Book Review for Java EE 7 First Look
This is a nice read for the Enterprise Java developer. It covers the changes that have been introduced with JEE 7, but it does it in such a way that the reader does not need to be an expert in JEE already. That's a good thing, because JEE encompasses a lot.
Enterprise Java is a very broad topic. From Web Services to JMS, from Servlets to Batch, from EJBs to CDI. To even experienced Java developers, a lot of this can be acronym soup. I would imagine most developers use a few parts of JEE frequently, and the rest infrequently. This book is nice in that it gives simple examples for a lot of JEE, so if you're in an unfamiliar territory you can learn the very basics easily. If you already have the basics, the book's main mission is to tell you what's new. The author goes to the JSR specs for these, which is the right place to determine what's new.
The book explains what has changed across the JEE container for JEE 7. (I won't go into great detail here, because there will be a link at the end of this review that will take you to the book's table of contents. The TOC will tell you more than I would care to copy. I'll use my words to try to explain what's of value in the book.) The author first explains a little about the overall use of that part of JEE (i.e. why you might use a servlet, or an EJB, etc.) The author usually then gives a simple overview of the 'old' (i.e. most simple) way to leverage that part of JEE. Next he'll show you the new-fangled changes that came with JEE 7, which can step up your knowledge of the topic. It's all written in an easy tone, a very easy read.
Ok, for those too lazy to read the TOC here's a quick view of part of what you get: Servlets, JSF, EL, JPA, EJB, JMS, Jax-RS, CDI, Validators and Interceptors, and Security (JASPIC).
The author (who does a great job throughout most of the book) chose to use GlassFish as an example JEE container. That's a fair choice, but I would have preferred WildFly. (Disclaimer: I work for Red Hat.) Still, the book does a good job of explaining Application Server configuration where it's needed.
Summarizing, who is this book good for? I'd call this book a good refresher for anyone who uses JEE to develop their Enterprise applications. It will get you a quick start for unfamiliar parts of the AS stack, and will show you what's new for all of JEE.
The book can be found here.