Thursday, September 13, 2007

JavaZone 2007: Experiences on using Spring WebFlow with JSF

Holger Zobel from Accenture, who is leading the architecture group for the Norwegian Pension project, gave us a taste of the experiences from that project with integrating WebFlow and JSF.

Spring WebFlow is a very general framework, which can be used with a number of presentation frameworks (including Swing). Flows define a user dialogue.

The project has 40-50 developers and uses an IBM software stack and Myfaces JSF.

SWF 1.0 had buggy JSF support. Difficult to debug errors in flow XML.

SWF is more powerful than JSF flow, but power can be misused. Should be used only for flows. Free navigation is still difficult.

SpringIDE helps development a lot. Be sure to have good exception handling in your code.

Is it worth using SWF? In the beginning, it created more trouble than it was worth. Will probably use it for the next project, since he now knows how to use it. Can be used for small parts of an app, or introduced incrementally. SWF is not invasive.

The problems they faced were mostly from the JSF integration.

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