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Professional Portal Development with Open Source Tools
by W. Clay Richardson, Donald Avondolio, Joe Vitale, Peter Len, Kevin T. Smith

1 edition
February 2004
456 pages

Reviewed by Thomas Paul, June 2004
  (5 of 10)

There seems to be a new breed of technical cookbook book that involves throwing a lot of different technologies into a stew and hoping that what comes out is flavorful. Unfortunately, the result is more often than not, a less than tasty meal. This book is a prime example. Although it claims to be a guide to portal development using Java, it is mainly a bare bones discussion of lots of open source technologies without tying them together.

The book starts with an introduction to the Java Portlet API. This should be the heart of the book but in 35 pages we get a glance at some aspects of portals and some tables that give us a little on what but virtually nothing on how or why. Thinking that this was simply a quick introduction I wasn't too let down but then the book moves on to short chapters on Lucene, Apache James, Apache OJB, and Jakarta Slide. The book talks about security, planning, JavaScript, deployment, web services, etc. The one thing that is lacking is a feel for how this should all fit together within the Portlet API.

Taking each chapter by itself, some of them are good while others cover little more than the surface of each topic. Overall, the book fails to be a guide to developing a portal using Java. It should be considered as a series of articles dealing with different aspects of portal development but without any real connection.

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