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Pro Spring [Paperback]

Rob Harrop , Jan Machacek

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Book Description

Feb. 1 2005 1590594614 978-1590594612 1

Pro Spring is not a blatant clone of the supplied documentation. Instead...the authors gracefully introduce Spring by adopting a very pragmatic approach based on their real-world experiences with the framework.

— Valentin Crettaz, JavaRanch Bartender

Spring—the open source Java–based framework—allows you to build lighter, better performing applications. Written by Spring insiders Rob Harrop and Jan Machacek, Pro Spring is the only book endorsed by Rod Johnson, founder of the Spring Framework. At over 800 pages, this is by far the most comprehensive book available and thoroughly explores the power of Spring. You’ll learn Spring basics and core topics, as well as share the authors’ insights and real–world experience with remoting, mail integration, hibernate, and EJB.

From the Foreword: “Robs enthusiasm for Spring—and technology in general—is infectious. He has a wide range of industry experience and a refreshingly practical, common sense approach to applying it. All those qualities come out in this book. It’s evident on nearly every page that it reflects in–depth experience with Spring and J2EE as a whole. Rob is not only an author and open source developer—he is an application developer, like his readers. I firmly believe that the best writing on software development comes out of experience in the trenches, so this is my kind of book.

If you’re new to Spring, this book will help you understand its core concepts and the background in areas such as transaction management and O/R mapping that underpins them. If youre already using Spring, you will learn about features you haven’t yet seen and hopefully, gain a deeper understanding of those features youre already using.”
—Rod Johnson, Founder of the Spring Framework


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Product Description

About the Author

Rob Harrop is a software consultant specializing in delivering high-performance, highly-scalable enterprise applications. He is an experienced architect with a particular flair for understanding and solving complex design issues. With a thorough knowledge of both Java and .NET, Harrop has successfully deployed projects across both platforms. He also has extensive experience across a variety of sectors, retail and government in particular.



Harrop is the author of five books, including Pro Spring, a widely-acclaimed, comprehensive resource on the Spring Framework.



Harrop has been a core developer of the Spring Framework since June 2004 and currently leads the JMX and AOP efforts. He co-founded UK-based software company, Cake Solutions, in May 2001, having spent the previous two years working as Lead Developer for a successful dotcom start-up. Rob is a member of the JCP and is involved in the JSR-255 Expert Group for JMX 2.0.



Jan Machacek is a chief software architect at Cake Solutions Limited (www.cakesolutions.net), a UK-based software company. He has been an early adopter of Spring at Cake Solutions and has seen the dramatic change the Spring framework has brought to the Java world. As part of his job, Jan designs and oversees the development of majority of Cake's projects. Where appropriate, Jan also applies his interest in declarative programming and artificial intelligence. Throughout his programming career, Jan has designed and implemented large J2EE and .NET systems for the UK government and large private sector bodies. When not programming, Jan enjoys foreign languages; he also enters races and time trials as a member of the Manchester Wheelers' cycling club.


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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  36 reviews
62 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Spring Tutorial So Far April 27 2005
By Eiji Hirai - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
If you're reading this, you probably don't need to be convinced about learning Spring. The question you're really asking yourself is, which book should I buy? Or should I just stick with the online docs and save some money? Or should I just download the code and start playing with it? I'm going to try to answer those questions.

First, Spring was born out of the thinking by Rod Johnson in "Expert One-on-One J2EE Design and Development", and later with this followup book co-authored with Juergen Hoeller in "Expert One-on-One J2EE Development without EJB". These books are excellent books in general and I highly recommend them. However, the first book is not really about Spring and is more about general enterprise application development strategies (and very good at that). The second is sort a essay on why EJB has failed, and also a short introduction to Spring along with the philosophy behind the design decision in Spring. However, it's too sparse to be a full-fledged Spring manual or tutorial. It's more a well-argued anti-EJB book with a short tour guide to Spring.

In contrast, Rob Harrop (who is also a Spring developer) has written the first truly comprehensive introduction and tutorial to Spring. It covers the whole gamut, from a clear introduction to why Dependency Injection makes a lot of sense, on Aspect Oriented Programming and how it applies to Spring, then on to a detailed coverage of how to use Spring for persistence, transactions, remoting, messaging, scheduling, email, and MVC web applications. He shows how to integrate with Hibernate, iBATIS, JDBC, JTA, JMS, Quarts, Struts, Velocity, etc.

What's amazing is that it covers Spring 1.2, which is still in release candidate stage, and gives you updates on the current stage of various supporting software, what to watch for in the near future and what the changes will most likely be. Just as one example, the Spring IDE plugin to Eclipse has really no online documentation to speak of since it's still relatively new, but this book shows you how to get it, install it, use it. The book has better documentation than the canonical website. That's just one example of many.

So how does this compare with the online docs for Spring? The online docs are good in most places, but there are still some big gaps in the documentation, whereas this book is nothing but exhaustive in its coverage and clearly superior in most places compared to the online-docs.

I've read both of Rod Johnson's books, the online docs and Rob Harrop's book, and this book is probably the best out there right now for its coverage of Spring, and it's also a one-stop shop. You don't really need anything else, unless you're looking to expand your knowledge with the other books into areas outside of Spring.

The only other book that might come close is the (as yet) unpublished book by Rod Johnson titled "Professional Java Development with the Spring Framework". However, that book is not out yet, so unless you can stall your Spring development for many months (hah, hah), I highly recommend Rob Harrop's book. Be productive and just get it.
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Job Well Done - Both "Spring" and "Pro Spring" Jan. 21 2006
By Ganeshji Marwaha - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
What is Spring? How good is "Pro Spring"? I will attempt to answer these questions based on my experiences with both.

