Matena and Stearns do a good job of walking the reader through the meriad of topics related to EJBs. They espouse the promise of component based design and show how EJBs attempt to deliver. From architectural overviews of services offered by containers to concepts around the social structure for software bean development, they build a model for developing large scale systems using the four-tiered J2EE platform.
The book makes use of a web-based employee benefits applications to shed light on the jargon and deligation model used in EJB development. The authors also do a nice job of separating out when to use stateless session beans vs stateful session beans. The book is easy to follow and should be a nice companion for those needing details of building components. As the title of the book suggests, it is about applying the various EJBs not neccessarily why the spec went one way or the other.
The books most redeming quality is that it portrays what should happen in the container by way of sequence diagrams. These are most valuable in building a mental model of how to interact and test software that uses containers. They do a fairly nice job of highlighting the promises surrounding bean managed persistence versus container managed persistence. They also shed some light on how containers manage the instances of beans during the different states of their existence.
Nearly the whole second half of the book explains the use entity beans. They follow through with a rather lengthy employee benefits enrollment sample application that uses more concepts of entity beans than the smaller sample application they outlined using session beans.
I recommend the book for those trying to get their hands around the basic design rules of EJBs. For those already covered with J2EE battle scars, the general level of the book may not be as valuable. Additionally, I found the last two chapters on Transactions and Security to be more guiding in nature than as applied as the first part of the book. These two chapters provide interesting outlines on the responsibility between the containers and the EJBs in the current specification. After reading the book I wondered if the authors felt that the two topics were too large in scope to cover before the sample application, less the reader get bogged down in too many issues.(Steve Endres - Feb 2001)
Author/s : Vlada Matena, Sanjeev Krishnan , Linda DeMichiel , Beth Stearns Publisher : Addison-Wesley Category :Enterprise JavaBeans Review by : Thomas Paul Rating : 9 horseshoes </pre> <review> This new edition of " Applying Enterprise JavaBeans" is a well written look at the Enterprise JavaBeans 2.1 specification. The explanations of the topics are in-depth and yet easy to follow. The authors provide diagrams and supporting code samples demonstrating how to write code for each topic covered. They also provide explanations of when a particular technology is appropriate for your applications. The book even has a glossary if you forgot what an acronym stands for. The book covers all the usual topics one would expect in a book on EJBs. It starts with a general overview and then covers each of the various bean types. Session beans (stateful and stateless), message driven beans, and entity beans are each covered. An example is discussed which includes packaging of the application for production. The following chapter covers integrating web services into your EJB applications. Subsequent chapters cover transactions and security. The authors have done a great job of explaining not just how to code EJBs but also how they work within an application server, which you need to know to use EJBs successfully. The book is similar to the O'Reilly book in size and scope although this book has the advantage of being more current. Overall, the book is well written, easy to follow, and extremely useful. If you are new to EJBs or if you are looking for a book to bring you up to date on the new specification then this book will make a good choice. </review>