Friday, July 25, 2014

Book Review for "Wildfly Performance Tuning" by Packt Publishing

Book Review for "Wildfly Performance Tuning" by Packt Publishing

WildFly Performance Tuning

This book focuses on the latest iteration of the JBoss JEE server, Wildfly.  Like many performance books, it offers advice that applies to performance in general, JEE specifically, and a particular technology (Wildfly) especially.

The first three chapters deal with methodology for performance tuning, tools of the trade (especially open source tools), and JVM tuning.  The first chapter contains material that will be largely familiar to anyone who's done much tuning in the past, but is good for those who are new to the discipline.  The second chapter outlines tools that will likewise be familiar to most experienced tuners.  There are some good tips here.  The third chapter explains JVM tuning, advice of this type seems to have a very limited shelf life.  Combined, these three chapters make for a good background for Java tuning.

The next six chapters deal with Wildfly.  They introduce the server in general, then specifically address EJBs, Persistence/JPA, Web Container (Undertow), Web Applications and Web Services (to include REST), and JMS.  These chapters include some really good expert-level tips.  If you are a user of Wildfly (or the product version, Red Hat's EAP) then these chapters alone will probably make the book a worthwhile purchase.  There's some good advice here for users of other JEE servers, but the real value here is for JBoss users.

Note:  Wildfly is the 'upstream' version of the JBoss JEE server.  After this server has undergone community testing and feedback, it will then enter the 'Productization' phase where Red Hat professional developers and QE testers iterate over the codebase before packaging it for commercial use.  For this reason, this book is a good look 'forward' for Red Hat JBoss EAP users.  The tips and descriptions in these six chapters describe the near future for EAP users, the present for Wildfly users.

The final chapter covers Wildfly clustering.  Like the previous Wildfly-centric chapters, there is some introductory material that will help the new user to understand the purpose of the feature and how it is used.  After that, tips specific to performance tuning are given.

I thought the book was very strong from a technical standpoint.  Users of Wildfly (future EAP) will be quite pleased with the insights the authors bring.  The advice is solid.

IMHO, the book could have used more illustration in the middle chapters.  The authors offered some good technical advice about Wildfly, and conversations of this type almost always benefit from coarse-grained illustrations that assure the reader they are grasping the concepts presented.  This fault isn't found throughout the book-- for instance, the clustering chapter is generously illustrated.  Maybe the authors were short on space, the book is over 300 pages as it is. 

All things considered, I'd recommend this book for any Wildfly / EAP user.  Users of other JEE servers (WebSphere, WebLogic) might consider it, but won't get the same bang for the buck.  Users of JEE in general should benefit strongly from the first chapters with incremental value added over the final chapters.

The book can be found here.

Happy (Performant) reading!


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