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From Pawel Kozlowski <>
Subject Beehive issues
Date Fri, 18 Aug 2006 12:05:01 GMT
Hi All,

Recently I was evaluating BEA?s Portal v9.2 and - of course ? Apache 
Beehive as part of it. During the investigation I?ve run into several 
serious issues I would like to discuss on the list. I don?t want to jump 
to unfair conclusions in my closing report? maybe I?ve missed something? 
So, I would be really grateful for any feedback regarding the issues 
described below:

1)      Inconsistent navigation model. From what I could understand, you 
can navigate from a method action only by going through forwards (either 
method-level or global ones). You do this navigation by specifying a 
logical ?event name? (forward name). On the other hand, in JSP (?view 
node?) you are free to call any action, even the one not intended by a 
flow designer! In fact, this is possible, because in JSP you do specify an 
action name not a logical event name! What it effectively means is that 
you can?t express a restriction like ?from this JSP (presentation node) 
you can only call certain actions?. I can?t find an equivalent of forwards 
on the JSP level. Because of this, Beehive seams to capture only half of a 
logical web flow, and should be placed somewhere between ?simple? web 
frameworks (Struts, WebWork) and ?real? web flow libraries (Spring Web 
Flow). Am I right or missing sth obvious? What I would like to see is sth 
like forwards for simple (annotation) actions, and different set of 
taglibs, where you specify a forward name, not an action name. 

2)      Taglib - links to other flows ? I couldn?t find a JSP tag that 
would allow me to create links to other web flow controllers. This is 
because I use an action name while constructing a link, without a 
controller name! Of course I could create a link manually, but it would 
mean hard-coding a link pattern in JSPs, and this should be responsibility 
of taglib.

3)      Taglib ? different field names and Java Script ? it seams that 
Beehive taglibs used to create form fields, do add a prefix to a generated 
HTML form field name. Worse yet, those prefixes are different in a 
stand-alone and portal environment. Unpredictable field names make it very 
difficult to add sophisticated JavaScript?

4)      Flow inheritance ? at first it seemed like a wonderful feature, 
but in practice it turned out to be almost useless, since some annotations 
(method forwards) are not inherited from a parent class. What I would like 
to see is kind of merging for forwards ? or at least a way to specify, if 
I want method forwards to be overridden or merged in a child class. I 
asked about this in a separate thread (post from Thu, 08 Jun, 14:27), but 
got no response?.

Please, help me with the evaluation of Beehive. I would like to propose 
this solution, as it is very well integrated with BEA portal. 
Unfortunately, because of identified issues I can?t recommend using 
Beehive. I hope I?ve missed some obvious solution / work-around for 
problems just described.

Best regards,
Pawel Kozlowski
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