Praise for Rapid J2EE Development
"The author provides a good survey of the technologies and approaches for rapid development in the J2EE arena. He touches on all areas that should be of interest to a reader, from design through testing. He illustrates the different phases of rapid development by going into several technologies in depth, and he also lists or otherwise mentions other available technologies. I would recommend this book to anyone looking to get started with developing J2EE applications."
Beth Stearns, Consultant, ComputerEase Publishing
"This book has a lot of great material in it. The author really shows his experience in the subject matter. The content is excellent. I haven't seen another book that is as comprehensive or contains as many real-world lessons learned."
Madhu Siddalingaiah, Consultant, SEA Corporation
"I think the book does a good job of presenting a set of processes and technologies that enable rapid development. I think this is an extremely useful book, and I would recommend it to others."
Satadip Dutta, Software Engineer, HP
"The author skillfully presents a collection of tools, technologies and processes that facilitate rapid development of J2EE applications. I see this book as a valuable addition to any company bookshelf, especially given its broad application across the software lifecycle. It's also quite amazing that a Google search does not reveal any existing publications with this title. This book should neatly fill that hole."
Martin Westacott, Director and Senior Consultant, Solstice Software Limited, U.K.
"If you ever needed to put some polish to your J2EE development understanding or would like to move into the role of Senior J2EE Developer, then this is the book for you. The author covers everything you need to take you from design to coding to build process. Along the way he introduces some new valuable 'leading-edge' technologies. All this will leave you with good capabilities to tackle most J2EE projects confidently."
Shane Griggs, J2EE Architect
Learn to accelerate J2EE development, from design through testing and beyond.
Covers agile development, model-driven architecture, code generation, aspect-oriented programming, test-driven development, and much more.
An essential resource for every J2EE developer, project leader, and manager.
J2EE is today's premier platform for enterprise-level development, but it's difficult to deliver J2EE solutions as quickly as today's businesses need them. This book presents a complete, practical foundation for rapid development throughout your entire project lifecycle. Its best-practice techniques and tools don't just accelerate developmentthey help you adapt smoothly to increasing complexity and non-stop change. You'll learn how to make the most of iterative development, model-driven architecture (MDA), code-generation tools, aspect-oriented programming (AOP), test-driven development, and much more.
Defining end-to-end J2EE development strategies that promote speed without compromising quality
Understanding how your design-time decisions impact overall project schedules
Building agile application architectures that promote rapid development
Using UML modeling to streamline system design and validation
Speeding database development with code generation and object-relational mapping
Practical test-driven development: constructing automated unit test suites and using mock objects to "test from the inside out"
Leveraging the full value of Eclipse and other IDEs
If you're a J2EE developer, project leader, or manager, you're under constant pressure to deliver quality applications more rapidly. Rapid J2EE Development gives you all the skills and resources you need to respond.
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Download the Sample Chapter related to this title.
About the Author.
I. ADAPTIVE PROCESSES.
1. A J2EE Adaptive Foundation.
The Need for Rapid Development
The Enterprise Challenge
The J2EE Platform
Defining an Adaptive Foundation
Laying the Foundations for Rapid Development
Foundation Investment Benefits
Critical Success Factors
2. Rapid Application Development.
Common Elements of RAD
Working with Prototypes
3. Embracing Adaptive Methods.
Why Use a Methodology?
The Waterfall Lifecycle Model
II. AGILE ARCHITECTURES.
4. Designing for Rapidity.
Architecture and Design Objectives
RAD Architecture and Design
Approaches to J2EE Architecture
5. Modeling Software.
Multiple Views of Architecture
The Unified Modeling Language
Why Modeling Tools Fail
Succeeding with Modeling Tools
6. Code Generation.
What Is Code Generation?
Passive Code Generators
Active Code Generators
Working with Actively Generated Code
7. Rapidity and the Database.
The Database Dilemma
Data Access Options
Code Generation and O/R Mapping
Setting Up the Database
Generating the Persistence Layer
8. Model-Driven Architecture.
The Promise of MDA
MDA Versus Traditional Modeling
MDA Compliant Tools
MDA with AndroMDA
III. RAPID LANGUAGES.
Why Use a Scripting Language?
