Max Katz heads Developer Relations for, a cloud-based mobile app platform. He loves trying out new and cool REST APIs in mobile apps. Max is the author of two books “Practical RichFaces” (Apress 2008, 2011), and is a frequent speaker at developer conferences. You can find out what Max is up to on his blog: and Twitter: @maxkatz. Max is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 78 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

JBoss RichFaces with Spring

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This article is going to show you how to build a RichFaces application with Spring. We are going to replace the standard JSF managed beans with Spring beans. We will first use an XML-based configuration approach and then switch to an annotations approach in Spring.

(Note - The Project Template for this article can be downloaded here)

If you want first to try RichFaces with standard JSF managed beans, no problem. Start with this article.

To make it possible to create the application in just under an hour, we are not going to persist any data into a database. To keep things simple, we will keep the data in memory. Of course it's not very difficult to add a persistence layer to this application. Spring provides many tools to do that.

Finally an article on how to use RichFaces with Spring Web Flow, is something that I'm saving for a future article.

What Are We Going to Build?

A pretty common request that I hear is how do you build a wizard in RichFaces. So, that's exactly what we are going to build. You come into a bar and on each table there is a screen via which you place an order. You click to start an order, a wizard is launched where you enter all the required information and place the order.  We will also have the ability to view all placed orders. Additionally, we will be able to change the look and feel of the ordering screen using RichFaces’ skinnability feature.

Note: All screen shots show a custom skin which you are going to create later.


JBoss RichFaces

JBoss RichFaces is a framework that consists of three main parts: AJAX (rich) enabled JSF components, skinnability, and CDK (Component Development Kit). RichFaces UI components are divided into two tag libraries a4j: and rich:. Both tag libraries offer out-of-the-box AJAX enabled JSF components. Skinnability enables you to skin a JSF application with default or custom skins (themes). Finally, the CDK is a facility for creating, generating and testing rich JSF components.

RichFaces is not a JSF implementation. RichFaces UI components are just extra AJAX JSF components that work with any JSF implementation (1.1, 1.2, 2.0), any view technology (Facelets, JSP), and are integrated with 3rd party components (MyFaces, Tomahawk, Trinidad, etc).

richfaces-spring-wizard.zip11.15 MB
Published at DZone with permission of Max Katz, author and DZone MVB.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)


Gene De Lisa replied on Fri, 2009/07/31 - 9:45am

What exactly are you thinking by posting an 11 MB zip file that contains nothing but library jar files? Are you getting some perverse pleasure by wasting other people's time and bandwidth? Do you know the meaning of the word courtesy? Apparently not.

If you don't want to post your code don't post a zip. It's as simple as that.

Kushan Jayathilake replied on Fri, 2009/10/30 - 7:56am

Hi Max, Great work!..

i have a problem, i have added the validation conditions in managed bean of the JSF page

ie :

@NotEmpty(message = "Country Name must not be empty.")

@Pattern(regex = ".*[^\\s].*", message = "Spaces are not allowed.")

private String countryName;


i have several  <a4j:commandButton> and <a4j:commandLink> in the same page, validation fires each and every time i press a commandLink or Button,   iif that field is empty("countryName" as i specified here)

how can i control the validation to fire for the particular button or a link...?  (i need validation to be fired when only i clicked the save button)

please help me on this...

Max Katz replied on Thu, 2009/11/05 - 8:10pm in response to: Kushan Jayathilake

This article should help:

Kushan Jayathilake replied on Fri, 2009/11/06 - 6:45am

Thx Max, It helped me to solve my problem,

I have another question,

I want to generate dynamic checkboxes depends on a collection, so i have written

<h:dataTable id="functionsGrid" value="# {functionManagedBean.collecOfFunctions}"                                                            var="function"  >
      <h:selectBooleanCheckbox id="#{function.functionName}" value="#{functionManagedBean.checked}"/>
    <h:outputLabel for="" value="outputLabel"></h:outputLabel>


and finally this form contains an <a4j:commandButton> , in the managedBean side i want to get the selected checkboxes....(problem is checkboxes are generating dyamically, so how can assign their values for the different properties in the managedBean..

Thank you very much in advance.. :)

Tee Siong replied on Wed, 2010/04/07 - 5:40am

I have problem where the Next button could't go to next page . I am not using Facelets .But i use jsf . I have configure my faces-config.xml file properly .What is the possible root cause ? Can you share your working example ? email to me . . Thanks

Thomas Strecker replied on Thu, 2010/05/27 - 3:36am in response to: Mohsin Khan

I encountered the same problem, but only after switching to Spring Annotations and Component Scan. The reason is rather simple: the WizardBean now no longer receives the value for the startPage (which was set to "/page1.xhtml" in the spring application context before) and now the renderer ends up in a endless loop.

So if you want to use the annotation based version, manually set the parameter in the bean.

Mohammad Shariq replied on Tue, 2010/06/15 - 2:50pm

Please email me the correct file. I am not able to open or download the source code. The one file from which I downloaded contained only jars and no significant java files or any other code. PLease email me as early as possible at

Mehdi Ben Haj Abbes replied on Mon, 2010/07/19 - 2:18am in response to: stu bilton

Hi, For the NotSerializableException, I tried to implement Serializable but didn’t work and I had a Spring Exception : my backing bean has a bean injected through spring. The solution was to look for the bean through getBean(“beanName”) rather than injecting it.

Fabio Malheiro replied on Tue, 2010/09/28 - 8:26am

This was supposed to be a good tutorial right?

I was trying to implement your example... but I'm a little bit confused. Sometimes you "talk" about a bean orderService, and Service ... but where the fuck is the Service class?

Andres Botero replied on Wed, 2010/11/17 - 12:02pm

When i inyect a dependency into a bean it's null. For Example:

<bean id="wizardBean" class="bar.view.WizardBean" scope="request">
   <property name="orderService" >
    <ref bean="service" />

In that case the orderService is null, colud you tell me why is that?

A S M Russel replied on Fri, 2011/09/30 - 1:10am

After Migrating from XML configuration to Annotation based configurated i am getting the following error.

at com.sun.facelets.el.VariableMapperWrapper.resolveVariable(

the error trace is too long thats why i am pasting it here.

I create the spring3 template project with STS and follow your instruction.

Its working well for xml configuration.But getting error when i am going to annotation based configuration 

Scott Duke replied on Tue, 2011/10/25 - 10:46pm

I came across this example and ran across a few problems and wanted to post the solutions once the project is imported. The project is using Tomcat 6.0 but I was using Tomcat 7.0. There were about 3 places in the project preferences I had to change from Tomcat 6.0 to Tomcat 7.0. Here were 3 of the places. Just look through the preferences. 1. preferences -> Java -> Compiler 2. preferences -> Server -> Runtime Environment 3. preferences -> Java Build Path Because I was using jdk 1.7.0, I had to update the facets on the project at: preferences -> Project Facets and change the Java to 1.7

Max Katz replied on Thu, 2011/10/27 - 4:48pm in response to: Scott Duke

Thanks for posting.

Nagy Andika replied on Fri, 2011/11/04 - 5:13am

Hi! Nice article. This is what I'm looking for but in an upgraded version. I wonder if you tried it with RichFaces4 and Spring3.0. Would it be as seamless as here? Andika

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