Before briefing about the framework, we would like to share our thought process which was the inspiration to develop this framework. Every one of us wants a better approach to develop our GUIs and to integrate the presentation layer with the other layers. Coding the business layer, service layer and persistence layer is actually the up-hill task but we have never felt it as complex, as it is pure java code and also testing it is easy.
But when it comes to a presentation layer and bringing the GUI in place, we identified several difficulties like
• Bringing data at runtime to front end
• Confusion over scope of objects
• Handling multiple form submits
• Rich User Interface
• Compatibility with multiple browsers etc
This is what urged us to come up with a dynamic presentation framework, thus Spinneret evolved.
When we were thinking about this, we came to know about GWT, an open source AJAX based web application framework from Google.
Spinneret fits into the presentation tier of the enterprise layer and takes care of rendering the UI based on the configuration. Spinneret is integrated with Struts 1.1, which takes care of the listener for the GUI objects of the Spinneret framework from the view. Every Spinneret action is submitted to the ActionServlet of struts and is routed via struts.
Spinneret has in-built, programmable templates, which is based on the GWT layouts available. These templates are extendable and user can even write their own template.