Your Ideas for the Second Edition of EJB 3 in Action

We are deeply grateful to our readership for making EJB 3 in Action the kind of success that has exceeded all of our expectations. This is especially true considering widespread EJB 2 bashing, the maturity of EJB as a pioneer middleware technology and the authors’ relative humble roots.

We are now in the very early stages of planning the second edition and could really use your help. The second edition is slated to cover the emerging EJB 3.1, WebBeans 1.0 and JPA 2.0 specifications. We plan on adding content on testing as well as covering the EJB integration features in Spring 2.5. Beyond this content, what else would you like to see in a second edition EJB 3 book? More best practices? Performance tuning? Product/vendor selection help? Others?

Should we continue to treat EJB 3/Java EE 5 beginners as first-class citizens? Is a real-world example driven format compelling to you? Is there a need for us to become more of a reference book? Should we cover ground that’s less traveled or continue to focus on crystallizing key concepts and covering features most likely to be used in realistic EJB 3 projects?

Please do feel welcome in sending me comments at My co-authors — Debu Panda (debupanda at gmail dot com) and Rob Di Marco (robdimarco at gmail dot com) would love to hear your ideas as well.

Java EE 6 Preview at the Philadelphia JUG

On September 30th, I gave my Java EE 6 preview talk at the Philly JUG. Run by Dave Fecak of JSync, the Philly JUG is one of the most successful ones in the world. The attendance was very good and so was the level of discussion, specially considering the size of the JUG. There was a lot of excitement around Java EE 6 and I got a lot of positive feedback on the talk itself. I am hoping a number of folks will send their comments directly to the EG by emailing I spoke at the Philly JUG about a year ago on Spring and EJB 3. It was a pleasure giving that talk as well.

It’s also always great to work with Dave. He has done an amazing job keeping the community engaged and growing the JUG.

Java EE 6 Preview at the Harrisburg JUG

On September 18, I gave a preview of Java EE 6 at the Harrisburg JUG. The level of participation in this JUG is always great to see, especially since this is my old turf. I spoke about there about a year ago on EJB 3 and Spring. I am speaking there again in January about optimizing relational databases for JPA. It was truly encouraging to receive a lot of good feedback on the Java EE 6 APIs.

Java EE 6 Preview at the Princeton JUG

On September 8, I gave my Java EE 6 preview presentation at the nearby Princeton JUG. The attendance was great and so was the participation levels. Folks were very excited about all the APIs in Java EE 6 and provided a lot of positive feedback. Java champion, JDJ editor and JUG leader Yakov Fain blogged about the presentation here.

I have always enjoyed speaking with Yakov. He is a true Java veteran who always has well balanced insight into what is going on in the Java world. I look forward to speaking at the Princeton JUG again soon.

The Developer Conference, Sao Paulo Brazil

On July 25-26, I spoke at The Developer Conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil. I presented on both Java EE 6 and EJB 3.1. Both talks were very well received and there was a very good level of participation. Burr Sutter from JBoss and Ed Burns from Sun also spoke at the conference. It is one of the largest Java centric conferences in Brazil, run by a great company named GlobalCode.

This was my first time to Brazil. It is truly a very warm, hospitable and lively country. It is clearly also a global IT powerhouse with a strong Java community. I received a lot of positive feedback on EJB 3, Java EE 5 as well as Seam. Not surprisingly, there was also a great deal of excitement around EJB 3.1, WebBeans and Java EE 6. I hope I will continue to hear from the Java EE community in Brazil.

We recently published the Portuguese version of EJB 3 in Action and from all accounts, the translation seems to be doing very well. I signed quite a few copies and talked to readers in person in the conference bookstore.

EJB 3 in Action JBoss 4.2 Example Code Posted

I just finished porting the example code of EJB 3 in Action to JBoss 4.2. The code is posted on the Manning site for EJB 3 in Action. Here is a link to the code.

This means that readers can now get up and running with either GlassFish, Oracle AS or JBoss. In addition, Debu is almost done with the WebLogic 10 port. As soon as JBoss 5 is finally released (about time already!), I’ll update the code to work on the official Java EE 5 compliant release.

