Originally posted by Subramanian Narayanaswamy: 2) Are we allowed to use any existing open frameworks for the assignment - or should it be a "from-the-scratch" approach ?
Can you clarify what do you mean with that? which frameworks are you thinking off? I did the assignment and you could do everything with the JEE platform, if you are thinking of using Hibernate instead of JPA, or maybe Struts instead of JSF... I think the answer will be "NO", you are supposed to use the JEE components.
Unless someone who passed despite using those or someone who failed bacause of using those comes forward, you'll never know. I really don't see how Struts is that "significant" as far as architecture goes. Its only an implementation of a few well known patterns.