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The Definitive Guide to Grails 2 2013th Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1430243779
ISBN-10: 1430243775
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  • The Definitive Guide to Grails 2
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jeff Brown is a software engineer at SpringSource and a member of the Groovy and Grails development teams. Jeff has been involved with software engineering since the early 1990s and has designed and built systems for industries including financial, biomedical, aerospace, and others. Jeff worked for G2One Inc. (the Groovy/Grails Company), where he would help drive the professional services side of the business. In late 2008, Jeff joined SpringSource when G2One and SpringSource came together to leverage synergies between the technologies created and supported by each company. Through his entire career, Jeff has been a hands-on technologist actively involved in software development, training, and mentoring. He is also an international public speaker.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 2013 edition (December 20, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430243775
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430243779
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,009,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By S. Eisenberg on January 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Since it's written by some of the key framework developers you know the authors know what they are talking about.

Written for a beginner to Grails/Groovy, it's probably the first book to get on the subject if you are going to start with Grails. Has a good depth of topics covering just about all aspects of the Grails framework.

Even includes an appendix primer on Groovy (the language underlying the framework) so you might actually want to read that first.

Once you're done with this book you can move onto Programming Grails by Burt Beckwith to get into the deep innards of Grails if you want more. Also, maybe a Groovy book to get the language in some more detail. Programming Grails

Finally, a bit of context. Grails is very much the Java analog to Ruby on Rails. You'll find much of the features of Rails for a Java JVM environment, with complete interoperability with existing Java classes and toolset. So if you're a Java/Spring shop and thinking about getting the goodness of a framework like Rails but without completely leaving what you know, try Grails.
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I have a background with other MVC frameworks. I simply wanted to catch up on the Groovy/Grails version. This book was well written and walked me through the basics of the Grails way. You should have some familiarity with web development prior, but if you are looking at a Grails book then chances are you have some web background.

Groovy felt like Python meets Javascript (I know the purists are going to have an absolute fit over that statement). My Java background is very light and I get turned off by all the work that has to be done to get a Java environment going. Groovy the language and Grails the stack are much simpler and felt similar to Python/Django. With Grails you get all the benefits of the JVM and complete access to the Java world, but with a much easier syntax and more convention over configuration.
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I have been developing a complex web application in Grails for almost a year. This is the best reference I have found on Grails.

I recommend following the course that I did. I first read Grails 2: A Quick-Start Guide. This book gives you a good overview of Grails. If you're developing a simple web application this book may be all you need.

However, if you need to use Grails for a complex web application you need to read this book next.

Grails gives the developer a way to manage complex web environments, with dynamically created web content. Grails is built on top of Hibernate and Spring. I am using a Postgres database and multiple Tomcat web servers behind a load balancer (all hosted on Amazon Web Services).

This book takes the reader though using the Grails Model-View-Controller structure, where the model consists of the data structures persisted in the database, the controller is the logic that manages the web pages and creates dynamic content and the view consists of the web pages.

Grails is complicated and it has a huge learning curve. One reason for this is that Grails is designed for a complex problem: handling web sites with many web pages and complex control logic. This book and the on-line Grails documentation were critical resources.

Grails has features that help unpack data structures as they are passed between web page forms and the Groovy logic that processes it. Compared to the issues of dealing with the complexity of web application design, I don't find these features terribly compelling. They save me a few lines of code, at best.
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Although I learned a lot about Grails by reading this book, I found it quite frustrating. To the point that, unfortunately, I cannot recommend it.

I like that it covers certain topics well. Such as how Config.groovy works and how to use it to configure services. I still refer to the book for this info. And I like the coverage of Gorm.

But then the frustrations being. First, I was using Grails 2.4.4, which has enough differences to make some of the code in the book not work, such as the unit tests. I got through this with little difficulty because I was already familiar with the Grails 2.4.4 documentation. So far, a minor inconvenience. Then came the incorrect references to illustrations/code, the gTunes "tutorial" doesn't distinguish between the code you should write and the code you just need to observe, and the unmet claims: Wicket (whatever that is) and security (not covered at all).

In the end, I'm barely satisfied. Useful, but didn't quite meet my expectations.
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Excellent book!! As the title says, this is the definitive guide when you want to enter the world of Grails. I'm giving it 4 instead of 5 stars because the Kindle version contained lots of errors :(
Currently I'm reading Programming Grails, and it doesn't replace but complements this book. I think you should read them both.
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I feel like the authors did an excellent job of covering most of what would be useful to a developer just getting started with Grails. However, if that was their target audience, they occasionally delve deeply into details and skip over some other relevant topics. I feel like the concept of creating a gTunes application is a solid reference for actual application, but in the latter half of the book they nearly abandon the concept leaving you with some gaps. Also, I have to say, developing an application that isn't a twitter clone or a blog was a nice change of pace, plus it allowed for some nice features to be developed that probably wouldn't be present in either of the other two common prototypes.
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