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|Posted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 8:56 pm Post subject: Book Review - Java EE 5 Development using GAS
Java EE 5 Development using GlassFish Application Server
Author(s): David R. Heffelfinger
Publisher: Packt Publishing
Date Published: October 2007
Book Specifications: Softcover, 408 pages
Publisher's Suggested User Level: Experienced Java Developers
Reviewer's Recommended User Level: Intermediate
Suggested Publisher Price: $49.99 US / £30.99 UK
Amazon.com: Java EE 5 Development using GlassFish
Amazon.co.uk: Java EE 5 Development using GlassFish
Blurb from back cover:
GlassFish is a free, open-source Java EE 5-compliant application server that is quickly gaining massive popularity. This book explains GlassFish installation and configuration, and then moves on to Java EE 5 application development, covering all major Java EE 5 APIs. The book aims to speed up the reader in Java EE 5 Development.
Chapter 1 - Getting Started with GlassFish
Chapter 2 - Servlet Development and Deployment
Chapter 3 - Java Server Pages
Chapter 4 - Database Conectivity
Chapter 5 - JSP Standard Tag Library
Chapter 6 - Java Server faces
Chapter 7 - Java MEssaging Service
Chapter 8 - Security
Chapter 9 - Enterprise JavaBeans
Chapter 10- Web Services
Chapter 11- Beyond Java E
Appendix A- Sending Email from Java EE Applications
Appendix B- IDE Integration
I chose this book because I have been developing web-based applications using Servlets and JSPs deployed on Tomcat, and I recently had an opportunity to work with Sun Java Studio, which uses GlassFish as the deployment container. I am comfortable with Tomcat, and wanted to learn a little more about GlassFish. I have never reviewed any books from this publisher either, so this seemed like a good opportunity to do both.
Chapter one, as the title indicates, covers getting started; obtaining, installing, and deploying GlassFish. There are plenty of screen-captures that demonstrate use of the Server Admin COnsole to create a JDBC connection pool,and deploy an application.
Chapter two immediately jumps into servlets, which are Java classes that run server-side, and are used to generate HTML, process forms, and to connect to the middle tier.
Chapter three discusses Java Server Pages, which is appropriate since Java Server Pages are compiled into servlets.The chapter also discusses JSP tags, and creation of custom tags.
Chapter four deals with database connectivity, and includes a section on annotations, the Java Persistence API, and the Java persistence query language.
Chapter five takes us back to JSP tags.
Chapter six discusses JavaServer Faces, which are controllers that can do a variety of jobs; handling input, validation, and accessibility, through JSP and a custom tag library.
Chapter seven covers Java EE 5 messaging services, and shows how to configure GlassFish for use with JMS, as well as sending and recieving messages.
Chapter eight deals with security components built into Java EE 5, and how to use them. This chapter discusses the idea of security 'realms' that are groups of users and related security group, and how to use certificates and GlassFish to enforce security.
Chapter nine moves into Enterprise Java Beans, which are components that manage data transactions, security, and validation. The book discusses the differences between stateless and stateful session beans, and introduces the concept of Container-Managed transactions.
Chapter ten covers web services,using the Java API for XML Web Services (JAX-WS API).
Chapter eleven discusses life beyond Java EE, briefly covering such topics as Facelets, Ajax4jsf, and Seam. Facelets are defined in the book as "an open-source alternative view technology that can be used when developing JSF applications." As the name suggests, Ajax4jsf is a library for implementing Ajax into JSF. Seam is a framework designed to make working with JSF easier.
So let's start out with what this book does right. It provides an introduction to Java EE 5 development. It provides an introduction to GlassFish.It has some nice screen shots. It has a bunch of sample code. Beyond that, I feel a bit deceived. I realize that you can not judge a book by its cover, but it seems to me that a technical book should better explain the contents.
The code that is included works. My one big complaint with most technical books is that they tend to include online content to better explain the examples. I don't know about you, but when I am sitting down to read a book, the last thing I want to do is to have to go to my computer to look at additional code. For a book featuring "Development using GlassFish Server", there is precious little discussion of Glassfish. In fact, there is little beyond the first chapter. Of that chapter, 15 of the 28 pages are nearly full-page screen shots. No discussion of configuration management, clustering, etc. Although chapter 7 discusses security, it is really just an overview. Dissapointing.
And that is that, really. I was expecting a book about using GlassFish, perhaps something similar to "Professional Apache Tomcat 6 (WROX Professional Guides)", but it isn't.
This book receives an honored SFDC Rating of 6/10.
This review is copyright 2008 by Chad Clites and WindowSecurity Dot Com, and may not be reproduced in any form in any media without the express permission of the author, or WindowSecurity Dot Com.