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Pro NetBeans IDE 5.5 Enterprise Edition

Posted by gsporar on April 8, 2007 at 5:25 PM PDT

Apress
has just published Pro NetBeans IDE 5.5 Enterprise Edition, by
Adam Myatt.
The physical book is now shipping and can be ordered from
amazon.com
and all the other usual spots. I read the ebook version and
liked it quite a bit. The book is organized topically, so you do not have
to read it from cover to cover - you can dive in to a specific chapter without
needing context information from previous chapters.

I think the primary audience is folks who are new to the NetBeans IDE.
It is important to note, however, that experienced users of the IDE can also
benefit from having a copy. If you are an experienced user of the NetBeans
IDE and you want to learn more about the NetBeans
Visual Web Pack or the
Enterprise Pack
or the UML support or
Project Jackpot or the IDE's
database explorer or collaboration features then there are plenty of
online articles and tutorials
available. But this book is the only thing you can get in hard copy that
describes those features. So if you really like having a physical book, this
might be one you should consider buying.

A few specific things I liked about the book:

  • It is based on one developer's experiences with the NetBeans IDE. It is
    not that I dislike books with multiple authors (I even contributed to
    one),
    but it is nice to read something written in a single voice. Frequently
    you will see phrases such as "I have made extensive use of..." which
    provide practical advice on day-to-day usage of the IDE.

  • There are feature tips sprinkled throughout the text. Most of these were not
    news to me, but a few were. Your mileage may vary.

  • In addition to tips on features, there are also some detailed descriptions of how to
    avoid problems. For example, practical information on how
    to configure WebLogic
    in order to prevent it from using so much memory.

  • The book covers version 5.5 of the NetBeans IDE,
    which is the current release.
    There are a few spots, however, where it also describes features that are coming
    in NetBeans 6.0,
    so the author has obviously been experimenting with either
    the daily or milestone
    builds
    of 6.0.

  • There is a chapter on how to use Cobertura
    within the NetBeans IDE. I
    am not familiar with Cobertura (although it looks interesting), but I
    really liked the information on how to integrate a third-party
    tool into the IDE.

And now, a few minor complaints:

  • Despite being listed as one of the author's favorite features, there is no information on how to use the NetBeans Profiler.
    There is, however, information
    included on how to install it and do some configuration. (Just FYI, there is
    an online tutorial for those who are interested.)

  • It would have been helpful if even more links to additional resources were included. For example,
    the chapters on using the Visual Web Pack and the Enterprise Pack do a good
    job of providing the basics and therefore whetting your
    appetite, but to really get into it you will need additional tutorials;
    good starting points are here
    and here.

  • I would have preferred the web services information in chapter 6
    instead of chapter 7. I understand the reasoning behind why it was put
    in chapter 7, but I hope folks realize that full support for JAX-WS
    development is in the standard NetBeans IDE - the NetBeans Enterprise Pack
    is not required in order to develop web services.

So all in all, a worthwhile read. I am hoping there will be future editions as the NetBeans IDE
continues to evolve.