Tuesday Sep 30, 2008

Sleepless in Brazil

Since September 24th I've been speaking in Brazil at JUGs, Universitys, and at Sun Tech Days as part of the September Month of Java in Brazil .


I spoke on September 24  in Maringa to ~500 JUG members/students/professors, September 25 in Toledo to ~ 500,  September 26 in  Xanxere to ~ 200, September 27 in Porto Alegre to ~70, and in Sao Paulo there were ~1000 attendees.   We spoke in a different location each evening which meant going to sleep late and waking up early the next morning to travel to the next location.  The guys organizing this obviously do not value sleep and time to run (I'm a avid runner)  as much as I do !   They also don't have the same conception of safety, our driver was going 90mph on a 2 lane road with oncoming traffic which didn't phase Bruno and Eduardo, whereas I was seriously praying to God for my life !! :)  The attendees in each city were very friendly and enthusiastic which compensated for the difficult schedule  (but next time I will insist on more time to travel between destinations!) .   Also we drove close to the beautiful  Iguaçu_Falls  and we flew through the beautiful Florianópolis  (note to self,  next time make sure to schedule a little time to rest and see noteworthy sites ;) .

During this trip I spoke on:

I learned a little about Brazil in conversations over dinner:
It was good that USA kicked out the Brits before we discovered gold, because the Portuguese took away a lot of Brazil's gold. USA has probably had more economic stability (until recently) because we always had a strong middle class, whereas in Brazil historically there was a big gap between the rich and poor with the wealth concentrated in a small percent of the population, however this has been improving recently
Brazil had really bad inflation during the 1970s, ~ 25% per month !  Brazillians told me they used to take their salary check and buy food for the whole month the same day.  But now the Brazillian inflation is under control, they paid off their debt,  and the economy is doing well. Last year they received more foreign investment than any other country.  
Last year Brazil made a huge oil discovery  which could raise Brazil's petroleum reserves by ~40 percent and boost Brazil into the ranks of the world's major exporters (drill baby drill) .  Brazillian cars are required to run on a gas ethanol  mixture and they have a very cost-effective process to produce ethanol from sugar cane. Brazil's sugar cane-based industry is far more efficient than the U.S. corn-based industry. Sugar cane ethanol has an energy balance 7 times greater than ethanol produced from corn , and Brazil's sugar cane based ethanol industry has not caused food prices to increase.
Bruno told me that he grew up near the amazon forest and used to swim in rivers with piranhas,  he said they don't bite unless you have a cut and are bleeding, can you imagine swimming with these things ?

Here are some photos from my trip :

IMG_0868_1_1.JPG IMG_0871_1_1.JPGIMG_0878_1_1.JPG IMG_0885_1_1.JPGIMG_0886_1_1.JPG IMG_0888_1_1.JPG

Thursday Aug 07, 2008

Sample Application using JSF, Seam 2.0, and Java Persistence APIs on Glassfish V2

This Sample Store Catalog app demonstrates the usage of JavaServer Faces, a Catalog Stateful Session Bean, the Java Persistence APIs, and Seam 2. I took this example  Sample Application using JSF, Catalog Facade Stateless Session, and Java Persistence APIs  and refactored it to use Seam on Glassfish by following the steps in Brian Leonards blog Seam Refresh  and the clickable list example in the Seam Tutorial

Download the Seam Sample Application Code

Explanation of the usage of JSF, Seam, and Java Persistence APIs in a sample Store Catalog Application

The image below shows the Catalog Listing page, which allows a user to page through a list of items in a store.


DataTable  JSF component

The List.jsp page uses a JSF dataTable component to display a list of catalog items.

The dataTable component is useful when you want to show a set of results in a table. In a JavaServer Faces application, the UIData component (the superclass of dataTable)  supports binding to a collection of data objects. It does the work of iterating over each record in the data source. The HTML dataTable renderer displays the data as an HTML table.

In the List.jsp web page the dataTable is defined as shown below:   (Note: Red colors are for Java EE tags, annotations code, Blue for Seam specific and Green for my code or variables)

Code Sample from:  List.jsp

<h:dataTable value='#{items}' var='dataTableItem' border="1"
      cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0">

The value attribute of a dataTable tag references the data to be included in the table. The var attribute specifies a name that is used by the components within the dataTable tag as an alias to the data referenced in the value attribute of dataTable.  In the dataTable tag from the List.jsp page, the value attribute points to a list of catalog items. The var attribute points to a single item in that list. As the UIData component iterates through the list, each reference to dataTableItem points to the current item in the list.

