Java Database Best Practices

by Piotr Likus on September 27, 2015
Item Reviewed

Java Database Best Practices

September 27, 2015
Book author(s)

George Reese


O'Reilly Media


978-0-596-00522-1, 0-596-00522-9



Publication year



“Java Database Best Practices” is rather old (2003) introduction to database handling in Java environment. Part of it is outdated (EJB CMP/BMP), but there is also a lot of content still useful. You can find inside a large part for theoretical database design (normalization, denormalization, ACID, optimistic/pessimistic locking, isolation levels) and later there are chapters introducing database APIs. The book is too short to describe each of these APIs in depth, author rather just introduces technologies/APIs, but you can still find some interesting code examples in there. Book chapters are independent, so you can read only parts that you are interested in.

Most valuable parts

Below I mention some most useful parts of the book.


There are a lot of books describing normalization levels, but only few mention that sometimes we need to denormalize the database structure. This book describes in short why and how you can perform denormalization (for example for report tables).


If you have no experience with JSP then inside this book you will find short description of custom tag implementation (JSP Programming / Custom Tags). Useful if you don’t want to buy separate book for it. You can discover there is also a strange implementation of web controller (A Guest Book Application / The Controller) – inside custom tag handler. This part I assume you can skip. Probably it was useful in JSP-only days when there was not so many web frameworks like today.

Dirty flag

Performing writes to database only when required is quite useful tip – you can find how to implement it in EJB using “dirty flag” pattern in “State Management / To Store or Not to Store” chapter.

JNDI introduction

In “J2EE Basics / Java Naming and Directory Interface” and in “JDBC / Simple Database Access” author presents some useful JNDI code samples – how to configure database access or store objects inside JNDI directory.


* good theoretical part for database design


* describes outdated technologies (in 2015)
* too short to describe anything in depth

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This book is a short introduction to Java database technologies - as existing in 2003. Today it's a little outdated (in 2015 - Hibernate is just mentioned), so if you are looking for concrete code examples in database area then probably you should look somewhere else. The book has a nice (but not too long) introduction to relational database design theory, so in this part it's still valid.

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