Java Servlet and JSP Web Application 6

In the previous five posts, I provided an implementation of a typical web application in Java Servlet 3.0 and JSP, although it is in a simplified format (without input checking, validation etc).  In this post, I will conclude the series by borrowing a few drawings from a book at IBM redbooks website Servlet and JSP Programming with IBM WebSphere Studio and VisualAge for Java, in order to highlight a web application component flow (design pattern), a web application structure (component descriptions) and a web application topology (typical target runtime/production environment). I highly recommend the book to everyone.

1. Web Application Component Flow

Web Application Component Flow

Web Application Component Flow

Design Pattern: Model-View-Controller

This design follows the Model-View-Controller design pattern:

  • The JSPs (and HTML pages) provide the view.
  • The servlet is the controller.
  • The command beans represent the model.

The data beans contain the data of the model, and the view beans are helper classes to provide a data channel between the view and the model. The servlet (controller) interacts with the model (the command beans) and the view (the JSPs). The servlet controls the application flow.

2. Web Application Structure

Web Application Structure (J2EE)

Web Application Structure (J2EE)

HTML page

The input page for each step is either a static HTML page or a dynamic HTML page created from a previous step. The HTML page contains one or multiple forms that invoke a servlet for processing of the next interaction. Input data can be validated through JavaScript in the HTML page or passed to the servlet for detailed validation.


The servlet gets control from the Application Server to perform basic control of flow. The servlet validates all the data, and returns to the browser if data is incomplete or invalid.
For valid data, processing continues. The servlet sets up and calls command beans that perform the business logic. The servlet initializes the view beans and registers them with the request block so that the JSPs can find the view beans. Depending on the results of the command beans, the servlet calls a JSP for output processing and formatting.

Command beans

Command beans control the processing of the business logic. Business logic may be imbedded in the command bean, or the command bean delegates processing to back-end or enterprise systems, such as relational databases, transaction systems (CICS, MQSeries, IMS, and so forth). A command bean may perform one specific function, or it may contain many methods, each for a specific task. Command beans may be called Task
Wrappers in such a case. Results of back-end processing are stored in data beans.

Data beans

Data beans hold the results of processing that was performed by the command bean or by back-end systems. For example, a data bean could contain an SQL result or the communication area of a CICS transaction. Data beans may not provide the necessary methods for a JSP to access the data; that is where the view beans provide the function.

View beans

View beans provide the contract between the output producing JSPs and the data beans that contain the dynamic data to be displayed in the output. Each view bean contains one or multiple data beans and provides tailored methods so that the JSP has access to the data stored in the data beans.


The JSPs generate the output for the browser. In many cases that output again contains forms to enable the user to continue an interaction with the application. JSPs use tags to declare the view beans. Through the view beans, the JSP gets access to all the dynamic data that must be displayed in the output.

3. Web Application Topology

Web Application Topology

Web Application Topology

About henry416
I am a computer technology explorer and an university student based on Toronto. If you have any question, please feel free to discuss and comment here

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s