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I prefer Single Page Application to server side generated HTML.

I am sensible to the pitch of "high productivity" delivered by Play.

Now if I don't use the HTML generation part, is it still valuable? Is it worthwile to learn it? For the controller (REST or other), business logic, persistence.

Does it help generating unit tests?

How do you use it?

Thank you

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I would yes, you still can use it for SPA.
Play! framework is a stateless framework and it is suitable to write REST API. XML and JSON response, forms validation, Asynchronous HTTP are built in the framework. Akka integration also! I would say these features are convenient for SPA.

Build your frontend with anything you like (Angular.js, Ember.js, ClojureScript ..) and Your server side could be a neat API written in Play! framework.

Play! for Java Developers

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