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Free Book: JBoss in Action

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Published by: Manning
ISBN: 1933988029

Reviewer Ratings




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One Minute Bottom Line

It is very simple to rate this book: everyone who uses JBoss AS should own and read a copy. The book is highly readable and with tons of working examples. The references at the end of each chapter are a real bonus.


This book is divided into four parts, containing 15 chapters and two appendices.

Part 1: The JBoss Application Server

If you are using JBoss than you can simply skip Chapter 1(Vote for JBoss). This chapter gets you up and running with JBoss by describing the directories and files that are part of JBoss AS, how to start and stop the server, and finally show how to deploy and undeploy a simple web application.

Chapter 2(Managing the JBoss Application Server) starts with a description of how JBoss application server is architected;the JBoss Microcontainer and JMX. Next, you will learn how each of these components are configured using its own configuration file, and how you can change these as well. Next, we get a closer look at a few of the management tools provided by JBoss like the JMX Console and twiddle. And finally, a look at some MBeans that provide helpful information,the MBeans that give the list of names in the JNDI namespace or a list of system properties.

Chapter 3(Deploying applications) is especially useful if you are encountering tons of deployment errors. This chapter starts with explaining how to deploy applications as well as services. Next, the most important section which you shouldn’t miss reading at all; understanding class loading. In this section, the authors start with a description of the class loaders, then go into class scoping, which enables the application server to differentiate among classes. Next in this section, a look at loader repositories which enable several class loaders to share or isolate classes. The next few sections cover common deployment errors like class not found exception, class cast exception and so on. The last section in this chapter is about configuring data sources and Hibernate archives.

If you are concerned about the security of your applications than Chapter 4(Securing applications) shows you everything you need to know about securing your applications. The authors discuss in detail the fundamental concepts behind application security, including authentication, authorization, and encryption and how they are implemented in JBoss AS. They also show you how to configure by demonstrating how you can access security data from a database, LDAP, or other security datastores.

Part 2: Application Services

If you are deploying web applications to JBoss than you must read Chapter 5(Configuring JBoss Web Server). It covers configuring web applications, JBoss web server, the key configuration files. Next, is configuring specific things in web applications like the URL paths, then the authors discussed JBoss Web Server connectors and how they’re used to allow client requests to come in over different protocols. In the next section the authors give us an overview of why web applications have different class loading rules and show us how to configure different web-specific class loading parameters. Next comes valves, another feature of JBoss Web Server, and finally the last section is all about configuring JavaServer Faces.

In chapter 4, the authors discussed about the fundamentals of JBoss security and showed you how to configure security domains and login modules. Chapter 6(Securing web applications)  explores the configuration files necessary to enable security, how to enable authentication and authorization for URLs relative to your application’s context path. And finally see how to enable secure communication for server authentication, mutual authentication, and client-certificate authentication.

If you are a huge fan of EJB's just like I am, than Chapter 7(Configuring enterprise applications) shows you how to structure, deploy, and configure EJB applications. Then, you will learn how to configure the application server, and finally also secure EJB applications.

In Chapter 8(JBoss Messaging), you’ll learn about configuring messaging. The chapter begins by describing JMS and how JBoss Messaging is architected. You will see an example of a message-driven EJB and a message-driven POJO. The authors show you how to use a database for message storage, how to define destinations, and how to configure authentication and authorization for those destinations.

If you are quite familiar with web services than you skip the first few sections of Chapter 9(Configuring Web Services) which introduces you to web services, shows you how to develop a simple web service. However, don't skip the next few sections which are quite interesting and cover topics such as JBossWS annotations, securing your web services using authorization and encryption.

Part 3: JBoss Portal

I did evaluate JBoss Portal sometime in 2006. So, I am not an expert in this specific area so I just skimmed over Chapters 10 and 11. These chapters provide a very basic introduction to JBoss Portal. So, I am just going to quote the topics covered in these two chapters:
  •     Creating a portlet using JSPs and JSTL
  •     Using the Admin portlet and the descriptor files to define portlet instances and portlet windows
  •     Using multiple instances within a portal
  •     Adding content to the CMS
  •     Configuring window appearance
  •     Setting up access control for portals, pages, and windows
  •     Creating a custom portal

Part 4: Going to Production

All the chapters in this section are important and very interesting. These chapters cover everything you will need to know when your application goes to production.

