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We Have a Liftoff - Vaadin 7 Alpha 1

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Sami Ekblad
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On Dec 23, 2011 8:28:00 AM
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Vaadin 7 Alpha 1Just as scheduled the first alpha release of Vaadin 7.0.0 alpha 1 is here!

We want to continue making web application development easier, while taking advantage of the latest technology. In this release the focus is the new windowing and embedding mechanism and data binding API to simplify some common application patterns.
 

Root of Windows

There is a new concept called "root" in the stack. It is the first visible part of your Vaadin application. It can be full page or it can be embedded to another page (like in portals). 

This concept makes a couple of important additions. First, multiple browser tabs (and windows) are supported by default. Technically this is nothing new, but previously it required you to program that by hand while now browser tabs just work out-of-the-box.

Another new feature is that information about the browser is passed already in the the initial request. This means client-side metadata like screen size and URI fragments. Users will see this as faster startup, but it also allows us to provide them with customized UI starting from the first request.
 

Binding Data

Another theme for this release was to refactor the data binding and make it more generic and usable. The Form is deprecated in favor of FieldGroup, which does not force to use any specific layout or UI components. Rather it only implements a transaction mechanism and data conversion API to implement any kind of data-driven UI.

Along with this there is a lot of good stuff added to the data binding API: CustomField, converters and validators as well as typed properties using Java generics.
 

Migration and Request for Comments

This is also your time to take action. All the new features in Vaadin 7 will be rolled out in a series of alpha releases that you can test and comment before they are finalized.

For this first release you can find more details about the new features at our forums:
Furthermore, if you already are using Vaadin, you can find a detailed migration guide that makes it easier to step-by-step convert your existing application to support Vaadin 7.
Try it out and let us know!
Sami Ekblad
Sami Ekblad is one of the original members of the Vaadin team. He is now working as a framework advocate, and you can find many add-ons and code samples to help you get started with Vaadin. Follow at – @samiekblad
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