Geertjan's Blog

  • January 19, 2006

Matisse in Action!

Geertjan Wielenga
Product Manager
There's been a lot of praise for Matisse, as well as for this tutorial, by technical writer Talley Mulligan. (What's especially cool about that tutorial are the great flash demos with crisp and concise explanations.) However, one thing I've seen on a few mailing lists is that people want the Matisse-related tutorials and samples to show something real done with the Matisse-designed application. In other words, people don't just want tutorials that show how to make a pretty user interface with Matisse. They also want to see how an application designed with Matisse interacts with, for example, a database. Of course, there's no difference between the end result of an application designed with Matisse and an application designed with any other layout manager—the only difference is during the design phase, where Matisse simplifies life a lot. But anyway, like others on the mailing lists, I'm also someone who prefers complete, functioning applications to a series of user interfaces that don't actually do anything.

So, I've built a very small application that interacts with a Derby database. In fact, it interacts with the MANUFACTURER table, which is in the SAMPLE database that you get when you install the Sun Java System Application Server 8.2, which bundles the Derby database server. (I'd first built the application to use PointBase, but then converted it to Derby, which was as simple as changing the database URL. Nothing more was needed.) Here is the application smoothly and simply designed in Matisse (it's a bit odd that you can't see the jTable, but only the jScrollPane, though):

And here it is in action:

And, if you register the URL to my Update Center (as described here)...


...then you can install the sample in your own IDE:

Note that I used a NetBeans IDE post-5.0 dev build (available from the NetBeans.org download page) to create the plug-in module that installs the sample. Therefore, there might be problems if you install the sample in an earlier version of the IDE. However, I doubt that there'll be problems. Try it out and see for yourself how easily your Matisse-designed desktop applications can interact with a database.

By the way, see this tutorial by Miki Shimizu if you want to understand the database connection stuff used in the sample!

Join the discussion

Comments ( 7 )
  • Roumen Thursday, January 19, 2006
    This is g.r.e.a.t!
  • Chui Tey Friday, January 20, 2006
    Not much luck with NetBeans Beta 2.
    Module dependencies could not be satisfied
  • Geertjan Friday, January 20, 2006
    Thanks for the heads up Chui. I'll work on creating different update centers for Beta 2, RC1, and the post-5.0 dev build (but I won't do one for Beta 1).
  • AlexK Friday, January 20, 2006
    I really like Matisse, and all the visual feedback is great. However, one problem that I had when I tried to do something less trivial was that the visual feedback was just too much, and I wasn't sure what each little icon meant (e.g. which icon means that something is aligned to the right edge of a panel, which one means that things are aligned in a column, etc). Would you happen to know a good resource where I can read up on these ?
  • Geertjan Monday, January 23, 2006
    Good question, AlexK. You seem to want a complete icon reference, containing an explanation of each icon, right? I'll ask around and see if this is possible to put together.
  • Eric MacAdie Tuesday, January 24, 2006
    WRT this not working in specific versions of NetBeans:
    I have noticed that a lot of these Matisse tutorials seem to require a specific version or build or release. I know that right now this is due to that fact that there is not yet an official version of NetBeans with Matisse. But still, it is a bit frustrating.
    I hope that after 5.0 is officially released that past, present and future Matisse and plug-in tutorials will all work in 5.0, and not in a particular dev or Q build.
  • Geertjan Wednesday, January 25, 2006
    Hi Eric, I completely understand your frustration. It's good to see you understand the reason for things being this way, thus far. And, yes, when 5.0 is officially released, the various tutorials and samples will be aligned with it.
Please enter your name.Please provide a valid email address.Please enter a comment.CAPTCHA challenge response provided was incorrect. Please try again.