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May 12, 2004

"JavaServer Faces": Deliver Simplified, Faster, Feature-rich Code

Sebastopol, CA--JavaServer Faces (JSF) is an application framework that simplifies the building of web-based user interfaces by combining the Java-based Struts Framework and Java Swing. JSF frees developers from tedious and time-consuming work on a web application's presentation layer so they can give more effort to the business logic code that drives the application. Developers of various skill levels can use JSF to build web applications quickly and easily, assemble reusable user interface components in a web page, and connect these components to an application data source. However, combining a responsive and intuitive user interface (the responsibility of the web developer) with complex back-end business functioning (the responsibility of the enterprise developer) can be a recipe for confusion, frustration, and missed deadlines. Enter JavaServer Faces (O'Reilly, US $39.95) by Hans Bergsten. This complete guide was written to iron out the wrinkles in implementing JSF's crucial new technology.

Bergsten knows whereof he writes: he's on the expert committee developing the JSF specification and is cited in the spec's acknowledgement section for being actively involved in every detail of the development of the specification. "JavaServer Faces describes in detail how to use JSF by building a real-world application step by step, solving problems most real applications need to deal with," explains Bergsten. "I try to mix real-world examples the reader can use as a base, but also give the reader a deeper understanding of the technology by describing why things look the way they do and what's going on behind the scene, instead of just saying 'do this.'"

The JSF specification was released in March 2004, and JavaServer Faces is one of the first books that describes how to use the final 1.0 version. It contains such essentials as how to construct the HTML on the front end; how to create the user interface components that connect the front end to your business objects; how to write a back-end that's JSF-friendly; and how to create the deployment descriptors that tie everything together. This book also includes a complete reference to the JSF specification.

JavaServer Faces pays particular attention to simple tasks that are easily ignored, but fundamental to any real application: working with tabular data, for example, or enabling and disabling buttons. And this book doesn't hide from the trickier issues, like creating custom components or creating renderers for different presentation layers. Topics covered include:

  • The JSF environment
  • Creating and rendering components
  • Validating input
  • Handling user-generated events
  • Controlling page navigation
  • Working with tabular data
  • Internationalization
  • Integration between JSF and Struts
  • Developing custom renderers and custom components
  • Concludes Bergsten, "JSF promises to make it easier to develop web applications with complex interfaces, using an event-driven component model that is familar to GUI developers. While a web interface never can be as rich and interactive as a GUI, the convenience of accessing applications through a browser instead of installing a GUI locally on each machine is very convenient and attractive, and JSF makes it easier to develop complex web interfaces. Therefore, I think many developers will add JSF to their toolboxes."

    Any technology that delivers on the promise to make enterprise development faster and easier is bound to be wildly popular. JavaServer Faces shows Java programmers why JSF is a better way to build user interfaces for complex Java-based web applications. Whether you're experienced with JSF or a just starting out, you'll find everything you need to know about this technology in this thorough and authoritative book.

    Advance praise for JavaServer Faces:

    "The fast pace of the high-tech industry makes it a real burden on technologists to quickly get up to speed with the new technologies 'du jour.' Luckily, there are authors out there who specialize in making this learning curve as painless and interesting as can be. Hans Bergsten does it once again with his 'JavaServer Faces' book.
    "Through a crystal-clear writing style, numerous practical examples, and insightful reflections on the why's, how's, do's and don'ts, the book gives JSF a 'heart and soul,' essential ingredients to truly master JSF."
    --Pierre Delisle, JSTL Spec lead, Sun Microsystems

    Additional Resources:

    JavaServer Faces
    Hans Bergsten
    ISBN 0-596-00539-3, 589 pages, $39.95 US, $57.95 CA
    1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

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