JSF- Java Server Faces

Smart way to develop Web Applications

It is a natural phenomenon to think about learning and adopting new technologies while there exists some well-established and popular ones. It is the scenario prevailing with web development landscape. Recently JSF has evolved as a new emerging and robust web technology.

JSF is developed by JCP (Java Community Process), a community of web application experts from different groups like Jakarta Struts, Oracle, Sun, IBM and ATG etc. They all collectively worked together to extract the best of existing technologies in order to simplify various web application development issues. Their collective effort brought a new technology named Java Server Faces (JSF). It is the best combination of features derived from all the available frameworks.

JSF follows the Model-View-Controller (MVC) design pattern. It is simple to develop a well-designed application with JSF framework and easy to maintain than an application developed with JSP and Servlet. JSF can be thought as a toolbox containing the readymade components. Just fetch and use the components any number of times in a page and get the result-oriented actions. JSF made nesting of components possible.

JSF is a robust component framework and based on event driven programming model. It offers a set of UI components, extensible architecture, supports multiple
client devices etc. The UI (user interface) created using
JSF technology runs on server and output is shown to
the client. Developers can focus on UI components, events handling, backing beans and on their interactions rather than worrying about request, response and markup. JSF hides complexities to enable developers to focus on their specific tasks. JSF is a vendor neutral technology and its implementations must comply with JSF specification.

Why JSF: Let’s explore the necessities initiating the JSF technology. There are reasons behind the development
of new framework in spite of existence of numerous
web technologies like JSP, Servlets, and others. Few of
the problems faced with these technologies are:

Directly working with HTTP Request and Response

Using these technologies programmers directly work with
HTTP request and response objects and manipulate the

  Tedious and repetitive coding
Technologies like JSP forces a programmer to do a lot of
tedious and repetitive coding.

Non-availability of IDE

Non availability of IDE is another major drawback,
which affects the programmer’s productivity and hence it
increases the overall project cost.

JSF simplifies the development of web application.
Some points highly advocates JSF :

• JSF provides standard, reusable components for
creating user interfaces for web applications.
• JSF provides tag libraries for accessing and manipulating
the components.
• It automatically saves form data and repopulates the
form when it is displayed at client side.
• JSF encapsulates the event handling and component
rends logic from programmers, programmers just use
the custom components.
• JSF is a specification and vendors can develop the
implementations for JSF.

There are many GUIs available these days to simplify
the development of web application based on JSF framework.

JSF Components: JSF components mainly includes:

I Set of APIs to represent and manage state of components for server side validation, event handling, page navigation, data conversion etc.

II JSP custom tag library in order to create UI components
in a view page.

JSF changes all that by giving intuitive framework to
the developers. Furthermore, JSF is a specification and
many vendors are developing their own implementations.
Both free and commercial implementations of JSF are
available these days. You can choose any one of them
based on your requirement and budget.

Now a days software vendors are developing IDEs to
develop JSF based applications, which is another good
news for the learners of JSF framework. Once you are
familiar with the core concepts of JSF you can kick start
the development of software projects using any IDE available in the market. Such changes in the programming
world make the life of programmer much easier.
July 2007 | Java Jazz Up | 16
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