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Vaadin 7 Alpha 3 Released

The third alpha release of Vaadin 7 landed today. This one is a huge release. Not only did we add large features such as high level navigation api, JavaScript based component authoring and JavaScript integration api, but we even added GWT.

 
Navigation API
 
In Vaadin 6, you had to invent implement bookmarking, view management and SEO yourself. It is still fully possible (and much easier) in Vaadin 7, but now there is also a ready made high level view management API available. This makes dividing your application into logical views much easier. 
 
 
 
JavaScript integration API
 
There has been Window.executeJavaScript() for calling JavaScript methods from the server for a long time. What if you need to go to other direction? What if you are embedding your Vaadin app in a page where the external part of the page wants to pass some important information to your Vaadin based app? In order to do this previously, you had to implement a custom widget. While certainly possible, it was not easy.
 
With the new JavaScript integration API it is very easy to publish javascript methods that call your server side listeners, all directly from the server side. The next time when there is a need to integrate with the rest of the page, you just publish that integration API from your app with one method call. 
 
 
 
JavaScript based components
 
Writing a widget in JavaScript? Why would one want to do that when there is GWT? There are at least three good reasons: 
1) there might be a perfectly good widget available written in JavaScript that you would like to use in your Vaadin application,
2) you might have someone in your team that knows JavaScript and browsers, but does not know any Java, 
3) you might be tempted to do some small components in JavaScript yourself - if it just a handful of code lines, the normal fear of ending up with a pile of spaghetti is not a real issue.
 
The new JavaScript component wrapper allows you to easily add Vaadin server-side APIs to a JavaScript component without doing a GWT based wrapper around the widget. Take a look at the examples in the tutorial for how this is done. It is almost as simple as it looks.
 
 
 
Google Web Toolkit built in
 
This is a huge topic by itself, so I wrote a separate blog post about it. There is also a dedicated page explaining what is going on. Take a look.
 
 
 
I hope you enjoy the new release. Download it from the usual place and please give us feedback on the forums.
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