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Book Review: Beginning Java Databases, by Kevin Mukhar, Todd Lauinger, John Carnell et al.

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Beginning Java Databases

By Kevin Mukhar, Todd Lauinger, John Carnell et al.

Published by Wrox 2001

Beginning Java Databases aims to teach programmers with a firm grasp of the Java language how to build database-driven Java applications. As such, it covers a number of different, but related technologies. Relational database fundamentals are covered, together with the syntax and mechanics of the SQL query language. The book discusses how to access a database from Java using JDBC, and illustrates the ideas with a 'music store' example. There is some coverage of stored procedures and transactions. The book makes a failed attempt at discussing object-relational mappings. I say the attempt is failed as the conclusion seems to be to use an off-the-shelf object-relational mapping framework! Towards the end of the book, chapters discuss such topics as XML, JSPs, and J2EE (Java Enterprise) applications.

Beginning Java Databases is a big book (just under 1000 pages), and covers a lot of material. Given the size of the task, it was an ambitious book to write and get out on market in good time. Many different authors contributed to the final product, and unfortunately there are places where it shows. The book is full of typos, the style is not always consistent, and, in my opinion, there is some overlap of material in different chapters (or are they just making sure in case you didn't understand it the first time?)

However, the basic structure of Beginning Java Databases is very good, and the choice of topics could not be better. The book, as you would expect, encourages a hands-on approach to the topics discussed and indicates where you can find the software to try out the ideas discussed. Whether you are really beginning Java Databases, or someone who would like to brush up on some of the concepts, there is a lot to gain from this book. It's just a shame they couldn't condense it into fewer pages...

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Simon White