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JBoss Administration and Development
by Marc Fleury, Scott Stark

unknown edition
March 2002
528 pages

Reviewed by David O'Meara, May 2002
  (7 of 10)

Topics in the book "JBoss Administration and Development", range from J2EE basics, J2EE as presented in the JBoss server and a low-level exposure to the JBoss server components.

The coverage of J2EE first principles is impressive and is as good an introduction as you're likely to find. Unfortunately, it doesn't go deep enough to be directly useful as a source for learning J2EE.

The book is not about administration and development USING JBoss as much as it is about administration and development of the JBoss server ITSELF. Again the selection and coverage of topics is impressive, but there isn't the exploration that would make this the only source required for any of the subjects. In addition, the amount of 'padding', such as code listings, outputs and large pictures, was highly distracting and accounted for almost a third of the content.

Overall, the best points about the book are that each topic includes source code that will get you started, and that it isn't just a repeat of existing documentation for JBoss. Unfortunately it tries to cover too many topics and none to enough depth to be definitive in any particular area. In addition, the organisation of material is not designed for use as a reference tool, which will make it difficult when used to diagnose and solve specific problems.

"JBoss Administration and Development" is an important and worthwhile addition to the JBoss documentation, but is not enough to stand on its own.

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JBoss AS 5 Development
by Francesco Marchioni

PACKT Publishing
1 edition
December 2009
416 pages

Reviewed by Jaikiran Pai, March 2010
  (9 of 10)

Francesco's "JBoss AS5 Development" book is a well written and a handy book for developers who use JBoss AS in their development environment and who wish to have a detailed understanding of the server.

The book starts off with introducing JBoss AS and its evolution from the previous AS-4.x version to the current AS-5 version. While doing so, it provides a brief overview of the core architectural difference between these versions. The initial few chapters mainly focus on setting up the development environment which includes JBoss AS, Eclipse (with JBoss Tools Plugin). It's good to see that the author is *not* rushing the readers to coding applications and instead is providing the necessary background to get familiar with the server.

The book covers various other JavaEE technologies including JPA, JSF, WebServices etc... Each major technology has a separate chapter and follows a common pattern where it starts off with a brief introduction of the technology and then moves on, to show how use can develop and deploy applications using those technologies on JBoss.

This book also covers JBoss AS specific configuration files and tools. It provides a good technical overview about the contents of the configuration files, including detailed explanation of important configuration options.

The book is well paced and you won't feel bored or overwhelmed by the information being presented. The author has managed to produce a well written to cover useful information for developers who use JBoss AS.

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Enterprise Java Development on a Budget: Leveraging Java Open Source Technologies
by Brian Sam-Bodden, Christopher M. Judd

1 edition
November 2003
656 pages

Reviewed by Andrew Monkhouse, November 2004
  (7 of 10)

I found this to be a very well written book, with the authors clearly having very good knowledge of the tools they presented.

While I expected the book to cover a few of the better know Java Open Source technologies, I was pleasantly surprised to find that also included were many of the "glue" tools which are practically a requirement to get a complete solution working. For example, any book with this scope is going to mention Ant and JBoss, but the authors took it several steps further, and included information on other tools to help you manage JBoss, and tools to help you generate your code (XDoclet and MiddleGen).

On the downside, there were several occasions where the book could have mentioned alternative open source products (e.g. other EJB containers than just JBoss) - this was not consistent as in some cases multiple products were described. I also feel that the book would have benefited from some suggestions on how different tools could be compared. The other concept I didn't like was the huge example application they presented - it is essential to download the source code, as there is no way such a large example application could be described in the book.

I would recommend this book to anyone considering using Java within their enterprise that would like to learn about some of the open source options available.

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JMX: Managing J2EE with Java Management Extensions
by Juha Lindfors, Marc Fleury, The JBoss Group

1 edition
January 2002
408 pages

Reviewed by Kyle Brown, August 2002
  (4 of 10)

My main problem with this book can be summed up on one word -- code. This book is very code-oriented, to the exclusion of all else. For instance, the very first chapter shows code on the 3rd page, and by the 10th, you're into a full-blown example. But you never learn WHY you want to do the example. That's continued throughout the book. They cover the mechanics of JMX in depth, but never tell you the reasons why you should care about any of it.

As an example, there is a case study that discusses how JMX is used in the JBoss EJB server. It's the very last chapter, long after most readers have lost interest. Do they tell you why they chose JMX? What advantage it gives JBoss? No -- instead they give you 5 pages of XML metadata.

What's more a lot of the code is of the "do-nothing" variety. We don't need to see how to implement unused methods of an interface 10 times. IMHO, you should give this book a pass. Hopefully one of the other books on JMX will give you a better understanding of the architecture, and why you should care...

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Beginning POJOs: From Novice to Professional
by Brian Sam-Bodden

1 edition
March 2006
424 pages

Reviewed by Ernest Friedman-Hill, March 2006
  (8 of 10)

Missourians -- residents of the "Show Me State" -- will appreciate this book on Java development with "Plain Old Java Objects." In a fast-paced 10 chapters, Brian Sam-Bodden builds a complete application. He starts with a detailed design, installs tools like Eclipse and Ant, and before you know it he's implemented the persistence and business tiers. Screenshots and detailed instructions will help you get your environment installed in no time.

