Scioworks Camino is a visual development tool for Apache Struts Framework that provides a visual drag-and-connect GUI for rapid development and re-wiring of web applications, with minimal coding. It automatically generates code based on the visual flow of of an app, and also features round-trip engineering.
Check out Scioworks Camino 2.0
I was excited to see Visual tool for Struts, so I reviewed it immediately. However, I did not see enough to make me verify that the tool is for me, a heavy user of STRUTS. I need more details in the Documentatation to verify some issues.
1) Picking a tag from the struts or other tag library and changing their properties. Something like the tag and property inspector for Dreamweaver.
2) With the Visual word coming up, I though I would be able to see a visual WYSIWYG to build my jsp page. I could not see anything like this in the doc. or screen shots.
3) In trying to use the message resources for internationalization, I found using struts a pain in the neck. That is, locating text, finding out whether the text is already defined in applicationResource. If it is not, automatically insertion in the proerty file, if it is, inserting the key in the jsp page. Is there anything that helps in this area?
There are a lot of wishes that one has when using STRUTS widely in project. I can not decipher if this issues are being attacked in CAMINO. I am not sure whether I am not going to the right places in the documentation, there is a paucity of information therein.
1) Our tool ObjectAssembler allows you to do this for JSP components. You can even do this with your own tag libraries. Camino may as well, but I am not sure.
2) I think it refers to the story board functionality or flow diagrams that Camino provides.
I would like to hear more of your wishes for Struts tools. I'm sure the folks at Camino would as well. If you get a chance, could you provide some of them? The best way to improve Struts tool support is to do just that. I look forward to hearing more from you.
By the way, do you make use of Validator and/or Tiles?
I was looking around your site and tried to view some of the demos (the "Creating Struts Applications", for example) and I get a window that says "Incorrect skin. Stopping." -- what's up with that?
We are using ViewletBuilder from Qarbon to construct these demos. To run them successfully, a file with a ".vbs" extension is downloaded. This is not VB Script, but it unfortunately has the same extension. I suppose if you have security set high on your browser, that this file would not be downloaded correctly.
I can't think of anything else. The Vielwets for our next version will be based on a newer Flash-based version. Hopefully we won't have the same problem...
Thanks for your response.
My responses to your questions are:
>By the way, do you make use of Validator and/or Tiles?
We reviewed both item at their early stages, but went with custom solutions. I am sure that the Validator will be considered for future projects. Tiles I am not sure of. To the best of my recollection we could not use it for some reason involving flexibility with frame or table layout.
>I would like to hear more of your wishes for Struts tools.
Like any other framework that one uses, it is hoped that it would lead to RAD rapid application development/deployment. Therefore, it is those operations that are error prone or time-consuming that one hopes that a visual tool assists in doing. There are lots of these points when working with STRUTS. Some of these may already be addressed by CAMINO.
However, I searched through the documentation and screens to verify some of the features that would be greatly appreciated immediately. Most of these, I believe would be in the JSP Source editor. From the documentation, it does not appear that these features are included. Some examples are as follows.
The tag libraries have dtd that define their variables. The editor should guide me through the entry by presenting the tag names in the libraries declared. Then presenting the variables involved in the specific tag selected and annunciating the required fields, presenting defaults where one exists.
Using STRUTS there would be some session and request beans that are available to the pages. Some of them are already declared in the struts-config, some are created in the action classes. One can also create beans in the page or other context, using existing beans, or classes that are accessible through the class path.
When using the tags that uses the bean like the bean:write, I should be able to get some assistance as to the bean names declared (strut-config, or in some action classes). Some method to associate the bean with some classes so that the list of possible attributes could be presented.
When coding the input tags under struts, in most cases the input variable must be associated with the form declare in the action entry declared in
"myAction" will refer to an action entry in struts config. In which a form bean would be designated with an option to designate a jsp page.
Although I see some Camino feature involved with some visuals on the flow. I do not see the assistance I need during source editing. The fact that most of my input tags would be based on attributes from the specified form bean. (That is how struts handles copying the html parameters to and from beans)
I also see features involving message properties specification. However, on the jsp page, there is need for assistance in inserting message keys, and creating entries in the property files.
The current process is error prone. It would lead to an application error, that require shut down and reload of the web server or application to register the modified property entries.
There is a tool : StrutsResourcesChecker by David White that will help in catching the problem areas at once. Rather than running into an application error, correcting it and reloading, whence another error can show up further down in the flow. This tool work on a batch basis, a tool integrated into the source editor would be more ideal.
These are some examples of these wish lists. With time I can come up with a more comprehensive list. Although I often find out that some of the Struts add on are in line with my wish lists, since these are common problems. For example the Struts console is right on the money, in handling the configuration editing for struts. Although accesible within the IDE (forte), it would also help to have access to it while editing jsp source. For example in tuning the action parameter on the jsp to certain declared forwards.
I popped open their dist jar file and they have most of the jakarta project in there (ok, a lot of it). As well as some netbeans stuff. Jdom as well. Wish they published the versions in a manifest file, would be a nice little bundle. :)
I use struts with tiles. Camino does not seem to recognise action mappings with tiles as the forward link. Well, just have to go back to my trusted Together + UltraEdit combination...