From Backing Bean to Managed Bean

What is a backing bean? Getting a consistent answer can be harder than you might think. For example, the NetBeans JSF tutorial claims that the two terms are synonyms. And NetBeans had its origin at Sun, so they ought to know, right? On the other hand, the official Java EE 5 Tutorial says that a backing bean “is a JavaServer Faces managed bean that is associated with the UI components used in a particular page.” That suggests that backing beans are a proper subclass of managed beans. And that’s straight from the horse’s mouth, at java.sun.com.

I think that the distinction made by the Java EE tutorial–that a backing bean is a particular sort of managed bean distinguished by its association with a particular page’s components–is a very useful one. But the tutorial also states that “A typical JavaServer Faces application couples a backing bean with each page in the application.” And that is where we part company.

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My Next Book Is up on Amazon

…well, sort of. They don’t have the title correct, and Dr. Paul Dorsey probably won’t be joining us (me, Peter Koletzke, and Duncan Mills) in this project, but you can sign up to be notified about Oracle JDeveloper Fusion Development – A Handbook for 4GL Developers on Amazon now. It’s being written against the upcoming JDeveloper/ADF 11g release.

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.

The Year of AJAX, Take Four: Part II

Last week, I talked about the ADF Faces Rich Client components included in ADF 11g, the rich capabilities they offer, and the fact that I still don’t think they use AJAX to its full potential. I mentioned some examples of how I’d like to see these components evolve in 12g.

Of course, with JDeveloper 11g still in technical previews, JDeveloper 12g is not on the horizon yet–I don’t know if it’s even in development–so from the perspective of a developer out in the field, any discussion of how these components might be enhanced for 12g is still pretty pie-in-the-sky. What can developers do in the mean time?

Continue reading The Year of AJAX, Take Four: Part II

The Year of AJAX, Take Four: Part I

Unless you’ve been living in Plato’s cave for the last four years, trying to learn about web technology from shadows cast by someone’s monitor, you’ve at least heard of AJAX. It’s the wave of the (very near) future for web applications, one of the fundamental enabling technologies for “Web 2.0.” And, of course, this is the Year of AJAX, just like 2007 was. And 2006, 2005, and 2004.

It’s not that AJAX never really came into being. The technology has certainly been there since at least 2004. And plenty of web sites out there are using it. But it hasn’t become nearly as ubiquitous on the web as people keep constantly predicting. I think part of the reason is that developing AJAX applications from the ground up is not exactly easy, and is very time consuming, and there haven’t been a whole bunch of extensive, declaratively usable AJAX toolkits that integrate well with standard enterprise application technologies like JavaServer Faces.

Is that about to change? Oracle is now in Technical Preview 4 of Oracle JDeveloper 11g, and a production release is hoped for by the end of the year. JDeveloper 11g includes ADF Faces 11g, which itself includes the ADF Faces Rich Client components. ADF Rich Client (ADF RC) components, according to Oracle, “[extend] the Apache Trinidad component framework to provide a rich set of AJAX-enabled JSF components that radically simplifies rich internet application development.”

Continue reading The Year of AJAX, Take Four: Part I