Developing Java web applications using Vaadin

Benoit Chartron,

Ice Cold

The web application framework (WAP) Vaadin is a useful tool for developing high performance Java applications for the Raspberry Pi.

It can be frustrating after working for weeks on a Raspberry project to have it be rejected by potential users because "there is no place to click" or the project cannot be controlled via a smartphone. Many users do not want to deal with the command line. This means it is important to develop a user friendly web interface for projects. The WAP Vaadin [1] offers an elegant solution This protocol is based on the Google Web toolkit and uses Java as its programming language.

There are a number of reasons to use Vaadin as a protocol for developing applications. Many other protocols are available, and presumably some of these are more lightweight. However, Vaadin holds a decisive advantage because it can be used to develop browser applications without the need for generating even a single line of HTML or JavaScript code from scratch. The application is written like a standard Java applet. The layouts and GUI components are reminiscent of AWT or Swing elements. Vaadin uses these to generate a browser application and thus avoids all the nerve-wracking problems which often accompany the creation of web applications. Experienced web app developers will no doubt agree that some of tsaid problems can take a long time to solve.

The Vaadin project homepage offers a demo area [2] with a preview of how the individual GUI components function (Figure 1), detailed descriptions of the components and source code for the example provided. There is also a free, online book for beginners on how to use Vaadin [3], which can be downloaded after completing a simple registration form. However, while it may be interesting to read about the many benefits of using Vaadin, it is much more fun to try it out on a "live" object.


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