Seam Framework: Experience the Evolution of Java EE

Michael Juntao Yuan, Jacob Orshalick, Thomas Heute (2009)
Review date: May 2012, (read November 2011)
Summary

This book comes with 32 chapters, so summarizing them is quite pointless. A few words can be said about the parts(sections) though. Part one contains the introductory chapters: how to get started, enhancements to JSF, and Seam on POJOs. The core concepts of Seam, components and conversations are covered in part two. The third part contains chapters on web functionality: validation, tables, events, but also CRUD, exception handling, and security.

An entire part is devoted to AJAX and Javascript; three chapters in total. Part five is about integration with DROOLS and jBPM. Part six is on testing. Three chapters forming part seven are about production environments. Most notably about using databases that are not in memory and performance tuning.

The last part is about things that were either emerging technologies or things new in Seam about the time the book was written: Quartz scheduling, caching, Groovy, and Web Beans.

Opinion

I don't like Seam. I probably never will. It's just a personal preference. Disregarding that, I have to say that ehe book is quite a good one. 32 chapters guarantee that many bits and pieces are covered. Indeed, one of the strengths is that some peripheral topics get some attention, which creates a pretty complete book. Examples of this are the sections on jBPM, Groovy, and Web Beans. However, you can be a Seam expert without ever having to touch these topics.

The examples are on a good level, and the ratio between code and normal text is good. I'd say that the authors have used the space wisely. Components and conversations are the central concepts of Seam, and they get the most attention.

On the whole, this is a good book. It's easy to read, has good examples and it's easy to get into a reading flow. However, it contains one sentence that I really don't agree with, but which unfortunately summarizes Seam as a framework; "In many small database-driven applications, the CRUD data access logic is the business logic". The authors seem to have bet all their money on this statement, which means that they push the framework hard to show all fancy stuff that you can do in EL or XML in order to build such applications.

If you're stuck with Seam, this is probably the best book you can get. It will teach you a lot, but I still have to recommend staying away from Seam.

Who should read this book

This is a very well-written source of information for those who work with Seam.




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