Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Java IoT, Machine Learning

Java IoT: Article

Developing Rich Internet Applications Using Swing

A solution based on OpenSwing & Spring frameworks

The Java development platform always provides limited support for application development based on a graphical user interface, an area where more traditional languages and integrated development environments (IDEs) such as Visual Basic or Delphi have based their success.

Today the Java SE distribution offers essentially the same features it offered in 1999 with regards to Java graphical components: the Swing toolkit. Swing provides graphical components like grids, trees, text fields, checkbox, radio button, combo-box and others. Anyway these components have changed little and not been improved in latest releases of Java. All in all Swing greatly lacks some key aspects:

Input fields are too simple. They can't be compared with the advanced graphical components available in other languages. They don't support common properties like text trim, padding, text length checking, uppercase; moreover there's no numeric field, currency field, date control or calendar control. There's no relationship between the input field and internationalization settings.

In addition, Swing components are just hard to use. For example, creating a powerful table with editing capabilities, colors, data formatting, column or row locking usually requires a lot of code, time, and skills. A more powerful and easier set of components is needed to develop rich GUIs, especially for beginner Swing programmers.
There's no binding mechanism between graphical components and the data model. This means that to set or get data from or to a data model based on POJOs (Plain Object Java Object, i.e., Java Beans) requires additional coding, not provided by the Swing toolkit.
There's no data retrieval layer between the presentation tier and business logic/data access layers that facilitates and normalizes data exchange with the presentation tier and other layers.

All these deficiencies don't encourage the development of enterprise applications with rich GUI content and based only on the Swing toolkit.

This gap in Java was partly covered in the past years, thanks to solutions supplied by the market in the shape of commercial and open source solutions, but without reaching any definition of a reference standard.

Commercial solutions should be discarded because they're proprietary, not directed by the market, and in plain disagreement with the "Java philosophy" of open source solutions or solutions supported and promoted by the market, led through mechanisms of sharing and the collective definition of standards such as JCP (the Java Community Process).

With regard to open source solutions, there are several Swing extensions, born to provide:

  • a suite of advanced graphics components
  • a binding layer between graphics controls and data model
  • a framework that defines guidelines to design an application and its components and use these components correctly
  • a data retrieval mechanism that (preferably) abstracts from the real location of the data (locally or remotely)
There are many free solutions available that meet some of these topics, such as JMatter, JGoodies, JDNC (Java Desktop Network Components) and its evolution, the Swing Application Framework, currently submitted for approval to JCP. There are other open source projects that fit specific issues, as those reported on the JavaDesktop portal.

However these solutions address some issues (like the availability of advanced graphics controls or data binding capability) but not all the issues that could arise in enterprise application development with rich GUI content and not always applicable on different architectures (both two- and three-tier applications, with data communications based on HTTP or SOAP or RMI or any other protocol).

A good solution should include the capacity to decouple GUI development from data retrieval issues: this could facilitate application development with several architectures, such as two-layered applications (desktop applications) and three-layered applications (Rich Internet Applications). This way the same suite of graphics components and data binding mechanisms could be reused in different application architectures.

Broadly, there's a need for a complete solution: a framework (i.e., a set of development guidelines) and a set of advanced Swing components with data binding capabilities and data retrieval mechanisms not limited to a specific architecture to develop applications having rich GUI contents quickly and easily.

RIA development would become one of the possible scenarios that issues from that solution.

A complete client-side solution should integrate all these aspects and ideally fit with existing server-side layers and frameworks: in the context of server-side development, especially in the context of Web application development, valid frameworks already exist such as Spring and effective ORM (Object to Relational Mapping) layers like Hibernate, iBatis, TopLink, JDO, and JPA; hence, it's unnecessary to develop other server-side frameworks. It's better to interconnect them with the complete client-side solution.

To realize this kind of client-side solution, it's possible to fit more client-side products together, such as some of those described above, but this attempt requires skills in many products and a lot of time and isn't a suitable choice for organizations with low skills levels and limited budgets.

The OpenSwing framework addresses these issues by providing a unique and uniform client-side solution: it provides a suite of advanced graphics components that are usually powerful enough that they don't have to be extended any further. They meet the development requirements of enterprise applications with rich GUI contents. The development process becomes easier and faster by developing a GUI through IDEs' graphical designers like other non-Java RAD environments.

At the same time, this framework provides other software layers that complement the OpenSwing graphics components suite by supporting data binding, POJO-based data modelling, and remote data access by allowing the development of RIAs (three-layered client/server applications) or desktop applications (two-layered client/server applications).

OpenSwing
OpenSwing is an open source framework that can be used to develop Java applications based on Swing's front-end.

It's possible to apply this framework to develop two-tier client/server applications with an underlying database or based on other data storage devices (like files on a file system) or three-tier applications with several combinations of technologies such as RIAs (where the client and server tiers communicate through the HTTP protocol) or distributed applications (where the client and server tiers communicate through RMI - see Figures 1, 2, and 3).

