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Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Comments on Oracle JDeveloper 10g for Forms and PL/SQL Developers, by D.Mills, P.Koletzke.

On the bright side the text is well written without many misspellings. It has a tutorial format which is easy to follow, starting from chapter 9. The source code available from is compatible with all 10g versions of JDeveloper starting from 10.1.3, so that you can build the application presented, from scratch. Moreover, some use cases mentioned in chapter 15 are very useful and can be reusable in many similar user requirements.
On the dark side, the chapters up to 9 are a bore, purely theoretical. The 8th chapter, about bindings is tedious to read and not easy at all to understand. In addition,  some jsp pages are missing from the whole application, such as the jobs.jsp and the help page. Apart from that,  in page 329, there is a screen shot of an application page called reference.jsp, presenting a dynamic menu tree layout, which is very difficult to create on your own, via plain ADF. This highlight page is actually missing from the code too, as mentioned in the following link:
Apparently, the application page screen shot was created using JHeadstart, and not purely ADF. JHeadstart is an extension for JDeveloper which must be paid for. Furthermore, the whole chapter, 16, which is devoted to demonstrating, or rather promoting, JHeadstart is totally useless for the individual, open source developer. It could have been replaced by a more useful deployment guide to the Oracle Application Server (OAS) instead.
All in all, the book is not recommended unless you are forced to implement for an older J2EE environment. Besides, at the time of this writing the OAS, and JDeveloper 10g is being deprecated, its end of life is approaching and there is always a free online tutorial, if you still need to get started.

Further critical references concerning ADF:

Tales from the trenches by Dr. Dorsey. Coauthor of the JDeveloper 10g hanbook.

Comments on EJB 3 in action, by Debu Panda, Reza Rahman, Derek Lane

On the bright side, the text is most of the times crystal clear, easy to understand and follow the code creation from scratch. The helpful appendix of the book guides the reader to setup the Sun Glassfish application server in minutes, without any trouble. Such easiness really tempts to switch your java integrated development environment (IDE ) to Sun Netbeans. The database scripts given are for Oracle though, not for Derby. The source code of the book runs correctly out of the box with only an exception as mentioned here:
Apart from Glassfish, there are also many code versions, suitable for the older Oracle Application Server (oc4j),JBoss and weblogic 10.
On the dark side, the text is IDE neutral, the deployment is done using ant scripts. Many spelling errors also appeared in the text and the huge errata page at Manning site.
All in all, the book is highly recommended, I am looking forward to reading its newer, updated edition!