The dataTable's value is bound to the items attribute of the CatalogBean class:

Code Sample from: CatalogBean.java



public class CatalogBean implements Serializable, Catalog {

    private List<Item> items=null;

    public void getItems() {
        if ((items==null)  || (index != firstItem) ){

The @DataModel Seam annotation exposes an attribute of type java.util.List to a JSF page as an instance of javax.faces.model.DataModel. The  <h:dataTable> supports data binding to a collection of data objects represented by a DataModel instance.  The data collection underlying a DataModel instance is modeled as a collection of row objects that can be accessed by a row index.  The APIs provide mechanisms to position to a specified row index, and to retrieve an object that represents the data that corresponds to the current row index.  In this case, the DataModel is made available in a session context variable named items.

When the List.jsp page is diplayed it will try to resolve the items context variable. Since this context variable is not initialized, Seam will call the @Factory method getItems(), which performs a JPA query (see getNextItems() code below) and results in a DataModel being outjected.  The @Factory annotation tells Seam to invoke the getItems() method to initialize the items value.

The @Name Seam annotation specifies catalog as the application unique component name which Seam will use to resolve references to the catalog context variable. Seam will instantiate the component and bind a new instance to the context variable the first time JSF encounters the variable name catalog. The instance will be bound to the context specified by the @Scope Seam annotation. The CatalogBean is a org.jboss.seam.ScopeType.SESSION scoped component. This means that the JSF components  can bind to the catalog  managed bean without configuring this in the faces-config.xml.

The @Stateful EJB 3.0 annotation marks this as a Stateful EJB. A Stateful EJB is used because the current chunk of items, and the user's position in the count of items in the db table, is maintained for the user's session.

The @Interceptors EJB 3.0 annotation registers the SeamInterceptor.class as an EJB interceptor for this session bean component.
The Seam framework uses  EJB interceptors to perform bijection, context demarcation, validation, etc, (the interceptor could be defined in the ejb-jar.xml instead).

Column JSF component

On the List.jsp page the Item Name, Photo, and Price  properties are displayed with the column component:

Code Sample from: List.jsp
<h:dataTable value='#{items}' var='dataTableItem' border="1"
      cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0">
      <f:facet name="header">
          <h:outputText value="Price"/>
      <h:outputText value="#{dataTableItem.price}"/>

The column tags represent columns of data in the dataTable component. While the dataTable component is iterating over the rows of data, it processes the column component associated with each column tag for each row in the table. As the dataTable component iterates through the list, each reference to dataTableItem points to the current item in the list.

The dataTable component  iterates through the list of items and displays the names, photos, and prices. Each time the dataTable iterates through the list of items, it renders one row in each column.

The dataTable and column tags use facets to represent rows of the table that are not repeated or updated. These include headers, footers, and captions.

Java Persistence Query API

The CatalogBean Session EJB uses the Java Persistence API Query object to return a list of items. With the @PersistenceContext annotation the CatalogBean uses dependency injection to lookup and obtain a Container Managed EntityManager . Since the EntityManager can be  container managed for EJB Session Beans, the application does not have to manage its lifecycle (i.e. call the EntityManagerFactory.create() and EntityManager.close() methods).

Code Sample from: CatalogBean.java

   private List<Item> items=null;

   private EntityManager em;

   private int batchSize = 10;
   private int index = 0;
   private int firstItem = 0;

   public void getNextItems() {
Query q = em.createQuery("select object(o) from Item as o");
items= q.getResultList();
        index = firstItem;

Since this query is used for Read-Only browsing, the transaction attribute in this example is specified as NOT_SUPPORTED. Queries using transaction-scoped entity managers outside of a transaction are typically more efficient than queries inside a transaction when the result type is an entity. 

The Java Persistence Query APIs are used to create and execute queries that can return a list of results.  The JPA Query interface provides support for pagination via the setFirstResult() and setMaxResults() methods: query.setMaxResults(int maxResult) sets the maximum number of results to retrieve. query.setFirstResult(int startPosition) sets the position of the first result to retrieve.

