This book can really be considered the "encyclopedia of Spring". Co-authored by Rob Harrop, a core developer of the Spring framework and author of several books, in its 800+ pages "Pro Spring" it's a comprehensive guide to building J2EE applications. It's a book suitable for both experts and beginners: it covers with great detail and clarity the basics of Spring (inversion of control, bean lifecycle, aop) as well as advanced subjects like iBatis integration, transaction managment and Spring remoting. What's interesting is that some advanced topics presented here aren't covered at all by other Spring books: "Job scheduling with Spring" (and Quartz), "Mail support with Spring". The sample application developed in the book is a "Spring Blog"; all the code is clear and well explained, and there are several other example all throughout the book. Overall, "Pro Spring" is a must-have if you plan to use Spring in your project.
The one major failing I found was that the book failed to discuss why one would want to use Spring in the first place - much was made of the AOP and IOP paradigms, for instance, but no real effort was made to demonstrate the (debateable) advantages that they convey in comparison to conventional techniques. I would have appreciated such a discussion. This book's greatest success is in presenting a good working example of each of the technologies included in the Spring framework. I have been using it to get up to speed on Spring and couldn't have asked for a more useful text in that respect. Generally speaking the descriptions of each of the technologies is accurate, with only occasional failings (inevitable in an 800 page tome) in the proof reading. A few of the technologies are covered in rather less detail than would truly be needed to be a "Pro" in the suite - but I don't see how that could be avoided given that some of them are already very sophisticated in their own right. Regardless, this is an impressive book and very definitely deserves a full five star rating; don't let my few quibbles put you off - if you need to use Spring you need to buy this book.
This comprehensive tutorial on the benefits of dependency injection is clearly written and smoothly develops the key steps required for an understanding of J2EE without EJB. The only ommission is a section on the integration of Spring with JSF (Java Server Faces). Excellent book for those wishing to obtain a comprehensive understanding of Spring and its capabilities.
Oh boy do I feel stupid buying an ebook and expecting it to be up to date. This book refers to release 1.2 of Spring, but version 3 is out now. I'll be more careful with future ebook purchases (as I can't return them). But I wonder what Amazon and the publisher are doing selling books about such old technology? Oh yeah, because they can make money from people like me who don't check carefully first...