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Greenhorn
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Hi guys, my name is Messiah. Nice to meet you.

I desperately need help and this is the only place I know where I can get it...

I'm not even sure if I posted on the right forum. Sir moderator, please have this moved if necessary. Thanks.

My employer wants to build a financial system (from scratch) using the latest Java technologies. It must be web based with a rich user interface, and be able to use a relational database for the back end.

I'm not new to Java... I'm just new to this (J2EE) experience.

I'm able to build relatively simple web applications using JSP, but I don't have experience in building big... or using open source frameworks... I'm not even sure if I should even consider using a framework...

That's basically the problem... I'm not sure what would be the best technology and/or strategy to use... and what direction to take. I tried researching on my own, but the information is getting too much for me to handle. Right now, I feel down and very much overwhelmed...

From experience, could you guys please help me out (i.e. advice)? Thanks.

I would also like to know if you guys can recommend a very good book about J2EE development that is useful to the situation I am in. The book need not be exhaustive, just be more than enough to get me on my feet and start exploring on my own.

Thanks again.

Best Regards,
Messiah
 
(instanceof Sidekick)
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I'd focus first on Keeping It Simple until you have more experience. Stick with Servlets and Plain Old Java Objects and avoid EJBs.

Wander up to the Servlet forum, ask about how to separate your POJOs from Servlets so you can build in a good Test First style. There is a point where your app gets big enough to be worth using frameworks like Struts and/or Spring, and it sounds like you'll likely hit it. The folks in that forum can help you get moving on those, too.

Also wander down to the OO, UML etc. forum to talk about your POJOs and hooking them up to databases or whatever you have on the back end.

That was kind of a non-answer, but I hope it gets you connected to the right ranchers to keep going forward.
 
Messiah Fist
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No, I don't think that it's a non-answer. Stick with servlets... avoid EJBs... that's called advice. Eliminating one technology out of the equation definitely helps. I've been thinking about it, but I think I need to dive in to Struts right away, as time is ticking fast. Thanks Stan.

Guys, feel free to give advice. I need all the help I can get. Thanks again.
 
Ranch Hand
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Using Struts for front end is a good choice. It will eliminate lots of redundancy and help in maintaining your project later. Avoid EJBs for sure.
For back end, use something like Spring or/and Hibernate. These ORM tools help in transaction and session management and other stuff.
But there are issues with its configuration. It would be simpler if you use Struts-Spring and simple JDBC. But this will require your server to be an application one, like Weblogic, which could manage connections and support JNDI etc.

Njoy!!
Sid
 
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I would agree to avoid EJB initially. There are a small number of cases where they probably help, but the Spring framework (and probably others) make them an unnecessary overhead for most applications.

For a discussion about how EJB makes life difficult, what easier alternatives are available, and when EJBs are useful I'd recommend Rod Johnson's "J2EE Development without EJB". This book will also introduce you to many of the real-world considerations for server side Java - there are still numerous Java books that ignore (or at least sideline) the real world.

Good luck,

Simon
 
Messiah Fist
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Hi Sidd,

Thanks for your advice. I think I'll be using a Struts/JDBC combination to keep it simple (based on what you've said). I have another question though: How hard it is to learn Struts?

Regards,
Messiah
[ April 25, 2007: Message edited by: Messiah Fist ]
 
Messiah Fist
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Hi Simon,

Thanks for your advice, too (and affirming that I should avoid EJB). I'll check out the book right now. Thanks.

Regards,
Messiah
 
Stan James
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Spring appears to have some nifty wrappers for JDBC. I haven't tried to use them but they could easily be worth the learning curve because they handle a lot of subtle (easy to mess up) bits of JDBC for you. Look for a Spring/Struts tutorial from the Spring folks. The other docs I've looked at were pretty good.
 
Messiah Fist
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Hi Stan,

Thanks for bringing that to my attention. I'll check it out once I get a footing on Struts.

Regards,
Messiah
 
With a little knowledge, a cast iron skillet is non-stick and lasts a lifetime.
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