Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Review - Java Developer's Guide to Eclipse, 2nd Edition

HibernateJava Developer's Guide to Eclipse, 2nd Edition
by Jim D'Anjou, Scott Fairbrother, Dan Kehn, John Kellerman, Pat McCarthy

5 out of 5 stars

The first edition of this book was excellent for plug-in developers and helpful, although not vital, to all others. Two things make this new edition even better than the first edition. First, plug-in development in Eclipse is now so easy and so well explained in this book that there is no reason why anyone shouldn't be doing it. Have you ever worked with an IDE and thought, "why isn't this function available in the pop-up menu" or "why doesn't it have this feature"? Developing a plug-in will allow you to customize the functionality of Eclipse to provide the missing feature and this book will clearly explain exactly how to do that. Second, the section of the book that deals with developing with Eclipse has been improved with detailed chapters on team development including using CVS as well as an excellent example of integrating with Tomcat to develop an E-Commerce application.

The book is divided into two sections. The first 200 pages deal with using Eclipse and cover everything from the basics to complex team development issues. The next 600 pages cover everything you need to know about extending the functionality of Eclipse. The book ends with 200 pages of exercises that give detailed, step-by-step examples of using Eclipse. Five exercises deal with using Eclipse while the rest show examples of extending Eclipse. It is a big book that covers a lot of material but it covers it clearly and with plenty of examples. If you buy one Eclipse book, this should be it.

This earned 5 stars on Amazon. The book is published by Addison-Wesley.

The review can be seen on Amazon on My Amazon Reviews page.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Review - Hibernate

HibernateHibernate: A J2EE Developer's Guide
by Will Iverson

4 out of 5 stars

Hibernate is a popular object-relational mapping (ORM) system for Java programmers. As any Java programmer who has worked with a SQL database knows, trying to link Java objects to a relational database is not a trivial exercise. Hibernate simplifies the task by providing an API and a set of tools that can generate Java classes and link seamlessly to a database.

The book starts with an introduction to Hibernate including some details on installation. The author looks at how Hibernate can generate a database schema or it can generate Java classes depending on where you are starting to build your application. XDoclet is discussed with the author pointing out some of the issues with using class annotation. After the introductory chapters, the author gives a good explanation of the details of Hibernate in the middle chapters. The last few chapters look at performance, caching, design issues and other advanced topics. Throughout the book there are many code samples that help to further explain the use of Hibernate.

I do have a few complaints about the book. Although performance is discussed, the cost of using Hibernate on performance is not. I would have liked to see some comparisons of Hibernate versus stored procedures, for example. Also, the weaknesses of an ORM are not discussed. Anyone who has worked with an ORM knows that at a certain level of complexity they start to fall apart and make an application overly complicated. It would have been nice for the author to discuss these issues and at least point towards solutions. Overall, the book serves as a well-written and clearly explained basic introduction to Hibernate.

This earned 4 stars on Amazon. The book is published by Addison-Wesley.

The review can be seen on Amazon on My Amazon Reviews page.