Docking Framework with JVx application (Swing)

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In last weeks, we got some inguiries about Docking support in JVx. Our answer was always the same:

JVx itself doesn't offer a Docking API because there are many docking frameworks available and it's super easy to integrate one of them.

But this wasn't the expected answer (for most people) because it wasn't clear enough or it wasn't believed. We said that the integration of any existing library or framework is super easy and super fast because it's usually not more effort than the integration in any other source code. But still....

Let's add some numbers

Integration in our existing JVx application
10 minutes (only one screen) and 30 minutes (the whole desktop)

Docking Framework Evaluation
3 hours (Test code, examples, ...)

Implementing Docking Features
6 hours (because of missing documentation and/or incomplete examples)

So, the integration took not more than 10 minutes, but the missing knowledge of Docking Frameworks was expensive. But this had nothing to do with JVx because getting know-how with frameworks or tools are always expensive.

We tried two different docking frameworks, but found much more: Stackoverflow question

We didn't consider commercial frameworks and inactive projects. Also GPL solutions weren't an option for us.

The first candidate was FlexDock because "the screenshot was impressive".
Our first demo was working but we didn't find any documentation (only one inofficial getting started). The demo application was complete enough but we had some problems because the framework uses a static context for component registration and this was a no-go. The API was simple but unclear/inconsistent in many situations.

We tried the next framework and this was Docking Frames. The last update of this framework was Feb 2017 and documentation is available. The tutorials are good and more than enough. The framework itself is super powerful but the API.... (oh my good). There is a core API and a common API. You shouldn't use the core API and work with common API instead. After some hours we had all our features working, but the documentation is soo complex and all examples are really complex. Long story, short: Very powerful but not easy to understand.

We took a simple demo application and tried to replace a Split Panel, in one of our screens, with dockable panels. After this was done, we replaced the whole MDI desktop (internal fames) with a dockable desktop (dockable panels).

The result is shown in different videos:

Docking Framework integration (simple Screen)

Docking Framework integration (frame and tab mode)

And the whole use-case, with replaced MDI desktop:

Docking Framework integration (desktop mode)

And, finally I want to show you the source code of our changes:

/** the data table. */
private NavigationTable tableElegantdock = new NavigationTable();
/** the details group. */
private UIGroupPanel groupPanelElegantdock = new UIGroupPanel();
/** the docking control. */
private CControl ccontrol;

private void initializeUI() throws Throwable
{
    ...

    ccontrol = new CControl();
    ccontrol.putProperty(StackDockStation.TAB_PLACEMENT, TabPlacement.TOP_OF_DOCKABLE);
   
    DefaultSingleCDockable dock1 = new DefaultSingleCDockable("data");
    dock1.setTitleText("Data");
    dock1.setMinimizable(false);
    dock1.setExternalizable(false);
    dock1.add((Component)tableElegantdock.getResource());

    DefaultSingleCDockable dock2 = new DefaultSingleCDockable("detail");
    dock2.setTitleText("Details");
    dock2.setMinimizable(false);
    dock2.setExternalizable(false);
    dock2.add((Component)groupPanelElegantdock.getResource());

    CGrid cgrid = new CGrid(ccontrol);
    cgrid.add(0,  0,  1,  1, dock1);
    cgrid.add(1,  0,  1,  1, dock2);
   
    ccontrol.getContentArea().deploy(cgrid);
   
    dock1.setVisible(true);
    dock2.setVisible(true);

    add(new UICustomContainer(ccontrol.getContentArea()), UIBorderLayout.CENTER);

The relevant code for JVx integration (will only work for JVx' swing UI):

dock1.add((Component)tableElegantdock.getResource())

Use the JVx resource (JPanel) and add it as component.

dock2.add((Component)groupPanelElegantdock.getResource());

Use the JVx resource (JPanel with a TitledBorder) and add it as component.

add(new UICustomContainer(ccontrol.getContentArea()), UIBorderLayout.CENTER)

Adds the dock control to the screen as custom container. This class connects a standard Container with JVx UI.

I won't publish the code for the desktop replacement because it's the same again with different variable names.

Map component for JVx applications

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We played around with some interesting stuff in the last weeks. Some customers and users asked us if we have a Map component.

We don't have a ready-to-use component but there are many free and commercial solutions available. The integration in a JVx application with custom components is not a problem and doesn't need much effort. But sure, an out-of-the-box solution would be useful.

