Reading headlines like “Facebook moves 30-petabyte Hadoop cluster to new data center” shows that one of the biggest struggles we are facing today is Big Data and its management. Data centric applications, mobile front ends to complex data structures, and serving millions of clients accessing our datasets while handling billions of transactions a day shows that keeping data management simple and easy to handle is a first class problem in modern application development.
Thankfully, tools like Spring Data and it’s many utilities make it easy to access these data sets using whichever flavor of standards best fits our team’s skills and needs. While Java blazed the trail by offering the flexible but consistent JDBC standard, it was the power of Spring that cut out the tedious amounts of boilerplate afforded to us by historical SQL paradigms. This has empowered developers to focus on business logic, scaling requirements, mobile platform support, and other numerous requirements while allowing Spring to handle the chores of managing connections and interacting with various data management technologies. This is analogous to migrating from the manual memory management of coding in C to Java’s sophisticated garbage collection, which removed a whole host of bugs we as developers used to face every day. By reducing the total amount of code we must write to access our own Big Data, we quickly cut out a huge number of potential bugs on Day One of our own projects.
It is refreshing to read a slim and trim book like Just Spring Data Access, which avoids the ever popular thick-as-possible approach and instead tries to be as clear and to-the-point as possible. For the fledgling developer that has just joined a team that uses Spring Data, this book provides a fantastic means to “catch up” over the weekend and be ready to dive in on Monday. For an architect trying to choose which standard to use for a new system, it also provides a quick read, allowing him or her to start their evaluation with something more concrete than some cobbled together opinions. Finally, for the more seasoned developer, it provides a good reference to look back and polish up skills in the arena of data management and the options provided by competing Java standards. None of us are experts on everything, and having a tightly focused book is often just what we need to hone in and solve the problems we have.