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Seam - Integrate and Enhance Java EE Frameworks

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by , 04-27-2012 at 06:35 PM (728 Views)
The core frameworks in Java EE 5.0 are EJB (Enterprise JavaBeans) 3.0 and JSF (JavaServer Faces) 1.2. EJB 3.0 (EJB3, hereafter) is a POJO (Plain Old Java Objects) based lightweight framework for business services and database persistence. JSF is a MVC (Model-View-Controller) component framework for web applications. Most Java EE 5.0 web applications will have both EJB3 modules for business logic and JSF modules for the web front end. However, while EJB3 and JSF are complementary to each other, they are designed as separate frameworks each with its own philosophy. For instance, EJB3 uses annotations to configure services, while JSF makes use of XML files. Furthermore, EJB3 and JSF components are not aware of each other at the framework level. To make EJB3 and JSF work together, you need artificial facade objects (i.e., JSF backing beans) to tie business components to web pages, and boilerplate code (a.k.a plumbing code) to make method calls across framework boundaries. Gluing those technologies together is part of Seam's responsibilities.

Seam collapses the artificial layer between EJB3 and JSF. It provides a consistent, annotation-based approach to integrate EJB3 and JSF. With a few simple annotations, the EJB3 business components in Seam can now be used directly to back JSF web forms or handle web UI events. Seam allows developers to use the "same kind of stuff", annotated POJOs, for all application components. Compared with applications developed in other web frameworks, Seam applications are conceptually simple and require significantly less code (both in Java and XML) for the same functionalities.

Seam also makes it easy to accomplish tasks that were "difficult" on JSF. For instance, one of the major complaints of JSF is that it relies too much on HTTP POST. It is hard to bookmark a JSF web page and then get it via HTTP GET. Well, with Seam, generating a bookmarkable RESTful web page is very easy. Seam provides a number JSF component tags and annotations that would increase the "web friendliness" and web page efficiency of JSF applications.

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