You also need to incorporate web services as you said - arent you talking about introducing a J2EE feature in your app? [SOAP, UDDI, JAX-B etc..]
Spring is essentially a wrapper API over the J2EE API, hence using spring doesnt mean you are bypassing J2EE.
I think what you want to ask is how to give your App a lighweight POJO based anatomy in which as rightly pointed out by fellow folks - Spring, Hibernate are the best solutions.
Spring in Action and Hibernate in Action by Manning are excellent resources. Expert One-on-One J2EE development by Rod Johnson by Wrox is a precursor treatise to Spring framework and gives valuable insights about lighweight POJO based development.
As you have said Hibernate and Spring will be internally using J2EE only. So, if this application should not use J2EE (Servlet, JSP, EJB etc) in anyway then Hibernate should not be used? Please confirm.
You can use Hibernate or Spring without any J2EE components. Or you can write something 100% from scratch. Of course you'll be on your own for some rather complex protocols but maybe that's the whole idea. I wrote an HTTP web server for fun and education so it's certainly possible. I could be tempted to do it again with Spring for dependency injection just to learn Spring.
Why are you not allowed any J2EE stuff? Some kind of technical constraints on the end system or an academic challenge? Using Servlets and JSPs would cut hundreds of hours off the job.
A good question is never answered. It is not a bolt to be tightened into place but a seed to be planted and to bear more seed toward the hope of greening the landscape of the idea. John Ciardi
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