my 2 cents as well:
1. ac-play-java is a solution, for sure, although it seems that was built at a hackaton or something.
2. Play version should be 2.2.6, Scala 2.10.3, AC play 0.10.1 Yes, it works quite well on Java8. I even integrated it with guice and did some dep injection on it
Personally, I doubt play framework, though. I doubt that perf wise is everything rose (put the french e'). Even the name says it: play.
3. Now, I do not know how to tell you this: Connect is a bunch of REST services. If you ever done REST is Java you have nothing to fear of. JWT should not pose problems (but I saw many people stumble into this).
Other than that, don't worry, we're all confused. Confusion will be my epitaph, anyway (#socultured)
My Work Calendar addon lives on ac-play. I am not sure about ac-play status and would like to hear some update about it as well.
When I started with ac-play I knew nothing about play2 framework and I still do not know much. I mainly use commands to start/stop/build and it's enough. All programming is done on Java relying on classes from ac-play and paly2 and there are no any problems with that.
Answering your questions:
1. Should I go further with ac-play-java?
Really do not know. It works for me and I do not care about updates as long as it works.
2. If so:
a. What version should I use from Maven/build from source (guessing 0.10.1 from source)?
I guess from sources is the only option and you take the latest.
b. What version of Play framework should this run against (guessing 4.2.x)?
I run on 2.2. 2.4 should work as well.
c. Will everything work with Java 8?
I run on 7. Do not have time/desire to update.
3. If not:
a. What's the easiest, 3rd-party route for a Java programmer to get busy with Connect?
I really do not know the easy way.
b. Relative merits of cobbling together my own JWT/webhook mechanism and wrapping it all up in a WAR, since I'm already talking to Jira through other means?
My initial intention was to "extract all I need" from ac-play and go my favorite well-known Java webapp way based on Spring IoC + Spring MVC. But I decided that I need to try ac-play and it worked and then I did not have time/desire to do standard webapp.
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