Sunday, September 06, 2015

Book Review: Murach's Java Servlets and JSP

Cyndi Vasquez sent me this title a while back. I have been so bogged down that I finally got a chance to look at it. Thanks Murach... this is a good book.

The book is written in a style that many will either love, or hate. I personally am on the former. The pages on the left side are an explanation of the technical matter, and the right side are examples. The book is designed to guide you from front to back on an adventure into programming. Along the safari, I assure you will be pleased. The quarry is knowledge and this book is the tool to capture it.

The books is divided into five sections which will take you from absolute beginner to accomplished Servlet and JSP aficionado. It will even teach you a little about databases, and JSF along the way. There are two appendices that will show you how to set up your computer either Mac, or PC before you get started on your journey.

One of the thrills about this book is the use of NetBeans. I believe that NetBeans is the easiest tool for developing web based applications using Servlets and JSP. It also is my preferred tool for Java development in general. The book not only teaches you about the essentials of the title technologies, but helps you gain an in-depth knowledge of a valuable IDE that you can bank your career on.

Section one covers the basics of the technology and the MVC pattern. This is followed by a crash course on HTML, CSS, and web technologies based on Java.  The 8th chapter on EL is a great reference for how to use this important technology in your web applications.

Section three covers essential database skills to get you started with web development. These skills are the bare minimum to get started, but are complete for the purpose of this book. Keep in mind, these are the basics.

Section four is the meat of the book. This covers the advanced Servlet and JSP skills. It also covers some additional technologies like JSF. My favorite parts of this section are chapters 18, 19, and 20. The HTTP Request and Response skills are something every developer should strive to make sure they understand. Chapter 19 covers listeners which are truly your friends. Chapter 20 covers another often misused, abused, and otherwise fantastic technology. The filter can make your life as a web developer a great pleasure, or a rabbit hole in which you feel like Alice in Wonderland.

The final concluding section five puts all of the pieces together in a Music Store website. The Music Store website uses most of the technologies covered, and takes the learner to the next level with clear and concise directions.

Overall this is a great book for anyone interested in learning about Servlet and JSP technology. Please keep in mind that all Java web technologies are based on the Servlet foundation. JSF is nothing more than a veneer on top of this technology as an example.

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