GlassFish Book Review

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!

Technorati: glassfish book eclipse netbeans webservices metro

Comments:

You told that you are going to make this server run in just one second.in any server minimum thousands of threads will be running on run mode
in such case how can you start that many number of threads in one second. is it possible practically.

you told that other servers like weblogic and tomcat are not following J2EE Spec. what is meant by J2EE spec. and how can ensure that your GlassFish is following that spec.

Can i check out the source code of GlassFish. if possible please give me that CVS or SVN repository link.

Thank in advance.

Posted by Arun K V on March 04, 2008 at 03:49 PM PST #

The 1 second startup time is for GlassFish v3 (try the Tech Preview 2 builds). It refers to starting only the core services. Having said this, creating a thread (or thousands) doesn't take all that much time.

As for the J2EE ("Java EE" really) specification, I believe it has to do GlassFish being the reference implementation for the Java EE 5 standard while others are not yet implementation this (JBoss and WebSphere). Tomcat is not a full application server, only a web container.

Finally, SVN access is here: https://glassfish-svn.dev.java.net/source/browse/glassfish-svn/
You may also find FishEye useful: http://fisheye5.cenqua.com/viewrep/glassfish

Posted by Alexis MP on March 08, 2008 at 02:27 PM PST #

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Arun Gupta is a technology enthusiast, a passionate runner, author, and a community guy who works for Oracle Corp.


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