ADF Faces adds the concept of partial form submit to JavaServer Faces 1.2 and beyond. A partial submit actually is a form submit that does not require a page refresh and only updates components in the view that are referenced from the command component PartialTriggers property. Another option for refreshing a component in response to a partial submit is call AdfContext.getCurrentInstance.addPartialTarget(component_instance_handle_goes_here)in a managed bean. If a form contains required fields that the user left empty invoking the partial submit, then errors are shown for each of the field as the full form gets submitted.
An input component that has its autosubmit property set to true also performs a partial submit of the form. However, this time it doesn't submit the entire form but only the component that triggers the submit plus components referenced it in their PartialTriggers property.
For example, consider a form that has three input fields inpA, inpB and inpC with autosubmit=true set on inpA and required=true set on inpB and inpC.
use case 1: Running the view, entering data into inpA and then tabbing out of the field will submit the content for inpA but not for inpB and inpC. Further more, none of the required field settings on inpB and inpC causes an error.
use case 2: You change the configuration of inpC and set its PartialTriggers property to point to the ID of component inpA. When rerunning the sample, entering a value into inpA and tabbing out of the field will now submit the inpA and inpC fields and thus show an error for the missing required value on inpC.
Internally, using autosubmit=true on an input component sets the event root to just this field, which good to have in case of dependent field validation or behavior. The event root can extended to include other components by using the Partial Triggers property on these components to point to the input field that has autosubmit=true defined.
PartialSubmit vs. AutoSubmit
Partial submit set on a command component submits the whole form and leaves it to the developer to decide which UI component is refreshed in response. Client side required field validation (as well as the server side equivalent) is not disabled by executed in this scenario. Setting immediate=true on the command item to skip validation doesn't help as it would also skip the model update.
Auto submit is a functionality on the input components and also performs a partial form submit. However, in addition an event root is defined that narrows the scope for the submitted data and thus the components that are validated on the request.
To read more about this topic, see: http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E23943_01/web.1111/b31973/af_lifecycle.htm#CIAHCFJF