In the code below, we show the Item entity class which maps to the  ITEM table that stores the item instances. This is a typical Java Persistence entity object. There are two requirements for an entity:
  1. annotating the class with an @Entity annotation.
  2. annotating the primary key identifier with @Id
Because the fields name, description.... are basic mappings from the object fields to columns of the same name in the database table, they don't have to be annotated.  The O/R  relationships with Address and Product are also annotated. For more information on defining JPA entities see Pro EJB 3: Java Persistence API book.

Code Sample from: Item.java


public class Item implements java.io.Serializable {

    private String itemID;

    private String name;   
    private String description;   
    private String imageurl;   
    private String imagethumburl; 
    private BigDecimal price;
    private Address address;
    private Product product;

    public Item() { }

    public String getName() {
        return name;

    public void setName(String name) {
        this.name = name;


The @Name seam annotation specifies the (application unique) component name item, which is used in the  Detail.jsp to display the selected item's attributes. The @Scope Seam annotation binds the item instance to the org.jboss.seam.ScopeType.EVENT context.

The CatalogBean pages through the list of items by maintaining the firstItem and batchSize attributes and passing these as parameters to the query.setFirstResult(int startPosition), query.setMaxResults(int maxResult) methods. The CatalogBean's scope is defined as org.jboss.seam.ScopeType.SESSION, which corresponds to the JSF managed bean session scope.

The CatalogBean itemCount property is  used to get and display the number of Catologue items in the  data base:

Code Sample from: List.jsp

<h:outputText value="Item #{catalog.firstItem + 1}..#{catalog.lastItem} of

The CatalogBean getItemCount() method uses the JPA javax.persistence.Query interface to get the count of all items in the database item table:

Code Sample from: CatalogBean.java

private int itemCount = 0;

    public int getItemCount() {
Query q = entityManager.createQuery("select count(o) from Item as o");     
itemCount = ((Long)q.getSingleResult()).intValue();

A JSF commandLink is  used to provide a link to click on to display the next page of items. The commandLink tag represents an HTML hyperlink and is rendered as an HTML <a> element. The commandLink tag is used to submit an action event to the application. 

Code Sample from: List.jsp

 <h:commandLink action="#{catalog.next}" value="Next #{catalog.batchSize}"
    rendered="#{catalog.lastItem + catalog.batchSize <= catalog.itemCount}"/>   

This commandLink action attribute references the CatalogBean next() method that calculates the next page's first row number  and returns a logical outcome String, which causes the List page to display the next page's list . This CatalogBean next() method is defined as shown below:

Code Sample from: CatalogBean.java

   public String next() {
       if (firstItem + batchSize < getItemCount()) {
           firstItem += batchSize;
       return "item_list";

The JavaServer Faces NavigationHandler matches the logical outcome,  item_list against the navigation rules in the application configuration resource file  faces-config.xml to determine which page to access next. In this case, the JavaServer Faces implementation loads the List.jsp page after this method returns.

Code Sample from: faces-config.xml


A JSF commandLink is  used to provide a link to click on to display the previous page of items. This commandLink action attribute  references the  CatalogBean's prev() method that calculates the previous page's first row number  and returns a logical outcome String, which causes the List page to display the previous page of items :

Code Sample from: List.jsp

 <h:commandLink action="#{catalog.prev}" value="Previous #{catalog.batchSize}"   
        rendered="#{catalog.firstItem >=catalog.batchSize}"/>

 This CatalogBean prev() method  is defined as shown below: 

Code Sample from: CatalogBean.java

    public String prev() {
        firstItem -= batchSize;
        if (firstItem < 0) {
            firstItem = 0;
        return "item_list";

A JSF commandLink is  used to provide a link to click on to display a page with the item details. This commandLink action attribute  references the CatalogBean select() method:

Code Sample from: List.jsp

       <f:facet name="header">
          <h:outputText value="Name"/>
       <h:commandLink action="#{catalog.select}" value="#{dataTableItem.name}"/>   

With Seam if you use the @DataModelSelection with the @DataModel annotation, when the user clicks on the link, Seam will propagate the selected row from the DataModel into the annotated attribute:

Code Sample from: CatalogBean.java

    private Item item;

    public String select() {
        return "item_detail";

The @DataModelSelection Seam annotation tells Seam to inject the DataModel List element corresponding to the clicked link into the item attribute.  The @Out Seam annotation transfers the value of this attribute to the item event context variable, making it available to a JSP page after the action catalog.select method execution. So when a row of the dataTable is selected, the selected row is injected to the item attribute of the CatalogBean Stateful bean, and then outjected to the event context variable named item which is used in the Detail.jsp page to display the item details.

