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  A framework is a set of common and prefabricated software building blocks that programmers can use, extend or customize for specific computing solutions. With frameworks developers do not have to start from scratch each time they write an application. Frameworks are built from collection of objects so both the design and code of the framework may be reused.


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Architecture principles and overview

In the sense of multi-tier architectures the applications based on JFramework are organized as follows:

1. The client tier communicates with the presentation tier trough HTTP.

2. The presentation tier is intended to be loosely coupled with the business tier because of the variety of the possible technologies that can be used in business logic implementation.

3. To make the presentation tier collaborate with the concrete business tier business components are used. JFramework uses collections (pools) of business components built by Component Factories. Only the component factories are responsible to "know" the business logic implementation technology. The component factories are application specific and external to the framework. Thus JFramework does not restrict the technologies used in the business tier.

4. To enhance JFramework with a certain business level technology it is enough to supply only a corresponding Component Factory class.

5. Model-View-Controller design pattern is implemented in JFramework as follows:

a. The Model part is performed by the business components and the database they communicate with - the business tier itself;

b. The Controller and View parts are implemented in the presentation tier.

c. The Controller part is performed by a single HTTP servlet which handles the clients' HTTP requests and transfers them to Dispatcher class for processing;

d. The Dispatcher calls Action Handlers which are responsible to retrieve and pass to corresponding business components the parameters they need to perform certain business operations. Thus the action handlers are the interface to the Model;

e. The Dispatcher calls View Handlers to produce the response of the application based on the results of the business operation performed by an action handler. Thus the View handlers support the interface to the View;

6. JFramework is configured by a file in a certain XML format (called configuration file).

7. JFramework uses application specific action handlers. They are Java classes developed to call a specific business operation. The action handlers are defined in the configuration file with the their class names and specific parameters.

8. The View handlers encapsulate the technologies used in the View. To enhance JFramework with a certain View technology it is enough to supply only a corresponding View handler class and class specific parameters.

9. The core of JFramework is its Components Manager used to collect and manipulate all application dependent code. The Components Manager maps string names to components/resources and their collecting strategies. This allows JFramework to support component pools, shared resources, handlers and all application specific parts. It defines the name space where the application parts are registered and this lets them collaborate without changes in JFramework code to be needed.

10. The JFramework is intended to define guidelines, discipline, design and code to build portable, scalable and maintainable applications.

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