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Spring in Action by Craig Walls, Ryan Breidenbach

Book Review Team
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<pre>Author/s : Craig Walls, Ryan Breidenbach
Publisher : Manning
Category : J2EE
Review by : Lasse Koskela
Rating : 8 horseshoes
</pre>
There's been a bit of a rush of books about the Spring Framework recently with a number of publishers releasing their own titles one after another. Without having read those other books, I feel confident in saying "Spring in Action" won't let you down. It's a wonderful introduction to the framework and a handy reference for those desperate moments with the Spring configuration files.

What I especially like about "Spring in Action" is the style of writing. The book is largely about how to configure this and that and still I read most of the book in one sitting. The text flows well and the humor sprinkled throughout adds a nice touch. The other good things about this book include a good coverage of the Spring Framework itself. Only some parts of the Acegi security framework have been left out, as far as I can tell, and those features (ACL's and run-as) are not what I'd call essential so it didn't bother me much. In addition, the authors give a good comparison (brief, but a good overview) of Spring and other technologies and frameworks such as EJB, Struts, WebWork, Tapestry, PicoContainer, HiveMind, etc. Furthermore, the authors show you how to integrate with these other frameworks (except for the other IoC containers) and view technologies like JSP, JSF, Velocity and FreeMarker. Add to that, the index looks very comprehensive which is an important detail for a book that one might use as a reference afterwards.

So, what separates this book from perfection? For one it had a lot of little typos, the text did exhibit a bit of repeat (didn't I just read this sentence on the previous page?) here and there, and I feel like mixing multiple ViewResolvers was covered too lightly. I don't consider these to be big issues, though, and I won't hesitate for a second in recommending "Spring in Action" for someone looking to get started with the framework.


More info at Amazon.com
More info at Amazon.co.uk
[ March 30, 2005: Message edited by: Mark Spritzler ]
Craig Walls
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Originally posted by Book Review Team:
<pre>Author/s : Craig Walls, Ryan Breidenbach, Laurent Mihalkovic</pre>


Hmmmm...I know Ryan and I know myself...I'm not sure who Laurent Mihalkovic is and I'm pretty sure that he didn't write any part of Spring in Action. :-)

Nevertheless, thanks to Lasse for such a kind review.


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Craig Walls
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Originally posted by Craig Walls:


Hmmmm...I know Ryan and I know myself...I'm not sure who Laurent Mihalkovic is and I'm pretty sure that he didn't write any part of Spring in Action. :-)



Upon further investigation, it looks like Laurent is the author of SWT/JFace in Action...but as far as I'm aware, he had no involvement with Spring in Action.
Kishore Dandu
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Why not 9 horses compared to 8, if only the issue is with typos???

My reasoning is: 8 from JavaRanch will fall in 'Maybe' category and 9 falls in 'Must buy' category in my wishlist.

Just a thought.


Kishore
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Lasse Koskela
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    5
Originally posted by Kishore Dandu:
Why not 9 horses compared to 8, if only the issue is with typos???

That's a valid question and some of my reasoning was missing from the review: while "Spring in Action" is all about configuring Spring (and does it well), "Pro Spring" is all about coding Spring applications. That's something SiA falls a bit short, in my opinion. Similarly, "Pro Spring" has its own deficiencies but I'll get to those when I finally get a review written for it...


Author of Test Driven (2007) and Effective Unit Testing (2013) [Blog] [HowToAskQuestionsOnJavaRanch]
Kishore Dandu
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Originally posted by Lasse Koskela:

That's a valid question and some of my reasoning was missing from the review: while "Spring in Action" is all about configuring Spring (and does it well), "Pro Spring" is all about coding Spring applications. That's something SiA falls a bit short, in my opinion. Similarly, "Pro Spring" has its own deficiencies but I'll get to those when I finally get a review written for it...


I will try to buy both to be a 'spring-a-holic'
Valentin Crettaz
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Originally posted by Lasse Koskela:

...but I'll get to those when I finally get a review written for it...


... In the meantime, here is mine


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Mark Spritzler
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    6

Originally posted by Craig Walls:


Hmmmm...I know Ryan and I know myself...I'm not sure who Laurent Mihalkovic is and I'm pretty sure that he didn't write any part of Spring in Action. :-)

Nevertheless, thanks to Lasse for such a kind review.


Thanks for letting us know. I have fixed the issue.

Mark


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John Alan
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Joined: Aug 04, 2005
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Hi,

I've been reading this book and it is really nice.

Has anybody read "Professional Java Development with the Spring Framework"? It's said in amazon.com that the book is not for spring-beginners. What do you think?

What should I do? Buy "Pro Spring" or "Professional Java Development with the Spring Framework"? Or going on with "Spring In Action"?