In the meanwhile, I’d love to hear from you guys as to what application server you would like to see supported. How about OpenEJB with Tomcat? WebSphere 7? WebSphere Community Edition? Shoot me an email and let me know.

JPA/Hibernate 3 Lab at the Connecticut JUG

On September 18th, I conducted a JPA/Hibernate 3 lab at the Connecticut JUG. I allowed people to use either NetBeans 5.5 or Eclipse Dali. This was the first ever lab they had ever done at the JUG and everything worked out quite nicely for a hands-on lab.

Personally, I would do a few things differently the next time I do this lab. Firstly, I think I have to allow just one IDE (probably Eclipse). Two IDEs are just too difficult to support in a single session. Secondly, I think I need to have all required software available for distribution on the spot. No matter how many times you say it, people never seem to come prepared. Lastly, I think this lab needs to be about two-and-a-half hours to cover JPA to a reasonable degree. By the time I am done setup and running, the allotted time is over!

As usual, it was a pleasure to talk with JUG leader Ryan. He is one of the most down-to-earth people in the Java field that I know. In a field full of ego-maniacs, this is definitely refreshing.

Embedded JBoss Container Talk at Philly JBUG

On September 18, Rob Di Marco spoke on the JBoss Embedded Container at the Philadelphia JBoss User Group. The Embeddable container allows you to use the full power of EJB 3 and JPA outside a container. Rob walked through examples of using EJB 3 in a standalone application, in a unit test as well as in Tomcat.

Embeddable containers are timely and useful innovations that allow the adoption of EJB 3 as a truly lightweight development framework. It is also an important mechanism for using EJB 3 inside existing Spring+Tomcat applications.

Besides JBoss the JOnAS and Geronimo communities have also created embeddable EJB 3 containers that can work with Tomcat. From all indications, these innovations are seeing quite a bit of success. With the advent of Java EE 6, I expect these type of innovations to receive “official” blessing.

I am trying to muster some time to write a few articles on embeddable containers as well as deploy the EJB 3 in Action example code to a few of them. After I am done, I’ll make the deployment scripts available through the book’s page on

EJB 3/Spring/Hibernate Comparison at Philly JUG

On September 26 I presented my EJB 3, Spring, Hibernate comparison talk at the Philly JUG. The Philly JUG is among the most successful JUGs in the world. It is consistently ranked in the top 25 in the U.S. and the top 50 in the world. I received great feedback on the talk and a lot of folks were very interested in what I had to say. In fact, this is the first time in it’s lifetime the Philly JUG reached its capacity attendance of a hundred-and-fifty people!

I finished off the talk with a preview of EJB 3.1 and Java EE 6. I sold a few copies of EJB 3 in Action and received feedback on the book from people who already have copies. I look forward to speaking at the Philly JUG in the future.

EJB 3/Spring/Hibernate Comparison at NoVAJUG

On the 15th of this month, I presented my popular EJB 3/Spring/Hibernate comparison talk at the Northern Virginia Java User Group (NoVAJUG). This bunch was by far the most lively I have ever seen. I always thought of the DC area to be filled with sedate government employee types. Nothing could be farther from the truth!

There were a number of people in the crowd who have used both EJB 2.x and Spring+Hibernate in a production environment and have explored EJB 3 (the room was filled to capacity). To be truthful, it felt a little bit like preaching to the choir, and I picked up a number of pretty good ideas from the crowd.

Folks pointed out the EJB 3 deployment, performance tuning, clustering and administration support for Java EE application servers like WebLogic 10. Someone suggested a performance benchmark for both the stacks. I thought that was an excellent idea. I’ll talk it over with Debu and see what he thinks…I know Oracle produced a benchmark comparing EJB 3 and EJB 2.x. I wonder if they could produce one for Spring+Hibernate and the Oracle AS EJB 3 container + TopLink JPA provider? It would be a very intriguing experiment indeed…