Features of a Scripting Language
A Groovy Alternative
10. Working to Rule.
Business Rules in Software
The Java Rule-Engine API
Enterprise-Level Rule Engines
11. Aspect-Oriented Programming.
Language Versus Framework
IV. DYNAMIC ENVIRONMENTS.
12. Optimal Builds.
Time and Motion
The Build Process
Minimal Builds with Ant
Working with Subprojects
Viewing Build Dependencies
Standard Build Targets
Integration with IDEs
Extending Ant with Jython
13. The Integrated Development Environment.
Why Use an IDE?
IDE Features for Enterprise Development
Debugging J2EE Applications with Eclipse
14. Test-Driven Development.
Testing as a Development Paradigm
Generating Unit Tests
Testing from the Inside Out
15. Efficient Quality Assurance.
Load and Stress Testing
Appendix A. Acronyms.
Appendix B. Bibliography.
Three months, or you're dead!
These were the opening words of the keynote speaker at a conference I attended over what now seems a long time ago. Three months, the speaker's argument went, was the time available to turn an idea into a fully realized solution. After that, the idea would be out of date and the competition ahead.
The specifics of the rest of the presentation have since faded from memory. The speaker went on to cover the intricacies of B2B and C2B for e-business, but by that stage, my thoughts were elsewhere. The point had been well made: the business world had embraced the Internet, and with it, a new unit of measure—Internet-time.
On reflection, the speaker's opening remarks were something of a watershed in my approach to software engineering. Quality is fundamental to all projects. Nevertheless, the need to accommodate change quickly puts another watchword at the top of the list, alongside quality: rapidity !
Modern-day business continues to move at an ever-faster rate, and the enterprise systems that underpin those businesses are required to keep pace. As software professionals, we find ourselves under increasing pressure not only to deliver on quality but also within ever-decreasing timeframes. Compounding these demands further is a marked rise in system complexity. Gone are the days when a system's boundaries were constrained to a single organization. The allure of the Internet for e-commerce has led to demands for systems that require integration on a truly global scale.
Meeting this demand is not easy. Indeed, it has never been easy. In his landmark article No Silver Bullet , Fredrick P. Brooks argued there would be no new breakthrough in software development technology that would result in even a single order of magnitude increase in productivity Brooks, 1987. Although published over a decade ago, Brooks's statement still holds true. Despite this perceived inability to address the essential complexity of software development, the business world continues to make ever-increasing demands of software professionals despite the poor track record of the IT industry in delivering quality solutions to even medium-term timeframes. Further compounding the problem is the current climate of fierce competition between software vendors, who vie to outdo one another in a bid to win work in what is presently a high-risk market.
Therefore, the bar continues to rise for us as IT professionals. In order to keep pace with these steadily escalating demands and rising competition, software developers are turning to a variety of new and exciting methods, technologies, and tools. Agile methodologies are touted as a panacea for those projects that continue to fail to come in on time and under budget. The word agile is proving very popular, with proponents of agile modeling techniques promising to revolutionize our entire approach to systems development. Likewise, others are looking beyond the object-oriented paradigm and seeking to embrace aspect-oriented programming, with its weaves and crosscuts. Supporting all of these new ideas and advances is a maturing base of cutting-edge development tools that assist the software engineer in bringing these techniques to the Java 2 platform.
The IT world is indeed changing rapidly, and not just in terms of technology advances. Today, the speaker's words are more true than ever: Three months, or you're dead!
This book does not promote a radically new development methodology that guarantees to slash your development timeframes. Nor is it about rapidity at any cost. It is certainly not about rapidity at the expense of quality. Instead, this book defines a series of solid software engineering practices that target improving both productivity and quality on J2EE projects.
Many of the techniques covered fall just outside of the mainstream. As such, this book offers a fresh perspective on the problems of rapidity for enterprise solutions. Moreover, not all of the techniques will be applicable for every given scenario. Instead, the emphasis is on arming the software engineer with an arsenal of new ideas and practical techniques relevant to the day-to-day process of building cost-effective, quality solutions.
This book is useful to anyone engaged in the development of enterprise-level systems on the J2EE platform. Whether you are an architect, designer, developer or tester, this book can help you work more effectively and productively.
Primarily, this book targets anyone who considers himself or herself a software engineer. It is also of interest to anyone who works with or manages developers.
