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GlassFish Book Review

Posted by arungupta on December 11, 2007 at 10:47 AM PST

A book on GlassFish: "Java
EE 5 Development using GlassFish Application Server
" by
David
Heffelfinger
, was released last month. The publisher sent a courtesy
copy for review, thank you for that. I read good part of the book on my
several flights in past two weeks.

First of all, I'd like to thanks
the author, publisher and rest of the team for writing this book.
Overall I liked the book because of it's simplicity and a good flow
through out the book. This is a great book for first timers!

Here are some of the points that I'd like to highlight:

  1. Community is a very strong aspect of GlassFish. And "Who's Who ?" of
    this book endorses that point. The Author, Reviewer, Editor or anybody else
    is not involved with Sun. That is a good community feeling and we hope to
    see more books on the similar lines with a different perspective.
  2. The GlassFish-specific notes sprinkled through out are very helpful.
    Even though the book is mainly about Java EE 5 concepts but the
    notes allow to think from GlassFish perspective. For example, there are
    GlassFish admin console screenshots at relevant points.
  3. The book uses simple English to explain the concepts. The flow of the
    chapters is easy to understand and very good for the Java EE 5 first timers. This is very clearly marked in the beginning sections of the
    book which says "This book is aimed at Java developers wishing to become proficient with Java EE
    5, who are expected to have some experience with Java and to have developed
    and deployed applications in the past, but need no previous knowledge of
    Java EE or J2EE. It teaches the reader how to use GlassFish to develop and
    deploy applications."
  4. Some book authors take the approach of building a complete application
    from scratch and explain the concepts using that application. This approach
    typically requires to understand the application and the actual technology
    details may get lost. I personally like the Hello World approach with
    small and simple samples. This book follows that approach and I personally
    feel it's more beneficial where the readers can focus on the technology.

Here are some potential improvements:

  1. The first chapter provide a very simple explanation of GlassFish
    installation with different screenshots. The different alternatives to
    deploy and undeploy an application are discussed in very simple language.
    However only the asadmin-way to create JDBC connection pools & resources is
    explained. It would be nice to provide asadmin commands to do the same tasks
    as well.
  2. NetBeans and GlassFish integration is
    explained in 2 pages only. The NetBeans IDE provides a much tighter
    integration with GlassFish including deploying/undeploy apps, monitoring and
    configuration. Multiple

    screencasts
    and
    docs explain
    that relationship already but it would be nice to provide a slightly more
    detailed overview in this book. OTOH, Eclipse integration is still using an
    older version of Eclipse. The

    screencast #ws6
    shows how Eclipse 3.3 can be used to integrate GlassFish
    and create simple applications.
  3. I understand the time/resource balance but feel the Web services chapter
    is pretty minimal. It merely introduces the basic Web services support in
    GlassFish and does not talk about about any of the Security, Reliability,
    Transactions and .NET 3.0 interoperability. Anyway, you can find the details
    in tutorial
    and numerous
    screencasts
    about Metro (the Web
    services stack in GlassFish).
  4. A minor nitpick - The GlassFish on the book's main page is looking right
    where as the GlassFish logo is looking left.

Send feedback to

feedback@packtpub.com
, making sure to mention the book title in the subject
of your message.

In a nutshell - Great book, must buy for first timers, buy your copy

here
.

Happy reading!

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