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Java EE 6 Pet Catalog with GlassFish and MySQL

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Java EE 6 Pet Catalog with GlassFish and MySQL

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This Pet Catalog app explains a web application that uses JSF 2.0, Java EE 6, GlassFish and MySQL. I took this example  GlassFish and MySQL, Part 2: Building a CRUD Web Application With Data Persistence and modified it to use some of the new features of JSF 2.0 and Java EE 6.

Explanation of the usage of JSF 2.0 and Java EE 6 in a sample Store Catalog Application

The image below shows the Catalog Listing page, which allows a user to page through a list of items in a store.

JSF 2.0 Facelets XHTML instead of JSP

For JSF 2.0, Facelets XHTML is the preferred way to declare JSF Web Pages. JSP is supported for backwards compatibility, but not all JSF 2.0 features will be available for views using JSP as their page declaration language.  JSF 2.0 Facelets has some nice features like templating (similar in functionality to Tiles) and composite components, which I'm not going to discuss here but you can read about that in this article: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/java/library/j-jsf2fu2/index.html and in this Tech Tip Composite UI Components in JSF 2.0.

The Catalog application's resources

JSF 2.0 standardizes how to define web resources. Resources are any artifacts that a component may need in order to be rendered properly -- images, CSS, or JavaScript files.  With JSF 2.0 you put resources in a resources directory or a subdirectory.

In your Facelets pages, you can access css files with the  <h:outputStylesheet>,  javascript files with the <h:outputScript> , and images with the <h:graphicImage> JSF tags. The list.xhtml uses the  <h:outputStylesheet tag to load the styles.css stylesheet , and the <h:graphicImage tag to display images from the resources as shown below:

<h:outputStylesheet name="css/styles.css" target="body"/>
<h:graphicImage library="images" name="banner_logo.gif" />

The Catalog application uses a resource bundle to contain the static text and error messages used by the Facelets pages. Putting messages in a resource bundle makes it easier to modify and internationalize your Application text.  The messages are in a properties file in a java package directory.

Title=Pet Catalog

The resource bundle is configured in the faces-config.xml File (you don't need any other configuration in the faces-config.xml for JSF 2.0, as explained later you no longer have to configure managed beans and navigation with XML).

The List.xhtml facelets page uses a JSF dataTable component to display a list of catalog items in an html table.  The dataTable component is useful when you want to show a set of results in a table. In a JavaServer Faces application, the UIData component (the superclass of dataTable)  supports binding to a collection of data objects. It does the work of iterating over each record in the data source. The HTML dataTable renderer displays the data as an HTML table.

In the list.xhtml web page the dataTable is defined as shown below:  (Note: Red colors are for Java EE tags, annotations code,  and Green is for my code or variables)

<h:dataTable value='#{catalog.items}' var='row' border="1"
cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0">

The value attribute of a dataTable tag references the data to be included in the table. The var attribute specifies a name that is used by the components within the dataTable tag as an alias to the data referenced in the value attribute of dataTable.  In the dataTable tag from the List.jsp page, the value attribute points to a list of catalog items. The var attribute points to a single item in that list. As the dataTable component iterates through the list, each reference to dataTableItem points to the current item in the list.

JSF 2.0 Annotations instead of XML configuration

The dataTable's value is bound to the items property of the catalog managed bean. With JSF 2.0 managed beans do not have to be configured in the faces-config.xml file, you annotate the managed beans instead as shown below:

public class Catalog implements Serializable {

By convention, the name of a managed bean is the same as the class name, with the first letter of the class name in lowercase. To specify a managed bean name you can use the name attribute of the ManagedBean annotation, like this: @ManagedBean(name = "Catalog").

This Catalog ManagedBean items property is defined as shown below:

     private List<Item> items = null;

public List<Item> getItems() {
if (items == null) {
items = getNextItems(pagingInfo.getBatchSize(), pagingInfo.getFirstItem());
return items;
The getItems() method returns a List of item objects. The JSF dataTable, supports data binding to a collection of data objects.  The dataTable object is modeled as a collection of row objects that can be accessed by a row index.  The APIs provide mechanisms to position to a specified row index, and to retrieve an object that represents the data that corresponds to the current row index.   
The Item properties name, imagethumburl, and price are displayed with the column component:
<h:dataTable var="row" value="#{catalog.items}">
<f:facet name="header">
<h:outputText value="#{msgs.Name}"/>
<h:commandLink action="#{catalog.showDetail(row)}" value="#{row.name}" />
<f:facet name="header">
<h:outputText value="#{msgs.Photo}"/>
<h:graphicImage library="images" name="#{row.imagethumburl}"/>
<f:facet name="header">
<h:outputText value="#{msgs.Price}"/>
<h:outputText value="#{row.price}"/>

The column tags represent columns of data in a dataTable component. While the dataTable component is iterating over the rows of data, it processes the UIColumn component associated with each column tag for each row in the table.

