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Struts Kick Start

Struts Kick Start

3.6 3
by James Turner, Kevin S. Bedell

Learn to build applications with Jakarta Struts, the most popular JSP development framework. Struts Kick Start is a "hands-on" book filled with sample applications and code snippets you can reuse, and in-depth coverage of new features in Struts 1.1. If you are looking for a practical book that "shows you how to do it", then Struts Kick Start is for you. Plus


Learn to build applications with Jakarta Struts, the most popular JSP development framework. Struts Kick Start is a "hands-on" book filled with sample applications and code snippets you can reuse, and in-depth coverage of new features in Struts 1.1. If you are looking for a practical book that "shows you how to do it", then Struts Kick Start is for you. Plus, it's the first Struts book with detailed examples of the major Struts tags.

The book begins with a discussion of Struts and its Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture. The authors' then demonstrate Struts' power through the development of a non-trivial sample application - covering all the Struts components in a "how to use them" approach. You'll also see the Struts Tag Library in action - use tags for HTML, javabeans, logical operations and more. You'll learn to use Struts with JBoss for EJB's, with Apache Axis to publish and use Web Services, and with JUnit for testing and debugging. The authors work with the latest Struts 1.1 features including DynaForms, Tiles and the Validator.

The book includes a CD-ROM containing the tools discussed in the book: Struts 1.1 beta 2, Java 2 Standard Edition, JBoss 3.0.3, MySQL 3.23, XDoclet, Torque, Tomcat, Ant, Axis, Cactus, and JUnit. Plus, it comes with an electronic, fully searchable version of the book.

From the Inside Cover: Thoroughly covers the essential features of Struts in a clear and readable style.

Struts Kick Start is a solid starting point for learning how to develop web applications using Struts. The authors start you off by reviewing the foundational technologies on which Struts is based, and immediately get into the sorts of practical "how to" information and examples that get you up to speed quickly.

Notable features that I really appreciated include the coverage on integration with other technologies (such as EJBs and web services), using Ant to set up your development environment, and the fact that the software goodies you need are available on the included CD. Struts does not live in a vacuum — it is one of the tools in the developer's toolkit, so knowing how it works with other technologies is very useful.

Of particular importance is the coverage on testing your web application as you build and maintain it. Developing a solid testing methodology, and a substantial suite of tests (to protect yourself against regressions), is critically important to a rapid development cycle that still needs to produce high quality applications. Coverage of testing, though, tends to be minimal in many books about programming technologies. James and Kevin provide specific advice on how to use the JUnit and Cactus testing frameworks with your Struts based applications.

Struts Kick Start is a good resource for learning about Struts, and it will help you get up to speed quickly.

- Craig McClanahan, Creator of Struts

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
Nowadays, it seems like every Java developer’s using JSPs -- and every JSP developer is interested in frameworks, the fastest way to deliver the best JSP software. The “king” of JSP frameworks is Struts, from the Apache Jakarta project. And we’ve seen no better resource for learning Struts than Struts Kick Start.

James Turner and Kevin Bedell begin with an exceptionally lucid high-level overview of Struts’ goals, elements, and the MVC design pattern that underlies it. Then, via an extremely simple application, they introduce each essential Struts function and explain how Struts interacts with JSP code, servlets, and the new JSTL tag libraries.

With a simple application under your belt, Turner and Bedell move on to a more sophisticated financial application, starting with a functional requirements spec. This five-chapter case study covers everything from wireframing and use cases to modeling. There’s also a full chapter on the crucial struts-config.xml file, which ties together all the elements of a Struts application.

In the following section, the authors take you under the hood with one sample Struts tag and then introduce each Struts tag library, with sample code. That includes up-to-the-moment coverage of Tiles, Validator, and other new Struts 1.1 enhancements. The authors close with best practices for integrating Struts with both Enterprise JavaBeans and web services, as well as testing and deployment with Jakarta Ant and Cactus. All the book’s code is on CD-ROM, along with the latest versions of everything from Tomcat to JBoss. Bill Camarda

Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks For Dummies®, Second Edition.

