Data sourcing

DataFX 1.0 arrives to solve JavaFX’s data headache

Over the past year the rich application technology JavaFX has arguably overcome its image problems, after the botched 1.x series.

If the cross-section of tweets at JavaOne were to go by, previously wary developers are now cautiously optimistic about the prospect of using JavaFX for interactive and visually appealing applications on the desktop, mobile devices and tablets. Oracle also seem keen on making an embedded play with JavaFX, sending evangelist Steve Chin around the world to promote it.

Its recent comeback could be down to JavaFX’s UI Controls, which welcome in a number of different functionalities at once. But a common complaint when creating JavaFX UI Controls is the communication between the client and the backend when using data sources, which is a pretty laborious task at the best of times.

Back in February, Jonathan Giles and Johan Vos released DataFX with the intention of making “retrieving, massaging, populating, viewing, and editing data in JavaFX UI controls easier”, creating an abstraction level for a variety of data sources.

Ten months on, Vos announced this week that DataFX is ready for real-world JavaFX scenarios, with the first '. major version release. Vos said that by creating “a convenient Builder class for a RestRequest” and resolving maven artifact issues, the project was ready for the big time.

DataFX has two key functions: providing data source adapters to populate controls (such as ListView, TreeView and TableView) and provide control cell factories to view and edit the incoming data. With CSV, Java arrays and beans, JDBC, JSON, RedFX and XML all supported, DataFX could usher in further creativity with data sources within JavaFX applications.

This doesn’t mean the work stops here for the DataFX team (Vos adding that it is “not finished”), with them eager to hear feedback and feature requests for future versions.

Download DataFX 1.0, check out the API documentation to learn more, and keep your eyes peeled too for the upcoming JAX Magazine (landing December 18th) that contains a DataFX tutorial by Johan Vos himself.

Chris Mayer

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