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Spring in Practice
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
In a nutshell: This is an excellent and comprehensive guide to advanced usage of the Spring framework. For anyone who is looking to further their knowledge gained from several years of Spring development in the trenches, this book will pay dividends. Although a Spring novice may be able to learn about Spring from this book, I would recommend picking up a copy of Spring in Action first, as the 'In practice' books can be quite fast paced!

As a seasoned Java developer I have been working with the Spring framework for many years now. One of the first Spring books I read was Spring in Action, and in combination with Java Persistence with Hibernate this book has helped me complete many successful projects (I seriously owe the authors a few beers!). From the grounding provided in these book, and in combination with the excellent Spring Source website, I have been able to explore and develop my skills as the Spring framework has expanded - for example, the Spring Data project is now my go-to framework for all things NoSQL related. However, I always enjoy learning from advanced Spring practitioners and also from reading stories about real-world use and abuse of the framework, and I have yet to find a good book that meets this need - until now. 'Spring in Practice' satisfies this gap in the market perfectly.

The book is ~500 pages, and it manages to cram in a lot of content. Advanced usage of all the main Spring components is covered, and covered well. The first nine chapters provide a great grounding and advanced look at topics such as data persistence (ORM), Spring MVC, Web Flow and Security. The remaining chapters deep-dive into topics such as Integration Testing and Enterprise Integration (REST, RabbitMQ and IMAP integration etc), and really focus on how to write good (high-quality) code for the common but difficult tasks.

As the title suggests, the book's focus is very much about practical usage of Spring. It's not quite in the 'cookbook' style you may have seen with other books, but IMHO, this book is better organised for general learning (i.e. reading the book from cover to cover). The obvious advantage with a cookbook style reference is that it's easy to cherry-pick solutions to problems, but I find that cookbooks can be difficult to read through if you simply want to learn. 'Spring in Practice' is logically structured, the book is nicely paced for the advanced developer, and the discussions of real-world problems and the related code sample solutions seek to further your knowledge and encourage exploration of Spring.

As mentioned above, I have worked with Spring for several years, but this book has taught me lot of new tricks - there's nothing like finding a section of the book that leads to a 'no way, Spring does that?' moment :) The author's clearly have their own style of developing in Spring, and I personally would chose to do some things differently (e.g. I code the production of XML/JSON differently), but I can't argue that what they've done isn't best practice, and with a framework as large and wide-scoped as Spring, there is bound to be many approaches to do the same thing.

In summary, this is an excellent book, and one that should be on the bookshelf of any serious Spring developer. It will help deepen knowledge gained from 'Spring in Action', and also help to augment skills honed from time in the development trenches. I can almost guarantee that anyone who picks up a copy of this book, no matter how advanced they are, will learn something new. As you've no doubt guessed by now, I highly recommend this book, and I would like to offer my congratulations to the authors and Manning for writing a book which has long been needed by advanced Spring practitioners!
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on 4 June 2013
I have been using Spring professionally for a while now and have read a couple of books on this topic which I found I lost interest in reading after just a few chapters, mostly because they spend too much time talking about core concepts and then rush through the various aspects of Spring that you would actually use in a professional environment or the contents are tightly coupled (he he) and you can't just pick a single topic to study about, as such they don't offer much to the more experienced developer.

Which is certainly not the case with this book. The information within is nicely structured and it is very easy to just pick up a topic you are interested in and read about that topic only without concerning too much about the surrounding context. The code examples actually work out of the box without loads of compilation failures or dev environment issues and overall its quite a pleasant learning experience.

The book more or less covers the most common use-cases for using the spring framework professionally, focussing on the practical aspects of the technologies i.e Spring MVC, Data, Web Services while also covering core topics like bean contexts, aop, etc. However, unlike most of the other books that also cover similar topics, the author goes on to expand the scope of these topics with respect to their practical uses for developing mobile interfaces of your application, using Git Hub and other technologies like Rabbit MQ, so as long as you have an idea of what they are, you would be able to learn about them.

But this book isn't just for the more experienced programmer, if you are new to Spring and have some basic concepts like DI or programming experience, then this book would be helpful for you as well. Initially the learning curve might be a bit steep but eventually you would realise that you didn't just waste your time in learning on how to write "Hello World" in 50 different ways, instead you gained knowledge of covering practical use-cases with Spring which is far more satisfying and useful.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book for learning about and polishing your knowledge of the Spring framework.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 24 August 2013
Great, dense package of useful stuff. Good for folks like me who haven't used Spring for years and want a v3 refresh. The style reminds me of "Effective Java": no wasted ink, anywhere.
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on 25 July 2013
If you are familiar with Spring, this book is a must. If you are just starting to explore the world of DI , Interface based programming I would suggest try "Spring in Action" first. And it will also gracefully introduce you to every Spring Module.

If you want to see how this is really done, or who's your daddy :-) Spring in Practice indeed shows more powerful (and a little more complicated ) solutions.

Don't expect both books to teach you Hibernate(few people asked me) or even do very extensive introduction on it. Spring is an "agent" simplifying both existing and side technologies and this is story how we use efficient and clean "rat ways" instead of labyrinths of settings and boilerplate code(therefore the focus is not on the technologies) . Hibernate is unfortunately too huge to cover it together. But if you ask me "Spring in Action" one of the worst books to teach yourself Hibernate from zero. :-)
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on 18 January 2014
Very useful book ... has all the useful information about Spring in the book readily available to apply in practice when working with Spring based projects... keep it handy with you as a ready reference !!
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