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Keywords: Java, web applications, JSP, servlets

Title: Learning Jakarta Struts 1.2

Author: Stephan Wiesner

Publisher: Packt Publishing

ISBN: 190481154X

Media: Book

Level: Intermediate Java, beginning Struts

Verdict: A terse, fast-paced and practical tutorial


Billed as a concise and practical tutorial, this slim and self-contained book provides the experienced Java developer with a fast track to installing and using the Jakarta Struts web application framework. Aside from a knowledge of Java, it's also assumed that the reader has some basic understanding of JSP and servlets, more importantly no prior experience of Struts or building web applications is assumed.

The book is structured around the building of a simple bookstore application, which is a convenient and instantly understandable application with enough complexity to really show what Struts provides and yet is not so complicated as to extend the tutorial or bloat the book with unnecessary detail. Note that the emphasis is on building a real application and this practical focus is evident throughout the book. As a tutorial this means that there is less emphasis on theoretical questions and much more on concrete coding.

That said, the book opens with a chapter that puts Struts into the context of web application structure, and it explains that Struts is designed as around the Model-View-Controller (MVC) design pattern. This is fleshed out with high-level details as to how Struts implements this pattern, discusses session handling, threading and other issues. With the high-level introduction out of the way the book moves on to cover installation of Tomcat and Struts and the creation of a first simple application.

From this simple beginning the book moves fairly rapidly to building the bookstore application. The chapters move on in a logical sequence, tackling major areas such as internationalisation, databases and object persistence, logging, exception handling, custom taglibs and much more. The emphasis at all times is on actual code and real examples. While this is good for those readers who work best from real code, it does make for a sometimes terse read.

Aside from Struts itself, all of the other software and tools featured in the book are open source, including Tomcat, MySQL, Eclipse, Ant and so on.

To conclude, this is a highly focused and very hands-on tutorial designed for Java developers seeking to learn Jakarta Struts. The text is quite terse and highly code-centric, which may not suit every reader. However, anyone wanting to get their first Struts project up and running quickly should definitely take a look at this book.

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Contents © TechBookReport 2005. Published October 3 2005