Aimed at the beginning Java programmer, Bill Brogden's Java Developer 's Guide to Servlets and JSP
provides a digestible tutorial to Web development using Sun's JavaServer Pages (JSPs) and servlets, two popular technologies for creating dynamic Web content. This entry-level text gets you started with these APIs and also gives a wide-ranging perspective on other standards like JDBC and XML.
This book's approachability is a major strength. Sure, there is plenty of useful expertise on display here, but the author doesn't get bogged down in too much detail. After showing off the fundamentals of servlets and JSPs, including basic syntax, this book uses simple and effective examples that demonstrate these APIs at work. Several versions of a chat application are used to display different strategies for maintaining "state" within JSPs using hidden form variables, cookies and the JSP session object. (The same code gets enhanced with sockets and RMI later in the book.) This comparative approach is useful for seeing the advantages and differences of each programming strategy.
This title also delves into APIs that are essential for Web developers today. There is an excellent introduction to XML here, plus a chapter on JDBC for database programming. A standout section on getting JSPs and Perl scripts to work together provides some valuable techniques for leverage legacy Web code. (The author shows how JSP code can invoke Perl scripts and retrieve their results.) The book closes with a comprehensible example on JSP tag libraries, how to use servlets and applets together, and a truly useful listing of all relevant servlet and JSP APIs in an appendix. There is even a glossary, to help demystify key terms for the beginning JSP developer.
In all, besides providing a capable tutorial to the basics, this title offers good coverage on related Java-based Web development APIs and techniques that will help make you more productive in the field. Java Developer's Guide to Servlets and JSP is a smart and thoroughly approachable choice for getting started with servlets and JSP development. --Richard Dragan