Some years ago I designed and implemented a simple mail client based on a JSP and Struts. It is a good example of a small web application which leverages the capabilities of this Java MVC framework. In the following pages I’ll describe the design process I followed.

This project was inspired my perception of the need for a simple, no frills mail client suitable for people who want to use email, but are frustrated by all the bells and whistles that clutter so many mail programs. This is particularly true for elderly people who have little prior exposure to computers. They want to send and receive mail, and have little need for the sort of features appropriate to professional users. None of the mail programs I was familiar with exhibited the sort of simplicity that I was after.


From the user’s perspective, the basic features are:

At the technical level, I opted for the following capabilities:

Note that the use of container-managed authentication precludes the ability to log out of the application without closing the browser. I plan to replace this in the future with a custom form based mechanism supporting a logout function.