The Play Framework Cookbook bills itself as 'quick answers to common problems', and in this respect I think it does a good job. Each chapter is presented as a bite-sized discussion of a single task, in common cookbook problem/solution/discussion format. One nice aspect is that the first piece of code in many chapters is a test - similar to the TDD practices many developers will be familiar with.
The public, freely available documentation for the Play framework is pretty good at introducing the key concepts of the framework, so any book on the topic risks a certain degree of crossover. The first two chapters of this book do suffer from this somewhat, so more experienced readers may choose to skip these after scanning for interesting tidbits.
As the book progresses through chapters 3-7 it explores a wider range of interesting an informative topics, broadly divided between insights into the Play framework itself and integration with libraries from the wider Java/web ecosystem (e.g. ActiveMQ, Spring, Solr, nginx among many others). Unless you have lots of experience of Play and Java libraries already, you'll be almost certain to find something you've not tried before. While the solutions in the book are not necessarily the only way, they are usually concise and represent a reasonable, idiomatic approach to resolving the problem. As a result even more experienced Play developers will probably find the book helpful as inspiration to jump-start the problem-solving process. Indeed, while reading the book I came across a number of interesting sections which I'll want to come back to on future projects (even if I have to make up excuses to try them!)
The occasional grammar and formatting-related issues do crop up, and the English doesn't flow quite as well as it could. It shouldn't get in the way of understanding, or enjoying, the interesting content though.
This is a book which I'll be glad to keep handy for future Play projects, to revisit interesting sections, and I'll probably recommend that we get a copy or two for our library at work. You probably wouldn't buy this as an introductory book to Play, but after the reference documentation this is a good second stop.
After working for over one year with the play framework, I have to admit I was a little bit skeptical about the real value of this book to me. I was wrong!
The "Play Framework Cookbook" is a book about the java based play framework. The framework is a revolution in the java world as it allows you to quickly develop web based applications without the usual headaches and over-engineering typical of Java EE applications. It takes a complete new approach away from the well know java servlets.
It has a very nice format that doesn't force you to read the whole book if you don't want to, you can just jump to the section of interest and you'll be able to follow and understand. You can find recipes spacing from the very basic "install the framework" and "create the first view" to advanced concepts like "bytecode enhancing" and "developing your own module". All of them are split into sections "How to do it..", "How it works", "There's more" with the last being some additional references on the subject. I think that was well thought as it should fit your needs whether your want to spend a few minutes on it or dig down into the additional links provided. The most useful - in my opinion - is the last section "Running in production" with hands on examples of how to setup continuous integration, web servers or deploy on multiple nodes. This is something you won't easily find around and you will need if you're serious about using play.
One issue with the book is the lack of code formatting. Sometimes is hard to read between the code especially when there are comments in between or when the code goes across three or four pages! The book tries to cover various aspects of working with the framework but there are at least a couple of recipes that I found a bit useless and some important ones missing. In fact there are about 12 pages of "creating your own persistence layer" that I think nobody will ever need (I could understand the educational purpose but not in a cookbook) while there is no scala or database evolutions recipe. Also the continuations are only barely described.
All in all I'd say is a very handy reference to have whether you are familiar with the framework or you are just beginning. The format and the contents is good and it's easy to get into it without too much previous knowledge.
When i bought the book, my knowledge about play! framework was too poor, so i decided bought this book , it was great, you can read only the parts that you need, it has got enough recipes to help you to create amazing things whit this new framework. This framework is easy and quickly , really useful to develop quickly web content with really good quality.
The book structure is perfect in every chapter you have a new recipe that help you, also you have de basic chapters: "how install", " about play", and the most important to me, the book talk about running in production, normally books only talk about development and when you are going to install in a web server in totally crazy, so this is really good.
The book also explain the integration with some libraries, all of the really useful.
So in my opinion is a really recommended book if you want star to develop with play! framework and you are looking for more practical explain.
I read this book immediately after reading the play manual.
As the title suggests it's a cookbook providing lots of how-tos. It covered a lot of unfamiliar ground e.g. bytecode enhancements, indexing using solr, dojo integration , in a relatively easy to understand language. I'm deducting one star only because some recipes got obsured by the amount of test harness accompanying them.
Excellent book with a lot of examples and tips. Provides a continuous learning form the beginning in a medium technical language which helps understanding everything, even if we are new at PLAY. Recomend it for sure. For deep knowledge the Play framework Essentials is also a mandatory book to summarize, review and learn some new tricks.