Book Review: Processing XML documents with Oracle JDeveloper 11g
By Olaf Heimburger on May 17, 2009
Although is very often not considered as the IDE of choice, JDeveloper is a wonderful and productive tool chest for everyone. When I found Deepak Vohra's book about XML processing with JDeveloper, I was instantly convinced as I know Deepak Vohra as an author on the Oracle Technology Network.
In its book he covers a broad range of XML document processing techniques within JDeveloper. In 14 chapters you will find almost everything that you might need for your XML processing. Very naturally it starts with XML document reading and writing. Once you finished that piece of work, requirements get more sophisticated and XML Schema definition and validation are needed for the documents of the same type. Voila, chapters 2 and 3 are there to read about it. And so it goes on, topics like XPath and XSLT transformations are followed by the JSTL XML Tag Library. DOM Level 3 Load and Save and Validation follow. A chapter on JAXB 2.0 concludes the first part of the book which introduces all basic techniques to work with XML.
The last five chapters show typical usage scenarios of these techniques. Chapter Comparing XML Documents is just the warm up phase for the next two chapters about XML Conversion to different output formats (chapter 11: PDF and chapter 12 for Excel). The last two chapters cover Storing XML in Oracle Berkeley DB XML while the last chapter gives you an appetizer for Oracle XML Publisher.
This book presents you a quick and easy learning path through the functionality offered by JDeveloper and the included Oracle XML Development Kit. You can start at every chapter you want. They are self-contained and do not require a cover to cover reading. Likewise the author does not bother to teach you XML, XSD, and XSLT from the ground up and in every detail. You just get enough information to set the scene and wet your appetite for more information.
The downside of the book are the code samples. Almost every code sample is just there to demonstrate how things work, but should not be considered as a blueprint for your product. I saw resource leaks, hardly maintainable code due to ignoring DRY style (Don't Repeat Yourself) or different type usage conventions (import vs fully qualified class names). Proper code formatting with indentation, usage of blanks or curly braces, or common sense of factoring for repeated code parts would have made the book superb.
Having said that, it is quite a good book in nearly every aspect. It leads you quickly to the point of the topic and does not waste your time with chapter-long introductions. You can start quickly and improve your knowledge as you go.
Processing XML documents with Oracle JDeveloper 11g, Deepak Vohra, 370 pages, ISBN 978-1-847196-66-8, Packt Publishing, www.packtpub.com