Chapter 2. Blueprints

Let’s begin to delve into enterprise applications. With some basic knowledge of the Java APIs and related technologies (such as XML) that are involved with these applications, you are as qualified as the next programmer to start building applications! This is a new frontier, even though it’s been three or four years since the J2EE specification was released. That may sound a bit far-fetched, but technology is moving at an incredible rate, as are the APIs that support it. Just two years ago, applications had far fewer tools, technologies, and specifications upon which to build. For these reasons, you start with most other programmers on a generally level playing field. And as each phase of building an application is addressed, I discuss the principles that will guide you in your own applications, using any combination of APIs and tools.

However, discussing these complex applications in the abstract is like talking about music (which is like dancing about architecture, according to Miles Davis). In other words, trying to describe how to build an application without in fact building one is nearly impossible. For that reason, this entire series discusses the Java APIs and code within the context of a large, enterprise application that will be accessible through a web interface (in Volume II) and as a web service (in Volume III). Starting in this chapter, I will detail a fictional company, Forethought Brokerage, and discuss the application they are building (or ...

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