I've recently been reading 'Web Development with Java Server Pages' by Fields, Kolb, and Bayern from Manning press. They describe in great detail in Ch. 10 Servlet-centric design and provide a sample program in Ch. 11.
I'm researching re-writing a JSP application, which follows a page-centric design. I'm trying to evaluate the servlet-centric design to see if applying it makes sense for our application. Our application has a high level navigation bar, and very free-form workflows through each of these high level sections. There are connections between the highlevel sections of the application, i.e. deep in workflow navigation in section 2, I can jump with information to section 1. At what point would a single servlet containing workflow logic just become a large unmanageable mess?
Anyone have any real life experiences with servlet-centric jsp application design? What is it good for, and where does this design practice fall short?
What you are describing is the Model 1 vs. Model 2 design patterns. Modern conventional wisdom greatly favors the Model 2 approach. I resist calling Model 2 "servlet-centric" because it really isn't -- it uses servlets and JSP each to their best advantage.
With regards to:
At what point would a single servlet containing workflow logic just become a large unmanageable mess?
the asnwer is: as soon as it tries to do more than one thing.
A Model 2 architecture does not cram all logic into a single servlet. Rather, many individual servlets provide the logic. Perhaps you are misconstruing the Front Controller pattern? [ February 21, 2006: Message edited by: Bear Bibeault ]
i've got the second edition of the book (but it's still from 2002).
do you have suggestions for current books?
i've been doing JSP development for about a year and a half now, but have just picked it up kind-of adhoc as i've needed to learn things. I feel pretty comfortable with the language, but much less knowledgeable in how to architect a high level design for our application leveraging JSP's strengths. The chapters on architecting with JSP is what drew me to the manning book.