GlassFish Book Review
By arungupta on Dec 11, 2007
|A book on GlassFish: "Java
EE 5 Development using GlassFish Application Server" by
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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."
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- A minor nitpick - The GlassFish on the book's main page is looking right where as the GlassFish logo is looking left.
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In a nutshell - Great book, must buy for first timers, buy your copy here.