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requirements document for building struts application

Tony Smith
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Joined: Jul 07, 2007
Posts: 229
Hi, I understand it's going to be differnt from company to company, but in general if you are hired to build a struts application from scratch, what sort of documents are given to you by the company as a guideline?

What I mean is, in general do you get documents like UML and some sort of requirements documents? What other documents might be essential? I am just kind curious what those documents might look like and what keyword should I use to see if I can find some examples. Thanks.
Ed Thompson
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Joined: Jan 20, 2006
Posts: 43
Often you are not hired to build a Struts application - you are hired to build an application, and Struts was the tool of choice by some architect or manager.

Typically the requirements document will not dictate a technology. The business owners generally don't care about underlying technology. The requirements doc MIGHT dictate, but usually only if the business owner knows parts of it are already written in Struts, and they are really saying 'ditto'.

If you are hired in as a Junior level, you might get a design document from a Senior level developer that lays out the design with UML, detailed class diagrams, sequence diagram, etc... or you might just get a high level design and it is assumed your knowledge of Struts is strong enough for you to apply it directly. Usually you won't get all action classes explicitly defined, for example.

If you are hired as a Senior developer, you might get anything from the above to a white sheet of paper. I have done both - I have hired Seniors, and given them a complete design, though the class digram is incomplete (gotta let the developer have their input). I have also scratched out a design on a white board, and said 'make it so'. Depends on my faith in the developer.

I am usually the one doing the sequence diagram with/for the consultants, and from there I might ask THEM to do the class diagram so I can make sure they understand what I am looking for.


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Tony Smith
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Joined: Jul 07, 2007
Posts: 229
Yes I meant to say web appliaction using struts. Thanks for the info.

I guess I was wondering if you have a registration form that requires first name, last name, SSN, address... etc, what diagram would that go into telling you that you need this and that form fields in registration.jsp?

I am also new with UML stuff, are class diagrams and sequence diagram part of UML?
Ed Thompson
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Joined: Jan 20, 2006
Posts: 43
>>I am also new with UML stuff, are class diagrams and sequence diagram part of UML?

They are the most important UML diagrams on the dev side!

As to the form, you might get a requirements doc listing them as clearly as you did in your post, or you might get picture of a a mocked up GUI. As a developer it is unlikely you would get anything very detailed for something as the form you describe. The requirements doc might tell you the size of fields, characters allowed, etc for validation purposes. But as to which action classes to create, etc... that is often a detail left to the developer.
Tony Smith
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Joined: Jul 07, 2007
Posts: 229
I see... thanks. Besides class diagrams and sequence diagram, is there any other diagram that I should be aware of, or will these two cover most cases?

I would imagine class diagrams is used more in the backend where the model is used and sequence diagrams is used more in the frontend where View and Controller is used but not including actions/form beans as you suggested it's usually leave up to the developer. Did I get this part correct? Thanks.
[ October 16, 2007: Message edited by: Tony Smith ]
Merrill Higginson
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Joined: Feb 15, 2005
Posts: 4864
There's one important document you haven't mentioned, and that is what is commonly known as a Use Case Document or Use Case Diagram.

This document lists all interactions with the system, both with the user, and with any outside systems such as web services, EJBs, etc. It lists each action the user takes, as well as all possible results of that action. It also gives a general flow from one page to the next.

It can be drawn up as a diagram, and there are rules surrounding it, but often times it's just a Word document listing the interactions and the details surrounding them.


Merrill
Consultant, Sima Solutions
 
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