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Wicket compared with Spring WebFlow

by Rob Thornton on Mar 14, 2007 |

Peter Thomas has written a detailed article about his impressions of moving a Spring MVC application to Wicket. He took a few screens from JTrac and ported them to Wicket and ended up very pleased with what Wicket had to offer.

Peter was spurred by the growing buzz around Wicket, including a December article on InfoQ. After migrating, he has come up with a list of relevant points when comparing against Spring MVC / WebFlow (he admits that he has not tried many of the other existing frameworks and so does not try to compare against them). His list of impressions:

  • Pure Java - Being productive in Wicket requires a solid grounding in Java fundamentals
  • Excellent component model
  • Real separation of concerns - all layout is done in HTML
  • No JSPs
  • Re-usability
  • Templates for web pages
  • Ajax
  • Form binding and validation

Peter's application required the use of Acegi, Spring, and Hibernate. Each of which was a straightforward integration. His last point was that Wicket does not require the use of any annotations, which was a plus for him.

In the end, Peter went from a firm believer in Spring MVC and WebFlow to a proponent of Wicket. He writes:

I found WebFlow great because it allowed me to re-use subflows. So as an example if I had a use-case like "assign task to user" and the user did not exist, I could easily call the "create user" flow and then resume the original calling flow at the point where I branched out, you know - all that continuations stuff. But now my conclusion is that you can easily do all that - and more - with Wicket.

In a similar vein, Rob Breidecker has posted an analysis of the various points to consider when choosing a web framework.

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