GWT in Practice
Robert Cooper and Charles Collins
  • April 2008
  • ISBN 9781933988290
  • 376 pages
  • printed in black & white

A true hands-on manual for GWT.

Edmon Begoli, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

If you're a web developer, you already know that you can use Ajax to add rich, user-friendly, dynamic features to your applications. With the Google Web Toolkit (GWT), a new Ajax tool from Google that automatically converts Java to JavaScript, you can build Ajax applications using the Java language. GWT lets you focus on application design and functionality, rather than on browser differences, and allows you to re-use code throughout the layers of your applications.

GWT in Practice is an example-driven, code-rich book designed for web developers who have already learned the basics of GWT. After a quick review of GWT fundamentals, GWT in Practice presents scores of handy, reusable solutions to the problems you face when you need to move beyond “Hello World” and “proof of concept” applications. This book skips the theory and looks at the way things really work when you're building projects in GWT.

You'll learn

  • How to create and customize widgets
  • The ins and outs of RPC
  • Packaging and building with Maven and Ant
  • Using the Java Persistence API with GWT
  • Effective internationalization

GWT in Practice shows you where GWT fits into the Enterprise Java developer's toolset. Written by expert authors Robert Cooper and Charlie Collins, this book combines sharp insight with hard-won experience. Readers will find thorough coverage of all aspects of GWT development from the basic GWT concepts and essentials to in-depth and complete real world example applications. If you know the basics and are ready to get your hands dirty, then you need this book.

What's inside

The first part of the book is a rapid introduction to the GWT methodology. All of the basics of GWT development are covered in this portion, including a client side standalone application and basic server side communications using the GWT Remote Procedure Call (RPC) and object serialization mechanism.

The second part of the book then delves into several practical examples which further demonstrate core aspects of the toolkit. These include:

  • Using the GWT APIs
  • GWT methods for communicating with servers
  • Event-driven programming approach used with the toolkit
  • Support for JavaScript Object Notation (JSON)
  • Native JavaScript integration with the JSNI
  • Packaging and deployment of GWT applications
  • Testing with JUnit.

The book concludes by presenting several larger GWT applications including drag and drop support for UI elements, data binding, processing streaming data, handling application state, automated builds, and continuous integration.

Along the way GWT in Practice covers many additional facets of working with the toolkit. Various development tools are used throughout the book, including Eclipse, NetBeans, IDEA, Ant, Maven, and, of course, the old fashioned command line. The book also addresses integrating GWT with existing applications and services along with enterprise and team development.

About the authors

Robert Cooper is a JEE developer with over 15 years of web development experience. He is a the creator of several open source projects, including the FeedPod text-to-speech podcasting system, the GWT-Maven plugins for supporting Maven based builds for the Google Web Toolkit, and the Gwittir GWT framework. He is also a contributor to other open source projects such as the ROME RSS/Atom API for Podcasting and MediaRSS.

Charlie Collins is a JEE developer with over 10 years of experience. He has been involved with enterprise development, architecture, and general programming using several languages and technologies, with a focus on Java and the web tier. He has been an ardent open source supporter for many years and has contributed documentation and patches for various open source projects. Charlie is currently a contributor to the GWT-Maven project, the Android-Maven project, the Gwittir GWT framework, and the FeedPod text-to-speech podcasting system.


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Cooper and Collins live and breathe GWT - their code is spotless.

Andrew Grothe, Triware Technologies Inc.

Expertly explains the genius of this technology - a real gift.

Peter Pavlovich, Kronos Inc.

The more complex your project, the more critical is this information.

Ara Abrahamian, NSI ltd

The perfect guide to GWT in the real world.

Devon Hillard, DigitalSanctuary.com