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Yes, I have seen the articles that you mention and have trawled through most of the online docs but haven't found anything that answers my specific questions about the service layer. Do you have any sample code that you would be able to share?
It seems like you would lose the perks of using java beans in your code then... You would not be able to auto-wire beans into your services and would have to pass them into each method. You would not be able to expose service methods as methods of a web service, etc. I can see how that would limit me. What are the advantages of this approach?