Chapters 12 and 13 are dedicated to clustering. Chapter 12(Understanding Clustering) begins with the fundamentals of clustering; It was interesting to set up a simple cluster as explained in this chapter and learn how to configure JGroups and JBoss Cache. Chapter 13 covers clustering as applied to Java EE specific application components and services like session EJB's and entities, HTTP session replication, and JNDI.

If you need to access and improve the performance of your application, than you need to read Chapter 14(Tunning the JBoss Application Server). In this chapters you will see ways to tune the hardware, operating system, database, JVM, application server, and of course your deployed application. There are also a few tips on how to interpret thread dumps to pinpoint performance issues within your code.

Chapter 15(Going to production) is the last chapter in this book which covers topics such as selecting a platform, running JBoss AS as a service, running multiple JBoss AS instances on the same machine. You will also learn how to remove services which are not required, secure the management applications, change the default data source, database, configuring the EJB3 timer service and precompile JSPs.

Appendix A: JNDI namespaces

In this appendix, the authors explore how JBoss does JNDI binding and how to generically bind your applications in JNDI, making them more portable across application servers.

Appendix B: Change is inevitable

To quote the authors
This appendix contains changes that came after CR2 and before the book went to the printer. Any changes after that will appear on the book’s website.
Published at DZone with permission of its author, Meera Subbarao.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)


Milos Silhanek replied on Thu, 2009/01/15 - 8:09am

I have not worked with JBoss yet. I have to learn.

Brian Hainey replied on Thu, 2009/01/15 - 8:48am

I've been looking at moving to JBoss 5, perhaps reading this book will convince me its worthwhile.


Tristan Kusnierek replied on Thu, 2009/01/15 - 9:19am

We use JBoss in Production.  Looking forward to this book.

Geoff Vuire replied on Thu, 2009/01/15 - 10:11am

JBoss has always made it easy for me to play with stuff that needs an AS/container. Since I usually don't do that type of work ease of use it key...

Andy Han replied on Thu, 2009/01/15 - 10:46am

I use JBoss in my development evironment with Seam & Richfaces.

I'm not sure whether or not using JBoss As in the production is a good choice.

This book will be a nice guide! Like it!


Bobby Hargett replied on Thu, 2009/01/15 - 11:14am

Jboss was a mixed bag for me.


Using the server it ran into a lot of problems trying to use the reference implementation of JSF, since I guess JBoss uses the myfaces impl.  But then again this was a while ago.


Now JBoss RichFaces was a good experience for me.  It was fairly easy to get it started and once it was up and running it worked like and gem and looked nice. 

Maxim Gubin replied on Thu, 2009/01/15 - 11:55am

I love the JBoss app server.  I wish I was still working on it, but maybe with their new jboss 5.0 release and reading this book I could convince my company to start using it.

Santosh Korde replied on Thu, 2009/01/15 - 12:32pm

I am using JBOSS appl server from 3.* relase. We have removed weblogic enterprise wide and we can trust jboss for trading application real time integration layer. I am confident that with lots of new aditions like seam and workflow JBOSS will maintain leadership in app server space.

I have tried glassfish but flexiblity of jboss and simplicty of adminstration made me to stick with JBOSS

Chidambaram Elumalai replied on Thu, 2009/01/15 - 5:04pm

Sample Chapter Configuring WebService was really good one . I would really like to own this book.

Robert Hicks replied on Thu, 2009/01/15 - 6:05pm

This would be nice to have. We are looking at implementing JBoss in some capacity at work and this would be a nice intro/reference.

Peter Lupo replied on Thu, 2009/01/15 - 6:25pm

I use JBoss to develop applications since version 3.2.3 which I used to learn J2EE. It has always been the best AS. I still use and recommend it to anyone who asks me and whenever I have the opportunity, I talk about it at the enterprises in which I train people to develop using the latest JEE technologies. Always using JBoss in my examples It is simply great to work with it.

I hope this book helps me getting even more into the server and discover new things I can do with it.

Manuel Jordan replied on Thu, 2009/01/15 - 7:23pm


In these days J2EE specially EJB is now easier.

I always wanted to learn both (EJB, JBOSS), but instead I chosen Spring, now I can see that I have the option available

It would be great if I get this book and apply in my jobs!