The title software engineer is worthy of further elaboration. IT professionals have a propensity for putting all manner of titles on business cards, from systems analyst and enterprise architect to quality specialist and IT consultant. The true software professional, however, is an extremely versatile individual who is fully capable of fulfilling many, but not necessarily all, of the predefined roles on a project. It is to this type of individual that I apply the term software engineer. Putting aside for a moment the technical description of the role and the associated computer scientist tag, a software engineer is someone who not only knows his or her profession but knows it well . He or she can effectively contribute in all project phases, whether analysis, design, implementation, or testing. Moreover, a software engineer continually looks for new ideas to improve what he or she does and how it is done. In short, a software engineer understands that self-improvement and continuous learning are fundamental activities for an IT professional.
If you think this description applies to you, then you are reading the right book.
The contents of this book are broken up into four logical parts:
Chapter 1: A J2EE Adaptive Foundation . This chapter introduces the concepts behind the creation of an adaptive foundation for rapid development.
Chapter 2: Rapid Application Development . Techniques commonly associated with the rapid development of software, including rapid development languages, approaches to prototyping, and timeboxed development methods, are described in this chapter.
Chapter 3: Embracing Adaptive Methods . Chapter 3 explores the importance of lightweight development methodologies that incorporate an iterative approach to building software.
Chapter 4: Designing for Rapidity . This chapter looks at how the choices we make at design time have implications for the project's timeframe.
Chapter 5: Modeling Software . The topic of this chapter is the use of models for building software architectures, and it examines how UML diagrams enable the communication, validation, and exploration of system designs.
Chapter 6: Code Generation . We discuss the merits of passive and active code generation. The use of XDoclet for generating boilerplate code artifacts for Enterprise JavaBeans is illustrated by example, along with the use of Apache's Velocity template engine.
Chapter 7: Rapidity and the Database . The repetitive nature of data access code makes it a prime candidate for code generation. This chapter looks at the time savings to be had from the use of the code generation tool Middlegen, as well as at how object-relational mapping products can ease the process of mixing object-oriented technology with that of relational database technology.
Chapter 8: Model-Driven Architecture . This chapter brings together models with code generation techniques to explore the MDA paradigm. The use of the open source MDA tool AndroMDA is covered by example.
Chapter 9: Scripting . This chapter looks at the benefits of scripting languages and introduces the Java compatible scripting language Jython.
Chapter 10: Working to Rule . This chapter examines the benefits of using rule engines to maintain business logic. The open source, expert system shell Jess is introduced as an example of a rule-based language.
Chapter 11: Aspect-Oriented Programming . AOP provides new language constructs for modularizing crosscutting concerns. The result is a powerful mechanism for applying changes dynamically to an application. This chapter introduces the AOP language AspectJ and the AOP framework AspectWerkz.
Chapter 12: Optimal Builds . Chapter 12 addresses the importance of having a highly efficient and optimized build process in place for conducting rapid development.
Chapter 13: The Integrated Development Environment . We examine the need to invest in sophisticated and integrated development tools. The open source developer's workbench Eclipse is introduced as an example of a suitable J2EE development environment.
Chapter 14: Test-Driven Development . The practice of test-driven development is key to defining an approach that is resilient to changing requirements and designs. This chapter looks at the importance of constructing an automated unit test suite and covers the JUnit framework for writing unit tests as well as the use of mock objects in testing.
Chapter 15: Efficient Quality Assurance . The final chapter looks at using automated testing tools for undertaking functional and performance testing. The open source tools HttpUnit and Apache JMeter are covered by example.
The examples included in this book use open source software where possible. This approach provides a low-cost option for trying out the rapid development techniques covered. Where suitable open source software products are not available, I have attempted to select commercial products that offer free trial versions for evaluation purposes. In a few rare exceptions, examples use commercial products that represent a best-of-breed for a particular technology, regardless of cost.
The content of this book is part software management and part software development, as rapid development is not possible without engaging both disciplines.
Although the content of this book spans the entire development process, it is not a definitive text on the lifecycle of a project. Rather, the content encompasses a detailed collection of ideas, processes, and techniques tailored to enterprise-level J2EE developments.
Not all of the techniques are applicable to every situation. Instead, you should familiarize yourself with the ideas presented, then draw upon your own skills and experience to determine which of them adds the most value to your specific project.
The techniques and practices presented all represent best-practice software engineering. The intent is to introduce a wide range of subjects rather than focus on a small number of topics in minute detail. Rapid-fire examples illustrate each of the concepts introduced, which bring you quickly up to speed with a particular topic. Each chapter includes links and references to further resources for more information on all the techniques and practices covered.
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