Welcome!

Java Authors: Avi Rosenthal, David Skok, Elizabeth White, Srinivasan Sundara Rajan, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Java, AJAX & REA

Java: Article

Pet Store with JavaFX 1.0.- Part I

Popular Java application gets a facelift with JavaFX

I work for a company called Farata Systems. Laura is our office manager, and she doesn’t know Java. Everyone else does. We work in the enterprise RIA space using Adobe Flex as a main development tool for creating all these Web pages connecting to the server side applications written in Java.

In December of 2008, Sun Microsystems has released the first version of a language for developing UI for RIA. I’ve been watching the evolution of JavaFX from its announcement at JavaOne 2007 till its release, but wasn’t able to find any demos that would prove that this extension of Java platform can be considered as a candidate for boring needs of enterprise applications. Watching demos like a bunch of balls moving inside a glass didn’t look too convincing to me.

We decided to contribute to Java community and invest some time and resources to figure out what JavaFX 1.0 is capable of. Most of the Java developers know what Pet Store application is. For many years this reference implementation has been used by Sun Microsystems as a part of Java BluePrints program for Java EE platform.

The current version of this application is described in the article called “Introducing the Java Pet Store 2.0 Application” that’s available at http://java.sun.com/developer/technicalArticles/J2EE/petstore/.

We re-used the existing back end of the Pet store, but performed a little facelift by replacing the UI developed with AJAX/JSP/JavaServer Faces with JavaFX 1.0.

I was working on this project with our senior Java developer Alex Litskevich who’s done lots of digging and research trying to find the best solutions whenever we would run into limitations of JavaFX.
The goal of this introductory article is to demo the JavaFX Pet Store. You can watch a quick prerecorded demo at this URL .

In the future, I’ll deploy this application in one of our public servers and will review the code.

Last year, while attending a conference in India, I met an excellent Sun’s software engineer Greg Murray, one of the authors of the idea of Pet Store application. Greg, I hope you’ll like this version of your pet store.

Flex, JavaFX, Silverlight…

I’ll be honest with you, during development of this application in the back of my mind I’ve been constantly comparing the way things are done in JavaFX with how I’d do the same with Adobe Flex.

Simply put, today, Flex is a lot more productive than JavaFX. But let’s remember that we are comparing products of versions 3 vs. version 1. If you know how to develop Swing applications, you might want to continue doing this rather than manually creating JavaFX 1.0 wrappers for Java code as we did in our Pet Store.

The biggest issue is that JavaFX 1.0 doesn’t include any UI component library that a Web developer needs. I’m not talking about data grids or tree views. Even such simple things as a hyperlink component aren’t there. I can’t think of any other reason but a trivial lack of time and limited human resources allocated by Sun for development of this new UI set.

Hopefully, Sun will release a JavaFX 2.0 in foreseeable future with a full set of UI components, containers, navigators, and layouts. Just to draw an analogy, Microsoft has released absolutely naked Silverlight 1.0 in 2007, but full featured Silverlight 2.0 became available a year after.

The good news is that Java developers have already started building their own open source components for JavaFX. The name of this project is jfxtras .

On the other hand, I see some features available for JavaFX developers that are missing in Flex.

For example, ActionScript doesn’t support multi-threading. This is not an issue when it comes to communication with remote sites – all remote calls are asynchronous and use callbacks for server-to-client data flows. But if you’d need to write or use an existing Java library that performs some CPU-intensive calculations on the client, I’m sure Java will beat ActionScript. The syntax of both languages is pretty similar though (see http://flexblog.faratasystems.com/?p=115).

JavaFX supports eval() function that allows to compile and execute a piece of code on the fly. Flex doesn’t support this useful feature.

Two-way binding already exists in JavaFX but in Flex will get it only in version 4.

I’ve yet to see some benchmarks comparing Flex and JavaFX network protocol. The latter just offers XML and REST for data exchange between client and server. Of course, you can program Java sockets or wrap up an RMI client into JavaFX – would it be faster than ActionScript Real-Time Messaging Protocol? We don’t know. Or take HTTP tunneling between Java Applet and a server-side Java stream. Would it be faster than using AMF, an HTTP-based binary protocol? We don’t know yet.

JavaFX removes a lot of complications in developing mobile applications. It promises to remove the need of using Java SE for desktop and Java ME for mobile – JavaFX should be the only solution you need. JavaFX Mobile 1.0 offers hardware acceleration. Keep in mind, there are 2.6 billion of Java enabled mobile devices! JavaFX has serious advantage in this domain over Flash Lite.

JavaFX 1.1 has been released on February 12, 2009. It offers performance improvements, bug fixes, new features in the mobile space, but no major additions to the desktop platform.

I understand that this is not a good time to ask for some serious cash injections, but if executives of Sun Microsystems won’t find a way to double the size of the team working on the future version of JavaFX, entire Adobe Flex team can safely go on sabbatical for a year. If the money is tight, the sooner JavaFX will go open source, the better.

Even though I wouldn’t start developing with JavaFX a project that needs to go in production this year, overall, JavaFX looks promising. Try it out and see for yourself.

This article has been originally published on the Yakov Fain's blog and is printed with author's permission.

More Stories By Yakov Fain

Yakov Fain is a co-founder of two software companies: Farata Systems and SuranceBay. He authored several technical books and lots of articles on software development. Yakov is Java Champion (https://java-champions.java.net). He leads leads Princeton Java Users Group. Two of Yakov's books will go in print this year: "Enterprise Web Development" (O'Reilly) and "Java For Kids" (No Starch Press).

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
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...

"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada. Our partner network encompasses some 300 of the world's leading systems integrators and security s...
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa, at more than US$500 billion, and ranks 23rd in the world. A recent re-evaluation of Nigeria's true economic size doubled the previous estimate, and brought it well ahead of South Africa, which is a member (unlike Nigeria) of the G20 club for political as well as economic reasons. Nigeria's economy can be said to be quite diverse from one point of view, but heavily dependent on oil and gas at the same time. Oil and natural gas account for about 15% of Nigera's overall economy, but traditionally represent more than 90% of the country's exports and as...
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
"At our booth we are showing how to provide trust in the Internet of Things. Trust is where everything starts to become secure and trustworthy. Now with the scaling of the Internet of Things it becomes an interesting question – I've heard numbers from 200 billion devices next year up to a trillion in the next 10 to 15 years," explained Johannes Lintzen, Vice President of Sales at Utimaco, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the industry’s first all flash version of HyperConverged Appliances that include both compute and storag...
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Code Halos - aka "digital fingerprints" - are the key organizing principle to understand a) how dumb things become smart and b) how to monetize this dynamic. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Brown, AVP, Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant Technology Solutions, outlined research, analysis and recommendations from his recently published book on this phenomena on the way leading edge organizations like GE and Disney are unlocking the Internet of Things opportunity and what steps your organization should be taking to position itself for the next platform of digital competition.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP's Printing and Personal Systems Group, discussed how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, sensors, social, and ...
In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect at GE, and Ibrahim Gokcen, who leads GE's advanced IoT analytics, focused on the Internet of Things / Industrial Internet and how to make it operational for business end-users. Learn about the challenges posed by machine and sensor data and how to marry it with enterprise data. They also discussed the tips and tricks to provide the Industrial Internet as an end-user consumable service using Big Data Analytics and Industrial Cloud.