This week's book giveaway is in the OO, Patterns, UML and Refactoring forum. We're giving away four copies of Refactoring for Software Design Smells: Managing Technical Debt and have Girish Suryanarayana, Ganesh Samarthyam & Tushar Sharma on-line! See this thread for details.
I'm not sure you understand the different between a JFrame and a JApplet. By using either one of these does not determine which is the best method for your layout. The different between these is that one is used for building an applet (to be viewed on a webpage) or a standalone application. Deciding how to partition (layout) the components has to do with the layout managers you use. Explain your question in more detail and I might be able to help you out.
I’ve looked at a lot of different solutions, and in my humble opinion Aspose is the way to go. Here’s the link: http://aspose.com