This book presents a guide to the core features of Java and some more recent innovations enabling the reader to build skills and confidence though tried-and-trusted stages, supported by exercises that reinforce key learning points. All of the most useful and commonly applied Java syntax and libraries are introduced, along with many example programs that can provide the basis for more substantial applications. Use of the Eclipse IDE and the JUnit testing framework is integral to the book, ensuring maximum productivity and code quality, although to ensure that skills are not confined to one environment the fundamentals of the Java compiler and run time are also explained. Additionally, coverage of the Ant tool will equip the reader with the skills to automatically build, test and deploy applications independent of an IDE. Features: presents information on Java 7; contains numerous code examples and exercises; provides source code, self-test questions and PowerPoint slides at an associated website.