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Jaffa Presentation - Beyond Struts

The JAFFA tag library is (and the JAFFA presentation layer) is an extention of the Struts framework. The goal of the JAFFA tags it to provide a more comprehensive set of 'widgets' and page controls then what is provided by the basic struts package. It also is designed to address some of the more complex widgets like tables and trees, which are composed of more simple widgets, like editboxes, checkboxes and buttons. The aim would be to eventually have a HTML based widget set that is as comprehensive as the widget sets available in desktop GUI builders like Swing, SWT, VB, etc

The advantage of the JAFFA widgets is that they contain all the required DHTML, JavaScript and Server-side Java to provide common functionality needed by most web based business applications. Each widget is designed and built on a MVC pattern, where the Model contains the data behind the widget (and is held in the FormBean), the View is a JSP Tag that generates all the required HTML/JavaScript, and the Controller is implemented as a class that on a form post, will update the widget Model. In addition to the simple MVC design of the widgets most widgets have additional event handlers, which allow serverside event to be invoked on the 'Action'.

In addition to the widgets there are various other tags for intergration with JAFFA security, page layout and error handling which can be used to make coding the JSP's simpler.

Although these tags are design to be used within the context of the complete JAFFA architecture, it is possible to just use them without using all the component, security, and session management architecture.

Why Use Jaffa Tags

Key Benefits

  • Eliminates the need for additional JavaScript, as they already generate thier own
  • Server-side event handling for complex processes
  • MVC design allows easy access to data (model) and events (controller)
  • Complex widget conatiners (like Grids, Trees) for complex forms
  • Rich widget features like transition pages, client & server datatype validation
  • Multi Browser Complient Feature Sets (Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Netscape)
  • Intergrated Security Features for role based content guards
  • Advanced personalization widgets like FoldingSection and UserGrid
  • Inter-operates with core struts tags to minimize functional overlap
  • Intergrated component based architecture

Futher Reading...

This explains may of the high level concepts that takes this technology one step futher that the standard Struts implementation it is based on.

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