Web applications are very popular these days. But how do you program them in Java Enterprise Edition? And why does the Spring MVC library simplify the task so much?

Java EE – what is it?

In the simplest terms, Java EE (Java for Enterprise Edition) is a platform for developing business applications in Java. It is a set of contracts (usually in the form of interfaces), specifying that certain things should work this way and not that way. Java EE allows you to distinguish between two components of web applications:

  • the application server,
  • the application (in the form of a WAR file).

If the application uses only standard elements from the Java EE specification, it can be run on any application server.

Web applications – what do they consist of?

Running on the server and available to users, Java EE applications consist of 2 basic elements (application server and WAR file). However, this is not true in every case. It is enough to attach a lightweight container, such as Jetta to the WAR file itself – making it not need the application server. Then the physical division into two parts does not exist, but in theory you can still distinguish both elements.

Application server – a common part of all web applications

The application server is used to provide the application with basic mechanisms. Such as thread management, the option to dynamically load the application, authentication, authorization, authentication (JAAS), HTTP protocol support, encryption with SSL support, and other elements that you will use through specific APIs.

There are many application servers on the market, among the most popular ones we can highlight: Tomcat, WildFly, Glassfish, WebSphere, or Oracje Fusion Middleware. There are both paid and free solutions.

WAR file – which means what?

It is a directory structure packaged as a ZIP. For the file to work properly, it should be a complete module. It should contain not only the code, but also all the dependencies, in the form of libraries and external modules needed by the application.

MVC – what is it and how does it relate to Spring?

MVC stands for Model – View – Controller. It is a symbolic tripartition of the application and means more or less that when we write the functionality of the application, we distinguish its 3 elements:

  • Model – i.e. the domain, as in the objects that represent a certain piece of reality and related elements.
  • View – the view, i.e. what the user sees. Most often these are fragments of HTML code, supplemented with additional language elements.
  • Controller – is otherwise the logic behind the pages. This is the code that connects the database to the users.

Spring Framework

Spring is currently one of the most popular frameworks for designing Java applications. It is characterized by high flexibility – it can be used in almost any type of application, and at the same time it can be configured very precisely.

Spring MVC, on the other hand, is simply an extension of the Spring framework to support web applications (e.g. handling URLs, or submitting data via forms). This extension makes web application development even easier than ever before.

Maven – a free tool to support developers

It is also impossible not to mention Maven, a free tool that supports Java developers. It allows you to: add dependencies to a given framework or library to your project, compile and build your project, run unit and integration tests, generate test reports, and these are just some of its capabilities.

To use Maven, you don’t need a lot of configuration. Mostly, most of the default settings are sufficient and you don’t need to bother with any add-ons at the beginning of your work. If you learn the basics of Maven once, you will be able to build virtually any project with its help.

Da Vinci Studio: tailor-made applications

The topic of web applications is very broad, in this article we have only touched on some basics. At Da Vinci Studio we deal with the development of dedicated applications for our clients on a daily basis. We combine knowledge and practice with an optimized approach. You do not need to know programming topics, you can outsource the creation of the entire application to us. We provide modern solutions, available not only through the browser. We comprehensively support our clients with technology, and quality paired with functionality makes our applications tailor-made for your business.

November 9, 2022 Other