Saturday, May 23, 2009

Another Batch of New Items on my Bookshelf

Packt Publishing Ltd is celebrating its 5th Anniversay - and I couldn't resist their special deal of 5 books for 75 euros. So my book collection got expanded with the following titles.

Service Oriented Architecture with Java was the first book that caught my eye. It gives a broad overview of why SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) is a good approach to developing new and combining existing applications. It also does a good job explaining the difference between tradition EAI (Enterprise Application Integration) and SOA, and why using an ESB (Enterprise Service Bus) is a good idea to assemble all the parts.
Having finished this book the dame day as it arrived, I have to say I liked the content, but was a little confused by some of the sentence constructs; it doesn't help when both the authors and the reviewer are non-native English speakers; I had it a little easier since I worked with developers from India in a not-too-distant past. Even though a technical book doesn't have to read like poetry, an editor should prevent from adding to the complexity of the material.

Service Oriented Java Business Integration was the logical next item, as JBI is one of those items I have a particular interest in. Even though this book is centered around Apache ServiceMix, I'm sure I'll be able to apply its principles to the alternative Glassfish OpenESB open-source project backed by Sun. Especially when I combine its contents with what I learned from the book Building SOA-Based Composite Applications Using NetBeans IDE 6 that I picked up last year.

Java EE 5 Development with NetBeans 6 continues the theme of my desire to learn more about Java EE development with NetBeans and Glassfish. Currently about a third into this book, I find it a good companion to the book Java EE 5 Development using GlassFish Application Server by the same author, which I also picked up last year - naturally, there is some overlap, but I have the memory of a goldfish and the author really does a good job of explaining things.

EJB 3 Developer Guide wraps up the enterprise-oriented book tour. Packed with practical examples, it gets straight to business. When I want a more architectural point-of-view, I can always refer back to the book EJB 3 in Action, published by Manning, which is three times the size but also contains more of the theory and differences between EJB 3 and older versions - and how the introduction of Java EE 5 really did simplify development a lot.

Swing Extreme Testing may seem like the odd-one-out, but what's the use of building an enterprise application back-end, if no one can see the contents? Having built a number of Swing-based front-ends, I can attest it takes time to get it "right" - and I'm sure I'm still doing things wrong. I sure wish someone would publish a book that explains best practices for Swing user interface development like Effective Java does for the Java language.
But I digress. While I've gradually converted to using JUnit for writing unit tests for the classes that make up the domain model, I still have to decide on a framework for testing the user interface. Once I've worked my way through this book, I'll be sure to check out FEST (Fixtures for Easy Software Testing) as the online articles I've read are quite favorable to this framework.

Ah, so much to read, so many experiments to conduct - and only so little time...