The CatalogBean select() returns a string,  "item_detail", which causes the Detail.jsp page to display the item details. The JavaServer Faces NavigationHandler matches the logical outcome,  item_detail against the navigation rules in the application configuration resource file faces-config.xml to determine which page to access next. In this case, the JavaServer Faces implementation loads the Detail.jsp page after this method returns.

Code Sample from: faces-config.xml


The Detail.jsp uses the outputText component to display the item properties:

Code Sample from:  Detail.jsp

    <h:outputText value="#{item.name}" title="Name" />
    <h:outputText value="#{
item.description}" title="Description"/>
    <h:graphicImage url="#{item.imageurl}" title="Imageurl" />
    <h:outputText value="#{item.price}" title="Price" />
    <h:outputText value="#{item.address.city}" title="Address" />
    <h:outputText value="#{item.contactinfo.email}" title="Address"/>  


This concludes the sample application which demonstrates how to use Seam with the JSF dataTable and DataModel to page through a list of  Item Entities which are retrieved using  the CatalogBean Stateful Session EJB methods which use  the Java Persistence APIs.

Configuration of the Application for Seam 2.0, JSF, JPA, running on Glassfish V2

First I recommend reading Brian Leonard's blog Seam Refresh .  I will summarize and update those steps here:

To Open and Test Run the seampagination Project:

  • Use the Resolve Reference Problems dialog to map the ejb and web modules to their project, which are subdirectories beneath the seampagination directory.
  • After the references are resolved, right-click the seampagination project and select Open Required Projects.
  • Right-click the seampagination-EJBModule and select Resolve Reference Problems:
    • browse to the Seam lib directory and select jboss-seam.jar and select Open. This should resove the reference to the following jars: jboss-seam.jar, hibernate.jar, hibernate-validator.jar, hibernate-annotations.jar, hibernate-commons-annotations.jar, javassist.jar, dom4j.jar, commons-logging.jar.
  • Right-click the seampagination-WebModule and select Resolve Reference Problems:
    • Browse to the seampagination-ejb directory which is a sub-directory below the seampagination directory and select Open Project Folder.
    • Browse to the  jboss-seam-ui.jar found in Seam lib directory.  This should resolve the reference to the following jars: jboss-seam-ui.jar and jboss-el.jar.
If you want to create your own Java EE application using Seam 2.0 on Glassfish V2 with Netbeans from scratch (read the steps in Brian Leonard's blog Seam Refresh but use the SEAM 2.0 jars listed here here):
  • Use Netbeans to create a new Enterprise Application
  • Right-click the Libraries node of the EJBModule project , choose Add Jar  and add these jars:
    • Seam \\lib\\jboss-seam.jar
    • Seam \\lib\\hibernate.jar
    • Seam \\lib\\hibernate-validator.jar
    • Seam \\lib\\hibernate-annotations.jar
    • Seam \\lib\\hibernate-commons-annotations.jar
    • Seam \\lib\\javassist.jar
    • Seam \\lib\\dom4j.jar
    • Seam \\lib\\commons-logging.jar
  • Right-click the Libraries node of the WebModule project ,  choose Add Jar  and add these jars:
    • your ejbModule
    • Seam \\lib\\jboss-seam-ui.jar
    • Seam \\lib\\jboss-el.jar
  • create an empty seam.properties file in the seampagination-EJBModule src\\conf Folder.
  • add  the following phase listener to your faces-config.xml file under webpages web-inf:
  • add the following  context parameter to your web.xml file
               java:comp/env/your ear name/#{ejbName}/local
  • add the following listener class to your web.xml file
  • For any session EJB's referenced from the web, add  EJB references to your web.xml, for example:
         <ejb-ref-name>your ear name/CatalogBean/local</ejb-ref-name>
         <local>your package name.Catalog</local>
  • For any EJB's referenced from the web add  a Seam interceptor to the EJB, for example : @Interceptors({org.jboss.seam.ejb.SeamInterceptor.class})





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