Tuesday Jul 08, 2014

Book Review: Murach's Java Servlets and JSPs (3rd Edition)

Two of the most popular IDEs for developing Java web applications are NetBeans and Eclipse. Both are open-source, and both are available for free. Of the two, we think that NetBeans is easier to use, especially when you're getting started with programming. That's why we recommend that you use NetBeans with this book.

The above, on page 20 of the brand new still slightly sizzling hot off the presses "Murach's Java Servlets and JSPs (3rd Edition)" (June 2014), by Joel Murach and Michael Urban, is a promising signal to all NetBeans fans everywhere. Indeed, chapter 3 starts with about 10 pages of introductory texts, with screenshots, focused on NetBeans IDE 8. The remainder of the book uses NetBeans IDE throughout, in the instructions and getting started sections, as well.

Beyond its clear position on NetBeans IDE, the book consists of 744 pages, making for a very nice doorstop should you manage to read right through it all and remember for all time every single word therein.

Section 1 focuses on "getting started right", via beginner texts relating to JSPs, servlets, MVC, NetBeans, Tomcat, and MySQL. Section 2 guides you through all the key topics relating to JSPs and servlets, including HTML5 and CSS3, sessions and cookies, expression language and JSTL. Section 3 takes you on a tour of "essential database skills", from MySQL to JDBC to JPA. Then follows section 4, on advanced topics, which turn out to be JavaMail, SSL, security/authentication, listeners, and JSF. Very nice to see JSF addressed in this way, i.e., after learning everything else, you then learn about JSF (from page 614). The chapters end with sections offering perspectives, summaries, and exercises, to really drive the key points home.

Section 5, spanning about 50 pages, shows you step by step how to apply the previous sections of the book in the creation of a music store website. You start with the user interface, then the business layer, then the controller layer, the structure, the database, the data layer, and different user interfaces for different kinds of users, i.e., administrators vs. standard users.

A wonderful book. Ideal for self learners, i.e., set aside a few hours each week, for several months, and by the end you'll have learned a lot of good stuff.


Geertjan Wielenga (@geertjanw) is a Principal Product Manager in the Oracle Developer Tools group living & working in Amsterdam. He is a Java technology enthusiast, evangelist, trainer, speaker, and writer. He blogs here daily.

The focus of this blog is mostly on NetBeans (a development tool primarily for Java programmers), with an occasional reference to NetBeans, and sometimes diverging to topics relating to NetBeans. And then there are days when NetBeans is mentioned, just for a change.


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