You may find that you may later have to buy some more specialised references, but this book is a compelling package to get you started.
If you are looking for a book to get you started with CORBA programming in Java, this will probably be the book for you. It won't teach you Java and if you are getting serious about CORBA you will need some detailed references on IDL and CORBA architecture later, but this book will prepare good foundation.
The book begins with the obligatory overview chapters; the benefits of Java/CORBA programming and introductions to the basics of Java, CORBA and Java ORBs (Object Request Brokers). The next chapter, though, gets straight to the heart of the subject by building an interesting sample application. This takes us through to page 130. What follows in the remaining 370 pages is a thorough, accessible discussion of all the relevant topics. The OMG IDL to Java mapping is discussed at some length, as is the ORB runtime system. The authors explain the concept of service discovery and some practical issues in building real application. Another chapter introduces the event service, while a chapter on 'Advanced Features' introduces you to a more dynamic world part of the CORBA universe.
The final two chapters take a slightly broader view and deal with the actual deployment of CORBA applications. Security, Performance, Stability and Maintenance are the keywords here. Of course these topics deserve more comprehensive treatment, but the discussion in this book will at least provide a reasonable starting point.
The complete code is available on the web site (http://www.wiley.com/compbooks/vogel/), together with a sample chapter if you want to peek before you buy. There is also an errata page, which is reassuringly empty.
I have one small gripe. Why do authors (or publishers) insist on putting brief overviews of languages into specialist books like these? A 22 page sketch of Java will not give you anything than anything of value - and surely anyone approaching CORBA programming with Java will attempt to learn the language from other sources.
This small complaint notwithstanding, this is an excellent book and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a solid introductory to intermediate book on the subject. You may find that you may later have to buy some more specialised references, but this book is a compelling package to get you started.