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Infragistics NetAdvantage JSF Component Suite Offers Portal Support

by Srini Penchikala on Jun 20, 2008 |

The latest version of NetAdvantage JavaServer Faces (JSF) UI component suite from Infragistics offers portal support and intra-portlet communication. Infragistics announced the release of NetAdvantage for JSF 2008 Volume 1 (version 8.1) which is a toolset of AJAX-enabled controls for building Java and J2EE applications using JSF technology. NetAdvantage for JSF provides UI components (with customizable look and feel) like Calendar, Menu, Tree, Tab, Sidebar, Stackbar and Input Control (with customized controls for Email, Currency, Percent, and Decimal input patterns). It also includes a DataGrid with hierarchical views and a WebChart component with 2-D and 3-D charting based on Java Binding for the OpenGL (JOGL) API.

Some of the new features available in this release are:

  • AJAX operations within portal environments which allows intra-portlet communication. The portal support includes BEA WebLogic Portal 10, IBM WebSphere Portal 6.1 and JBoss Portal (Versions 2.4 and 2.6) products.
  • The WebDialogWindow component allows the web developers to add dialog box functionality to the application without having to open a new browser window. The advantage is that it is able to bypass the pop-up blockers in present-day browsers, while still appearing to the end users as if it were a pop-up window. The dialog window's content area can contain any HTML markup. WebDialogWindow also supports being displayed as either a modal (the user must interact with and close the dialog box; interaction with the rest of the web page is suspended) or modeless (non-modal; the user is free to interact with the rest of the page) dialog box.
  • A new Treemap Chart has been added to the WebChart component. Treemap chart can be used to represent a very large amount of data in a rectangular space. They can also be used for monitoring activities with a large quantity of data.
  • The WebGrid component supports new features such as fixed columns, load-on-demand scrolling, multi-column sorting and cell editing. The nested (or hierarchical) grid can be used to display summary information in a normal looking grid, any row of which can be expanded to show detail information. Some use case examples where nested grid components can be used are: Employees by location or department, Properties for sale in a town etc. DataTable components also provide all of these features.

Other interesting features in NetAdvantage component suite include:

  • Smart-Data-Binding and Smart-Paging technologies to handle large amounts of data.
  • Built-in state management to keep the client and server in sync, between user interaction with UI components and AJAX calls.
  • It supports visual and declarative programming of components and support for Facelets and JSR-168 compliant Portals.

InfoQ spoke with NetAdvantage developer team about the future roadmap of new features and enhancements of the product. The team said that they will continue to improve the grid (interactive data table) component's features over the next few years. In particular they will add more spreadsheet-like features to the grid and will support direct export to the Excel binary format. This component already supports CSV export feature. Also, new components will be added to support UI functions like sliders, progress bars and file upload.

NetAdvantage software is distributed as a set of JARs, CSS and JavaScript files so it's easy to integrate these components in web applications. The product supports JSF versions 1.0 and 1.1 as well as server-side models like Hibernate, Spring, Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB), or Java Data Objects (JDO). NetAdvantages UI components are also available for .NET and Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) platforms. It has integration with IDE tools like Rational Application Developer 7, NetBeans (Version 5), and Eclipse. NetAdvantage works with the Visual Designer plugin for Eclipse, which enables drag-and-drop development of JSPs with NetAdvantage components.

NetAdvantage JSF component suite evaluation version is available for download. For more detailed information on the product, check out the online documentation and knowledge base of NetAdvantage component suite.

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