Nov 29, 2014

JSF vs RESTofWorld

I believe Java developers long enjoyed quick learning and developing curve of JSF, and developed presentation layer.
No doubt development using JSF was fast. Because same Jave EE resources can be reused, tools were available, and everything was standard. From 2005 to 2010, JSF saw huge success adn was preferred technology for developing presentation layer. But with increasing popularity of smart devices like smartphones and tablets; demand started for more and more adaptive & responsive UI. And this is where we have HTML5 with Javascript frameworks like AngularJS to meet demands of high standard UI's, devices & their sizes. 2010 on-wards suddenly we started seeing attractive UI, and some UI's are so attractive that they will encourage you to buy something, like "http://www.nixon.com/", "http://greygoose.com/", etc. You can view these sites on your mobile, tablet, or on desktop and you will have superb experience. No doubt they are not developed in JSF. Not only retail but banking sites also becoming more Spectacular. I work for a bank, and we replaced complete presentation layer developed in JSF with new HTML5+CSS+backboneJS+etc. technology stack.

Java EE is still used but for developing Business layer, and communication between business layer and UI happens via RESTful services, which have gained huge success in past few years.

Smartphones also increased demand for creating mobile applications, which was cheaper compared to making existing online site adaptive & responsive. But a company will never get rid of online site, and looking at what nixon, greygoose, and others have done. Its best to have both - "a mobile app" and "adaptive & response UI" in 2014 and 2015. But things will change in 2015 on-wards, when wearable technologies will have bigger market share. Smartwatches will become popular, and we will need to cater customers using Smartwatches or Google Glass. Its a new world.

Bottom line is you are designing now, you should take extreme precaution while deciding on using JSF. If you are going to use JSF, then you should have distant vision and reason behind using it.
Indeed latest designs i see today are more like below -

A common proverb in India is "BHED-CHAL(All following blindly others footsteps)", 1 year back Angular.js has 20% market share of javascript frameworks, but now I think it might be 80%, may be because of Google support.
Similar thing happened for JSF, its market share is shrinking and many don't want to use without any valid reason.
And most of the designers running away from JSF are those who used JSF 1.x, and probably they didn't had time to understand JSF 2.2.
I believe I will still use JSF because of multiple reason (faster development and gentle debugging), but I need a best of best JSF implementation. And I see one is Prime Faces (http://www.primefaces.org/).

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