This review is about Packt’s Apache Maven 2 Effective Implementation by Maria Odea Ching and Brett Porter.
- 12 chapters, 436 pages, 39.99$
- This book is intended for people that already have a good experience of Maven. The 'About Maven' part is as small as it can get, it is the opposite of what could be 'Maven for Dummies', where you learn to type mvn something.
- A good portion of the book is about tools that are part of the Maven ecosystem: Continuum for the CI part and Archiva for the repository part.
- A chapter is dedicated to testing, which test to pass automatically, what frameworks to use and how to configure the whole lot.
- People that wrote the book really know Maven intimately and it shows. I’m not a newbie myself and I learned some things that I have put to good use since then (or intend to in the near future).
- There’s an interesting multi-module structure described that is designed for big projects. It shows Maven structure can be quite adaptable and module design should be custom tailored to each project’s needs. A module for each layer / artifact is only the first step.
- The part about Maven plugins is very interesting. Since Maven adopts a plugin architecture, knowing what plugins can do what, why and how to use it is invaluable.
- So is the part about testing: a good idea is that some tests should not be passed everytime, but instead launched manually or attached to a specific module.
- The tools used are Continuum and Archiva but there’s no justification for this choice. One could think that’s because they’re both Apache but that’s just not enough. Java.net’s Hudson seems the most used CI server and Sonatype’s Nexus is the reference for Maven repositories (although I have a soft spot for JFrog’s Artifactory).
- What I regret most is the part taken by reporting. My personal stance on this is that only very few organizations use these features, mainly Open Source organizations. Since you now have products such as Sonar, describing in detail how to configure Maven reporting is a waste of time. Since the book is already oriented toward tools, why doesn’t it just teach how to use Sonar (since it cites Sonar anyway)?
All in all, Apache Maven 2 Effective implementation is not a great book but rather a good book to have when you already worked with Maven so as to stand back a little and build your projects more effectively with Maven in the future.