Product Details

Publication date:
Kick Start Series
Edition description:
Book and CD-ROM
Product dimensions:
7.20(w) x 9.06(h) x 1.13(d)

Meet the Author

James Turner is the manager of Black Bear Software, LLC, and the Apache Jakarta Struts project. He has more than 22 years of experience in the computer field and has worked for organizations that include MIT, Xerox, Solbourne Computer, BBN Planet, and Interleaf. He spent the last seven years managing and implementing e-commerce Web sites for companies including CVS, The Christian Science Monitor, and Woolworths UK. In addition, he is an active contributor to various Apache Jakarta projects and recently was the Release Manager for the Jakarta Commons Validator 1.0 release. Mr. Turner is also a well-published freelance journalist and technology writer who has written for publications including The Christian Science Monitor, WIRED, and Web Developers Journal. He lives in Derry, New Hampshire, in a 200-year-old colonial farmhouse along with his wife and son. James is also the author of MySQL and JSP Web Applications: Data Driven Programming Using Tomcat and MySQL, published in 2002 by Sams Publishing.

Kevin Bedell is an E-Business Systems Architect with Sun Life Financial in Wellesley, Massachusetts. His career has crossed a number of different fields including programming, consulting, IT management, network integration, and corporate finance and accounting. In the software development world, he worked for large and small companies including Oracle, Johnson Controls, and Sun Life Financial. He's a Sun Certified Java Programmer and has earned his MCSE certification from Microsoft. Kevin holds a BS in engineering from Michigan Tech and an MBA from the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida.

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Struts Kick Start 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been searching for a book that presents an explanation of Struts that is both easy to comprehend and one that follows the design process from beginning to end. I am a developer that comes from the Microsoft background of developing. I am not that fond of Java but when I saw struts I was immediately excited at the potential. I went to several training sessions but found that they were designed by techies, for techies and about techies. Granted I am a techie but I can still speak this thing we call English. I read some of the other books on Struts and got lost in the incredible verbose text. I learned more in reading Struts Kick Start for a few days than all of the training and prior books combined. The explanation of the text is superb. I don't someone to teach me to code, nor do I need a class in HTML. What I need is just what it says, A KickStart in the right direction. The art of explanation is something a lot of authors do not have. In regards to the comment on HTML 4.0..... come on man... anyone looking to this book to learn proper HTML coding obviously missed the big white words written Struts ---- Kick Start. On the topic of deployment, Java seems to be weird about deployment. It would probably take a book of equal size to cover this in depth. Buy a book on Ant or something. I wonder if any of these guys write anything for .NET...
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book does injustice to the Java development community. I could dive into rants about complexity but the simple fact is this book stinks! It's lacking in logic and clarity. This book perfectly depicts the standing java tradition of: "Setup and deployment should be orders of magnitude more perplexing then the actual business problem being addressed." It¿s no wonder the open-source concept is being viewed by tech management with a skeptical eye. This book lacks important detail. For example, instructions for setting up the chapter samples are completely and totally missing from the text. The authors drown on about off topic code samples and entirely omit the single most important "Kick Start" ingredient. Get ready for "Okay, lets try this..." I look at the great reviews on which I based my purchase with a bit of suspicion. If a pictures worth a thousand words, one look at the books website may save you some money. The book is written in the same chaotic style.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I want to emphasize that while many readers of this book are probably java servlet or JSP developers, I am not. Although I thoroughly agree that Struts is a great starting point for web apps, I believe what Struts brings to the table is a model all web developers which can follow, even those who use PHP (like myself). Unfortunately I cannot switch to Java on my current project, but I can certainly stand on the shoulders of giants to apply these concepts to PHP. My point is, I believe that all (serious) web developers should own this book, even if Perl, PHP or ASP is their language of choice. The design of Struts is a solution to a problem that has gone unsolved for far too long. Athough I am thoroughly enjoying this book, I must object to one inconsistency that I see in the source code examples. Nothing frustrates me more than picking up a book written in the year 2003 and seeing html written as HTML 4.0. I would have hoped that the careful attention to detail which the authors gave to the design of the software would have carried over into the html source as well. In the case of examples in this book, it clearly did not. Many people have dedicated their lives to doing the song and dance necessary to make people realize how bad it is to continue to write HTML 4.0 when doing web applications. Not only does it thumb its nose at the extremely hard work the W3C has done to define a standards base, it also rekindles the bad habits of developers which is holding back the algorithms of web browsers to support this invalid html source. The examples in this book show no use of DTDs, stylesheets or valid xhtml syntax. It is as if the java web development community didn't get the memo on xhtml when the rest of us did. That being said, I still believe the content in this book is very well laid out and at the end of the day, the html source is really a small part of the whole document. However, the men who authored this book will write other books and I ask, please consider proving to the community that your careful attention to detail which exists in the design of the java code can be carried into the html source the next time you go to type up an example.