Saturday, November 13, 2010

Book Review: "Spring Dynamic Modules in Action"

Book Review: "Spring Dynamic Modules in Action"

First, let me start with a strong statement: This book is going to be the definitive book on Spring DM, period. Users of Spring DM need to rush out and buy a copy, for this book is a reference that will save countless hours and loads of headaches. The authors (there are 3) have clearly travelled many miles with Spring DM, and their experience is laid out plainly for you to purchase for the measly price of a book. My only caveat: be sure Spring DM is the right tool for the problem you want to solve, for there is some work ahead of you. If you are certain it's the right technology, then this is without question the book you need.

Quick explanation for those unfamiliar with Spring DM and OSGi:
OSGi is a specification meant to help Java be more 'modular' and to help solve classpath issues. OSGi lets you specify, via properties in a manifest file, exactly which versions of which library you want your library to use. (You can even have two versions of the same library in use at the same time in your container!) Spring DM is a framework for integrating OSGi with Spring and a selection of it's sub-projects.

Roughly, here's what you can expect from the book:
- An introduction to OSGi and an explanation of its purpose
- Explanation of how Spring can be used within an OSGi container, review of the currently available containers
- Details about how Spring DM works, and the parts you need to understand
- Details about OSGi services, and how they relate to Spring DM
- In depth best practices for data access, enterprise Java projects, and web applications (includes specific advice for popular web application frameworks)
- Testing practices
- Extended uses of OSGi, including likely future direction
- 500+ pages of advice that will keep your journey with Spring DM clear of potential pitfalls

A big part of what makes this book valuable are the many pieces of advice from the authors as they explain best practices for using various tools. So you want to use Eclipse, Ant or Maven? No problem, these are all covered. About to use MyFaces, Wicket, or DWR? All covered. Are you a Tomcat user or Jetty? Check and check. I'm sure you get the picture-- if you use these tools, the path ahead of you is already blazed and you can avoid some headaches by leveraging the author's experience.

So, a final wrap-up: Spring DM users need to buy this book. It will be worth the cost many times over!

The book can be found here.

Happy OSGi-enabled development!

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