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From P K <>
Subject [OT] Struts + JSF vs Swing
Date Mon, 31 Mar 2003 18:56:21 GMT

We have just started using Struts whereas another group here is developing front ends for
web-based applications using Swing. My manager has asked me to come up with a document listing
why we are going this route and are not inclined to use Swing. What do you guys think of this?



Developing User Interfaces using Struts as opposed to a Swing GUI with Java Web Start.

· Swing needs a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) to be installed on Client Machines. This could
potentially lead to compatibility issues if a Swing GUI is developed using components from
a newer version of Java - the JVM will need to be upgraded on all client machines. Struts
applications output HTML, which will be displayed in a browser.

· Struts is a framework that provides several built-in components that can be incorporated
into an application declaratively (as opposed to programmatically), such as exception handling,
validation, internationalization. These types of components will need to be developed for
Swing based applications.

· Swing is only a GUI technology. As mentioned above Struts provides other components as well.

· Swing provides a richer set of GUI components whereas Struts currently only allows User
Interfaces to be HTML based. But, developing applications with Struts will allow us to take
advantage of the new JavaServer Faces (JSF) specification (
The Reference Implementation (Early Access) for JSF is already available. From the page at
the above link:

 "Designed to be flexible, JavaServer Faces technology leverages existing, standard UI and
web-tier concepts without limiting developers to a particular mark-up language, protocol,
or client device."

· Using Struts + JSF is much more flexible than using just Swing. It will be very difficult
for us to provide a Swing GUI on RF devices, if at all. This means that for applications such
as “PF Retrieve” we would need to develop a separate GUI for RF devices if we were to use
Swing. JSF will eliminate this problem. Current Struts JSP pages will need to be changed to
use JSF tags instead of the current Struts tags. But, JSF will probably take at least a year
to mature and deliver this functionality.


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