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New JDeveloper & Jakarta Struts Tutorial

July 26, 2004
Mark Rittman
John Topley is putting together a series of articles that teach the basics of Jakarta Struts development, using Oracle JDeveloper as the IDE. Entitled "Jakarta Struts De-Mystified", John introduces the series as:

"There are now many good books on the framework and the online documentation is quite mature for an open-source project; but in spite of this, I have found myself having to refer to lots of resources to build a good understanding of Struts. Moreover, there are still some areas where the documentation is sparse. However, this occasional series isn't an attempt to provide a definitive source of documentation; I don't claim that my knowledge of Struts is at the level needed to be able to produce that. Rather, it's intended to allow newcomers to Struts to hit the ground running and to get a feel for what the framework is like and what it can and can't do.

The Struts example applications I have seen, I have found to be too trivial or too complex, with the complex ones having lots of external dependencies that have to be resolved before the example can even be compiled and run. With my example I'm attempting to hit a sweet spot between the two extremes, and I've deliberately created an application that has the minimum of external dependencies, so you should be able to actually run the code without too much difficulty! Everything you'll need is open-source and can be downloaded for free—one of the advantages of J2EE.

The example application that we're going to be building is an online discussion forum—which I've given the rather generic name of “Web Forum”. I've chosen an application of this type because it should be familiar and because you can create quite a lot of functionality without the complexity getting out of hand. It's fully functional, reasonably well-debugged and hopefully it should be fun learning how it all fits together."

The source code will be downloadable in either JDeveloper format (workspace and project files) or as normal sourcecode files, and the tutorial requires you to install Jakarta Struts 1.1, mySQL 4.0.18 or later, mySQL Connector/J 3.0, and a J2EE servlet container such as Apache Tomcat or Oracle OC4J. JDeveloper isn't mandatory it'll be the IDE used to illustrate the examples.

The first article sets out the tutorial aims and shows some screenshots of the finished application, which looks rather good. Take a look if you're interested in getting started with Struts development, and I'll be trying to keep up as the series progresses.




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