<pre>Author/s : Bruce Tate, Mike Clark, Bob Lee, Patrick Linskey Publisher : Manning Category :Enterprise JavaBeans Review by : Paul Stevens Rating : 9 horseshoes</pre> This book is a must read for EJB developers. It is not a how to book but should be used with one. What it does is show the many pitfalls that can happen during EJB projects. It goes beyond describing all that can go wrong but what can be done to prevent it or correct it. This book is a must read before you begin an EJB project. It will help prevent design problems from becoming application problems. Get this book with a how-to book and learn not only how to code but how to use EJBs.
This was a good book, in the sense that if you didn't understand conversational, pseudo-conversational and transactional programming, then you learn what the pitfalls are. Unfortunately, for me, I learned these pitfalls, and how to avoid them, about 20 years ago when I was learning COBOL/CICS and IMS in college, so I really found the book nothing more than a rehash of lessons learned a long time ago. Publication of a book like this tells me we have a real problem in the industry - and our universities. You shouldn't be allowed out of college into any IT shop without having these skillsets in the first place. If developers are out there making these kinds of mistakes, then our customers, the end-users who fund the projects, are having to pay for mistakes that should have never been made.
What I'm getting out of this book (currently reading, thanks to a JavaRanch book giveaway) is a view of the pro's and con's of EJBs, and when to use alternatives. EJB for quite a while was bandied about as the end-all, be-all technology that everyone had to know to consider themselves a "real" Java developer. 'Bitter EJB' does a good job of showing what EJB is good for, what it isn't so good for, and what some reasonable alternatives are. Given the breadth of Java technologies and acronymns out there, having someone with real experience in the technologies show the lay of the land is very valuable, if in nothing else, in helping me determine where to focus my time.