Book Review – Learning Alfresco Web Scripts

Learning Alfresco Web Scripts

This is a review of the book – Learning Alfresco Web Scripts, written by Ramesh Chauhan and published by PACKT. I did not receive any compensation for writing this review. I did receive an electronic copy for reviewing.

Alfresco web scripts are used to integrate clients with Alfresco via RESTful web services. They are an alternative to CMIS and SOAP and provide tighter integration and extra features.

I found the book easy to follow and an easy read in general. It is suggested for new alfresco developers and offers depth for experienced developers. Some chapters could be used as a reference as well.

The book is structured as follows. It starts with an overview of Alfresco web scripts. Then it gets hands-on right away with a simple web script. It gradually adds detail to the implementation before diving into the details of the architecture and implementation. Then it moves to more practical concerns such as deployment, troubleshooting, and configuration management using Maven. It ends with guidance on extending the framework.

In technical books, I always look for tips and information that comes from experience. Reference material alone doesn’t cut it as much of it may be available online, and the printed material becomes outdated quickly. This book does have tips on when and where to use specific choices, best practice recommendations for various options, and troubleshooting tips for various errors. It also has provides some general tips such as dealing with client limitations.

The approach to the technical material is in a form somewhat similar to a tutorial. It shows code samples, discusses the related concepts, and provides steps for trying it out.

I did notice some naive statements though the intent of the author is obvious in such situations. I could only smile at the statements to the effect that “every question has an answer” and “production servers cannot be restarted”.

On a more serious note, it would have been nice to use a single scenario throughout the book to tie all the examples together into one solution at the end. This was a feedback that I got on my first book, and it made a huge improvement in its second edition.

Overall, I feel that this book a good resource for anyone integrating systems with Alfresco as a back-end system.