Community Spotlight - May 2017

Alejandro Duarte
Alejandro Duarte
On May 30, 2017 7:02:00 AM

For this month’s Community Spotlight I had the pleasure of talking with Nicolas Frankel, published author (Learning Vaadin, Learning Vaadin 7, and Integration Testing from the Trenches), developer, speaker, influencer, and passionate about technology. Find out his thoughts about Vaadin and what makes it a unique web framework.

Hi, Nicolas. It's great to speak with you! You have one of those names that Vaadin and Java developers recognize. What are you working on at the moment? Any books or open-source projects going on?

Hey Alejandro, thanks for the invite.

The last few years, I chose to involve myself by talking at different international conferences. This, unfortunately, doesn't leave much time to commit to projects, books or otherwise. Still, I started the Kaadin project that provides an easy-to-use Kotlin DSL to define Vaadin components.

Two of your books are about Vaadin, what motivated you to write them? Why Vaadin? 

At the time of the first book, the only Vaadin documentation available was the official "Book of Vaadin" and the API. Those were great, but there was no easy step-by-step path "from zero to hero". When Joonas told me Packt was searching for a writer, I jumped at the chance.

About the Vaadin framework, I believe it occupies a unique niche among Java Web frameworks. There's no competitor offering a true Object Oriented approach that allows for easy reuse. Plus your team only needs to know the Java language, and it's possible to truly parallelize your CSS/HTML templates customization with backend development. From a ROI perspective, nothing beats Vaadin for business apps development.

What would you say is the most important change you have seen in the Vaadin Community and its open-source products in the last years?

From the Finnish IT Mill company centered around one single product, Vaadin has become a true international player in the software ecosystem. It took responsibility in the stewardship of GWT, and provided an entire new product, Vaadin Web Elements. In short, you're able to reinvent yourself constantly. That's rare and precious.

How about the future? How do you see Vaadin in the future or how you would like it to be?

I'd like to see more integration, like the Spring Boot Vaadin starter. A framework, and especially a web framework, is only as good as the integration points it offers. There's JPA, Hibernate, Spring Boot, Liferay, but I believe more can be done in this area - especially since some of them are provided by the community.

What do you think about the improvements added in Vaadin 8? What's your favorite new feature in Vaadin 8? 

Oh, the tricky question. I'm nothing but honest, and I haven't played with Vaadin 8 much so far. But using lambdas from Java 8 are definitely a step in the right direction. And having worked with Matti on an add-on to integrate the History API last summer, having it integrated into the core makes me feel all warm inside.

That was an awesome contribution! Anything else you'd like to say to the Vaadin Community?

Keep up the good work, guys. You have the coolest web framework in the world! I love you all.

We love you too Nicolas! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and best wishes with your projects

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Alejandro Duarte
Alejandro Duarte
Software Engineer and Developer Advocate at MariaDB Corporation. Author of Practical Vaadin (Apress), Data-Centric Applications with Vaadin 8 (Packt), and Vaadin 7 UI Design by Example (Packt). Passionate about software development with Java and open-source technologies. Contact him on Twitter @alejandro_du or through his personal blog at
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