XML Development by Kurt A. Gabrick and David B. Weiss
Publishing Co., go
to the web site
in PDF formatt: go
to the site
Jakarta Ant Project: go
to the site
book consists of 6 chapters which focus on XML-related
technologies and the application of XML in distributed
software. The book is an advanced treatment of
enterprise programming using XML with lots of
dynamite discussion. Each chapter is a condensed
discussion of its own topic. From each section,
one or more web sites are referred to for further
1 gives an introduction to distributed computing
using J2EE and XML. The next chapter starts with
a glossary and tutorial of the XML terminology,
then goes into the Java API for XML. Chapter 3
discusses how XML can help us develop a flexible
and robust application logic. It discusses the
use of XML interfaces between components and the
use of XML as a persistent representation of the
application data. Another important topic in Chapter
3 is the query and storage of XML data. Chapter
4 discusses system integration using J2EE approach
and XML approach. Chapter 5 covers the user interfaces.
Chapter 6 is a case study using a computer repair
company as an example. It discusses real-time access
to manuals, diagnostic material and repair history
through a hand-held device with wireless Internet
access. A simple tutorial on the Apache Jakarta
project, Ant, is provided in Appendix C. This Appendix
is an important part of the book because the authors
use Ant as the build tool. Every chapter comes
with a build file for Ant.
I am impressed
by the broad treatment of related subjects in this book. Not
only does it list many aspects of application development,
it also covers the important topics of testing and problem
tracking. The discussion on the options for integration is
also very good. It details the role of XML in each option,
including data-level, message-level, procedure-level and object-level
integration. Using a web service scenario, the authors explain
SOAP with excellent code fragments. The authors also provide
some eye-opening suggestions that might be implemented in
the future, for example, serializing a Java object as an XML
document, transmitting it to the remote system and reactivating
it there; serializing a Java object to XML and passing it
to a non-Java based remote object.
of JDOM and DOM reflects the current unsettled state of the
Java community. On one hand, the authors prefer the JDOM package.
On the other hand, JDOM is not an officially accepted package.
The authors suggest that storing data in relational databases
is still the better approach than XML databases or technologies
in handling data persistence. This is quite true at this moment.
The authors also mention the object-relational mapping product
from WebGain TopLink. Unfortunately, WebGain recently disappears
from the market. That shows the fluctuation of this field.
also important that the authors point out a performance reduction
when using XML. However, it would be even better if some benchmark
data or codes written with and without XML were provided.
Even though this book is understood to be an advanced treatment
of XML, the lack of extensive examples makes the whole discussion
high-spirited but empty. This is especially true in the discussion
of Java API for XML. Almost every subsequent chapter refers
to Chapter 2 for specific technologies, yet there is no code
example to be found anywhere. Notice that the Fig. 6-10 in
Chapter 6 gives a directory structure that is different from
the actual downloaded files. You need to modify the directory
structure to make it work.
XML is an evolving field, this book does an excellent job
in itemizing the key points of the whole subject. It is an
important contribution to enterprise computing. Readers with
some background of J2EE and XML should read this book to get
the whole picture. Due to the nature of the discussion in
the book, it is impossible to compile most of the code example
into a standalone application. It should also be pointed out
that this whole book is available as a free PDF download from
the Internet (see below).
to the Editor are welcome and occasionally abused in public.
Send e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org