SCBCD Exam Study Kit: Java Business Component Developer Certification for EJB

Paul Sanghera (2005)
Review date: April, 2008

This is an exam preparation book for the outdated CX-310-090 exam. As such, it's structured to cover all exam objectives. Each chapter starts with a list of objectives, and covers them with varying, but sufficient depth. The first part of the book is rather light reading about how J2EE applications are structured, some dos and don'ts in the EJB spec and alike. The hard core of the book treats the life cycles of session and entity beans. Lighter topics like message-driven beans, exceptions, and security conclude the reading. All chapters end with some practice questions.


I used this book when preparing for my SCBCD, and I passed with a good score. However, I have difficulties to attribute this small success to this book. If I were to pick one word with which to describe this book, I'd say "boring". While reading this book, I read the J2EE spec simultaneously, and I got the impression that there was some copy'n paste going on. Maybe this is unavoidable for a book treating such a dry topic, and maybe some people would call the style "concise", but I don't agree. The texts on the bean life cycles felt repetitive and... boring. It was difficult to read more than one chapter at a time without taking a long break in between. Once again, maybe it's just the nature of the topic, but I felt that reading Sun's spec was pretty much as rewarding. Bad vibes!

To say something positive, I have to give the author credit for the last, shorter, chapters on security, EJB QL, and exceptions. Those were OK, and more interesting to read. The "Exam's eye view" sections, that wrapped every chapter up are OK. Not super, but OK. Having the objectives listed at the beginning of each chapter was good too. Sometimes it's easy to get lost in the reading and forget what you actually study.

A final downside to mention would be the review questions. They felt inadequate. Sometimes there were to few of them, and sometimes they were formulated in a strange way not really reflecting what one would encounter on the exam.

Who should read this book

Nobody needs to read this! The covered exam is outdated and replaced with something completely new. There are much better reference books on EJB 2.0 out there, if that's what you want!


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