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LeagueSite: Java in the Little League

Posted by joconner on September 30, 2006 at 4:16 PM PDT

My quest to implement a Little League website with all Java technologies starts today...when I get home from the kids' soccer games. After announcing my next public experiment to create a Little League baseball site for my community, I'm beginning to realize the enormous task that I've created for myself. Regardless, I'm committed to it, and it must happen.

The current, existing site is for , an active league in Ventura, CA. Don't be fooled by the lack of content now...we're in the off season. Beginning in just a few months this site will be very active with news and events covering the front page, starting with registration information, tryout announcements, and organizational news. Later, when the season gets started, the site will show snackbar duty schedules, team organization info, game scores, and team schedules.

Note: the link has been subsequently removed

I was nervous about sharing the site with at first, but then I realized that no information about the actual players is ever shared on the site...so, it's a site for the league and its kids, but the only information you'll ever see about a child is an anonymous photo. That doesn't mean we don't have that info; it's just not going to be available to the public on this site or anywhere else.

Here's my plan of attack for the creation of the next site using all Java technologies. This is just how I'm going to get started and does not represent anywhere near all the work I'll need to do. This is just for the next 7-10 days:

  1. Find a suitable hosting company. PHP and MySQL hosts are everywhere, and they are cheap. Tomcat or Glassfish hosts? Java EE hosting companies are considerably more expensive, but I have to find one. I'm considering Kattare since I've used them in the past, and I already have an account there. I can even configure Tomcat (their app server of choice) to point to a new domain on my existing account. I'd like to use Glassfish, so I'll have to check with them to find out if that's possible. Otherwise, maybe you (the community) have suggestions for a Glassfish host?
  2. Set up the backend db (Java DB) with just a couple new tables to start. I'll create a PARTICIPANT_TBL, a table listing all adult volunteers, their contact information, and a photo. Every PARTICIPANT also has one or more ROLE positions in the league. A ROLE might be a board member position, a manager/coach, team parent, etc. So, I might need a PARTICIPANT_ROLE_TBL that links the two. Forgive me people...I'm no db designer, so of course I'd appreciate your advice.
  3. Create a front page for the site with blocked out sections for future news and events and a link to a page listing current board members and their contact info. I think I'll handle this by putting an extra flag in the ROLE_TBL for board positions...sound reasonable? Or maybe I'll need a separate BOARD_TBL that just lists specific PARTICIPANTS?

I'm considering Java Studio Creator 2 for my design and layout tool for the front end. Essentially that means that I'll use JSF, JSPs, and "backing beans" for each JSP page. "Creator" appears to offer me the rapid prototyping functionality that I want to get this started quickly, but there's also the learning curve for JSF. Again, your ideas are appreciated. Using this tool shouldn't limit me from using other tools in the future, since the build and configuration files are ANT based xml files.

That's it for now. If you're interested I'll keep this topic going here. If I get enough backlash, perhaps I'll have to move elsewhere. However, I do promise to share all the problems and my solutions right here...and most will be Java technology related. Interested? Let me know if this is an appropriate forum.

OK, time to go solve some of my real world, Java development problems! I'll let you know what I decided for host and app server as soon as I knock those off the list.

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