Vaadin 24.4 integrates with React, unifies Flow and Hilla development, and more!

Hilla 2.1: Faster development, faster UIs, end-to-end troubleshooting, and more

Tarek Oraby
Tarek Oraby
On Jun 14, 2023 12:21:57 PM
In Product

We are excited to announce the release of version 2.1 of Hilla, the type-safe web framework for Spring Boot. We continue to rapidly advance Hilla to meet the needs of developers that need a reactive frontend (TypeScript with React or Lit) and a Spring Boot backend. This release includes improved autocomplete capabilities when using popular IDEs, Gradle support, enhancements to the UI components library, and a new Observability Kit to simplify monitoring and troubleshooting Hilla applications running in production.

What’s new?

Better Autocomplete

Hilla 2.1 improves the development experience by ensuring that the autocomplete capabilities of popular IDEs like IntelliJ IDEA and VS Code now play nicely with Hilla.

Gradle support

Hilla now supports Gradle as well as Maven for building Hilla applications. Like the Maven plugin, the new Gradle plugin provides a task for building a production-ready JAR file, supports multi-module projects, and enables end-to-end type safety for your applications by auto-generating TypeScript types definitions for your endpoints. 

You can read more about Gradle support in the documentation. While the Hilla CLI continues to generate Maven-based projects, you can obtain a Gradle-based Hilla starter project from this GitHub repo.

UI components

Hilla 2.1 adds several enhancements to the UI components library. 

First, the React API was added for two UI components: the Multi-Select Combo Box and the TabSheet. The Multi-Select Combo Box allows the user to choose one or more values from a filterable list of options presented in an overlay. The Tab Sheet is a multi-component container that allows switching between the components with "tabs" organized as a tab bar at the top of the tab sheet.

Second, improvements were made to the performance of Grid-based components. The Grid, Tree Grid, Grid Pro, and CRUD are now faster and more responsive to end users' input. Specifically, they are all faster to render, scroll, resize, and sort. They also come with a new API that enables “lazy loading” of columns (limiting the rendering of columns to those inside the visible viewport as opposed to rendering all columns at once), dramatically improving the performance of grids with many columns.

Finally, we introduced several improvements to the accessibility of the UI component library: optional borders of input fields to comply with WCAG contrast requirements, Windows High Contrast Mode support, and new APIs for applying aria-labels for screen readers.

Observability Kit

Hilla 2.1 introduces an Observability Kit to help you ensure the performance, reliability, and availability of Hilla apps. This Kit provides insights into the health and behavior of Hilla apps running in production by generating and collecting telemetry data from the backend server and the browser. The Kit integrates with industry-leading observability and application performance management (APM) tools: Datadog, New Relic, Grafana, Jaeger, and Prometheus.

See documentation →

A commercial Vaadin subscription is required to use Observability Kit in your project. Request a free trial!

Full release notes

Alongside the key enhancements and features discussed above, this release also includes numerous other updates intended to improve your overall experience. For a complete, detailed list of all updates and enhancements, please refer to the full release notes.

How do I upgrade?

You can upgrade from an earlier Hilla version by replacing the version number with 2.1.0 in your pom.xml. Ensure that you have Java 17 or newer.


Need help? Join us on the Vaadin Discord or post your questions on StackOverflow with the hilla tag.

What’s next?

The next feature release, Hilla 2.2, will include new helpers for Form binding in Hilla + React. Follow the progress of these tickets for adding form-binding support and form validation rules generated from Java definitions.

Hilla 2.2 is scheduled for September 2023, so stay tuned!

Follow @hillaframework on Twitter for updates, and be sure to tag us when you share cool stuff you've built with Hilla!

Tarek Oraby
Tarek Oraby
Tarek is a Product Manager at Vaadin. His daily work is a blend of talking to users, planning, and overseeing the evolution of Vaadin Flow and Hilla, ensuring they consistently delight our developer community.
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