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June 21, 2002

From XML Document to Java Objects and Back Again: O'Reilly Releases "Java & XML Data Binding"

Sebastopol, CA--"Yes, it's yet another Java and XML API," says Brett McLaughlin, author of Java & XML Data Binding (O'Reilly, US $34.95). Thousands of programmers have already thrown up their hands trying to track existing APIs--SAX, DOM, JDOM, dom4j, and the rest. What, then, will persuade them to take up yet another? And why, as McLaughlin claims, has XML data binding taken the XML world by storm?

Data binding starts with the assumption that your priority is business-driven, not XML-driven. Instead of elements and attributes, you want to work with people, names, addresses, and phone numbers. In short, it converts XML documents into Java objects, so those documents can be worked on and manipulated like any other Java object, then converts them back to XML. "The reason why XML data binding is important, and so remarkably different from other approaches, is because it gets you from XML to business data with no stops in between," McLaughlin explains. "You don't have to deal with angle brackets, entity references, or namespaces. A data binding framework converts from XML to data, without your messing around under the hood. For most developers who try to get into XML without spending months doing it, data binding is just the answer you are looking for."

McLaughlin's new book covers data binding from front to back, sharing the ins and outs of what may turn out to be the API that makes XML accessible to even the newest programmers. "Java and XML Data Binding" explains what data binding is, and then covers all the popular data binding toolkits: Sun's JAXB API, and three open source alternatives, Zeus, Castor, and Quick. Along the way, the book offers practical information on how to use data binding effectively, what pitfalls to avoid, where to bend the rules, and how to make the various packages do what you want them to do.

"Too many books are written about technologies by people who barely understand them," says McLaughlin. "I've already written two data binding implementations (Zeus, and a previous one for IBM DeveloperWorks). I've actually used data binding for longer than the official specification has been in existence, and I've really been able to dig into what it takes to code an effective data binding implementation, as well as use one correctly. This book is part user guide, part under-the-hood manual, and part use-case. It's a powerful combination, and one I think people need."

"Java and XML Data Binding" was written for Java developers who work with XML, but may not necessarily be XML experts. If you want to use XML effectively without spending months trying to grasp entity references and ignorable whitespace, this book will provide the right balance of concept, examples, and practice to help you quickly become productive.

Additional resources:

Java and XML Data Binding
By Brett McLaughlin
ISBN 0-596-00278-5, 200 pages, $34.95 (US), $54.95 (CAN)
1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

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