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Practical RichFaces [Paperback]

Max Katz
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 15, 2008 1430210559 978-1430210559 1

JBoss RichFaces is a rich JavaServer Faces (JSF) component library that helps developers quickly develop next–generation web applications. Practical RichFaces describes how to best take advantage of RichFaces, the integration of the Ajax4jsf and RichFaces libraries, to create a flexible and powerful programs. Assuming some JSF background, it shows you how you can radically reduce programming time and effort to create rich Ajax-based applications.

What you’ll learn

  • Quickly learn how to build rich Internet applications with out–of–the–box RichFaces components.
  • Discover best strategies for implementing Ajax applications using RichFaces.
  • Find out when best to use the two libraries.
  • Create new skins for your app in no time.
  • Create applications without needing to write any JavaScript code.

Who this book is for

Java developers with knowledge of JSF looking to build next–generation web applications using RichFaces, JSF users, Java programmers wishing to add Ajax to their existing programs, and old users of Ajax4jsf.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Quick Start with JBoss RichFaces
  3. RichFaces Basic Concepts
  4. More a4j: Tags, Concepts, and Features
  5. Input Components
  6. Output Components
  7. Data Iteration Components
  8. Selection Components
  9. Menu Components
  10. Scrollable Data Table and Tree
  11. Skins

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Max Katz is a Senior Systems Engineer and Developer Advocate at Exadel. Max is a well-known speaker appearing at many conferences, webinars, and JUG meetings.

Max leads Exadel s RIA and mobile strategy. Part of this role is working as the Developer Advocate for Tiggr Mobile Apps Builder (, a cloud-based application for building mobile Web and native apps for any device. In addition, Max leads Exadel s open source projects ( such as Fiji, Flamingo, and JavaFX Plug-in for Eclipse.

Max has been involved with RichFaces since its inception, publishing numerous articles, providing consulting and training, and authoring the book Practical RichFaces (Apress, 2008). Max also co-authored the DZone RichFaces 3 Refcard and the DZone RichFaces 4 Refcard. You can find Max's writings about RIA and mobile technologies on his blog,, and you can find his thoughts about these topics and others on Twitter at @maxkatz.

Max holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of California, Davis and an MBA from Golden Gate University.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1 edition (December 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430210559
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430210559
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,353,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The missing manual on RichFaces April 4, 2009
For as big an impact RichFaces and Ajax4jsf have had on JSF adoption, there's no question that there has been a dearth of good documentation on the subject. So how practice is RichFaces, really? That's the question Max Katz answers in his recently released Apress book, Practical RichFaces. At last, the missing manual has been discovered!

If you have ever perused the RichFaces documentation, you'll agree that it leaves out the bigger picture of how RichFaces works, in particular the underlying Ajax4jsf mechanism (i.e., the behavior provided by <a4j:support>). I can attest to the observation the author states in the introduction that a lot of developers are using the tags and attributes from RichFaces without a clear understanding of their purpose and, as such, only arrive at a working application through trial and error. After reading Practice RichFaces, and keeping it close at hand, you can finally put those painstaking steps aside and know what you are doing from the start.

The book starts out with one of the most clear and concise explanations of JSF that I have come across. You learn that Ajax and JSF are a good fit for one another and the combination allows you to do Ajax without having to suffer the headache of coding JavaScript and dealing with browser inconsistencies.

The author then sets the record straight about the origins of RichFaces and its relationship with Ajax4jsf. You learn that there is a clear distinction between the tags in the a4j: and rich: namespaces. Specifically, the a4j: tags provide page-level Ajax support whereas the rich: tags provide component-level Ajax support. As you learn about both tag sets, you begin to appreciate how easily you can add Ajax and partial page updates to your application using RichFaces.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I want to thank Max and crew for providing RichFaces, which is a great tool. I have used RichFaces on multiple projects and anticipate many more.

This book is not too bad. Happily, there is not much attention given to explaining Ajax or JSF/JSTL which has already been well addressed by other books. Also (a plus) it doesn't bulk up the page count by including the RichFaces documentation.

As other reviewers have mentioned, this book supplies a fair amount of missing detail. Good as far as it goes, but IMO it doesn't go far enough and this is why I only gave 4 stars.

File upload only recieved a few lines in the book, which is a surprise. I also thought the list components could have used more attention w/converters.

If you code using RichFaces it is helpful to skim this book. Hopefully the next edition will have more examples.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book May 23, 2009
This book was even more than what I expected from it.

I have been working on a RichFaces for about a couple of months now, and I was really surprised how well everything I was missing got "connected". This practical/hands-on focus on solving real-world situations is what I really expected from this book, and it was totally fullfilled.

I liked the examples, and was able to follow them (even the ones with typos =P).

I also liked the communication skills from the author, making the reading really straightforward.

Thanks Max for your effort!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only book covering JBoss RichFaces February 23, 2009
It is so sad that there was still no book on RichFaces, when I was starting. I was reading the Developer Guide, that was just a flat reference to the topic.

With this book one can just take and learn everything on how to get/setup/use that advanced JSF "addon" called RichFaces. Experienced RichFaces users will find the book helpful by looking at well formed component examples and attribute usages, but newbies will say "thank you" after each answer found for their questions.

Components are classified by their missions, such as input components, output components, data-iteration components etc. Tag attributes are well explained and demonstrated by examples. Ajax based validation and RichFaces Skins are explored in depth.

I recommend this book to everyone who wants to get informed on this great library. The library is growing up very fast and I am sure this book will have a lot of new editions.

Thanks to Max and Exadel team for for their awesome creature! Wish you all prosperous future, growth and new excellent ideas!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Finally! a much-anticipated book on Richfaces February 21, 2009
I have been doing Seam/Richfaces/JSF/EJB3 development for almost 2 years. I wish I had this book from the beginning. It covers RF 3.2.x so unfortunately you won't see any coverage on the much-anticipated <a4j:queue> tag which is new as of RF 3.3.0.

However, Max does an excellent job of providing detailed and easy-to-understand examples with code and screen-shots for most (if not all?) of the a4j: and rich: components.

In fact, one excellent idea I found in the book I have recently integrated into a project at work: using <rich:modalPanel> with <a4j:status> so that whenever a AJAX request fires, a modalPanel displays and prevents the user from executing any other AJAX request until the AJAX response is complete. Looks pretty snazzy too!

My complaints are the following:

1) there is no coverage of upcoming features/components (e.g. <a4j:queue>)

2) the booking is not long enough for the price at only 245 pages including index

3) there is no references/bibliography

4) there is only cursory coverage of the JSF lifecycle

5) Facelets is not covered in the introduction

6) no coverage of <rich:extendedDataTable>

7) I would have liked a chapter on creating your own custom Richfaces component (a small project basically)

Overall, I did learn quite a bit about Richfaces I didn't know before (I found chapter 4: controlling traffic with queues particularly useful as well as using bypassUpdates="true" for live validation as a performance optimization) and would recommend it highly as a desk reference in addition to the Richfaces Developer Guide available online @
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