Mahboob's Journal

Existential Thoughts, Experiential Inferences and Occasional Whacky Connections

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eCommerce enabled JSF2

It’s always helpful to have a good programming language book on your desk when you are coding so that on the occasions when you are stuck, you will find leads to solve your problems.

Amongst programming books, one of my favorites is Core Java by Horstmann and Cornell. It’s so basic yet so useful. A few days back, I was writing Java code  that required database access after performing some transformations on data. From jdk 1.6 onwards, since we have Apache DB (Derby) available as part of Java itself, it is the first choice for the development database. In order to test my code, I needed a small program that did the data transformation and database insert. I also wanted easy and direct access (not through my program) to the database.

I hadn’t used Derby myself. So I opened Core Java by Horstmann and Cornell and it had easy explanations of how to work with it. The book also had sample Swing programs that I could use as template. It also suggested SQuirreL as a SQL client to databases.

Very quickly I learnt the various Derby commands, wrote a Swing application which took input data via the UI and executed my code, downloaded and installed SQuirreL to directly check the database records outside of my programs. In about 4 hours or so, I finished all the three tasks I had, and Horstmann’s book enabled it. That’s why it is a favorite of mine.

Ok, so I have been playing with JSF2 in my spare time recently and the Horstmann’s JSF book I had with me was the second edition based on JSF 1.2 , and hence I was not referring it much. I had not seen Horstmann’s updated edition at any of the bookstores, like Landmark on Road No. 12, Banjara Hills that I visit. I was really thinking that in order to popularize JSF2 more, authors like Horstmann need to write books on JSF2.

As luck would have it, I checked on the web and indeed there was Core JSF third edition already written by the authors. Once I knew it, I just wanted to have the book immediately. But how to procure it? I had come to know about this site through the newspapers and kind of remembered reading that they were doing well. I checked the site, and got to know that Core JSF, third edition did not have an Indian edition, but I could order an international edition.

I would have stopped here, however, what caught my attention on the site was that flipkart said the book could be paid cash on delivery and they had 24 x 7 customer service. So I gave it a shot. Created an account and ordered the book, and the confirmation said that it would be sent to me in 30 days. It was past midnight, around 1 a.m. when I called the customer service and lo, I heard a human voice. I was pleased.

Having a customer service representative available to talk to you about a book at that hour is way beyond Indian standards of customer service. I asked him if there was any way I could get the book earlier than the 30 days that I was told. He politely told me that the delivery period is max 30 days and in all likelihood, I would get it in less number of days than that.

The book was delivered via DHL-Blue Dart, and received at my home in 23 days after order placement, on the 17th of this month and we paid cash when received. The book was packed really well and there was no damage. I think it I would have had a more damaged copy if I had purchased it in a brick and mortar bookstore.

All in all, a satisfying experience and I have Horstmann’s Java (both volumes) and JSF’s latest editions with me. It is difficult to explain the satisfaction of ordering the book immediately when you get the necessity or urge to buy it, and that too without having cash in hand or need to give your credit card details.


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