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.... or "How Hard Can It Be To Find A Webdeveloper?"

.... or "How To Build A Full-stack Webdev in Two Easy Lessons"

.... or "How I Learnt To Stop Worrying And Love Javascript"

(Based on work from Innovation Week September 2017 at KB-Aarhus.)

Where We Are Now

It looks ok, so why is further development so slow and such hard work?

Well look at the code ....

What do we see?

  • A big ball of jsp and servlets
  • No clear separation between business logic and presentation
  • Multiple back ends
    • Database via DAO classes
    • External NAS applications via JMX/JMS
    • Heritrix via REST

So can we learn to make a web frontend like real web-developers?

Let's do it in two stages

Create a Service Layer For the NAS Backend

All communication between the NAS GUI and the backend system should be via a well-defined REST API

  1. Create new webmodule in the existing NAS GUI
  2. Configure its web.xml to scan for classes that expose REST methods

       <servlet-name>Jersey REST Service</servlet-name>
  3. Implement some methods

    public class Status {
        public JMXStatusEntry[] getAllStatus() {
            String query = "dk.netarkivet.common.logging:*,index=0";
            ArrayList<JMXStatusEntry> entries = new ArrayList<>();
            List<StatusEntry> entries1 = null;
            try {
                entries1 = JMXStatusEntry.queryJMX(query);
            } catch (MalformedObjectNameException e) {
                throw new RuntimeException(e);
            for (StatusEntry entry: entries1) {
                entries.add((JMXStatusEntry) entry);
            return entries.toArray(new JMXStatusEntry[]{});
  4. Profit!

Now Just Write a Modern Dynamic Interactive WebGui ...

On advice I started with jQuery.

  1. As before, created a new web-context for the GUI in the existing NAS tomcat - although any web-server will do
  2. Enabling jQuery just means adding some scripts in your html body and some css in your html head

        <meta charset="utf-8" />
        <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="//">
        <link rel="stylesheet" href="//">
    <script src="//"></script>
    <script src="//"></script>
    <script src=""></script>
    <script type="text/javascript" charset="utf8" src=""></script>
    <script src="site.js"></script>
  3. The html for the Status page now looks like this

    <table id="status_table">

    ... literally, that's the whole thing, because all the action happens in the site.js:

    $(document).ready(function() {
          load: function( event, ui ) {
              if(event.currentTarget != null && event.currentTarget.firstChild.textContent === "Status") {
                  $('#status_table').DataTable( {
                      ajax: {
                          url: '../rest/rest/status/all',
                          dataSrc: ''
                      columns: [
                          { data: 'physicalLocation' },
                          { data: 'applicationName' },
                          { data: 'logMessage'}
                  } );

    What matters here is that we are leveraging the entire functionality of the jQuery-UI DataTable plugin to format the JSON we get from the REST service.

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