Tuesday, October 20, 2009

WebSphere Application Server 7.0 Administration Guide

I recently had the opportunity to review the recently published WebSphere Application Server 7.0 Administration Guide from Packt Publishing and thought I would share my opinions on this book. In the spirit of full disclosure, I was provided a copy of the book to review at no cost to myself.

This book is a great introduction to the world of WebSphere Application Server for people that are new to J2EE and/or WebSphere Application. In fact, I am recommending this book to all of the new developers, testers, and documentation specialists that work with me. The book does an excellent job of describing how to perform a number of the different tasks that a WebSphere Administrator will face. The book is filled with plenty of examples, sample code, and visuals.

The author does a nice job of describing the different activities from product installation to fixpack and patch installation, application deployment, securing the WebSphere environment, and managing the WebSphere configuration. The reader is introduced to the different administration tools - the WebSphere Admin Console, wsadmin, Tivoli Performance Viewer, and the administrative utilities (dumpNameSpace, manageProfiles, etc...) - as well as messaging and the new Admin Agent. Additionally, this book introduces customers to the idea of automation as a part of the WebSphere Application Server administrative process, something I feel is extremely valuable to WebSphere customers.

If you are an extremely experienced WebSphere Application Server administrator who is just looking for the very technical details of new version 7.0 features only, this is not the book for you but it might be a good book to share with your colleagues that do not have the knowledge and experience you do.

I found it to be an enjoyable read with useful information but not so technical that I felt like I was reading a specification. All in all, I recommend this as a great book to get users started with WebSphere Application Server.

David Brauneis
Chief Architect, Rational Automation Framework for WebSphere


Jo said...

Do you really think this book did justification to its title?

Why was named websphere 7.0 when they can't discuss 90% its new features?

David Brauneis said...

I can agree with you that it is not the most descriptive title for a book that I have ever come across. I actually find that in general technical books have very vague titles and you have to flip to the table of contents to get a good feel for what they might cover.

I think that this book was certainly not for the advanced power user but did do a good job of introducing folks to the different administrative aspects to WebSphere Application Server - remember that in many environments WebSphere administrators are responsible for installation, configuration, and application deployment. I generally think that the term Administration Guide was being used to cover all aspects of working with the WebSphere configuration.

I also can agree with your point that it didn't cover a lot of the new WebSphere Application Server 7.0 features (though the book was focused on WebSphere Application Server not WebSphere Application Server ND). Part of that might have been the more introductory nature of the book, part of it might have been due to the fact that it was targeted to non-ND environments, and some of it might have been that the new content for WebSphere Application Server 7.0 is just a fraction of all of the aspects of Administering WebSphere (including those that came from previous versions). I think that since it was written during the WebSphere Application Server 7.0 timeframe and included screenshots of WebSphere Application Server 7.0, it makes sense to qualify it (as some of the things shown will not work with earlier versions of the product).

Steven Robinson said...

I am writing an update to my book and I would very much appreciate comments of what the community would like to see covered.

The book was indeed focused on giving an overview as the Packt style of books is to keep the content efficient. WebSphere is a big beastie and a book limited to 250-350 pages could never give the entire WebSphere product justice.

Please add you comments/suggestions for the new book on my forum.

WebSphere 8 Book - Feedback and suggestions

I am also considering writing a WebSphere 8 ND book to be released soon after. Maybe this book would suit the more advanced reader.