Product Direction

Joonas Lehtinen
Joonas Lehtinen
On Sep 16, 2013 5:13:00 PM

Vaadin 7 was a huge thing for all of the Vaadin community. Where should we go next? Before jumping into details on what exactly we are going to be doing tomorrow, next month or by the end of the year, let's look at the big picture on what we are trying to do in a long run...

Making building the next generation web experience easy

Enterprise web experience of tomorrow will be collaborative, deriving from the top consumer experiences of today, working seamlessly on smartphones, tablets and laptops. The user experience is king and visual language matters.

Vaadin tries to hide the underlying complexity and make building customized apps with innovative UX easy - with a fraction of budgets used today for similar apps in the consumer space.

The framework has three abstraction layers: server-side java, client-side java and javascript/html and makes it easy to develop on all of these layers, combining the best sides of these. It should provide a solid stack for rapidly building solutions from ready made pieces - making even the hard things easy ensuring that the user experience is top notch and fast. We should identify the best UX innovations out there and componentize them for consumption by developers.

We must ensure that Vaadin Framework is so easy to use that one trying it out can produce a simple trial application with it within the first 15 minutes of use. It should give a feeling of empowerment with the productivity being so much higher than anything one has tried before.

Vaadin is free. We sell tools, support, training and services for ensuring the success of commercial app development projects with Vaadin. While the commercial products are 100% optional, they should speed up the development so much that they will pay themselves back for professional developers in matter of weeks.

Vaadin Roadmap

All of the things below represent what we are or will shortly be working on by the end of the year. Not everything will be ready and released during this timeframe.

Major framework features

  • Grid is designed and built to eventually replace Table and TreeTable. The old components continue to be supported for the lifespan of Vaadin 7 (for over 4 years from today)
    • Fast UX on all devices supported by Vaadin
    • Lazy loading of virtually unlimited datasets
    • Server-side and client-side APIs
    • Modular and extensible architecture that can be easily built on
    • Viewing any kind of data in cells with extensible cell rendering API
    • Attaching editor components to a table row
    • Most of the features from the current Table + freeze columns, components in headers, expandable details rows, infinite scrolling, DOM recycling, client-side caching, ...
  • Customizable theme based on SASS
    • Flexibility to specify high level look and feel properties like colors, depth and fonts
    • Modular structure that makes re-use and overriding components easy
    • While this will not replace the default theme in Vaadin 7, we hope that this could become the most popular theme with Vaadin 7.2
  • Even better compatibility with GWT to ensure that Vaadin Framework would work seamlessly as a drop-in-replacement for any GWT projects
  • Responsive layout support is integrated


  • New Maven Application Archetype
    • Full stack built into archetype to showcase the best practices
    • Aimed to be the skeleton of a real world application - not hello world
    • Support UI development in server-side Java, client-side Java and JavaScript
    • Two versions: Java EE and mockup backend
  • Plugin for Netbeans IDE
    • Based on Maven support
    • Visual Editor is not included
  • Vaadin CDI 1.0 beta
  • Preview version of the official Spring support (along the lines of Vaadin CDI)

Commercial tools and support

  • New Spreadsheet component
    • Supports reading and writing Excel spreadsheets through Apache POI
    • Support for calculations, formatting borders and number formats
  • More comprehensive support offerings: email and phone support
  • Windows phone support for Vaadin TouchKit along with a new theme
  • Vaadin Driver for making component selection easier with Vaadin TestBench

Sorry for being somewhat vague on some of these topics - especially upcoming commercial features. It is hard to balance between being able to surprise positively and being super transparent.

What would you like to have?

What do you think? Is there something we haven't thought of? Could we drop something to speed things up?

Joonas Lehtinen
Joonas Lehtinen
Joonas is the CEO and co-founder of Vaadin. He has been working with web app development tools and technologies for over 20 years and speaks frequently in Java conferences around the world. Joonas lives is San Jose, CA, with his wife and 10 year old son. You can follow him on Twitter – @joonaslehtinen
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