Following is a series of introductory tutorials on PrimeFaces, a popular third-party component library for JSF 2.
This is intended as a beginner's tutorial, aimed at developers who already know
JSF 2, but who are new to PrimeFaces. It shows the most common
usage of the most popular elements, but does not discuss every option or cover nearly all of the myriad PrimeFaces components.
So, it is intended as a fast start for newcomers to PrimeFaces,
and does not replace the PrimeFaces showcase and User's Guide for experienced PrimeFaces developers.
Since each section includes exercises and exercise solutions, this can also be viewed as a self-paced introductory PrimeFaces training course.
All the slides, source code, exercises, and exercise solutions are free for unrestricted use.
Click on a section below to expand its content. The relatively few parts on IDE development and deployment use
Eclipse, but of course none of the actual code is Eclipse-specific. These tutorials assume that you already know Java and at least the
basics of JSF 2. If you don't already know JSF version 2, see the JSF 2 tutorial series. If you don't already know the Java language, please see
the Java programming tutorial series.
If you already have JSF or PrimeFaces experience, see the JSF and
PrimeFaces jobs page.
For most types of applications, JSF 2 is now the recommended way to build Java-based Web applications, and
it is dramatically better than JSF 1 in almost every way, and is both more powerful and easier to use.
However, JSF 2 does not include rich GUI elements; JSF leaves this task to the third-party component libraries.
PrimeFaces is at least as powerful as the competing component libraries, and is significant simpler to get started with than most of them.
Depending how you measure it, PrimeFaces is also the most popular choice, significantly more widely used than RichFaces, IceFaces, and Oracle ADF Faces.
Click on a topic below to get the detailed tutorial for that topic, download the section's source code as an Eclipse project,
see exercises, get the source code for the exercise solutions, or to simply run the sample apps from that section.
Practicing is the key to learning, so I strongly recommend that you try out a few of the exercises in each section
before you peek at the solutions.
PrimeFaces is big, and there is no hope of covering all of it in this tutorial series. The goal here
is to cover the most important and most widely used features of the most important components. In particular,
for each topic, the idea is to explain the most important parts that can be covered in a 30-60 minute lecture.
Each section is followed by a set of exercises that can be done in 30-60 minutes if you understand the
This section gives brief examples of the the most important JSF concepts that
are expected as prerequisites for the PrimeFaces sections.
This is a good way to get a quick review of the main JSF development techniques. However, the examples
are relatively brief, and there is minimal explanation. If these topics are completely new to you,
you might want to start with the
JSF 2.2 tutorial series first.
Setting up your IDE and project for JSF 2.2
Navigating from page to page
Representing form data
Applying business logic
Using page templates and include files
Validating input data
Ajaxifying pages to avoid page reloads
Using PrimeFaces to make things prettier (quick preview)
Source code of examples in this section,
bundled as an
If you deploy to Tomcat or another servlet/JSP engine supporting servlets 2.5 or later,
use the project exactly as is.
If you deploy to Glassfish, JBoss, WebSphere, WebLogic, Resin, or another Java EE server,
delete the unneeded JAR file
from WEB-INF/lib. Java EE 6 servers support JSF 2.0; Java EE 7 servers support JSF 2.2.
Live-running apps. Downloading the source code (above) and using it for your own apps
is probably what most developers want to do. But if you just want to see the
apps in action, try the following links. Non-Eclipse users can also grab the .war file
(with .java source included) from the parent folder.
This section gives an overview of PrimeFaces, compares it to other third-party JSF component libraries, surveys its capabilities,
and shows you how to configure your JSF application to use it. Note: this section assumes that you already know how to create
and deploy a JSF2 Dynamic Web Project in Eclipse as described in the Getting Started section of
the JSF 2 tutorial series.
This section covers p:calendar, the PrimeFaces input element for collecting dates and times. It also introduces the
style of programming with PrimeFaces in JSF2, and briefly summarizes the PrimeFaces versions of some of the standard JSF elements:
p:commandButton, p:message, p:messages, p:fieldset, and p:ajax.
Note: this and all following sections assume that you already know how to create
and deploy a JSF2 Dynamic Web Project in Eclipse as described in the Getting Started section of
the JSF 2 tutorial series.
This section covers p:spinner, p:slider, and p:rating, the three main PrimeFaces input element for collecting numbers. It also
assumes that you are familiar with the basic style of programming in PrimeFaces (with p:commandButton, p:messages, etc.),
as introduced in the section on Date Input.
The main emphasis of this section is p:autocomplete, a component for gathering strings in a textfield that has suggestions in a dropdown box.
This section also covers the much simpler p:inputMask, a textfield that shows template text and only allows certain types of characters in each position.
This section discusses a variety of other PrimeFaces input elements, the most general-purpose of which is p:inplace for
making text that turns into something else (usually input elements) when the user clicks on it. Also covers p:colorPicker, p:captcha,
p:password (not named p:inputSecret), and p:editor. p:editor should not be
used in its default configuration for apps where other users can see the rich text: the presence of the "Show Source" button
allows malicious users to insert arbitrary markup, including <script> tags. Even with careful filtering, be wary
of letting spammers insert images and links to their sites.
This section discusses how p:ajax differs from (and is better than) f:ajax from standard JSF.
It also looks at the builtin Ajax attributes of p:commandButton, discusses Ajax-based field validation,
and looks at p:ajaxStatus, the global Ajax notifier.
This section looks at data tables in PrimeFaces. It starts by explaining the differences between p:dataTable
and the standard JSF h:dataTable, then looks at three of the many extended features: resizable columns,
sortable tables, and pagination.
This section discusses how to install and use various PrimeFaces themes (skins) and how to change the theme in web.xml, via p:themeSwitcher,
I plan to add coverage of additional components as time permits.
Email me at email@example.com if you have strong
opinions about which features should be covered next. You can send me comments and corrections on the existing sections as well.
Source code for all examples in this tutorial as well as the exercise solutions can be downloaded from the
PrimeFaces sample code repository. Code is free for completely unrestricted use. Each section above also has links
to the code used in that section. You can also view the running apps online at
http://apps.jsf2.com/. That site also includes WAR
files for all sections, with .java source included in the WARs. The WAR files might be a good alternative for non-Eclipse users who want the
source code, especially if you don't know how to import Eclipse projects into your IDE.
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