Our Research team did create a PoC for a Map. The results is very nice and we want to show you some screenshots from our tests.

Swing integration (Tab mode)

Swing integration (Tab mode)

Swing integration (frame mode)

Swing integration (frame mode)

Vaadin integration

Vaadin integration

Vaadin integratin (corporation mode)

Vaadin integratin (corporation mode)

We didn't add the component to JVx because it's just a PoC and not ready-to-use.
But the Map integration looks great :)

Smooth Forms 10g, 11i, 12c to Java Migration

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This is a follow up for Smooth Forms 6i to Java Migration.

The following video demonstrates the integration of a Java screen into a Forms application. Since WebForms, it's possible to embedd Java swing components directly. We did create a compatibility layer to support special mouse features and to fix repaint problems. Our integration layer allows you to integrate a complete Java application, based on JVx.

Smooth Forms 10g, 11i, 12c Java Migration

The application is the standard Summit demo application for Forms. The Java application is very similar to the original application because we want to show how easy a 1:1 migration could be. The application was created with our low code platform VisionX. It offers a modern UI and is based on JVx, the OpenSource Java application framework. The final scene shows the embedded Java screen in Forms. It's super easy and doesn't need additional code. It just works with our compatibility layer.

Smooth Forms 6i to Java Migration

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Following video demonstrates our Java integration for Forms 6i. In Forms 6i you can't embedd a Java application without complex ActiveX controls. So we chose an alternative for a smooth integration. It's more like an IPC between Forms and Java but with some additional features like automatic window switching.

Our solution is super flexible and it's possible to send custom events from Forms to Java and from Java to Forms. Here's an impression:

Smooth Forms6i Java Migration

Both applications use the same database. The Forms application is like any other Forms application and the Java Application was created with VisionX based on the Open Source Java Application Framework JVx.

toPDF 1.2 is available

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Our Open Source PDF converter (toPDF) server is available in version 1.3

It contains some smaller bugfixes and very useful new features.

What's new?

  • BCL easyPDF SDK 8.0 support

    Convert via native Java API or COM interface. We've introduced EasyPdfNativeOperator which is now the default operator for PDF conversion.

  • Bookmark option

    This option creates bookmarks in your PDF document for headlines/sections in Word. Simply set the X-BOOKMARKS header parameter or use the REST API.

  • Additional attributes

    Set additional attributes for the conversion to PDF via Request parameters or REST API.

Get the current version from the project site ;-)

JVx Oracle Forms integration got better

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We have a solution for Oracle Forms developers which allows integration of JVx applications and screens directly in your Oracle Forms screen/window. It's an awesome feature and works like a charm but had some limitations with repaints.

Let's have a look

Redraw problem (menu)

Redraw problem (menu)

Redraw problem (window)

Redraw problem (window)

We fixed the problem with our current version

No redraw issues (menu)

No redraw issues (menu)

No redraw issues (window)

No redraw issues (window)

It's was very tricky to solve the problem and it's well known. Our solution will work with other Swing based components as well.

Jasperreports integration

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Jasperreports is a wonderful Reporting library/product. It's OpenSource and great for commercial products. There are several products like JasperReports Server and Jaspersoft Studio. Especially the Jaspersoft Studio is very useful for creating reports with a WYSIWYG editor. Simply use the tool and create your reports.

The most insteresting part is the integration of Jasperreports in a JVx application. It's super easy to start Jasperreports programmatically:

//database connection
DBAccess dba = DBAccess.getDBAccess("jdbc:hsqldb:hsql://localhost/personsdb", "sa", "");
dba.open();

HashMap<String, Object> hmpParams = new HashMap<String, Object>();
hmpParams.put("ID" , Integer.valueOf(1));
//external connection as parameter
hmpParams.put("REPORT_CONNECTION", dba.getConnection()); // String

// compile report
JasperReport jasperReport = JasperCompileManager.compileReport(ResourceUtil.getResourceAsStream("Leaf_Grey.jrxml"));
 
// fill report (connection as parameter)
JasperPrint jasperPrint = JasperFillManager.fillReport(jasperReport, hmpParams);
// fill report (hardcoded connection)
//JasperPrint jasperPrint = JasperFillManager.fillReport(jasperReport, hmpParams, dba.getConnection());
 
File fiPdf = File.createTempFile("report", ".pdf");

