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Book Review:

Published by: O'Reilly John Duda

The Java Enterprise CD BookShelf From OReilly & Associates Inc.

By John Duda

This is a CD-Rom collection of 7 complete books presented on CD-Rom.
One of the books, which we'll review here, is also included as a standard printed book.

The following books are all presented on CD-Rom:

The printed book is "Java Enterprise in a nutshell" by David Flanagan, Jim Farley, William Crawford and Kris Magnusson.

This book has two parts, one is a readable text and the second is a quick reference for programmers writing enterprise applications.

Part one begins with a description of Enterprise Computing. "A synonym for distributed computing: computation done by groups of programs interacting over a network. The authors assure us that anyone can write distributed applications. "You don't have to work for a major Corporation, university, government agency or any other kind of large-scale "enterprise" to program with the Java Enterprise APIs. They explain that enterprise is a hot buzzword these days-everyone in the networking industry wants to be doing enterprise something. Second, large enterprises have lots of money to spend.......

The book explains that the Java Enterprise APIs provide support for a number of the most commonly used distributed computing technologies and network services.

I valued the description of a servlet. "The name servlet is a takeoff on applet. A servlet is a server-side applet. "Servlets are a Java-Based replacement for CGI scripts. They can also replace competing technologies such as Microsoft's Active Server Pages (ASP) or Netscape's Server-Side Javascript.

In Chapter 2 the book presents connecting to and accessing the data in a database, usually in a book like this, done late in the book.

I don't intend to review all 7 books in this review as I might never get this review done in any timely fashion, however I couldn't resist the book Java Servlet Programming by: Jason Hunter With William Crawford, so I'll do a little revuelet.

This book, for those familiar with the Java programming language and basic object oriented programming techniques, explores Java servlet programming. Java servlets give an applet an easy to connect to java-based agent on the server. This book doesn't assume you have extensive experience with web programming, HTTP, or HTML.

"A servlet is a small pluggable extension to a server that enhances the servers functionality." We'll see this used in Chapter 2 where he presents an example of code which prevents web pages from using using the or tag which in Netscape Navigator allows the code following the tag to blink, hated by many readers to the point that Internet Explorer ignores the tag.

In chapter one the authors cover the alternatives to Java servlets including, CGI, Open Markets FastCGI, Mod-Perl, Active State's PerlEx, Microsoft's ASP, and Netscape's server-side JavaScript. Also in Chapter 1 it is pointed out that servlets are all handled by separate threads, and that they are portable across different operating systems and web servers. Threads give a program the capability of executing on multiple processors on computers which have more than one.

Originally, in in the reviewers experience, multiprocessor systems allowed more than one program, the operating system being possibly one, to run simultaneously on each of the different processors, sharing the resources such as the memory and IO devices. Threads give a single programmer the ability to hog more than one processor.

I particularly enjoyed the Chapter 2 discussion of replacing web page content with another string. The example code reads all the content of any page opened by the server. If the page being searched includes script or phrases we select that string is replaced by another string. The example reads all the content of each page opened by the server. If the string being searched for is found, it is replaced by the string you specify. Their example takes out the HTML tags or and replaces either with a blank character. Thus any page opened on this server becomes blink less, and all in the blink of an eye. You could also use this code to remove any annoying or offending words or phrases. They also go thru the steps necessary to implement this on the server which I assume you would have to have more access to than on an ISP out on the Internet. My opinion is that if you've never met your network administrator your not going to implement this.

Overall I think the book/CD is a valued addition to a programmers library, although I hesitate to recommend it to a student taking a first programming class, the set is far too advanced. However an experienced programmer with some actual programming experience should value the extensive additional knowledge presented here. The set is $89.95 or only $12.85 each, quite a bargain by my way of thinking.

Three of these books claimed the top spots in the Best Book category of the 2000 Java Developers Journal Readers' Choice Awards. Java in a Nutshell by David Flanagan, Java Servlet Programming by Jason Hunter, and Enterprise JavaBeans by Richard Monson-Haefel, won the prestigious industry award.

I also think that if you like to read on the john, this set may be what you need to convince your spouse that you need that laptop you've been secretly eyeing lately!