Josh and Friends - A Real World Web Application Developed Using Netbeans Visual Web Pack

There are questions from several VWP users - Is it possible to write a sophisticated web site using Netbeans Visual Web Pack (VWP). My answer is - yes, it is possible. I happened to work with several users of VWP who have written full blown websites using VWP. One of them is Josh and Friends - The #1 Dance Music Community, developed and maintained by Joshua van Aalst.

When Josh sent the URL of his site to me, I looked at the site and thought; was it really developed using VWP?. Poking around the web site did not give me a clue. So I decided to clarify it with Josh. He assured me that indeed it was developed using VWP with right combination of technologies. Thought it is a good idea to let him explain how he did it in this blog, so that other users can benefit from it.

A good looking data driven website consists of two parts

  • Feature rich Layouts, so called "website pages"
  • Rich data bound pages with proper data flow (a real web application)

VWP is a wonderful tool for the latter. But it is still in its infancy to design sophisticated page layouts.

In his own words, Josh explains how he achieved the task of combining the two.

The layouts can be created by:

  • Downloading a pre-created layout template
  • A web designer using dream weaver <-- This is how our layouts were created

The entire site other than the forums and gallery is VWP developed. For the moment you can tell whichever URL has /dancemusic/ in it. That is the context root.

There are couple of major tricks.

  • The main one is that the site is highly SEO ( Search Engine Optimization) optimized.
  • Extensive use of converters.
    • The way I do that is by using JSF converters <-- this is probably why it doesn't look like a VWP pack project.
    • Basically I use standard <h:outputText> with a converter for most display pages. For edit pages such as: http://www.joshandfriends.com.au/dancemusic/Event/Create
      and
      http://www.joshandfriends.com.au/dancemusic/Event
    • I use basic webuijsf components for editing (e.g. addremovelist, listbox, fileupload components) and standard <h:outputText> to display any info <-- Result tables display info uses converters.
    • The converters allow me to put href links with title attributes and alt attributes around images.

URL re-writing

  • I have a ServletFilter that intercepts all URLs and allows SEO URL rewriting to the VWP pages

The site is built on:

  • VWP/JSF <-- Web front end
  • Spring 2 <-- Service layer
  • Hibernate 3 <-- Backend

From VWP the site uses:

  • A variety of components including add remove list, tables with paging, file uploads, radio groups, check box groups and more.
  • JSF Converters.
  • JSF Page Navigation.
  • Session and Request beans
  • Plenty of Auto-submit on change actionExpressions have a play around with: http://www.joshandfriends.com.au/dancemusic/Event

The result

Comments:

Where can I get (paid) technical support for SJSC2U1 and NetBeans VWP on an annual basis, M-F, normal work hours. From Sun??? Thanks

Posted by jerry wheeler on May 29, 2007 at 03:04 AM PDT #

Can you please elaborate a bit on how Josh is using converters on his website? Thank you.

Posted by A. Varela on May 29, 2007 at 05:28 PM PDT #

Does the site load in the Visual Designer or does it have to entirely be updated in the jsp view? If it doesn't load in the designer I don't see the point.

Posted by JJ on May 29, 2007 at 11:58 PM PDT #

We have developed many application using web pack (previously studio creator). I am primarily using liferay as house for my servlets which gives great flexibilty for documents, layout and application. We also have alot of legacy asp apps that use web pack apps as all new work is in visual web pack. So again I go to the url of the java app server for the java parts.

Posted by Joel Fradkin on May 31, 2007 at 04:05 AM PDT #

Jerry - Paid support for Sun's development tools is available through http://www.netbeans.org/kb/support.html. You can also find that page at http://www.netbeans.org > Docs & Support tab > Professional Support Services section.

Posted by Vaughn on June 01, 2007 at 04:22 AM PDT #

Where can i get pre-created layout templates. We are creating our first vwp jsf application and would like a cool interface.

Posted by Tongayi Masunda on June 03, 2007 at 10:27 PM PDT #

Hi all, I'd like answer two posts in regards to the site: A. Varela and JJ. I have responded here: http://www.joshuavanaalst.com/blog/ Thanks, Josh

Posted by Joshua van Aalst on June 09, 2007 at 09:54 AM PDT #

a

Posted by guest on June 19, 2007 at 06:03 PM PDT #

I'm a wholesaler and distributor for clothes but for the last year and a half I had some thoughts about my business. Now I'm basically dropping most of the job on my partner/brother to o back to school to learn IT. Wish me luck.

Posted by The distributor on June 26, 2007 at 02:24 AM PDT #

Pls i am trying to integrate some java script codes into my VWP app.How do i go about this?

Posted by Olusegun Adetoye on October 30, 2007 at 10:49 PM PDT #

Hello Winston,
I am not sure whether this is the right forum but I have a databound listbox and I would like to be able get the selected items and use them in my application. The issue though arises in that I am using oracle 10g and all my integer values appear as bigdecimals. Could you please do an example that uses listboxes or lead me to an example that uses listboxes. I keep getting cast errors when cast the getselected values as bigdecimals

Posted by Kenneth Muhia on November 10, 2007 at 10:21 PM PST #

Hi Kenneth, the best place is to ask is nbuser@netbeans.org. You could search nbuser at http://www.nabble.com/Netbeans.org-f2602.html. Also I would recommend to search the old Java Studio Creator forum at http://forum.java.sun.com/forum.jspa?forumID=881

Posted by Winston Prakash on November 12, 2007 at 12:42 AM PST #

Merchandize Liquidators ( www.merchandizeliquidators.com) specializes in wholesale closeouts & liquidation, overstock, surplus from most department stores in the USA. We liquidate wholesale clothing, electronics, tools, shoes, toys, jewelry and more all by the pallets and truckloads. All merchandise is sold as closeouts, liquidation merchandise, salvage, overstock, and surplus for pennies on the wholesale dollar. We liquidate department stores and factory surplus. Come and visit our warehouse in Hallandale Florida and find all the merchandise needed for your business ready to ship all under one roof. We Liquidate Designer Apparel, Jewelry, Shoes, Call or email us now to learn more and one of our sales representative will assist you. Walk-ins are welcome.

Posted by Tomas on December 07, 2007 at 01:52 PM PST #

Recoup capital assets otherwise gone:

http://www.goldensurplus.com
http://www.auctionbidmart.com
http://www.spintradeexchange.com
http://www.selltestequipment.com

Posted by Holly on March 18, 2008 at 10:12 AM PDT #

hola soy Herlan:
Me gustaria que alquien me ayude con un problemita que tengo lo que pasa es que estoy haciendo un buscador de palabras asi como en Google, bueno todo funciona bien lo unico que no puedo hacer es que cada ves que yo introdusca una palabra y encuentre mas de 10 iguales a esa palabra los vaya cargando en diferentes paginas..osea mi problema esta en generar paginas de acuerdo a la cantidad de palabras que encuetre, si son 30 palabras solo tiene que aver 10 Hyperlik en esa pagina todo es igual a Google.

Esto tiene que ser utilizando Visual Web Pack de NetBeans 6.0

solo quiero un ejemplito que cargue una lista de Page y luego que adicione los HyperLink a cada pagina , osea asuman que estan haciendo un buscador de palabras y que tienen que funcionar asi como Google que con un Boton Next pueda pasar a otra pagina, pero esto tiene que ser en codigo Java no HTML. por que asi lo estoy aciendo osea que no estoy escribiendo nada de codigo HTML por que asi es mejor

Si es que alguien me puede ayudar se los agradecere muchisimo..les dejo mi correo barin_2@hotmail.com

Posted by Herlan on December 08, 2008 at 09:48 AM PST #

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