The first five chapters of the book are astonishingly linear, with each technology choice presented as a fait accompli. In this day of political correctness and cultural relativism, authors bend over backwards to consider alternatives to every decision. Sam-Bodden's approach was refreshing. Eclipse, Ant, Hibernate, EJB3 on JBoss. Take it or leave it.

I was almost disappointed when he considers alternative implementations of the business and presentation tiers. Still, showing how to use Tapestry and especially Spring offsets the raised eyebrows some of you might have about using EJBs -- although the EJB3 specification lets you use POJOs to implement the business layer.

From this point, the book gets more conventional, with the traditional tacked-on chapter about testing that nevertheless asks you to do testing as an integral part of development.

Although the technology choices may stretch your definition of "lightweight," this is still the best book on end-to-end development of enterprise applications that I've seen. If you'd like someone to show you how things are done, this book is for you.

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Hudson 3 Essentials
by Lloyd H. Meinholz

Packt Publishing
December 2013
124 pages

Reviewed by Jeanne Boyarsky, February 2014
  (7 of 10)

"Hudson 3 Essentials" is the second Packt book I've read that I felt was too short. Lesson to myself: check the page count before requesting. (Nothing against short books - I loved "HTML 5 Security" which is a 50 page e-book. But it isn't priced at $30.)

The intro text is short - at 8 pages - which is good. It includes why Hudson is important plus the history of Hudson vs Jenkins. Chapter 2 covers how to install Hudson on four servers in 16 pages. This felt rushed. If you are starting out by explaining that JBoss, Tomcat, etc are servers, a few pages including screenshots isn't enough of an intro to get started. I would have preferred just one in more depth.

If you are keeping track, we are now a quarter through the book.

As for the meat, I liked the coverage of how to configure Hudson. I like the explanation of how to create your own plugin although it felt very rushed and I would have liked a deeper dive. And if I was new to Hudson, I'd have liked to see how to run a job before writing my own plugin.

One good differentiator is that the sample project is a grails one rather than a Java one like most examples.

The last chapter covers how to upgrade to Hudson 3.1.

Overall, there wasn't anything wrong with the book. I'm giving it a neutral rating because I would have liked to see more depth.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review on behalf of CodeRanch.

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Mac OS X for Java Geeks
by Will Iverson

1 edition
April 2003
304 pages

Reviewed by Simon Brown, August 2003
  (9 of 10)

I've had a PowerBook for about three months now and I thought that I had Java on Mac OS X figured out. How wrong could I be! First of all, it's worth pointing out that Mac OS X for Java Geeks by Will Iverson is not your normal Java book. It doesn't teach you how to use Java, and it doesn't teach you how to use Mac OS X either. Instead, it takes you on a tour of what's available for us Java developers on the Mac OS X platform, looking at topics that pull together to make Java development an easier and richer experience.

First up is a look at Apple's implementation of J2SE and how configuration of the Java environment differs slightly from other platforms. This is certainly something that does confuse most Java on Mac newbies (myself included) and it's great to see an explanation of how this all works. Next is a discussion of a selection of tools that are useful to Java developers, including all the usual text editors, IDEs, open source projects and even some tools that are bundled with OSX that you might not have found. Again, all very useful stuff, particularly with Mac OS X specific tips thrown in here and there.

Now we get to the interesting stuff by stepping up a gear and looking at the development of desktop applications for Mac. Apple's JVM includes an implementation of the native Aqua look and feel for Swing, meaning that you can write applications in Java that look native. Here, we re treated to a fascinating discussion on some of the usability issues and gotchas associated with cross-platform GUI development. With this in mind, the book then goes on to look at some of the Apple specific features and extensions that we can take advantage of in our applications, along with some strategies to help ensure that our Java applications are still cross-platform compatible. This includes integration with things like the Finder and Dock, and we also find out that it is possible to package up Java applications in the same way as native applications, rather than delivering an executable JAR file. After all, one of the key mantras behind Mac OS X is the richness of the user experience!

Moving on, and if that's not enough, the book delves into some of the Java APIs that Apple provides if you are targeting Mac as your deployment platform, including a look at the Speech, Spelling and QuickTime APIs. The functionality provided by these APIs is amazing, although the actual APIs themselves are incredibly simple. The coverage of the APIs is well balanced. There's just enough to whet your appetite while still providing a good overview of how to use them.

Finally, the book moves on to look at how to use some of the more mainstream development tools such as MySQL, Tomcat, JBoss and web services. Again, there's a lot of useful information in here although it's not as Mac OS X focused as the rest of the book, instead providing a simple instructional approach to getting something simple coded and running. Sure, there are some Mac specific hints in here, but these sections seem to be aimed at developers who are new to these technologies.

Overall this is a great book, and the use of a simple yet very complete example throughout the book makes it very easy to read and follow exactly what's going on. My only real criticisms would be that the last few chapters are focused more on using the technologies (e.g. building your first JSP-based web application) and it might have been good to see a section that talked about J2ME development on OSX, just for completeness. In summary, if you're an existing Java developer and have recently moved over to the Mac, I strongly recommend this book. I only wish I had found it sooner!

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The Bunkhouse administrator is Ankit Garg.