Book: Murach's Java Servlets and JSP, 3rd edition
By: Joel Murach, Michael Urban
I spent some time with the copy of Murach's Java Servlets and JSP, 3rd edition, which was sent to me, and I am beyond impressed. The book is very well-written and it covers all aspects of java web development using servlets and JSP. I am reviewing it from a perspective of a developer, experienced in working with java enterprise applications and web services.
This book is designed for anyone who has the basic understanding of the java programming language and wants to learn how to develop web applications using servlets and JSP. Different from many other books where they let you setup the tools by yourself, this book dedicated two appendices for PC and Mac users explaining in details how to setup NetBeans, Tomcat and MySQL with the entire configurations required to get started with the book’s examples. Let’s also not forget the awesome page structuring where pages on the left explain a topic and on the right, there are either code examples and/or diagrams to demonstrate.
The book is organized into five sections and twenty three chapters. An introduction to web programming and how a java web application is structured is all explained in the first section. Here you would get a background of how a typical web application looks like, its components and different approaches for java web development. You will see the answer to the most common question: “where/when to use servlet/JSP/JSF/Spring framework?” The section didn’t end here, it continues by explaining the Model View Controller (MVC) pattern and how you can leverage your servlet/JSP application to use this pattern.
The next thing you will develop is on servlets and JSP skills. The section starts by a crash course on HTML5 and CSS3 which you will need throughout your web development journey. Then it goes deep into servlets and JSP skills including the Expression Language (EL), Standard Tag Library and how to deal with sessions and cookies.
The third section is simply dealing with database skills. Starting from how to work with MySQL database, then teaches you how to use JDBC to connect with databases and finally the knowledge of Java Persistence API (JPA) and how you can use it in your web application.
In the fourth section you will see more advanced features available when working with servlets and JSP. These include; how to send mail, using SSL and other security skills, access restrictions, working with filters, listeners and HTTP request and response. You will also see essentials of Java Server Faces (JSF) as one of the chapters in this section.
The last section, which is my favorite, is where you put into use everything you have learned so far by developing a real life application. The music store website project shows a reader how to make an e-commerce website using the knowledge acquired from previous sections.
Overall I would give this book 9/10. And I would say this is a very good resource for anyone who wants to get started with Java EE. I wish I had a book like Murach's Java Servlets and JSP the time I was struggling my way through Servlets and JSP/JSF.
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