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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
You will have more fun learning Enterprise JavaBeans programming with Head First EJB than you will anywhere else. And, because you’re having fun, what you learn will stick. Can’t hurt, right? Especially if you’re studying for Sun’s Certified Business Component Developer Exam.
This book is a wild ride: new ideas, new connections, attitude all over the place. Text that’s actually funny (not the “alleged” funny you’ve seen in computer books before). And all these goodies weren’t bolted on at the end to enliven a deadly narrative. They’re here to make the ideas come alive. It works.
Here are Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates introducing two types of session beans: “If you’re lucky, you’re a stateless bean. Because the life of a stateful bean is tied to the whims of a heartless client. Stateful beans are created at the client’s insistence, and live and die only to serve that one client. But ahhhh, the life of a stateless bean is fabulous! Pools, those little umbrella drinks, and no boredom, since you get to meet so many different clients.” Think you’ll ever forget the difference?
Or how about the great ’40s and ’50s photos throughout, captioned to speak for the beans themselves? “...and then I said, ‘You want a piece of me? Go ahead -- take your best shot buddy!’ He didn’t know he was messing with an entity bean. So he threw an exception, then he crashed the server, but I’m still here! I won’t go down that easy, no siree. As long as I’m in the database, I’ll just keep coming back, so do your worst!” Ever hear a more riveting explanation of persistence?
The authors figure that people learn best when they’re fully engaged. When they’re being tickled. (And the latest research in cognitive science, neurobiology, and educational psychology backs them up.)
So they keep you rolling on the floor laughing, as they walk you through every EJB fundamental -- and every exam objective on Sun’s exam. You’ll find chapters on EJB architecture; the client view of beans; entity bean relationships; transactions, exceptions, security, deployment, and more. All with the same wit, the same vivid analogies.
Why do you need message-driven beans? Imagine: “You have to ask someone to do a very important job. You have no idea how long it’s going to take them. You have to wait right where you are until they finish. You can’t do anything else while you’re waiting.” Get the drift?
There’s a treat on every spread. Our favorite: a full-page argument between beans at the Tikibean Lounge. (If you’ve never watched bean-managed and container-managed transaction beans trade Shakespearean-class insults, you’re in for a treat.)
Throughout Head First EJB, you’ll also find answers to the so-called “dumb questions” other books don’t bother answering. (Why don’t stateful session beans have a pool? Why not just go straight to the database from a session bean?)
There’s only thing the authors play straight: the sample questions at the end of each chapter, and the complete sample exam at the back of the book. Even while you’re studying, though, this book breaks convention. For example, each chapter lists the relevant exam objectives and then tells you what they really mean. In English.
Head First EJB is a pleasure to learn from, and it was an absolute joy to review. Bill Camarda
Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks for Dummies, Second Edition.