Hello this is my first post in this forum I recently found it.

I am a begginer in JAVA, I worked with Java, Hibernate and Applets, now I want to programm a game of cards.

My first design it was made the server with JAVA and sockets, then the Client with a Applet, the server will comunicate with the client by encrypted sockets, and I will use hibernate to manipulate the DB.
Maybe a version 2.0 will be with the client in Flash and the server will store all the states of the game.

Then I was reading about web services and I saw that is more indicate to design this with web services, Imagine a Online Poker game (is not what I want to design but like example will work), one option is to made it with sockets and the other with web services the last one in more secure and is better to design it.

I was reading a lot about web services but I can't find a good tutorial to undrestand 100% how it works. I read about SOAP but I saw that I need to program Struts too to design this game with web services, and my experience with Struts is very basic.

Here is my question, there is a tool to development 100% of the application like this server and then the applet and with that tool I will comunicate the server to the client using web services, without program struts, etc.?

My second question is: As I don't know much about web services and that will take me a lot of time to understand the tecnology, What is the best method to program in java with sockets and then when I will have time I can transform that application into a web service?.

thanks very much for the help!