Book Review – Murach’s Java Servlets and JSP, 3rd Edition

Murach’s Java Servlets and JSP by Joel Murach and┬áMichael Urban provides a comprehensive coverage of all aspects related to Java Servlets and JSP. The book is divided into 4 sections spread across 23 chapters and two appendixes.

Firstly, I would like to emphasize that the book is meant for those who already have good knowledge/base in Java. If you are a beginner, I would suggest you to purchase Murach Java and learn the core basics of Java. However, this book provides a brief overview of Java but it’s not sufficient to learn Servlets.

Murach's Java Servlets and JSP

Section 1 provides a comprehensive coverage of Java web programming basics, structure of a web application with the MVC pattern in addition to use of NetBeans and Tomcat.

The next section begins with a crash course in HTML5 and CSS3 and enables you to learn the development of Servlets, Java Server Pages and application of sessions and cookies in a detailed way. The remaining chapter examines the use of EL, JSTL and custom JSP tags.

Murach's Java Servlets and JSP Back Side

The chapters in section 3 are entirely devoted to database. You will learn how to use MySQL database with Servlets, JSP in addition to use and application of JDBC and JPA. In Page 390, the authors have examined the usage of JDBC with the help of a SQL gateway application.

While Chapter 14 (Section 4) examines the use of JavaMail to enable you to send email directly from your Java web application, Chapter 15 will help you to learn the use of SSL to establish secure connectivity. The next chapter provides the steps required to restrict access to a web resource.

You will also learn the usage of HTTP requests & responses, listenersfilters in addition to the concepts related to JavaServer Faces. This section include a separate chapter on website security and it examines the following concepts

  • Common website and Password attacks
  • Steps required to prevent social engineering attacks
  • Cyptography
  • How to Hash/Salt Passwords and enforce password strength requirements

In Chapter 21 (page 614), you will learn a brief summary of the various versions of JavaServer Faces, adding JSF library to a project, creation & use of managed beans, usage of standard JSF tags, coding inputText tag & forms and data validation.

From my point of view, the chapters in section 4 of Murach’s Java Servlets and JSP will be very useful for advanced level developers.

Learning will not be complete without applying the knowledge you have gained in a real world scenario. Section 5 examines the development of a music store website using JSP. The authors have provided the detailed coverage of the usage of various classes with complete source code. In page 649, you will find a class diagram for the business objects.

Towards the end of this section, the authors have examined the working of the various modules included with the sample application.

I prefer the manner in which the authors have presented the content. Each chapter ends with bulleted summary and coding exercises to test your knowledge. I feel that the book can be used as a course material to teach advanced Java course spanning 6 months.

Murach’s Java Servlets and JSP include two appendixes which examine the installation procedure of JDK, NetBeans, Tomcat, MySQL related to both PC and Mac. You will also learn the steps required to configure Tomcat server, MySQL Community Server and Workbench.

The authors have also examined the relevant steps to create and restore databases to run the sample application featured in the book. You can also download the complete source code of the sample project from Murach official website.

Summary of Murach Java Servlets and JSP

I wonder how many developers make use of JSP to build web pages because of server constraints. I can’t specifically state the total time required to learn the content of this book as it purely depends upon the ability of each developer. However, I would highly recommend Murach’s Java Servlets and JSP if you would like to learn advanced Java with the help of a real world project.

Murach's Java Servlets and JSP (3rd Edition) Book Cover Murach's Java Servlets and JSP (3rd Edition)
Training & Reference
Joel Murach, Michael Urban
June 15, 2014

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