// export report to PDF
JasperExportManager.exportReportToPdfFile(jasperPrint, fiPdf.getAbsolutePath());

// JVx usage
RemoteFileHandle rfh = new RemoteFileHandle(fiPdf);

// open with PDF viewer
//FileViewer.open(fiPdf);

Our example was created with Jasperreports 6.3.1. The library has some dependencies:

  • Apache Commons Logging
  • Apache Commons Digester 2
  • Apache Commons Collections
  • Apache Commons BeanUtils
  • iText 2.1.7 (unpatched) or iText 2.1.7.js5 (jaspersoft patched)

A complete Eclipse example project can be found here. It connects to a HSQLDB with following tables:

CREATE CACHED TABLE POSTLEITZAHLEN
(
 ID INTEGER IDENTITY,
 PLZ VARCHAR(5) NOT NULL,
 ORT VARCHAR(100) NOT NULL,
 CONSTRAINT UK_POST_PLZ_ORT UNIQUE(PLZ, ORT)
)

CREATE CACHED TABLE STRASSEN
(
 ID INTEGER IDENTITY,
 NAME VARCHAR(200) NOT NULL,
 CONSTRAINT UK_STRA_NAME UNIQUE(NAME)
)

CREATE CACHED TABLE ADRESSEN
(
 ID INTEGER IDENTITY,
 POST_ID INTEGER NOT NULL,
 STRA_ID INTEGER NOT NULL,
 HAUSNUMMER INTEGER NOT NULL,
 STIEGE INTEGER,
 TUERNUMMER INTEGER,
 CONSTRAINT FK_ADRE_POST_ID FOREIGN KEY (POST_ID) REFERENCES POSTLEITZAHLEN (ID),
 CONSTRAINT FK_ADRE_STRA_ID FOREIGN KEY (STRA_ID) REFERENCES STRASSEN (ID)
)

CREATE CACHED TABLE ANREDEN
(
 ID INTEGER IDENTITY,
 BEZEICHNUNG VARCHAR(20) NOT NULL,
 CONSTRAINT UK_ANRE_BEZEICHNUNG UNIQUE(BEZEICHNUNG)
)

CREATE CACHED TABLE TITEL
(
 ID INTEGER IDENTITY,
 BEZEICHNUNG VARCHAR(20) NOT NULL,
 CONSTRAINT UK_TITE_BEZEICHNUNG UNIQUE(BEZEICHNUNG)
)

CREATE CACHED TABLE PERSONEN
(
 ID INTEGER IDENTITY,
 PERS_ID INTEGER,
 ANRE_ID INTEGER NOT NULL,
 TITE_ID INTEGER,
 ADRE_ID INTEGER,
 VORNAME VARCHAR(100) NOT NULL,
 NACHNAME VARCHAR(100) NOT NULL,
 GEBDAT DATE NOT NULL,
 CONSTRAINT FK_PERS_ANRE_ID FOREIGN KEY (ANRE_ID) REFERENCES ANREDEN (ID),
 CONSTRAINT FK_PERS_TITE_ID FOREIGN KEY (TITE_ID) REFERENCES TITEL (ID),
 CONSTRAINT FK_PERS_PERS_ID FOREIGN KEY (PERS_ID) REFERENCES PERSONEN (ID),
 CONSTRAINT FK_PERS_ADRE_ID FOREIGN KEY (ADRE_ID) REFERENCES ADRESSEN (ID)
)

The final step for the integration into a JVx application is the integration in a life-cycle object, e.g.

public IFileHandle createReport() throws Exception
{
    JasperReport jasperReport = JasperCompileManager.compileReport(
                                   ResourceUtil.getResourceAsStream("person.jrxml"));
     
    JasperPrint jasperPrint = JasperFillManager.fillReport(jasperReport,
                                                           null,
                                                           getDBAccess().getConnection());
     
    File fiPdf = File.createTempFile("report", ".pdf");
   
    // export report to PDF
    JasperExportManager.exportReportToPdfFile(jasperPrint, fiPdf.getAbsolutePath());
   
    return new RemoteFileHandle(fiPdf);
}

JVx 2.6 is available

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We're happy to announce that JVx 2.6 is available.

What's new?

  • Configuration via ServiceLoader

    It's now possible to use the ServiceLoader to configure an application (IApplicationSetup). It's enough to add a library to the classpath. It's not needed to extend anything.

