This article is also posted on JavaLobby.com
This is a guest post by Anton Polyakov. Anton is Senior Developer at Exadel, he describes our experience building a JavaFX front end for a Seam booking application.
JavaFX is new tool set for developing and delivering Rich Internet Applications or RIAs. JavaFX 1.0 was released in December 2008, and JavaFX 1.2 was released in June 2009. As these new releases have rolled out, the JavaFX community has been growing fast. This growth has produced a large selection of resources, articles, blog posts, books, and extension projects.
Over this time, while JavaFX has been used extensively to provide â€œrichnessâ€? in applications, it has been mostly â€œmissing in actionâ€? for enterprise-level Web applications that would involve greater integration of JavaFX with the server side of the application. Remember, a Rich Internet Application is delivered from a server to the the client, but, more importantly, it continues to communicate with the server. The UI runs on the client while the application logic runs on the server.
We believe that for JavaFX to continue growing and compete against Flex and Silverlight, it should be acceptable by the enterprise for use in applications that take full advantage of both sides of Rich Internet Applications (Rich Enterprise Applications). Adobe and its community has done an excellent job demonstrating that Flex can be used to build real-world enterprise applications. The same needs to happen for JavaFX.
Exadel’s Experience with JavaFX
Exadel has been working with JavaFX for more than a year now. In June of 2008, we took the popular Jboss Seam hotel booking Web application and built a JavaFX UI on it as a replacement for the standard JSF UI. Back then, we used a prerelease version of JavaFX. (There was very little interest in JavaFX at that time.)
Fast forward to today. We took the same Seam booking application and updated the JavaFX UI to JavaFX 1.2. You can find the demo running here. For your local use, you can also download the file to run or a Maven project to build this application.
Redoing the Booking Application
What we are going to do in the rest of this article is share our experience building this demo as an example of building an enterprise JavaFX applications. The task wasn’t easy (but then it wouldn’t have been as fun).