Click here to close now.




















Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: AppDynamics Blog, Dana Gardner, Daniel Khan, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Java IoT, IoT User Interface

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
For IoT to grow as quickly as analyst firms’ project, a lot is going to fall on developers to quickly bring applications to market. But the lack of a standard development platform threatens to slow growth and make application development more time consuming and costly, much like we’ve seen in the mobile space. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Weiner, Product Manager of the Omega DevCloud with KORE Telematics Inc., discussed the evolving requirements for developers as IoT matures and conducted a live demonstration of how quickly application development can happen when the need to comply wit...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems, described how to revolutionize your archit...
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
MuleSoft has announced the findings of its 2015 Connectivity Benchmark Report on the adoption and business impact of APIs. The findings suggest traditional businesses are quickly evolving into "composable enterprises" built out of hundreds of connected software services, applications and devices. Most are embracing the Internet of Things (IoT) and microservices technologies like Docker. A majority are integrating wearables, like smart watches, and more than half plan to generate revenue with APIs within the next year.
The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities.
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Opening Keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, d...
In his keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Rodney Rogers, CEO of Virtustream, discussed the evolution of the company from inception to its recent acquisition by EMC – including personal insights, lessons learned (and some WTF moments) along the way. Learn how Virtustream’s unique approach of combining the economics and elasticity of the consumer cloud model with proper performance, application automation and security into a platform became a breakout success with enterprise customers and a natural fit for the EMC Federation.
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
Discussions about cloud computing are evolving into discussions about enterprise IT in general. As enterprises increasingly migrate toward their own unique clouds, new issues such as the use of containers and microservices emerge to keep things interesting. In this Power Panel at 16th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the state of cloud computing today, and what enterprise IT professionals need to know about how the latest topics and trends affect their organization.
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society-changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jason Mondanaro, Director, Product Management at Metanga, discussed how you can plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change the world and it starts with business models and monetization strategies.
Converging digital disruptions is creating a major sea change - Cisco calls this the Internet of Everything (IoE). IoE is the network connection of People, Process, Data and Things, fueled by Cloud, Mobile, Social, Analytics and Security, and it represents a $19Trillion value-at-stake over the next 10 years. In her keynote at @ThingsExpo, Manjula Talreja, VP of Cisco Consulting Services, discussed IoE and the enormous opportunities it provides to public and private firms alike. She will share what businesses must do to thrive in the IoE economy, citing examples from several industry sectors.
There will be 150 billion connected devices by 2020. New digital businesses have already disrupted value chains across every industry. APIs are at the center of the digital business. You need to understand what assets you have that can be exposed digitally, what their digital value chain is, and how to create an effective business model around that value chain to compete in this economy. No enterprise can be complacent and not engage in the digital economy. Learn how to be the disruptor and not the disruptee.
Akana has released Envision, an enhanced API analytics platform that helps enterprises mine critical insights across their digital eco-systems, understand their customers and partners and offer value-added personalized services. “In today’s digital economy, data-driven insights are proving to be a key differentiator for businesses. Understanding the data that is being tunneled through their APIs and how it can be used to optimize their business and operations is of paramount importance,” said Alistair Farquharson, CTO of Akana.
Business as usual for IT is evolving into a "Make or Buy" decision on a service-by-service conversation with input from the LOBs. How does your organization move forward with cloud? In his general session at 16th Cloud Expo, Paul Maravei, Regional Sales Manager, Hybrid Cloud and Managed Services at Cisco, discusses how Cisco and its partners offer a market-leading portfolio and ecosystem of cloud infrastructure and application services that allow you to uniquely and securely combine cloud business applications and services across multiple cloud delivery models.
The enterprise market will drive IoT device adoption over the next five years. In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Greenough, an analyst at BI Intelligence, division of Business Insider, analyzed how companies will adopt IoT products and the associated cost of adopting those products. John Greenough is the lead analyst covering the Internet of Things for BI Intelligence- Business Insider’s paid research service. Numerous IoT companies have cited his analysis of the IoT. Prior to joining BI Intelligence, he worked analyzing bank technology for Corporate Insight and The Clearing House Payment...
"Optimal Design is a technology integration and product development firm that specializes in connecting devices to the cloud," stated Joe Wascow, Co-Founder & CMO of Optimal Design, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CommVault has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. A singular vision – a belief in a better way to address current and future data management needs – guides CommVault in the development of Singular Information Management® solutions for high-performance data protection, universal availability and simplified management of data on complex storage networks. CommVault's exclusive single-platform architecture gives companies unp...
Electric Cloud and Arynga have announced a product integration partnership that will bring Continuous Delivery solutions to the automotive Internet-of-Things (IoT) market. The joint solution will help automotive manufacturers, OEMs and system integrators adopt DevOps automation and Continuous Delivery practices that reduce software build and release cycle times within the complex and specific parameters of embedded and IoT software systems.
"ciqada is a combined platform of hardware modules and server products that lets people take their existing devices or new devices and lets them be accessible over the Internet for their users," noted Geoff Engelstein of ciqada, a division of Mars International, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Internet of Things is moving from being a hype to a reality. Experts estimate that internet connected cars will grow to 152 million, while over 100 million internet connected wireless light bulbs and lamps will be operational by 2020. These and many other intriguing statistics highlight the importance of Internet powered devices and how market penetration is going to multiply many times over in the next few years.