Sun Certified Web Component Developer Study Companion: SCWCD Java EE 5 (exams 310-083 and 310-084)

Charles E. Lyons (2006)
Review date: March, 2009
Summary

A book with a conservative layout. The first section (two chapters) introduces HTTP and J2EE. The second section describes the Serlvet API (basics, contexts, requests/responses, request dispatchers, filers, and sessions) and web application deployment.

JSP, JSTL, custom tags and tag files, and their deployment are covered in the third section.

Section four contains the remaining topics: security and design patterns. A final section, consisting of two chapters, news in Servlet 2.5/JSP 2.1 and EL 2.1 are summarized.

Apart from providing a study guide, the author's ambition is to make the book reference literature. Sections included for completeness, but not in the SCWCD exam objectives, are clearly marked.

Opinion

This book doesn't require a deep analysis. It's simply the "non-bullshit" version of a study guide for the SCWCD. When compared to the Head First book, it comes out as its opposite. No pictures of smiling people asking about obvious concepts, only UML diagrams. No additional exercises. Just chapters ending with review questions. By the way, the review questions are quite good! You could, for example, be presented with a long snippet of code and a tough question, to which the answer is "Ha ha! The code won't compile, since you've left out a semi-colon!

When it comes to reading pleasure, this book is not your friend. Its style is very dry, and lots of emphasis is placed on the API. This is not a bad thing, as the exam contains many questions that require an in-depth knowledge of the API, but it does get boring. However, if you know the contents, you'll definitively pass!

As for the attempt to make this book reference material, I'd say that the author did ok. This book will never server a complete reference, but it's good for its current level.

Who should read this book

People who are preparing for a SCWCD exam and aren't fond of Head First books will like this book, as it's quite the opposite. Also, those who want an overview reference book on Servlet and JSP can use this.




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