployment across potentially multiple servers across a server farm. This orchestration piece is really just pulling together everything that has been explained before but also share some Ansible best practise. Then finally an examination of the Ansible approach for the nodes to pull deployments and updates.
The final piece of the book is an Appendix which looks at the work to bring Ansible to the Windows platform, Ansible Galaxy and Ansible Tower. Ansible Galaxy is a repository of roles build by the Ansible community. Ansible Tower provides a web front end to the Ansible server. The Tower product is the commercial side of the Ansible company – and effectively sales here fund the full time Ansible development effort.
So to summarise …
The Learning Ansible book explains from first principles to the very rich capabilities of building packaging software, instantiating cloud servers or containers through to configuring systems and deploying applications into new environments; and then capturing instantiated system details into the Ansible inventory. How Ansible compares with the more established solutions in this space in the form of Puppet and Chef is discussed, and the pros and cons of the different tools. All the way through, the books has been written in an easy engaging manner. You might even say wonderfully written. The examples are very good with the possible exception of 2 cases (just merely good in my opinion), the examples are supported with very clear explanations that demonstrate the power of the Ansible product. Even if you choose not to use Ansible, this book does an excellent job of showing the value of not resorting to the ‘black art’ of system build and configuration and suggesting good ways to realising automation of this kind of activity, in many place undoubtedly thought provoking
Prior Review Parts:
As you can see through my blog, Packt have some great books – https://mp3muncher.wordpress.com/tag/packt/ some of which I have helped with during their development (a little shameless self promotion).
So head over to http://bit.ly/1C4FAaQ
It has been an interesting week. Packt Publishing out of the blue asked if I would be interested in authoring a book on Apache Camel targeted towards more tech manager and architect types. I have admit to having declined the opportunity in part because I’ve promised to put some presentations together of the UKOUG Middleware Special Interest Group (SIG), but also there are a number of Apache Camel books already out there including the one I technically reviewed for Packt (Apache Camel Developer’s Cookbook) co-authored by someone I have worked with in the past.
It did promote some thoughts about book authoring, and currently Packt have a gap in their coverage of the technologies that underpin JBoss Fuse, namely Apache ZooKeeper (which also underpins aspects of Hadoop and many others) which would make for an interesting project. Once we’ve got the SIG activities done perhaps something worth coming back to.
My friends at Packt Publishing have just told me they are repeating last year’s amazing offer of ebooks at a flat price of $5 (for us Brits that’s £3.05) go here. The Offer runs from sometime today (19th Dec) through to the 3rd of January.
The offer covers both their Open Source books, but also their Enterprise books as well (lots of Oracle and Microsoft publications).
Given the pricing you can’t go wrong. I know last year I ended up with about 6 months of technical reading.
Checkout : http://bit.ly/1jdCr2W
The blog posts have been a bit slow of late as I’ve been deep into reviewing books for Packt Publishing. But thought I’d share the fact that Packt are running a big promotion at the moment, offering 50% off all their books if you use the discount code COL50 as part of the celebration of Columbus Day. The offer currently runs until the Thursday 17th October.
The version of the book I’ve reviewed was very, very good. I have to admit I went into reviewing this book with high expectations given the fact I’ve worked with Jakub and know the calibre of his output whilst he was consulting for FuseSource (now part of RedHat JBoss) and I’ve not been disappointed.
You can read the book as either a guide to Apache Camel as each recipe builds upon the preceding recipe; or as a dive in as you need a solution to a problem as each recipe pretty much stands up in its own right (cross referencing other supporting recipes or key preceding recipes). The book explains not only how to do something – from simple routing & filtering through to XA transactions with one of the leading orchestration technology frameworks.
From Jakub & Scott’s fine technical guide, I’ve started to look at a book on Applied SOA Patterns on the Oracle Platform part of Packt’s Enterprise series of books. I cant say too much on this book yet – it is going to be a fairly chunky book at around 500 pages. Will post more once we’ve got well into the book I’m sure.