Learning to use an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) like JBuilder 3 can be quite a task. We can go and buy a book about JBuilder 3, use the help provided by JBuilder 3 self or take a course with a life teacher. Or we can follow a multimedia course like Referentia for JBuilder 3. In this review we will look at the Building Database Applications lesson from the Referentia for JBuilder 3 series.
Installing Referentia for JBuilder 3 is easy. We simply execute the installation and on our machine we have got the Referentia Learning System. Referentia can be started from our Start menu or from JBuilder itself: in the Help menu we can find a new option for starting Referentia.
The main window of Referentia looks like a browser window with at the top back, forward and home buttons. We can even open an URL in Referentia. The main part of the application window is used for displaying the multimedia videos.
The Referentia Learning System consists of three different parts:
The tutorials are divided into four categories:
If we have finished watching a topic, we can try it with the Try it feature. The Try it feature let's us play around in JBuilder 3. An example project can be opened and we can take the steps displayed in the video ourselves in the IDE. This hands-on experience is a nice feature, because we get the real feeling of how to develop database applications.
The Concepts section of Referentia explains topics like the AppBrowser, JDBC, JavaBeans, servlets and more. These explanations are available as a video in which the topic is clearly explained. A useful feature to learn about the background of interesting topics.
Fast answers displays the tutorials and concepts in a different way, so it easy to find a question and the tutorial or concept, which will answer the question. Fast answers also gives us a search capabilities to look for keywords and we will see the corresponding tutorials and concepts. The search functionality also covers the JBuilder built-in help, so if we have found a topic we can jump right into the JBuilder help.
The topics covered by Referentia's Building Database Applications can also be found in the JBuilder 3 help. The topics don't expand any further than the JBuilder help, but the advantage of Referentia is that the topics are logically ordered and the topics are explained with complementary videos. This makes learning fun, because it is nice to see and hear the necessary steps, instead of only text, which we must read. The Try it feature is nice, because we can immediately try what we have learned in the tutorial for ourselves.
(Hubert A. Klein Ikkink)