  • Save bounds

    The Swing launcher now restores last frame bounds. The size and position of your application will be automatically saved and restored after an application restart. This feature takes care of multi monitor environments.

  • Better XmlNode API
    public XmlNode get(int pIndex)
    public XmlNode getFirstTextNode() // Getting the root node in xml file
    public void addAll(Collection<XmlNode> pNodes)
    public void insertAll(int pIndex, Collection<XmlNode> pNodes)
    public void setNodes(List<XmlNode> pNodes) // replaces setSubNodes
    public List<XmlNode> getNodes() // gets sub nodes never null and readonly
    public List<XmlNode> getNodes(short pType) // Gets sub nodes of given type
    public XmlNode remove(int pIndex)
  • Session states

    It's now possible to detect whether a session is initializing or destroying/expiring.

  • Message class improvements

    Simple support for Yes, No, Cancel messages.

  • preAuthentication support

    It's now possible to configure your sessions before authenticating without custom security managers.

  • BFILE and lazy loading

    New support for BFILE database columns and improved lazy loading mechanism.

  • Many Bugfixes

The full changelog is available here.

VisionX 2.4 is here

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VisionX 2.4 was released yesterday! It's the biggest update since 1.5. We've spent more time for developing and testing than ever before. The new version has power under the hood. It contains everything which is needed to customize VisionX for your needs. It's possible to create your own VisionX. We have a great set of AddOns which will improve the quality of your applications and some very useful new Features.

What's new?

  • HTML5 Live Reload

    It's now possible to update the application in the browser automatically after design changes. The live preview wizard got a new option for this feature:

    Live reload option

    Live reload option

  • One-click HTML5 live preview

    The application menu got a new icon. A single click is enough to show the application in the web browser.

    One-click live preview

    One-click live preview

  • VisionX Menu

    The VisionX menu in the application has two new items:

    VisionX application menu

    VisionX application menu

    The modules screen is a complete new feature and the Live preview is now available without leaving the application.

  • Module management

    It's now possible to manage application modules. Simply install a module from the solution store or create your own re-usable application modules. The installation is super easy with our new modules screen:

    Super easy module installation

    Super easy module installation

  • Data Links

    The Designer got a new group with the name Data Links:

    Data Links

    Data Links

    All elements in the Data Links group depend on data and will update the shown value automatically on data changes.

    • The Label Control will show the current value of a specific column, as Label instead of an Editor.
    • The Selection Button will show a popup with possible values for a specific column.
    • The Filter Control requires the Profiles AddOn and allows an application user to apply and save custom filter settings, e.g. filter custom columns
  • Application frame automatically saves the last position and your application will be shown at the same position after a restart.

    The Profiles AddOn makes it possible to save also the frames within the application. Your users will love it because they can save their own desktop and continue the work after an application start.

  • Remove HTML5

    It's possible to create smaller application bundles if you remove the HTML5 feature from the bundle, via Deployment Wizard:

    Remove HTML5

    Remove HTML5

  • Customize screen generators

    It's super easy to use your own screen generators:

    Custom screen generators

    Custom screen generators

  • Multiple storages with same database table

    It's now possible to add multiple storages for the same database table. This was a limitation in earlier versions of VisionX.

All customers will find the new version in their download area!

VisionX 2.4 News

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This is a short announcement of VisionX 2.4. We're near to the finishing line and will release VisionX 2.4 in December. It's an awesome release with a big number of changes and great new features.

VisionX 2.4 is not a real Feature Release but as always, we have great things on board. The focus was on "modularity". This has nothing to do with JDK 9 or Jigsaw! With VisionX 2.4 it'll be super easy to customize VisionX for your needs or to "create your own VisionX". We offer some great new Modules and AddOns.

Some impressions

HTML5 option

Create applications without HTML5

Super easy module installation

Super easy module installation

New components as Data Links

New components as Data Links

Module: User Filter

Module: User Filter

Standard Screen generator wizard

Standard Screen generator wizard

Customized screen generator wizard

Customized screen generator wizard

VisionX will be shipped with Vaadin 7.7 and latest versions of JVx and sub projects.
We offer some great Modules and AddOns like Maintenance management and User Profiles.

With User Profiles, it'll be possible to save the application state per User. This means that the position of screens can be saved as well as divider positions of split panels or it'll be possible to configure visible columns of grids.

This was a very short overview of VisionX 2.4, but I guess you'll like it!