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Book Review: Bitter EJB

  • September 10, 2003
  • By Rosemarie Graham
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If you're like me, and like to learn from the experience of others, Bitter EJB is the book for you. Why repeat mistakes or suffer bad fortune if someone has already done the dirty work for you?

Bruce Tate, Mike Clark, Bob Lee, and Patrick Linskey wrote Bitter EJB so others can skip what doesn't work or probably won't work, and move on to more productive coding. This book identifies traps and creates solutions, so you don't have to!

The book is written for intermediate to advanced Java developers who want to get the most out of EJB (Enterprise Java Beans.) To truly benefit from the book, readers should have some EJB knowledge prior to using the book. Just in case you lack some of that experience, Appendices A and B can bring you up to speed.

Bruce Tate and the other authors agree that EJBs are not the all-encompassing solution for Java tool development. It will not solve every programming dilemma you encounter - but when used at the right time and in the right place - it can be a strong tool in your arsenal.

The book is laid out in four parts:

  • The Basics
  • Sessions and Messages
  • EJB Persistence
  • Broader Topics

The Basics section lays the foundation for the rest of the book. Here you can pick up the background and controversy surronding EJB. What better way to judge when to use a tool than by understanding it's limits. The section also provides guidelines on when it is appropriate to use EJB and how to make that decision for yourself.

The core part of the book (the sections on Sessions & Messages and EJB Persistence) includes chapters that contain topics or possible problems to consider then looks at the solutions in the form of antipatterns. Each chapter starts with a very short story that puts the programming concept in real-world terms. Most of the stories center around outdoor backpacking or kayaking trips. The authors have used a unique way to teach concepts that are key to good programming, not to mention to life in general.

The last section, Broader Topics, looks at tuning, packaging, and the future of EJBs.

Book Specifics

Bitter EJB
By Bruce Tate, Mike Clark, Bob Lee, and Patrick Linskey
ISBN: 1-930110-95-2
412 pages, $44.95
Manning Publications Co.




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