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From JSP to AngularJS

Our team maintained a project that was used a quite old web technology JSP. Our project likes a web portal that can contain some other smaller projects, I called it a module. Now, our customers want to add a new module into it.

We met a problem is the current projects can't be testable and hard to maintain because both the logic and GUI are mixed together by using JSP and JSTL. It was really a messy project structure. Therefore, we didn't want to continue this approach. Testing is very important, as well as a good structure for maintenance. We would like to apply MVC pattern for testable and maintainable ability purpose. Yeah, that was actually time for changes.

Our project structure can't be testable and has poor structure.

We listed out some options:
  1. Refactoring all current modules -- terrible approach, too much efforts, too risky due to a lot of modules.
  2. Using MVC just for the new modules with Servlet for Controller, Java class for Model and JSP for View -- actually, it was impossible for us also because our back-end technology was covered by Axon.ivy, the Servlets were fixed and we didn't want to modify a lot without Axon.ivy's official ways.
  3. Finding a new front-end frameworks that can work with Axon.ivy and apply MVC also -- it seems a best solution, we just should learn a lot by choosing this approach.
We found AngularJS is one of the best choices in that time. we did a quick research and we found AngularJS can help us using MVC. Moreover, we can test with Javascript by using some Javascript test framework, likes Jasmine. We also can setup a Jenkins job for auto-run tests by using Karma.

We used AngularJS and some related technologies to overcome our problems.

That was cool and we decided to go for it.


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