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Reusable Visual Web Components

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Joined: 2007-12-08

I recently made the switch (more like ran away) from .NET to Java. I simply got tired of the M$ framework/IDE upgrade treadmill. I am working on Ubuntu 7.10 with NetBeans 6 (+ICEfaces), JDK 1.6, J2EE 5, TomCat 5.5, Glassfish 2 and MySql 5. My question relates to building reusable visual web components using NetBeans. I reviewed tutorials on JSF and Facelets but remain alittle confused... Does NetBeans support a framework (Facelets/JSFTemplating) to visually build a web component (+ interfaces/delegates/data source plumbing/etc.) and visually drop it within a JSP or another web component? This feature exists in MS Visual Studio (2002+) as usercontrols/web controls that can be dropped onto an ASPX or another usercontrol/web control. Any help would be appreciated as I am very eager to jump-start my Java learning curve. Please include any books or links.



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Joined: 2007-12-11

Hi Chris,
I hope the links and tips helped you. ( If you have appfuse and look at how maven is used by the sample project with jetty built into the buildprocess you really have a fast and good framework to develop with. )

For your questions about reusable components, I don't know. I suggest you send in a post on netbeans user forum,, at

Else there are some documentations about this at


Joined: 2005-08-02

You might want to take a look at IT Mill Toolkit 5:

It does not have a visual designer, but the programming model is much like VB or Swing. It provides a lot of Ajax enabled components based on GWT (Google Web Toolkit) and is open sourced (Apache 2.0).

And, take a look at the tutorial video. Its on Eclipse, but NetBeans should be almost as easy:

Joined: 2007-12-11

Hi Chris, good choice by the way :)

Here comes some tips and links to get you going.

Build framework:
1. Maven - - easy to get started, powerful with dependency management
2. Ant -

1. Eclipse - outstanding and free - (no good visual web support)
2. Intellij - best ide, low price -
3. Netbeans - best visual web support but you need a lot of cpu and memory to enjoy it.

JSF Frameworks:
1. Richfaces, - in my opinion the best JSF component framework. Easy to use, ajax support, look at the demo app or download the demoapp,
2. Facelets

Kickstart web development:
1. Check out appfuse. It will get you going with the best frameworkd and patterns in java. See
* Use maven to ease the development, testing and run/redeploy fast. see
* Use hsqldb as a fast, in develop environment only, database. For integration tests etc.

1. Jetty -
* with maven -
2. tomcat -

Joined: 2007-12-08


Thanks so much for replying to my post. I thought people where completely scared (or poorly informed here). Anyway, I took a look at the links you provided. I really like Maven and JBoss' Rich Faces. But I have few questions relating to building pages using the Visual Web Components/architecture...

A. I note that NetBeans 6 supports Page Fragments and Virtual Forms, which allow for visual subcomponent page construction. Do these visual constructs provide programmatic interfaces so that I could dynamically set properties (i.e. display all menu links except 'Contact Us')?
B. Sinking web application exceptions and redirecting/transferring the user to a single dynamically generated error page (i.e. the news item you searched for no longer exists; below is a listing of current news items vs. the resource you requested does not exist)?
C. Handling session state (appended query string parameters <=> Db; etc). Can this be handled by a HttpSessionHandler bean?