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Apache Struts 2 Web Application Development

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Struts 2.1 is a modern, extensible, agile web application framework suitable for both small- and large-scale web applications.

The book begins with a comprehensive look at Struts 2.1 basics, interspersed with detours into more advanced development topics. You'll learn about configuring Struts 2.1 actions, results, and interceptors via both XML and Java annotations. You'll get an introduction to most of the Struts 2.1 custom tags and learn how they can assist in rapid application prototyping and development.

From there you'll make your way into Struts 2.1's strong support for form validation and type conversion, which allows you to treat your form values as domain objects without cluttering your code. A look at Struts 2.1's interceptors is the final piece of the Struts 2.1 puzzle, allowing you to leverage the standard Struts 2 interceptors as well as implement your own custom behavior.

After covering Struts 2.1 you'll journey into the world of JavaScript, a surprisingly capable language, the Document Object Model (DOM), and CSS, and learn how to create clean and concise client-side behavior. You'll leverage that knowledge as you move on to Struts 2 themes and templates, which give you a powerful way to encapsulate site-wide user interface behavior.

The book closes with a look at some tools that make the application development life cycle easier to manage, particularly in a team environment, and more automatic.

What you will learn from this book?

  • Explore the features of Struts 2.1 to develop your application
  • Enhance your web application by writing your own custom result type
  • Create your own type converter to handle custom data types
  • Automatically generate application and development documentation
  • Learn good exception handling practices for your applications
  • Implement rich client behavior using JavaScript, the DOM, and CSS
  • Create custom themes and templates to make shorter, cleaner JSP pages
  • Run many types of tests both to prove functionality and to make change safe

Approach

This book takes a clear approach, focusing on one topic per chapter, but interspersing other issues in the mainline text and in chapter detours. Taking a practical approach, it discusses agile web development using Struts 2, with plenty of examples for better understanding.

Who this book is written for?

This book is for Java developers who are interested in developing web applications using Struts. If you need a comprehensive introduction to Struts 2.1, along with the most important aspects of additional web application development technologies, agile programming practices, tool creation, and application life cycle management this book is for you. You don't need to know JavaScript and CSS to use this book as the author will teach you the required basics.

If you are a Struts 1 or WebWork user and wish to go ahead and migrate to Struts 2, this practical guide is also for you.

About the Author

Dave Newton, a Struts PMC member, has been a professional developer for over twenty years, getting his start in Lisp and Smalltalk development, moving on to a lengthy stint in embedded system, game, and device driver development, before (confusingly) finding himself writing Java-based web applications for a variety of clients.

He is a strong proponent of agile practices and tool creation and use, particularly in relationship to documentation generation and testing. He's a regular (if crabby) fixture on the Struts user mailing list, prodding people to read the documentation and think outside the box.

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