Best Regards Meera






Marc Blok replied on Fri, 2009/01/16 - 5:06am

I like JBoss, but downsite is that I do not see it with customers a lot. Mostly (financial sector, Netherlands) it's IBM Websphere. Also interesting if JBoss can keep up with the fast paced development of Glassfish. This 5.0 release took a loooooooot of time. I'm very interested in the new book!

Burkhard Graves replied on Fri, 2009/01/16 - 5:07am

I used JBoss long ago when ejb 1.x was state of the art. Looking back it was a painful programming time - but not because of JBoss - ejb 1.x was no fun at all. Later on I happily switched to Hibernate + Spring and I'm using this combination up to now. But I'm very curious about ejb 3.x and the grown up JBoss - so it would be nice to receive a free copy of the book! Who knows, perhaps it's time to switch back to JBoss...


Alexander Heim replied on Fri, 2009/01/16 - 6:52am

Coming from WebSphere we have switched to JBoss 2 years ago - and I am so glad we did it. It's much easier and quicker to work with a JBoss environment. And other JBoss frameworks like Seam or Drools are just great. Innovation comes much more out of the JBoss community than from a big established vendor like IBM.

Maniezhilan Sha... replied on Fri, 2009/01/16 - 9:32am

I love seam framework and i am interseted in jboss portal running seam applications.

 I like to read what the book has to offer regarding jboss portal.



Brian Yamabe replied on Fri, 2009/01/16 - 12:30pm

I've been using JBoss for a long time. It has really matured over the years and made things like clustering possible without too many headaches.

Can't wait to read the book. 

math king replied on Fri, 2009/01/16 - 4:41pm

I used the JBOSS server and now is the time to come back and try it again.

Mike Miller replied on Fri, 2009/01/16 - 10:04pm

We've been using JBoss for the past two years - mostly 4.0.5 and now upgrading to 4.2.3.  In a lot cases, JBoss handles thing alot better than Weblogic.


Looking forward to reading the book!

cwchen aa replied on Sun, 2009/01/18 - 8:02pm

Love JBoss app server,and related projects, all of my projects are using jboss project,eg. JBoss application server,Drools,JBPM,Cache,Portal,Transaction and so on

Still love JBoss

Bertrand Gillis replied on Mon, 2009/01/19 - 2:03am

JBoss 5.0 is definitively the best Open Source J2EE Application Server I've ever used.

Brian Huang replied on Mon, 2009/01/19 - 4:46am

I have been using Jboss for 7 years. It has been very stable. I recently upgraded 4.0.x to 4.2.x GA and it works as good as expected. I am planning to use jBoss 5.0.x, Seam, jBPM, and wicket in my next project.

James Smythe replied on Mon, 2009/01/19 - 2:45pm

Great book. Well written and informative.

Sanjay Mijar replied on Mon, 2009/01/19 - 6:30pm

Cool book.

long nagamy replied on Tue, 2009/01/20 - 4:21am

I have been working with various Application Server for various enterprise applications in the past, both open source and commercial Application Servers. I have used JBoss 3.2.x for the development of an ERP system using most of the open source codes/projects in the universe, have a really good experience integrating all the open source families then.  Had also have an opportunity to migrate the application to JBoss 4.0 then. Sad to say that I have to leave JBoss since then, always try to get myself up to date with Jboss through the web site since then.

Manoj Negandhi replied on Tue, 2009/01/20 - 12:49pm

Looking forward to reading the book

Alexey Yastremskiy replied on Tue, 2009/01/20 - 2:12pm

We started with 3.2. Now we are on 4.2. We also use JBportal.

Jboss is one of the most significant open source products.

Jack Park replied on Tue, 2009/01/20 - 4:32pm

I have developed with JBoss in the past; with the latest version out now, I look forward to using it in my knowledge federation work.  Looking forward to reading the book.

Mark Wen replied on Tue, 2009/01/20 - 5:04pm

Is this a trick? how do download the free copy? Thx.

Gene James replied on Tue, 2009/01/20 - 6:58pm

I have been using JBoss since the first version out. JBoss pioneered the professional open source business model where the core developers of projects make a living and offer their services.  I am worried about the future of JBoss under Redhat. Will Redhat create a Red Hat Enterprise version.... and leave the free open source version in the dark, which eventually force people to spend on the software they used to use at no charge. :-( 

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