Spring is a light-weight container and framework for building java applications, both J2SE and J2EE.

1. This means that, unlike other web frameworks, like struts, spring is not only limited to web applications.

2. "light-weight" does not mean that it is a tiny framework; rather it means that it is not an intrusive framework like EJB.

To support these claims, we can say that spring provides container and/or framework features for

1. Presentation Layer: Spring MVC, Spring Web flow, support for struts(and various other MVC frameworks)

2. Business Logic Layer: Transaction Management, Remoting, J2EE support(support for JMS, EJB, Mail etc), Job Scheduling support

3. Data Access Layer: JDBC support, ORM Support(Hibernate, JDO, iBatis etc), Database Exception Translation etc.

4. Common Features for all layers: Inversion of Control, Aspect Oriented Programming, Bean Factory, Application Context

By providing the above features (and more) in a light-weight fashion, spring introduces the following traits into your application

1. Ease of development

2. Non-Intrusive Source code

3. Good Design Patterns and Practices

4. Testable Design and Code... and much more

Both the above lists are by no means exhaustive, but is a good starting point on how you look at spring.

"Pro Spring" does a very good job of explaining all these features in very organized and easy to understand fashion. The best thing that I liked about this book was that, it was able to portray the bigger picture accurately and then zoom-in on individual items in a very orderly fashion. This helped me understand the individual parts of this extensive framework in the context of the bigger picture. BTW, version 1.2 of spring is covered in this book.

Now the "not-so-good" news: This book has 2 authors, Rob Harrop and Jan Machacek. They are both highly skilled spring developers, but I am afraid, one among them is not so great writer. I found that the chapters written by Rob Harrop were extremely clear. The chapters written by Jan Machacek were not very easy to read at least during my first pass. The silver lining here is that, the fundamentals of spring are written by Rob Harrop, which puts us in a better position to read Jan Machacek's work. Also, during my second and third passes, I was able to get a better value out of Jan Machacek's work, which means that we don't need to worry about this con if you are fine with reading a few chapters twice or thrice.

Overall, "Pro Spring" truly makes you a Spring Pro. I highly recommend this book, if you are seriously interested in learning and using spring.
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best way to learn Spring Feb. 16 2005
By Jonathan Doklovic - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
After reading way too many docs about way too many web view technologies, I found Spring which was exactly what I was looking for to help me with the middle and back-end tiers. The only problem is that even though everyone says it's so well documented, the documents tend to be either in-depth reference manuals or really simple tutorials that only show one aspect of the framework.

I was very pleased to find this book, and after reading it, I feel very excited about starting a large spring adventure.

This book covers just about everything you need to know about Spring to build a full blown app, but more importantly it also shows you where/how to start (which is not so easy to figure out sometimes) and how to implement things in a very reusable way.

The organization of the book seems strange sometimes... having the huge sometimes confusing section about AOP in the beginning (chapters 6 & 7) really makes your brain spin, but by the time you get to chapter 11 (designing and implementing Spring applications) you can easily put things together and the previous sections make more sense.

The book takes you through building a blog application as it's main sample app, but all along the way there are many many tiny little code examples that are self-contained and demonstrate how a single concept works. This *does* work well to make sense of things, but I wish there was a section that only delt with building the sample app from start to finish all in one place.

Also, after downloading the sample app, I had a few problems running it.... there aren't any configuration instructions, even though you can choose any of 3 data layers, and once I built and deployed it, I found it was missing some jar dependencies. Once I put them in place, it did run as expected.

I think that the best thing about this book is probably the way in which it promotes good software design and reuse, even if you're not going to use Spring through the use of the DOM pattern, designing to interfaces, and testing.

All in all, this is a great book. If you're looking to build an application using Spring, read this book. It's the best resource for getting started, and will also make a great reference.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Builds up from the foundation Feb. 22 2005
By Bruce A. Tate - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
When I cracked open the first book dedicated solely to the Spring framework, I expected a rush job. After all, the book covers Spring 1.2, which hasn't been out there all that long. I was pleasantly surprised. It's tough for a book this fat to be this timely. But it is.

Let me start with what I liked the most about the book.

- The authors start with examples that don't use dependency injection at all. They refactor those exmaples, so you can see the value of the core design pattern supported by Spring. This, in my view, was nicely done. It's critical.

- The authors treat each topic completely before moving on to the next. For example, for the base container, they walk through the edge cases, like method injection and introduction, and explain the core problem that they solve. As early contributors of Spring, the authors were well positioned to do this.

- The example is simple. I think that there's been too much of a movement to building real business applications in books. These treatments quickly bog down into details, and distract from the topics that they're trying to cover.

- The sense of humor is there, and it's not overdone. I like having the obscenity filters as an AOP example. (I just wish that the book found some way to include a logging example...or not.)

- The book is comprehensive. It covers the core subjects of DI, AOP, persistence, messaging and remoting, but also some edge scenarios like mail, scheduling, and the like.

It's tough to find a down side, but if I had to pick, I'd say that the language bogs down at some points. This, in my opinion, falls on the editors, and not the authors. I do think that the order of the topics was a bit strange, like introducing AOP before establishing a need.

But I'm picking here. This book is very well done, and I'm glad I got it. I would definitely buy it again.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very deep and complete May 11 2005
By Jack D. Herrington - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The depth of this book is matched only by it's heft. For a book this big you would expect something with a ton of screenshots and page after page of code, but such is not the case. In fact, this book has better exposition than a lot of APress book's I've read.

The authors do a very good job at not only explaining the technology but in providing some perspective on it's use as well. Between this book and Manning's "Spring Into Action" I would take this book.

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