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I am going to suggest a book that is very easy to read yet deals with such topics as transactions, TP monitors, Stored Procedures (TP-lite) and the pros and cons of the various middleware architectures in some detail. The book is "Essential Client/Server Survival Guide" by Ofali, Harkey and Edwards published by Wiley (ISBN: 0471-31615-6). The third edition (which illustrates it popularity) was published in 1999 and its arguments remain valid. And - NO, I do not get any commission!
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