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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Guru's Guide to SQL Server Stored Procedures, XML, and HTML (With CD-ROM)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Ken Henderson
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Essential if you want to use XML with Sql Server

I have over ten years of experience in the database profession. I bought all three of Henderson's books a few months ago and have been studying them ever since.
This book was the third book I have bought to try to learn how to use XML with Sql Server. The other two are Malcom's book and Viera's general Sql Server programming book. Neither of those other two books covers Sql-Xml in the depth that this book does. Neither provides the kind of expert advice I have come to expect in these Guru Guides. And neither provides solutions to common problems you run into when building production Sql-Xml applications. This book gives you all of that and more.
What I really like about the book is the way it covers everything from start to finish on XML. It starts off wtih a chapter on the XML language itself. For those who don't already know the language, this is a great start. I haven't seen a more concise intro to the language itself.
The next chapters cover all of the Sql-Xml pieces one by one. There must be hundreds of sample XML documents and Sql-Xml queries. Every feature - FOR XML, sp_xmlpreparedocument, templates, XML bulk load, HTTP queries, style sheets, etc., is covered in detail. Approximately a third of the book is dedicated to covering these subjects. The chapters on Sql-Xml in this book are worth their weight in gold.
I also like how the book builds on the first Guru Guide for Transact-Sql. Take the Undocumented features chapter... It adds to the wealth of undocumented features discussed in the Transact-Sql book. Rather than merely repeating this info, I found a whole host of new undocumented features and tools discussed. Worth the cost alone.
Couldn't give this a higher recommendation. If you need to learn what the experts know about Sql-Xml in Sql Server this is the right book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Eclipse
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Steve Holzner
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
a dissapointment

first of all the book i got (yes i checked the isbn)was only 317 pages and was not subtitled, "A Java Developer's Guide" but instead "Programming Java Applications". There was less than 20 pages coverage of 3.0. very lightwieght. I wouldn't say this was a book for programmers, but the equivalent of a user's manual for eclipse(eclipse made EZ, or eclipse for VB programmers). The first two chapters(60 pages) is just telling you what the menu items do. Almost all the material in this book was covered in the Manning Eclipse in Action book. The exception being this book had 3 chapters(60 pages on gui and swt), and a chapter on struts. I only kept the book for that stuff.
I get the impression this is just a knock-off that book so that O'Reilly gets some of the beginner market... Probably not worth your time if you have used eclipse for more than 10 days...

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Head First EJB (Brain-Friendly Study Guides)
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Kathy Sierra, Bert Bates
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
I really appreciate the Head First style of writing...

Enterprise Java Beans are not easy to understand. A great way to get started in that area is the book Head First EJB by Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates (O'Reilly).

Chapter list: Welcome to EJB; EJB Architecture; Exposing Yourself; Being a Session Bean; Entities are Persistent; Being an Entity Bean; When Beans Relate; Getting the Message; The Atomic Age; When Beans Go Bad; Protect Your Secrets; The Joy of Deployment; Final Mock Exam; Index

When I first started trying to learn EJB technology awhile back, I used a different book. Within two chapters I was totally lost and feeling really stupid. Not one to give up quickly, I gave it another try with Head First EJB. I learned more in the first chapter of that book than I learned in the entire prior book. The Head First method of writing and learning almost ensures that you'll be able to pick up even the most difficult concepts, and you'll definitely have more fun doing so.

The primary goal of this book is to help you pass the Sun Certified Business Component Developer Exam. Since Kathy and Bert are co-developers of the test, you can pretty much figure out they understand the content and style of the questions that you will face. It'd be hard to go wrong using this as a primary study guide. You can read the material to fill in the gaps of your understanding, and then use the mock exam to figure out if you're ready for the real test. But even if the test is not on your radar screen, this book will give you the foundational information you'll need to start out with EJBs. Once you've got that down, then you can go play with the more "serious" material...

Once again, a great title from the Head First team. I can't wait to see what they will cover next.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Official eBay Bible
Publisher: Gotham
Authors: Jim "Griff" Griffith
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Don't get unless you are absolutely new to Ebay!

This book states that there is plenty for the new and seasoned Ebayer, but I could hardly find anything that would help experienced users. There is a large part devoted to using HTML...c'mon now, who would want to type in your own HTML from scratch when there is so many free or cheap editors out there! I thought this book would give some good tips on saving time on producing auctions.
The rest of the book pretty much just steps you through the basics of registering, site tours, and other really basic stuff. There is a lot of opinions and blatant advertising. There is a lot of good "How I got started with Ebay" stories that will show new Ebayers, just how much you can accomplish. I was hping there would be a lot more funny or uplifting stories from long time Ebayers, but apparently only a small group of Ebayers were picked to be in this book.
Uncle Griff....there is definately another book to be made from all the Ebay experiences out there! I know you must have tons more stuff!
Again....there just isn't enough info in this book worth getting, unless you are brand new to Ebay.