Web developers have long been mired in the mundane business of form processing without the means to achieve the high level of interactivity that is common in desktop applications. Or so we thought. When Google unveiled Google Maps, it proved that Web applications can provide rich user interfaces that are just as compelling as those in desktop applications.

Google Maps also set in motion an incredible wave of innovation whose effects will be felt in the software development community for some time to come. In this short cut, we’ll see some of that innovation in action as we explore the use of JavaServer Faces (JSF) and Asynchronous JavaScript with XMLHttpRequest (Ajax) to create rich user interfaces.

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