Thursday, July 27th, 2006

Ajax and the Spring Framework with TIBCO General Interface

Category: Articles, Examples, Programming, TIBCO

<p>Brian Walsh has written an exceedingly well documented tutorial on combining Spring MVC, XStream and TIBCO GI. The focus is on using GI at the view layer while making only incremental changes to an existing Spring MVC application (the application from the Spring MVC step-by-step tutorial in this case, which you’ll have to step through before you go on to the GI tutorial):

Application owners and developers alike predictably want to increase productivity and reduce time to market. This type of rapid implementation gives us several imperatives:

  • No wholesale replacement of our Spring investment.
  • Incremental change of existing server code as opposed to wholesale change to, for example, SOAP Web services
  • Continued support for non-Ajax clients
  • Re-use of existing code wherever we can. Develop the GI application along side the JSP layer.

Since GI generates the view at the client, Spring need no longer generate HTML at the server. Instead, we’ll modify our Spring configurations such that Spring can also return raw data in form of XML that can be consumed as a service by the Ajax processes in GI.

The tutorial is generously illustrated with sequence diagrams, annotated configuration files and screen shots. It shows how to replace the HTML rendering logic of the existing application with an XStream-based logic that transforms the model into XML. (If you haven’t looked at XStream yet, you really should. It’s a clever library that allows you to serialize and deserialize objects to and from XML with a few lines of code.) All of the rendering is handled by GI in the client now, including degrading gracefully for non-AJAX clients.

The tutorial also serves as a lesson in how the development of web applications will change when WYSIWYG, component GUI interface tools become involved. The story board before-and-after shots of the UI in particular suggest some of the artifacts that might be produced in legacy web to AJAX migrations.

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Posted by Dietrich Kappe at 2:49 pm
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