3.3. About RichFaces

The RichFaces framework is a component library for JavaServer Faces (JSF). The framework extends the JSF framework's Ajax capabilities with advanced features for enterprise web application development.
RichFaces leverages several parts of the JSF 2 framework including lifecycle, validation, conversion facilities, and management of static and dynamic resources. The RichFaces framework includes components with built-in Ajax support and a customizable appearance that can be incorporated into JSF applications.
The RichFaces framework is made up of two tag libraries: the a4j library and the rich library. The a4j tag library represents Ajax4jsf, which provides page-level Ajax support with core Ajax components. This allows developers to use custom Ajax behavior with existing components. The rich tag library provides Ajax support at the component level and includes ready-made, self-contained components. These components don not require additional configuration in order to send requests or update.
The components can be used individually or separately:
  • Ajax components are used for page-wide actions. A user can input information in one place, and the resulting output can be displayed anywhere on the page. Separate components are updated. Different Ajax action tags can be inserted into HTML to allow for multiple actions.
    An Ajax component always has a4j at the beginning followed by an indicator of the action it performs. For example:
    a4j:status
  • Rich components are used for single-panel actions as opposed to page-wide actions. They contain Ajax components and change part of the page layout. Information is pulled from the server rather than being inputed. For example, a user could click on a menu item and the Rich component would cause a drop-down menu to display.
    A rich component always has rich at the beginning followed by an indicator of the action it performs. For example:
    rich:autocomplete