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December 18, 2005

Java Enterprise in a Nutshell, Third Edition: A Practical Guide to Building Enterprise-Class Applications

Sebastopol, CA--Enterprise computing has a reputation for complexity, involving aspects that most developers find daunting: working with a heterogeneous network of hardware systems, running a variety of server applications on top of the heterogeneous hardware, and making use of many different protocols and standards. Moreover, it has only recently emerged as an integrated discipline on its own, and although enterprise development models are becoming more cohesive and encompassing, many enterprises are left with "legacy systems" that are aggregated in an ad hoc way.

Java can help alleviate these intimidating aspects, explain Jim Farley and William Crawford, authors of the new third edition of Java Enterprise in a Nutshell, Third Edition (O'Reilly, US $44.95), with Prakash Malani, John G. Norman, and Justin Gehtland. Their message to developers and the central tenet of their book is: "Enterprise computing is useful to everyone, and any programmer can write distributed applications using the Java Enterprise APIs." They don't deny that distributed enterprise computing is more complicated that local computer, but they insist, "The complexities of distributed, enterprise computing really don't have to be overwhelming, and with a little study, any programmer can master them."

In Java Enterprise in a Nutshell, Third Edition, they provide concise, fast-paced tutorials on a broad range of enterprise Java tools and APIs. Farley and Crawford begin by explaining that the landscape of Java enterprise tools has evolved quite a bit in the three years since the last edition of "their book. The world of Java enterprise development now consists of a mix of standardized APIs and services used side-by-side with de facto standard tools and APIs. The standard solutions are APIs within the Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) and Java 2 Standard Edition (J2SE) set of specifications, like JavaServer pages and JDBC. The de facto standard solutions are the tools and APIs developed by the open source community.

"We felt it was critical to cover both aspects of the enterprise toolbox, and so we decided to drop the API reference material typically found in the Nutshell series in favor of coverage of the de facto tools in the Java enterprise space," the authors explain. "As you look through Part II of the book, you'll find tutorial chapters on a critical set of these community tools, such as Ant, Hibernate, and Struts, among others." This change acknowledges that developers have numerous ways to access API details using tools integrated into their development environment. But more important, it recognizes that effective tutorials on these common community tools are critical to having a complete picture of the larger Java enterprise framework--a framework that extends far beyond the standard APIs published as part of the J2EE specification.

"Our approach was simple: we've selected the key tools and APIs that enterprise architects and developers have found invaluable when working in the Java environment," say Crawford and Farley. "Along the way, in keeping with the 'nutshell' concept, we've had to edit brutally. Only tools and APIs that are proven in the industry while also being critical to success made the cut. Some things, useful and otherwise, had to be left by the wayside."

In addition to the new material, Java Enterprise in a Nutshell has been brought up-to-date with the current versions of the APIs and tools, with examples and tutorial material that now cover J2EE 1.4 versions of the standard APIs and the current released versions of community tools. In some key areas, they've also provided previews of new developments.

Java Enterprise in a Nutshell, Third Edition is a pragmatic introduction to the tools needed to build enterprise-class applications. Covering topics form Ant to Xdoclet, and everything in between, it's an essential, comprehensive guide for enterprise Java developers.

Praise for the previous edition:

"When I sat down with this book my intention was to skim through each section, look to see if there wan anything that they missed, and crank out the ol' review. What I found was enough content in each of the technical sections to draw me into actually reading the whole section...this book has earned the right to be within arms reach from my little work pod..."
--Jonathan House, Utah Java Users Group

Additional Resources:

  • Chapter 18, "JUnit and Cactus"
  • More information about the book, including table of contents, index, author bios, and samples
  • A cover graphic in JPEG format
  • Java Enterprise in a Nutshell, Third Edition
    Jim Farley and William Crawford, with Prakash Malani, John G. Norman, and Justin Gehtland
    ISBN: 0-596-10142-2, 694 pages, $44.95 US
    order@oreilly.com
    1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

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