Mastering Enterprise JavaBeans, 3rd edition

Ed Roman, Rima Patel Sriganesh, Gerald Brose (2004)
Review date: August 2008 (Read in February 2008)
Summary

This book attempts to cover EJB 2.1 from all perspectives. The first fifteen chapters of this 700+ pages book deal with all elements of EJB 2.1: session beans, entity beans, message-driven beans, web services (limited coverage), transactions, security, and EJB timers. Theory and many examples mix nicely in this first part, and create a solid foundation for the reader to build on.

Then come chapters that supposedly cover more advanced topics like integration, optimization, clustering, how to start a EJB project, and how to choose an application server.

There's also a big appendix section containing tutorials on RMI-IIOP, JNDI, and CORBA, and reference material on EJB-QL and deployment descriptors used in EJB 2.1.

Opinion

I have read this book on two different occasions. First back in 2003-2004 (actually reading the second edition), and now quite recently in February this year. So, what are the impressions?

The first part of the book, the one that deals with the "mechanics" of EJB was good both times. Theory and examples are well balanced and kept at a good level: introductory. The pace is good, and topics I perceive as relevant are covered.

Then there's the second part where the authors switch to discussion mode and talk about the technology in a broader sense. Back in 2003, when I wasn't all that strong with EJB I found the chapters in this section interesting and informative. Today, I'd throw half of them away, and reduce the others in size. Regardless of your EJB knowledge, you will most likely find that some of these chapters cover topics that are not entirely relevant in a book like this.

The general impression then! On the whole, I still perceive this book as rather verbose. Occasionally one can get the impression that there are just too many words; too much irrelevant text in there. On the other hand, it's written in a reading-friendly way, and provides a very good introduction to EJB 2. If you don't like the second part. Just don't read it.

Who should read this book

Those who must learn EJB 2.x in order to support legacy code bases will find that this book gives them a good introduction.




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