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Vaadin at Jazoon'09

Vaadin will be attending to Jazoon'09 conference in Zurich on June 22-25.

If you are attending to the conference, mark my "RIA Security" -presentation to your conference schedule and stop by our booth.

Upgrading between major versions a minor task

Let's say you have an IT Mill Toolkit based application involving couple hundreds of java classes on your UI module alone. Of course you have also developed new client-side components of your own and your project contains custom style sheets and graphics which extends Toolkit's default theme. And now you wonder what kind of task it would be to upgrade your project to use latest Vaadin 6.0.0.
 
For me that was the case and I decided to give it a try. Simply put, I was genuinely surprised how straightforward task it was to migrate from Toolkit 5.4 to Vaadin 6.0. Thumbs up for the Vaadin core developers, you have done excellent job on backward compatibility and getting one more happy Vaadin user to your rows.
 
So, how to do it? You can find out all the necessary information from Vaadin 6.0.0 release notes. I found it handy to use Eclipse's Search / File feature with Replace... to convert my project imports from com.itmill.toolkit. into com.vaadin. for every Java file. Same feature can be used to convert your theme class names into Vaadin compatible. For most parts upgrade was just simple mass search & replace operation and few straightforward code modifications.
 
After two uneventful hours my task was done! The result? 292 added files, 5 removed and 142 modified in our customer's SVN repository. This includes new compiled widgetset which is now based on Vaadin. As a bonus it was nice to try out our customer project with new themes that Vaadin 6 provided, I even tried multiple different themes by testing with plain Vaadin Reindeer or Runo theme and I also tried extending stock themes with our customer's theme. Now we have an option to run our customer project based on Reindeer theme too, will be nice.
 
Time to kick out toolkit.jar and replace it with vaadin-6.0.0.jar. Finally just one small caveat. If your project happens to use earlier than 5.4 version of Toolkit, your application wont probably work as straightforward as mine because layouting code has been enhanced quite a bit in Toolkit 5.4 version, still it should not be too big of an task.
 
Eclipse is a nice tool here

Vaadin JavaOne Success - FAQ at Booth

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.

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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?

Vaadin is a Java component library for creating web applications in plain Java. With Vaadin you can create rich web applications in Java only without learning any HTML or JavaScript. The basic idea is that applications run at the server and users can then use them with a web browser - without any additional plugins.

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. "

 

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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.

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And hey, thanks everyone for the great event!