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Java EE Best Practices Updated

IBM has updated a 2004 article on Java EE best practices, compiling a list of 19 practices. They range from always use MVC to prefer JSPs as your first choice of presentation technology.

The article is an updated version of one published in IBM’s WebSphere Developer Technical Journal in 2004. They’ve updated it to include current technology and they include practices that the authors consider standard but are not always followed. Number two on the list is: “Don’t reinvent the wheel. Use common, proven frameworks like Apache Struts, JavaServer Faces, and Eclipse RCP. Use proven patterns.” They expected frameworks like Struts to replace homegrown MVC frameworks, however they say:

What has proven surprising is that this has turned out to not be the case. We still see many companies maintaining or even developing new user-interface frameworks that are functionally equivalent to Struts or JSF. There are many reasons why this could be true: organizational inertia, “not invented here” syndrome, lack of perceived benefit in changing working code, or possibly even a slight sense of hubris in thinking that you could do things “better” than the open-source developers did in a particular framework.

However, the time is long-past when any of these reasons is worth using as an excuse not to adopt a standard framework.

The complete list of practices is:

  1. Always use MVC.
  2. Don’t reinvent the wheel.
  3. Apply automated unit tests and test harnesses at every layer.
  4. Develop to the specifications, not the application server.
  5. Plan for using Java EE security from Day One.
  6. Build what you know.
  7. Always use session facades whenever you use EJB components.
  8. Use stateless session beans instead of stateful session beans.
  9. Use container-managed transactions.
  10. Prefer JSPs as your first choice of presentation technology.
  11. When using HttpSessions, store only as much state as you need for the current business transaction and no more.
  12. Take advantage of application server features that do not require your code to be modified.
  13. Play nice within existing environments.
  14. Embrace the qualities of service provided by the application server environment.
  15. Embrace Java EE, don’t fake it.
  16. Plan for version updates.
  17. At all points of interest in your code, log your program state using a standard logging framework.
  18. Always clean up after yourself.
  19. Follow rigorous procedures for development and testing.

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