I have used Struts for a couple of years now and recommend Struts for anyone who doesn't have another well thought out plan. The primary value of Struts is that it provides an implementation of the Model/View/Controller design pattern. The custom tags are actually being removed from core Struts because they detract from the value of Struts.
There are several similar frameworks that also provide MVC implementations but Struts is the most widely deployed. It is the second most popular Jakarta project meaning it is very widely understood. I bet there is a lot of similarities between Struts code and your PBD framework.
Struts provides a framework that insulates you from the nuances of Servlet development. With Struts, you are much more likely to make good design choices than when you wing it and go with JSP, or home-grown servlets. Struts doesn't cover much more than the low-level servlet area by choice. This makes Struts light weight and flexible.
Buck's comment that Struts is similar to DDS on the iSeries is right on target. The benefits are similar, you know what types of objects support display, program logic, and database. Used correctly, struts does not lock you into anything any more than DDS locks you into the iSeries for RPG development. You are encouraged to support html forms with objects that are similar to external display files. Program logic is contained in the controller much like an iSeries program with a mainline. You are also encouraged to package program logic into reusable objects that are similar to service programs.
I do not use the generation tools with WDSc for Struts. I do use meta-data through Hibernate to define and access my database(s) so that I can code to any platform without change.
The biggest drawback and weakest link at this point with Struts is reliance on JSP and custom tags. They do not lend themselves to meta-data driven designs, which slows down the development process but they are no slower than DDS. You do have the option of using tools like Velocity with Struts, which addresses this somewhat but is not widely deployed. Another problem with Struts is that releases take quite a while.
You might check out a presentation I gave at Common and some user groups. It describes some best practices for struts.
meFrom: MEovino@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxjoepluta@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 10/8/2003 7:47:47 PM >>>
What is the advantage to Struts vs. servlets/JSP? How will it make
my people more productive? What are you guys out there using?
I don't use Struts, Mike, primarily because I just see it as another custom tag library. It doesn't really ADD anything, it's just shorthand for certain features. It's not that robust, in that it doesn't really add a lot of editing or anything, and so you're really locking yourself into that syntax just for the sake of a little less effort. With competing technologies like JSF, it's too early to make a call as to which one will be "the" standard, if either.
Personally, for now I'd rather use includes or a tool like WDSC with its really powerful templates to generate code that I can hand-tweak if needed.
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