What is JSF?
JavaServer Faces (JSF) is a standard Java technology for building Web applications. Developing Java web interfaces is made easier by providing a component-based approach. It permits access to server-side data and logic. JavaServer Faces is essentially an XML document that designates formal components in a rational tree form. The JSF API offers components like commandButton, input Text, etc. and also assists in managing their states. JSF components are supported by Java objects and have several Java facilities, including databases, tag libraries, and remote APIs. The JSF Tag libraries add components on the webpages and connect them with objects on the server.
JavaServer Faces appeals to a diverse audience of developers as “Business developers” find JavaServer Faces development to be simple because of the drag and drop user interface (UI) components, while “System designers” get unparalleled programming flexibility because of the robust JSF API. JSF uses the Model-View-Controller (MVC) design pattern in its architecture providing applications with greater maintainability.
The features of the JavaServer Faces which are as follows:
1. Component-Based Framework
JavaServer Faces provides components that are inbuilt to help in building web applications. HTML5, Facelet tags, etc. can be used.
2. Facelets Technology Implementation
JavaServer Faces uses Facelets as its default view handler technology. Facelets is an open source Web template system. It supports all of the JSF user interface components and concentrates on creating the view for a JSF application.
3. Expression Language Integration
Expression Language offers a significant mechanism for making the UI (web pages) communicate with the application logic (managed beans).
4. Supports HTML5
JSF2.2 provides a way to include attributes of HTML5 to JSF components.
5. Easy and Prompt Web Development
It offers a rich collection of inbuilt libraries and tools which can be used to develop web applications rapidly.
6. Provide Internationalization
This allows applications to be created in various different languages for various regions.
7. Bean Annotations
Annotations feature is provided by this which helps in validating tasks in the Managed Bean, rather than in the HTML page.
8. Default Exception Handling
There is default exception handling provided by JavaServer Faces to develop bug-free applications.
Templates help is increasing the reusability of these components.
10. Inbuilt AJAX Support
AJAX support is provided by JSF which helps us in rendering the request to the server side without refreshing the page.
How it works
Due to a component-focused UI model design, JSF makes use of XML files known as view templates or Facelet views. These Facelets process requests, load the accurate view template, develop a component tree, process events and render responses to the client. The state of the components is saved at the termination of each request in a process known as stateSaving (transient property= true) and is restored on the next creation of that view. The objects and their states can be saved by either the client side or the server side.
JavaServer Faces is often used with Ajax. Ajax is a combination of application development techniques and technologies that make rich UIs possible. Ajax-supported components are easily added to improve JSF-based UIs, as JSF aids several output formats. The JSF 2.0 design offers built-in support for Ajax by providing development interfaces to Ajax events, permitting any event triggered by the client to go through proper verification so its methods can be invoked, before providing the result back to the browser by the means of an XML DOM update.
Benefits of JSF
- It provides clear separation amongst behavior and presentation of any web application. We can create business logic and user interface logic distinctly.
- These APIs are layered right on top of the Servlet API. This enables us to use several presentation technologies and also helps us to create our very own custom components.
- It is designed such, that with the help of Facelets, it allows us to create reusable components, which in turn help in improving productivity and consistency.
- It has a feature called Annotations, which reduces the manual configuration process for our applications.
- This provides a robust architecture for handling component states and their data, confirming user input, and handling events.
Drawbacks of JSF
- The learning curve of JSF is a steep one, which is one of the main disadvantages of JSF.
- It is not suitable for high-performance applications.
- This phase listener feature is unusable, as there is no tight coupling between the phase listener and the managed bean.
- It is not scalable as it uses session objects to store the state of the component, in a request.
How JSP will help in career growth?
It is useful for anyone who in the future wants to work in maintaining legacy applications, as there is a chance that JSF frameworks are used in these applications. It is also necessary to know JSF to migrate systems made in JSF to newer technologies. JSF helps us to do more with less code. Other than this, in terms of career growth, it is nowadays recommended to go with an action-based framework which uses REST principles for simplicity and more powerful applications, like Spring MVC.
JSF solves many of the ancient problems of Java Web development by giving a clear implementation of the MVC design pattern without sacrificing the flexibility of the application. Moreover, since JSF is a Java standard, there will be continued support for an efficient development environment which will mostly exceed the other development environments. JSF helps in simplifying UI development but increases the complexity of processing lifecycle of requests.
This has been a guide to What is JSF. Here we discussed the Definition, working, career growth, and Benefits of JSF. You can also go through our other suggested articles to learn more –