The framework includes a set of class libraries that can be used to:
• Create the application front-end through a collection of advanced graphics controls that include labels, text fields, multi-line text fields, numeric fields, currency fields, calendar, grid, trees, a tree combined with a grid, lookup, gantt diagram, buttons with images, combo-box, radio buttons, checkbox, wizard panel, image panel, splash screen, dialog windows, tip of the day frame, progress bar/panel/dialog, and a licence agreement panel.

Grid usage is especially sophisticated: it allows columns or rows locking, data pagination, columns filtering and sorting, and data exporting and the grid model is based on a list of POJOs like a tree component and a panel of graphics controls whose data model is based on a POJO.

So POJO support is extended to the entire set of graphical components that compose the GUI.

More Stories By Mauro Carniel

Mauro Carniel is a Software Architect at Sinesy. He has more than 10 years of enterprise software development experience utilizing JEE technologies, including JSP, JSF, Swing, EJB, JPA. He started focusing more on GUI-based client/server Java applications since 1998, then moved to web rich applications, including Sencha ExtJS and recently Mobile applications and Data Integration. He has a MSc in Information Technology from Udine University, Italy.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that A&I Solutions has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 1999, A&I Solutions is a leading information technology (IT) software and services provider focusing on best-in-class enterprise solutions. By partnering with industry leaders in technology, A&I assures customers high performance levels across all IT environments including: mai...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outscale, a global pure play Infrastructure as a Service provider and strategic partner of Dassault Systèmes, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2010, Outscale simplifies infrastructure complexities and boosts the business agility of its customers. Outscale delivers a secure, reliable and industrial strength solution for its customers, which in...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...
In order to meet the rapidly changing demands of today’s customers, companies are continually forced to redefine their business strategies in order to meet these needs, stay relevant and continue to see profitable growth. IoT deployment and development is integral in this transformation, and today businesses are increasingly seeing the value of investing their resources into IoT deployments. These technologies are able increase ROI through projects such as connecting supply chains or enabling sm...
Every successful software product evolves from an idea to an enterprise system. Notably, the same way is passed by the product owner's company. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Oleg Lola, CEO of MobiDev, will provide a generalized overview of the evolution of a software product, the product owner, the needs that arise at various stages of this process, and the value brought by a software development partner to the product owner as a response to these needs.
SYS-CON Events announced today that EARP will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. "We are a software house, so we perfectly understand challenges that other software houses face in their projects. We can augment a team, that will work with the same standards and processes as our partners' internal teams. Our teams will deliver the same quality within the required time and budget just as our partn...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tappest will exhibit MooseFS at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MooseFS is a breakthrough concept in the storage industry. It allows you to secure stored data with either duplication or erasure coding using any server. The newest – 4.0 version of the software enables users to maintain the redundancy level with even 50% less hard drive space required. The software func...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software in the hope of capturing value in IoT. Although IoT is relatively new in the market, it has already gone through many promotional terms such as IoE, IoX, SDX, Edge/Fog, Mist Compute, etc. Ultimately, irrespective of the name, it is about deriving value from independent software assets participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution.
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
Amazon started as an online bookseller 20 years ago. Since then, it has evolved into a technology juggernaut that has disrupted multiple markets and industries and touches many aspects of our lives. It is a relentless technology and business model innovator driving disruption throughout numerous ecosystems. Amazon’s AWS revenues alone are approaching $16B a year making it one of the largest IT companies in the world. With dominant offerings in Cloud, IoT, eCommerce, Big Data, AI, Digital Assista...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Systena America will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Systena Group has been in business for various software development and verification in Japan, US, ASEAN, and China by utilizing the knowledge we gained from all types of device development for various industries including smartphones (Android/iOS), wireless communication, security technology and IoT serv...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outscale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Outscale's technology makes an automated and adaptable Cloud available to businesses, supporting them in the most complex IT projects while controlling their operational aspects. You boost your IT infrastructure's reactivity, with request responses that only take a few seconds.
Everywhere we turn in our industry we can find strong opinions about the direction, type and nature of cloud’s impact on computing and business. Another word that is used in every context in our industry is “hybrid.” In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Alvaro Gonzalez, Director of Technical, Partner and Field Marketing at Peak 10, will use a combination of a few conceptual props and some research recently commissioned by Peak 10 to offer a real-world consideration of how the various categories of...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real r...
Five years ago development was seen as a dead-end career, now it’s anything but – with an explosion in mobile and IoT initiatives increasing the demand for skilled engineers. But apart from having a ready supply of great coders, what constitutes true ‘DevOps Royalty’? It’ll be the ability to craft resilient architectures, supportability, security everywhere across the software lifecycle. In his keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Jeffrey Scheaffer, GM and SVP, Continuous Delivery Busine...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CollabNet, a global leader in enterprise software development, release automation and DevOps solutions, will be a Bronze Sponsor of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, taking place from June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CollabNet offers a broad range of solutions with the mission of helping modern organizations deliver quality software at speed. The company’s latest innovation, the DevOps Lifecycle Manager (DLM), supports Value S...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus intern...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...