Thank you very much

[ August 04, 2005: Message edited by: John Alan ]

[ August 04, 2005: Message edited by: John Alan ]
[ August 05, 2005: Message edited by: John Alan ]
Craig Walls
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Originally posted by John Alan:
What should I do? Buy "Pro Spring" or "Professional Java Development with the Spring Framework"? Or going on with "Spring In Action"?


Well...it should be obvious which book I'm going to recommend.

But if you want more...Both "Pro Spring" and "Professional Java Development with the Spring Framework" are good books. You can't go wrong with either. Pro Spring seems to be a very thorough "how-to", so if that's the kind of book you like, the you should check it out. PJDwtSF is not too bad on the "how-to", but is really deep on the "why". So, if you've already got a grasp on how to develop with Spring, but want a bit more and would especially like to know why Spring is designed as it is, then Rod's book is excellent for that (as were his two previous books).

In short, if you're going to buy only one Spring book, then buy "Spring in Action". If you're going to buy two Spring books, then buy two copies of "Spring in Action". But if you want to get a third Spring book, then either Rod's book or Rob's book would be excellent choices. Or you could just get a third copy of "Spring in Action".
[ August 06, 2005: Message edited by: Craig Walls ]
John Alan
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Joined: Aug 04, 2005
Posts: 2

ok, then i'll order one more copy! ;-)

thank you and Breidenbach for this book in action..
also for your decent reply
[ August 09, 2005: Message edited by: John Alan ]
Deepa Krishnan
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Kudos Craig Walls, Ryan Breidenbach.


SCJP 1.4
Don Stadler
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After some time with Spring in Action and Pro Spring (as well as Spring: A Developer's Notebook by O'Reilly). I can say this much: Neither SiA nor Pro Spring is enough. I find myself using both books for different things.

The O'Reilly title was largely a waste of time and money. One reason may be that Spring is way too big for something that concise, but a big reason is that the examples were (and are) poorly executed and out of date.

With Spring 2 out isn't it time for some new Spring titles? We have the new Java Persistence book for Hib 3, now we need a new Spring book or two.
[ January 30, 2007: Message edited by: Don Stadler ]
Craig Walls
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Originally posted by Don Stadler:
With Spring 2 out isn't it time for some new Spring titles? We have the new Java Persistence book for Hib 3, now we need a new Spring book or two.


I'm working on it! It ain't going as quickly as I (or my publisher...or my wife) would like, but I'm wrapping up work on Spring in Action 2. According to Amazon, it'll be on the shelf in June. I was hoping it'd be sooner than that, but it looks like it'll be sometime around then.
Don Stadler
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Originally posted by Craig Walls:


I'm working on it! It ain't going as quickly as I (or my publisher...or my wife) would like, but I'm wrapping up work on Spring in Action 2. According to Amazon, it'll be on the shelf in June. I was hoping it'd be sooner than that, but it looks like it'll be sometime around then.




Yes, I noticed your book in the MEAP program over at Manning a couple weeks ago. Good work. I'm going to buy it as soon as I get my US account refilled so I can use it.
Mansur Khan
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Almost July, any news of progress for poor readers waiting for SiA 2?


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B.Sathish
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I read every line of the Spring in Action - 1 book. There was not a single line that I struggled to understand. A very simple and lucid style of writing thats almost like a conversation. Spring in Action is very close to a "Head First" book.
There were a few errors and incomplete details in a few places, but still the book is a must buy.
Shoumin Li
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Joined: Jul 06, 2007
Posts: 85
great book,
I got it from amazon.
When I recieved it,I readed it all night.
I'm a newbee in j2ee and spring.
I enjoyed the gentle introduction to spring.


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Book Review Team
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Edition: 2nd
Authors: Craig Walls, Ryan Breidenbach
Publisher: Manning Publications
Reviewed by: Mark Spritzler
Rating: 9

The In Action series always seems to be the best material for Java development. The Hibernate/JPA book, Ajax, and also the JQuery In Action books are the must have books on their subjects.

Spring in Action follows that logic. It is the best book out there on the subject of Spring in Action, but for Spring 2.0 version. If only they updated it for Spring 2.5.x

But don't fret, this book is still very relevant, in many ways. A good 80-85% of the material all still work in 2.5 and is still the way to develop in 2.5. Core Spring with Dependency Inject, and AOP are must reads.

Also, if you are starting to work at a company that has a Spring project already in production, it is highly likely to see code as you see in this book.

Craig, we are waiting for the next version. We already know it will be another masterpiece.
[ December 09, 2008: Message edited by: Book Review Team ]
Mohit J Kumar
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Joined: Apr 08, 2010
Posts: 28

Is there any news for new edition of SiA.
I am doing a project which uses spring 2.5.4.
I am a brand new user of Spring framework.
Any suggestions.........


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Seb Xu
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Joined: Jan 21, 2011
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I really love this book. And now, I am looking forward to buying the 3rd version in this March


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Prashant Hurria
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A must buy for newbies to Spring. I have read both the 2nd and 3rd edition.
 
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