We are finally back from JavaOne. For Vaadin this was the first place where it was presented to a larger audience. It was a success and triumph of good design. As much as visitors were astonished by the Vaadin web components they were asking us about those cool t-shirts and laptop bags.
At our booth we gave away some fifteen hundred copies of "Book Of Vaadin", and as nearly the same questions were asked from us so many times, I'll summarize the most frequently asked questions here.
This looks awesome, but what is this all about?
Can you show me a demo?
Sure! Here you can see that this is all about widgets or components. We offer a versatile library of UI widgets that you can use to compose the web UI for your application. The programming model is much like in traditional desktop programming using events and listeners - rather than request and responses. (Editorial note: Here are some more demos, vaadin.com/demo)
Ok, I understand. How does this differ from GWT?
As GWT applications run in the browser, the Vaadin applications run in the server. Actually, we use GWT as a "rendering engine" at the browser side.
So, is this something like JSF?
From architectural point both JSF and Vaadin are server-side frameworks. However, Vaadin applications are much richer and programmed in plain Java - no XML configurations, page templates, what so ever are needed to build a working application! Also, it is much simpler to use - copy only a single JAR file into you web application and you have all the components there.
Do you have an editor of some kind?
Yes, there is a plugin for Eclipse that includes a WYSIWYG editor. It should help you get started with building your applications UI. It generates Java code for you that you can use as a starting point of implementing event listeners and data binding.
Wow, this is really cool! What about the licensing?
Vaadin is free and open source. It is licensed under the Apache 2.0 license.
Really? All this is free?! But how do you guys make money then?
We offer services and support for Vaadin. For example, if you are in a hurry with your project we can help you with company branding, graphics and usability design of your application. Or maybe kick-start your project to get you on the right track right from the start. For support we have a variety of options that cover both technical support as well as the legal side.
"Thanks for the demo! I'll take the book and test it. This seems really nice. "
In addition to these questions, there were many discussion about how Vaadin works internally, how it can be integrated with other tools and IDEs and how does it suit for some more specific purpose. Let's continue them at our forums: vaadin.com/forum.
And hey, thanks everyone for the great event!