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Java BluePrints AJAX Components Early-access Download
Based on JavaServer Faces Technology
April 24, 2006,
Volume 98, Issue 4

Recognizing the increasing popularity of Asynchronous JavaScriptTM with XML (AJAX), JavaTM BluePrints has made an early access set of AJAX components built with JavaServerTM Faces technology for the JavaTM 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EETM) 1.4 and the JavaTM Platform, Enterprise Edition (JavaTM EE) 5 available for download. Users of the Sun JavaTM Studio Creator will be able to try these components with an easy to use tool available with Creator.

There are two JavaServer Faces component libraries. One includes components based on JavaServer Faces 1.2 that can be used on a Java EE 5 application server such as GlassFish. The other set has components based on JavaServer Faces 1.1 and can be run on J2EE 1.4-compatible application servers.

Components in Library 1 (which can be used in both the J2EE 1.4 or the Java EE 5) include:

  • Auto Complete Text Field: The autoComplete component allows users to do real time auto-completion using AJAX interactions. The component uses managed beans both to configure the advanced properties and to retrieve the resultant completion data.
  • Geo-coder Component and Google Map Viewer Component: The MapViewer sample application utilizes two Java Blueprints AJAX components. The GeoCoder uses the Yahoo map service to verify the entered address and to get the exact latitude and longitude. This information is then used by the MapViewer component to render and center the Google map.

  • Progress Bar: The Progress Bar JavaServer Faces component allows users to display the progress of a lengthy task in-screen. The progress percentage is updated through an AJAX call to a manage bean. The component also facilitates a call back to a JavaScript function once the task is complete.

  • Rating: The Rating JavaServer Faces component allows users to rate items and have the model updated through an AJAX call. The component uses a managed bean to configure the advanced properties as well as the resultant user rating selection.

  • PayPal Buy Now: The Buy Now JavaServer Faces wraps the PayPal Buy Now button functionality so it can be easily reused to sell individual items on a web site that can serve JavaServer Faces pages. The main advantage of wrapping the Buy Now button with a JavaServer Faces component is that users can populate various component attributes dynamically by binding them to properties in a managed bean. Specifically, this can save a lot of time when you have hundreds of items to sell through your web site.

  • TextEditor

Components from Library 2 (which be used only on Java EE 5 solutions such as GlassFish) include:

  • PopUp Balloon: The in-screen-popup component consists of a hidden image/table that is shown once the information is retrieved. The border image frames the table that holds the text, giving it a more elegant look. The contents of the in-screen-popup is configurable through the body of the JavaServer Faces tag.

  • AJAX FileUpload: The in-screen-fileupload component consists of a form that is uploaded in the background using AJAX through the DOJO libraries. The contents of the in-screen-fileupload form is configured through the body of the JavaServer Faces tag.

  • Dynamic Text Label: The Dynamic Text component allows users to edit text in place and have the model updated through an AJAX call. This component looks like a label but may be switched to an editable mode where the contents can be updated using a partial form submit through AJAX without refreshing the page. In the view mode you may not want to display a form field because it is more focused on displaying text which is capable of being edited.

  • AJAX Validator: Web-based applications must provide a guarantee to their business logic that data coming into the system from the user is of the proper type and is validated according to application specified constraints. The act of providing this guarantee is the province of the "validation" system in JavaServer Faces. Client-side validation can be performed with JavaScript but it cannot access data on the server side to augment the validation. Server-side validation traditionally requires a form submission and page reload to get the validation results back to the user. By leveraging AJAX technologies along with JavaServer Faces validation, the AJAX validator component can do server-side validation that seems like client-side validation to the user.

Java BluePrints Solutions Catalog for Java EE 5

Users involved with designing and building an AJAX application on the Java EE will find this catalog, which covers key issues and solutions for common problems, a helpful guide. Various strategies, patterns and design guidelines are provided for each problem. The catalog includes design documents, many small applications, several JavaServer Faces and AJAX components, as well as source code. An early access version of the solutions catalog including the new Java BluePrints AJAX components is now available for download. This set of components works with the GlassFish Java EE 5 application server.

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