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Professional Java Data:
Dedicated to the principle that more is more, Professional Java Data provides a far-ranging tutorial of today's Java database technologies that's ideally suited for any IT professional trying to make sense of what Sun's platform offers when it comes to databases.
With over 1,300 pages, this title might well be overwhelming, but it's not. The team of authors does a good job at keeping the material under control. For the first 100 pages or so, there's little mention of Java. Instead the authors provide an overview of the nuts and bolts of software and database design, including the basics of Unified Modeling Language (UML) and designing databases.
The organizing principle of this book is to bundle tutorial material on a wide variety of Java APIs that have to do with databases on a chapter-by-chapter basis. Core APIs covered here include JDBC (including connection pooling), plus an excellent guide to basic Enterprise JavaBean (EJB) development. In between the cracks, the authors manage to cover today's multitiered Web architectures while introducing servlets and JavaServer Pages (JSP) for displaying database information in dynamically generated Web pages.
Other sections look at additional Java APIs, both established and emerging, which will help demystify these technologies for the busy programmer or IT manager. Included here are SQLJ (for embedding SQL calls inside Java code), ODMG 3.0 (for object-oriented databases in Java), and Java Data Objects (JDO), a new Sun standard for "persistent" Java classes. Along the way, the authors also manage to touch upon J2EE standards that provide the backbone for Web applications. (Material in this category includes JNDI, LDAP, and directory services, JTS and transactions, plus XML and messaging support.) There's even a peek at WAP and WML for programming wireless applications.
This title concludes with a variety of case studies that bring together various APIs covered in the rest of the book. The most ambitious of these is arguably an XML-driven Web portal that displays articles. By casting a wide net, the team authors of Professional Java Data manage to create a tutorial that doesn't have to be read cover to cover, but rather can be used to beef up your knowledge of what's arrived and what's on the horizon when it comes to Java used with databases. With a mix of approachable material on an extremely wide range of important technologies, this is a book that gives the big picture when it comes to Java databases, as well as delivering many of the details you'll need for actual development. --Richard Dragan