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From Chuck Chopp <>
Subject JSP / ActionForm / Action design quesetion
Date Mon, 26 Jul 2004 20:29:46 GMT
I'm experimenting with putting a JSP / Struts front-end onto an existing 
"green screen" application on a midrange system.  I have JavaBeans that 
serve as wrappers around the underlying code that implements the business 
logic, which allows me  to divorce the legacy green screen terminal I/O 
interface routines from the business logic.  Now, however, I have to meet a 
requirement of the end-user and I'm too new at using Struts and JSPs to know 
for certain how to go about doing meeting the requirement.

In a nutshell, the green screen interface allow for rapid data entry, and 
the JSP front-end that I'm trying to build needs to allow for the same 
techniques to be used or else it will fail to meet the user's requirements. 
  Currently, a lot of of the data that gets entered is for fixed length 
fields, and when the data input results in one field being full, the focus 
automatically jumps to the next field as if the TAB key had been hit.  When 
all of the fields of data have been entered, simply hitting the ENTER key 
results in the screen full of data fields being submitted, validated and 
then the screen is "reset" to empty field values again for additional data 
entry.  Most of the data is numeric and the data entry is done via the 
numeric keypad.

I need to know if it is possible to set up a JSP to work in the same way. 
Is it possible to set up a JSP such that quick data entry can be done with 
the focus automatically forwarding from one field to the next as the fields 
are filled up with fixed length data w/o having to hit the TAB key and with 
the ENTER key resulting in posting the form data to the applet?

I can already handle the ActionForm programming for data validation and the 
success/failure forwarding so that the successfully validated data is fed 
into the model and then the controller forwards back to the same JSP / 
ActionForm combination again for additional data entry.

I'm not sure if I can code things so that some other single keystroke can be 
used in place of clicking a "CANCEL" button on the form, such as hitting the 
ESC key and having that trigger an event in the JSP that is the same as 
clicking the "CANCEL" button.  In the green screen application, hitting ESC 
results in leaving the data entry screen and returning to a higher level 
menu.  I'd like to preserve as much of the legacy application's quick data 
entry functionality while putting a more modern web-enabled frontend onto 
the application.


Chuck Chopp

ChuckChopp (at) rtfmcsi (dot) com

RTFM Consulting Services Inc.     864 801 2795 voice & voicemail
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