This book begins with a preliminary discussion that lays the groundwork for the rest of the material. This discussion will be a refresher for some and completely new for others. From there, we explore the components of Struts's MVC implementation, including a look at the JSP custom tags that are part of the framework. Then, to round out your understanding of the value of the Struts framework, we look at several complicated but important topics related to building web-based applications.

Chapter 1, Introduction

This chapter discusses some preliminary concepts, such as the MVC pattern, Model 2, and the idea of a software framework. Although many developers may already be familiar with some or all of the ideas presented here, I want to ensure that all readers are starting from the same place. The concepts presented in this chapter help to lay the foundation for the rest of the book.

Chapter 2, Inside the Web Tier

The Struts framework is based on the Java Servlet technology and, to a lesser extent, JavaServer Pages, and therefore is tightly coupled to a web container. For Struts developers, understanding how the web container processes client requests is fundamental to understanding the framework itself. This chapter discusses the components of the web container and the responsibilities of each.

Chapter 3, Overview of the Struts Framework

This chapter provides an overview of the Struts framework; it does not attempt to cover all of the features or go into significant depth. It emphasizes how all the pieces fit into the MVC and Model 2 architecture presented in Chapter 1.

Chapter 4,Configuring Struts Applications

The Struts framework uses two separate but somewhat related types of configuration files, which must be configured properly before an application will function properly. Due to the popularity and flexibility of XML, both types of configuration files are based on XML. This chapter presents the syntax of the files.

Chapter 5, Struts Controller Components

The Struts framework uses a servlet to process incoming requests; however, it relies on many other components that are part of the controller domain to help it carry out its responsibilities. This chapter takes in-depth look at the components that are responsible for the controller functionality in the framework.

Chapter 6, Struts Model Components

This chapter introduces the components that make up the model portion of a Struts application. The model represents the business data for an application and should closely resemble the real-world entities and business processes for the organization. This chapter explores the roles and responsibilities of the model components within the Struts framework and focuses on building an architecturally correct implementation for the Storefront application. Special attention is given to using a persistence framework that can be integrated into a Struts application easily and effortlessly.

Chapter 7, Struts View Components

This chapter introduces the components that make up the view portion of the Struts framework. The framework uses the view components to render dynamic content for the client. Based primarily on JavaServer Pages, the components provide support for internationalized applications as well as for user-input acceptance, validation, and error handling, all of which make it easier for the developer to focus on business requirements. This chapter concludes the three-part discussion of how the Struts framework implements the MVC pattern.

Chapter 8, JSP Custom Tag Libraries

This chapter looks at the different categories of tags and how they can help make developing applications with the Struts framework even easier. It is not meant to be an exhaustive reference for every tag that's part of the Struts tag libraries that information can be found within the Struts user guide or JavaDocs. The real purpose of this chapter is to put forth the benefits of using the Struts tag libraries and to provide a few strategies that can help make the switch to using the tags less painful.

Chapter 9, Extending the Struts Framework

One of the biggest advantages of using a framework is the ability to extend and customize it based on the needs of the application. The Struts framework is no exception; it provides several important extension points for developers. This chapter takes a quick glance at several of those extension points and examines the benefits and drawbacks of extending the framework.

Chapter 10, Exception Handling

This chapter looks at how to use the Java exception-handling mechanism within your Struts applications to make them more robust and allow them to respond gracefully when things don't go as expected. Special attention is given to the differences between performing the exception handling programmatically and using the new declarative feature added to the Struts framework in Version 1.1.

Chapter 11, The Validator Framework

This chapter introduces the Validator framework, which was created specifically to work with Struts components. The Validator allows you to declaratively configure validation routines for a Struts application without having to program special validation logic.

Chapter 12, Internationalization and Struts

This chapter focuses on what it takes to make a Struts application available to customers from around the world, regardless of their language or geographical location. As is often the case in software development, planning ahead is the most important thing that you can do to help ensure success. After reading this chapter, you should be able to build Struts applications that can support a broad range of customers.

Chapter 13, Struts and Enterprise JavaBeans

This chapter covers the issues you need to consider when developing an interface between your Struts actions and an application tier. It focuses on interfacing to a model built using Enterprise JavaBeans™ (EJB).

Chapter 14, Using Tiles

This chapter looks at the Tiles framework, which now is part of the core Struts distribution. The Tiles framework is an advanced templating framework that reduces the amount of redundant code a web application contains and allows developers to better separate content from layout.

Chapter 15, Logging in a Struts Application

This chapter examines how the use of logging in your Struts applications can help you identify defects before the applications get into production and, if your software already is being used in production, how logging can help you identify problems and arrive at solutions much more quickly.

Chapter 16, Packaging Your Struts Application

This chapter discusses the best practices for packaging and deploying a Struts application and what it takes to automate the build process for your environment. Special coverage is given to Ant, the Java-based build tool available from Jakarta.

Chapter 17, Addressing Performance

This chapter explores the performance implications of using the Struts framework and its associated technologies to build web applications and discusses how certain design and programming decisions affect the overall performance of the applications. It covers performance, load, and stress testing, and the steps necessary to carry out each.

Chapter 18, JavaServer Faces

This chapter provides an overview of yet another Java technology being birthed from the Java Community. JavaServer Faces provides some promising continuation for the Java web development community. Although some overlap exists between Struts and JSF, there is plenty of room for both and this chapter explores what that integration looks like.

Appendix A, Changes Since Struts 1.0

This appendix enumerates the new features within the 1.1 release.

Appendix B, Downloading and Installing Struts

This appendix discusses the steps for downloading and installing Struts in your environment.

Appendix C, Resources

This appendix lists several resources that can help increase your knowledge once you've mastered the concepts in this book.

Programming Jakarta Struts
Programming Jakarta Struts, 2nd Edition
ISBN: 0596006519
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 180

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