EJBs – you’ve come a long way baby

I haven’t blogged for ages for a few reasons. Mainly I have been working on some new developments at Cortex and not a lot of time to spare for other things.

This project is a J2EE project and surprisingly it is actually a long while since I really had a lot to do with a J2EE system. I’ve been doing lots of other systems around J2EE systems. Anyway, this is an EJB based system. I don’t really mind EJBs. They do have lots of issues but I understand those and overall they work OK for me. One thing for sure is that the advent of usable CMP and xdoclet cut down the amount of boring boilerplate code you need to produce.

I modified a few of the xdoclet templates in the area of value objects to suit my preferences. I can now mark some properties as readonly so they still appear in the value object but are not rewritten when the value object is set. Also, rather than aggregating related value objects, I can choose to just aggregate their primary keys. I find that often that is all I need.

Modifying xdoclet templates is a bit hairy but not impossible. The XML templating is a little cumbersome but the results are effective. I shouldn’t complain, xdoclet is writing more code than I am.

For the webapp famework, I am using a few OpenSymphony technologies. WebWork2/XWork is working out well. I’ve found a few bugs most of which I have worked around. OSUser provides a nice and simple method of defining users and groups. Finally we are using Sitemesh to add a lot of common UI stuff to the pages. I have to say that Sitemesh really rocks. It means that I can ignore most of the HTML fiddling on most of my pages.

I’m having fun getting back into J2EE development. It really has come a long way since we started at Cortex with Weblogic 4.5.1

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