Developing a JSF Application's Behavior and UI

Your current JSF application satisfies the requirements for portlet descriptors and WAR-style structure, but it doesn’t do anything yet. You’ll learn how to develop a JSF application’s back-end and give it a simple UI next.

The first thing to do is create a Java class for your module. Your JSF portlet’s behavior is defined here. In the case of the Hello User portlet, you should provide Java methods that can get/set a name and facilitate the submission process.

  1. Create a unique package name in the module’s src/main/java folder and create a new public Java class named ExampleBacking.java in that package. For example, the class’s folder structure could be src/main/java/com/liferay/example/ExampleBacking.java. Make sure the class is annotated with @RequestScoped and @ManagedBean:

    @RequestScoped
    @ManagedBean
    public class ExampleBacking {
    

    Managed beans are Java beans that are managed by the JSF framework. Managed beans annotated with @RequestScoped are usually responsible for handling actions and listeners. JSF manages these beans by creating and removing the bean object from the server. Visit the linked annotations above for more details.

  2. Add the following methods and field to your ExampleBacking.java class:

    public String getName() {
        return name;
    }
    
    public void setName(String name) {
        this.name = name;
    }
    
    public void submit(ActionEvent actionEvent) {
        FacesContextHelperUtil.addGlobalSuccessInfoMessage();
    }
    
    private String name;
    

    You’ve provided a getter and setter method for the private name field. You’ve also provided a submit(...) method, which is called when the Submit button is selected. A success info message is displayed once the method is invoked.

    You’ve defined your Hello User portlet’s Java behavior; now create its UI!

  3. Create a view.xhtml file in the webapp/WEB-INF/views folder. Add the following logic to that file:

    <?xml version="1.0"?>
    
    <f:view
        xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml"
        xmlns:f="http://java.sun.com/jsf/core"
        xmlns:h="http://java.sun.com/jsf/html"
    >
        <h:head>
            <h:outputStylesheet library="css" name="main.css" />
        </h:head>
        <h:form>
            <h:messages globalOnly="true" />
            <h:outputLabel value="#{i18n['enter-your-name']}" />
            <h:inputText value="#{exampleBacking.name}" />
            <h:commandButton actionListener="#{exampleBacking.submit}" value="#{i18n['submit']}">
                <f:ajax execute="@form" render="@form" />
            </h:commandButton>
            <br />
            <h:outputText value="Hello #{exampleBacking.name}" />
        </h:form>
    </f:view>
    

    The first thing to notice is the main.css file you created is specified here, which makes your portlet’s heading typeface bold. Next, your form is defined within the <h:form> tags. The form asks the user to enter his or her name, and then sets that value to the name field in your Java class. The form uses the <h:commandButton> tag to execute the Submit button and render the form after submission.

    Notice the i18n object call for the enter-your-name and submit properties. The enter-your-name property was set in the i18n.properties file you specified, but what about the submit property? This was not defined in your portlet’s i18n.properties file, so how does your portlet know to use the string Submit for your button? If you recall, the i18n object can also access messages in Liferay DXP’s Language.properties file. This is where the submit language key comes from.

    Finally, the <h:outputText> tag prints the submitted name on the page, prefixed with Hello.

Awesome! Your Hello User JSF application is complete! Deploy your WAR to Liferay DXP. Remember, when your WAR-style portlet is deployed, it’s converted to a WAB via the WAB Generator. Visit the Using the WAB Generator tutorial for more information on this process and your portlet’s resulting folder structure.

Figure 1: After submitting the users name, its displayed with a greeting.

Figure 1: After submitting the user's name, it's displayed with a greeting.

You can view the finished version of the Hello User JSF application by downloading its ZIP file.

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