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Struts Kick Start Paperback – December 19, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 504 pages
  • Publisher: Sams (December 19, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0672324725
  • ISBN-13: 978-0672324727
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 1.2 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,025,438 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"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

From the Back Cover

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


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Customer Reviews

I find this book to be full of inconsistancies and unexplained references, and generally disorganized.
Edward Cardinal
Another highlight of the book are the chapters on advanced topics of integrating Struts with Enterprise Java Beans and with Web Services.
P. MACKENZIE
With Struts Kick Start, I can go right to the place in the book that explains the specific thing I'm looking for quickly.
Donald MacLaren

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Donald MacLaren on February 11, 2003
Format: Paperback
I disagree with the other reviewers that are complaining about the example applications or lack of advanced features. I think books that have examples that are too complex or advanced get away from helping you learn the basics because the examples are too complicated to read quikcly when you are in a hurry. With Struts Kick Start, I can go right to the place in the book that explains the specific thing I'm looking for quickly.

I've looked at all the available books on Struts and I own three of them. Struts Kick Start is the one I have found the most useful in helping me learn because it provides the best coverage of the basics of Struts and has many more coding samples for the struts tags than any of the others. The others refer you to the site for struts tags or just seem to replicate what is already on-line. Struts Kick Start explains each one in detail and gives sample code that you can cut and paste to use on your own. It also provides some great examples of unit testing and build scripts that I've been able to put to use without too much pain.

This is a great, useful book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By P. MACKENZIE on September 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
I would highly recommend this book for anyone looking to get a practical, working knowledge of Struts in a short amount of time. It also gives clear advise and recommendations on design issues and technology choices not only for using Struts and JSPs, but also on integrating with back-end databases, Enterprise Java Beans systems, and Web Services systems.
The book develops a practical Struts application, including database integration, that walks through all the real world development stages from design to deployment, highlighting best practices and key issues at each step. While doing all this, the book is brief and to the point. This keeps it fast moving and interesting while providing a useful working knowledge of Struts. The authors provide clear recommendations on many
issues. Design or technology options that exist at various points are highlighted and the trade-offs identified, but the authors do not get bogged down in technical digressions at these points, but rather state their recommendation with their reasons and then refers to other resources for the reader who wishes to delve into the issues further.
In addition to the basic Struts application, the conceptual background is clearly laid out and chapters on the details for all the Struts tags are provided. Another highlight of the book are the chapters on advanced topics of integrating Struts with Enterprise Java Beans and with Web Services. In a brief amount of space, these chapters walk through all the steps to set up and run an example application that can serve as a model for real world development. Again, all the key design and technology decisions are highlighted and explained.
A big plus with this book is that all the example applications and the technology products needed to set them up and run them are included on the CD that comes with the book, so you can be sure you are working with the exact same software and setup that is documented in the book.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By SIMON P CHAPPELL on December 23, 2002
Format: Paperback
Struts Kick Start
I started learning how to use the Struts framework in late in 2001, after I became fed-up with hacking web applications together with the digital equivalent of "Duct-tape Engineering". At that time there were no books available for the budding Struts developer, "Read The Fine Manual" was not an option ... you read the website, you read the code or you asked questions on the mailing list. This situation finally changed this fall with the release of a flurry of titles dedicated to Struts. I present here my thoughts on one of the latest: "Struts Kick Start".
What is Struts?
Struts is a framework for developing web applications. It is a distilation of the current set of known best practices into a working code set that can be extended to meet almost any web application requirements. It part of the Jakarta Project at the Apache Software Foundation.
What do I know about Struts?
I have been developing web applications, using Java, for four years and using struts for over a year, and am a regular participant on the Struts mailing list. I was also a technical reviewer for one of the other Struts Books released this fall and was recently invited to speak at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire on the use of Struts.
What's good about this book?
There are many excellent things that I could point to. I particularly like the obvious depth of research that accompanies this book. There is a very interesting history of the development of the MVC design pattern and they even name the inventor. Do you know who invented MVC? If you want to know, buy the book!
The chapters cover everything that you will need to know, in the order you are most likely to need to know it.
Read more ›
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Spanky Johnson on May 8, 2003
Format: Paperback
I bought this book to learn Struts: not to learn ABOUT struts. The authors clearly have a firm grasp on the topic, but unfortunately, this book is more of a 481 page example of them showing the reader what they know than it is instructing the reader in how to learn what they know. I have had this book for several weeks, and have read through many of the chapters before finally coming to the conclusion that this book is really quite worthless.
For example, one of the main selling points for me was that Torque was covered - and even included on the CD. But when I got to Chapter 6, where Torque is discussed (all three paragraphs of it), it's such a "high-level" overview, that I'm no better off than when I started. Here's a quote from the book: "After you've set up the XML file [the code preceeds this quote] and a property file [no code, no explination - what property file?] that tells Torque which database and connection pooling scheme to use, you use Ant [how?] to have Torque automatically use both the SQL files [which SQL files?] to create the database and the Java files to map classes to tables." p102. Do you see how vague and unhelpful this is?
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