Over a million developers have joined DZone.

JacpFX and DataFX-flows, a perfect match for JavaFX

· Integration Zone

Build APIs from SQL and NoSQL or Salesforce data sources in seconds. Read the Creating REST APIs white paper, brought to you in partnership with CA Technologies.

JacpFX is a RCP framework based on JavaFX, supporting developers to structure an application with loosely coupled, reusable components and DataFX-flow is an API that allows you to define flows between controllers and views in JavaFX.
Both projects developed independently, and while I developed a JacpFX application I realized the lack of flow support. Integrating a simple DataFX-flow into JacpFX was quite easy, a JacpFX component is a controller with either a FXML view or a plain JavaFX view; on the other hand the FlowHandler of a DataFX-flow returns a StackPane which is easy to integrate in your current view. The drawback of this simple solution is the isolation of your DataFX-flow context from the JacpFX context which means, they have no direct access to each other.
At JavaOne I had the chance to spend a hour with Hendrik Ebbers (one of the DataFX committers) and to create a solution for this. The resulting JacpFX/DataFX-flow plugin allows you to inject the JacpFX context of a specific component to DataFX-flow controllers. It allows DataFX-flow controllers to communicate via the JacpFX message-bus with the rest of the JacpFX application. Beside this, the DataFX-flow controller gets access to resource-bundles and other methods/resources of the JacpFX component.

To demonstrate the usage of both frameworks I created a simple example application based on following steps:

Create a JacpFX application from archetype:

JacpFX provides a simple archetype with two example perspectives (FXML + JavaFX view) and two components, reused in both perspectives. To create a basic JacpFX application use the simple archetype:

mvn archetype:generate  -DarchetypeGroupId=org.jacpfx  -DarchetypeArtifactId=JacpFX-simple-quickstart  -DarchetypeVersion=2.0.2

To integrate the DataFX-flow plugin add following dependency to your pom:


Create a simple Flow between two DataFX-flow controllers

Now we create two DataFX-flow controllers, a WizardStartController and a Wizard1Controller. The Wizard1Controller will contain the JacpFX context and include a textfield, text input will be send via messages to a JacpFX component. The controller will look like this:

@FXMLController(value="/fxml/wizard1.fxml", title = "Wizard: Step 1")
public class Wizard1Controller {

    private Button backButton;

    private Button nextButton;

	** The JacpFX context
    private Context context;

    private TextField name;

    public void init() {
            context.send(BasicConfig.COMPONENT_BOTTOM, name.getText());


Integrate the DataFX-flow into a JacpFX component

To be able to inject a JacpFX context into a DataFX-flow controller I created a DataFX Flow-wrapper which additionally takes the ID of a JacpFX component who’s context should be injected. The usage of the DataFX Flow is exactly the same, so we create a FlowHandler and get the root node of the DataFX-flow when starting the FlowHandler. The root node can now be included to your JacpFX component view.
@View(id = BasicConfig.COMPONENT_TOP,
        name = "SimpleView",
        resourceBundleLocation = "bundles.languageBundle",
        initialTargetLayoutId = BasicConfig.TARGET_CONTAINER_TOP)
public class ComponentLeft implements FXComponent {
    private Node pane;
    private Context context;

    public Node handle(final Message<Event, Object> message) {
        // runs in worker thread
        return null;

    public Node postHandle(final Node arg0,
                           final Message<Event, Object> message) {
        // runs in FX application thread
        return this.pane;

    public void onPostConstructComponent(final FXComponentLayout arg0,
                                         final ResourceBundle resourceBundle) {
        this.pane = createUI();

    private Node createUI() {
        final VBox main = new VBox();
        Flow flow = new DataFXFlowWrapper(WizardStartController.class,BasicConfig.COMPONENT_TOP).
                withLink(WizardStartController.class, "next", Wizard1Controller.class).
        FlowHandler flowHandler = flow.createHandler();
        StackPane pane = null;
        try {
            pane = flowHandler.start(new AnimatedFlowContainer(Duration.millis(320), ContainerAnimations.ZOOM_IN));
        } catch (FlowException e) {

        return main;


JacpFX and DataFX-flow needs Java 8 / JavaFX 8 to run, a packed jar you can download here: http://jacpfx.org/data/SimpleDataFX_JacpFX.jar  , simply execute:

java -jar SimpleDataFX_JacpFX.jar
The source of this example application can be found here:
The basics about DataFX-flow you can find on Hendrik's blog here:http://www.guigarage.com/2014/05/datafx-8-0-tutorials/ 
The JacpFX homepage with all the documentation is http://jacpfx.org 

The Integration Zone is brought to you in partnership with CA Technologies.  Use CA Live API Creator to quickly create complete application backends, with secure APIs and robust application logic, in an easy to use interface.


Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

The best of DZone straight to your inbox.

Please provide a valid email address.

Thanks for subscribing!

Awesome! Check your inbox to verify your email so you can start receiving the latest in tech news and resources.

{{ parent.title || parent.header.title}}

{{ parent.tldr }}

{{ parent.urlSource.name }}