Thank you for taking the time to comment. As an author I sincerely appreciate it. I will try to answer the seeming simplicity of the proposition.
Internet took off because of its inherent simplicity. Without simplified abstractions and loose coupling you can never build systems that are large.
The goal of Aspire is to bring the simplicity and declarativity of PHP and ColdFusion with J2EE as its backbone and there by correcting some of eager steps that these RAD products took.
Aspire is designed for large complex systems. Separated data access, declarative transactions, Hierarchical XML data sets, Automatic publishing of data as SOAP output goes a long way for corporations today.
The referenced article titled "Transparent data pipelines for JSP" goes into the architectural foundations.
All of the hard problems are expressed as built in parts coded in Java. So the users have always the opportunity code up the complexity as an underlying J2EE component. Once coded a programmer need only use declarative constructs.
Due to the length of the article I might have missed some finer points. More recently there are additional articles at O'Reilly on using Aspire as a pure data engine for Tomcat applications.
Hope that throws some additional light on the matter.