The dataTable component  iterates through the list of items (catalog.items)  and displays the item (var="row") attribute value. Each time UIData iterates through the list of items, it renders one cell in each column.

The dataTable and column tags use facet to represent parts of the table that are not repeated or updated. These include headers, footers, and captions.

Java EE 6: JSF 2.0,  EJB 3.1, and Java Persistence API (JPA)  2.0

The Catalog ManagedBean annotates the field private ItemFacade itemFacade;  with @EJB , which causes an itemFacade EJB to be injected when the managed bean is instatiated. The Catalog getNextItems method calls the ItemFacade Stateless EJB which uses the Java Persistence API EntityManager Query object to return a list of items.

public class Catalog implements Serializable {

private ItemFacade itemFacade;

public List<Item> getNextItems(int maxResults, int firstResult) {
return itemFacade.findRange(maxResults, firstResult);

EJB 3.1 No-interface local client View

With EJB 3.1, local EJBs  do not  have to a implement separate interface, that is, all public methods of the bean class are automatically exposed to the caller.

Simplified Packaging

With Java EE 6, EJBs can be directly packaged in a WAR file just like web components.

The ItemFacade EJB uses the Java Persistence API EntityManager Query object to return a list of items. The ItemFacade EJB annotates the field private EntityManager em;  with @PersistenceContext , which causes an entity manager to be injected when it is instatiated.

public class ItemFacade {

@PersistenceContext(unitName = "catalogPU")
private EntityManager em;

public List<Item> findRange(int maxResults, int firstResult) {
Query q = em.createQuery("select object(o) from Item as o");
return q.getResultList();

The Java Persistence Query APIs are used to create and execute queries that can return a list of results.  The JPA Query interface provides support for pagination via the setFirstResult() and setMaxResults() methods: q.setMaxResults(int maxResult) sets the maximum number of results to retrieve. q.setFirstResult(int startPosition) sets the position of the first result to retrieve. In the code below, we show the Item entity class which maps to the  ITEM table that stores the item instances. This is a typical Java Persistence entity object. There are two requirements for an entity:

  1. annotating the class with an @Entity annotation.
  2. annotating   the primary key identifier with @Id

Because the fields name, description.... are basic mappings from the object fields to columns of the same name in the database table, they don't have to be annotated.  The O/R  relationships with Address and Product are also annotated. For more information on defining JPA entities see Pro EJB 3: Java Persistence API book.

public class Item implements java.io.Serializable {

private Integer id;
private String name;
private String description;
private String imageurl;
private String imagethumburl;
private BigDecimal price;
private Address address;
private Product product;

public Item() { }

public String getName() {
return name;
public void setName(String name) {
this.name = name;


The Catalog ManagedBean pages through the list of Items by maintaining the PagingInfo.firstItem and PagingInfo.batchSize attributes and passing these as parameters to the  getNextItems(firstItem, batchSize) method. The catalog's scope  is defined with the annotation @SessionScoped, a JSF Managedbean with session scope will be stored in the session meaning that the bean's properties will stay alive for the life of the Http Session.

A JSF commandButton is  used to provide a button to click on to display the next page of items.  The commandButton tag is used to submit an action event to the application. 

 <h:commandButton action="#{catalog.next}" value="#{msgs.Next}" />   

 This commandButton action attribute references the catalog Managed bean next() method which calculates the next page's first row number  and returns a logical outcome String, which causes the list.xhtml page to display the next page's list . The catalog next method is defined as shown below:

   public String next() {
if (firstItem + batchSize < itemCount()) {
firstItem += batchSize;
return "list";

JSF 2.0 Simplified Navigation

The JavaServer Faces 2.0  NavigationHandler convention adds .xhtml to the logical outcome of the action method (in this example list) and loads that file, in this case, it loads the list .xhtml page after this method returns. If the action doesn't begin with a forward slash (/), JSF assumes that it's a relative path.  You can specify an absolute path by adding the slash like this "/items/list".

A JSF commandLink is  used to provide a link to click on to display a page with the item details. This commandLink action attribute  references The catalog showDetail() method:

<f:facet name="header">
<h:outputText value="Name"/>
<h:commandLink action="#{catalog.showDetail(row)}" value="#{row.name}"/>

With JSF 2.0 you can now specify parameters in method expressions. The dataTable row object associated with the selected link is passed as a parameter in the  "#{catalog.showDetail(row)}" method expression.

The Catalog showDetail() method  gets the item data from the input parameter, and returns a string which causes the detail.xhtml page to display the item details :

    public String showDetail(Item item) {
this.item = item;
return "detail";

The JavaServer Faces NavigationHandler adds .xhtml to the logical outcome of the action, detail and loads that file. In this case, the JavaServer Faces implementation loads the detail.xhtml page after this method returns.

The detail.xhtml uses the outputText component to display the catalog ManagedBean's item properties:

    <h:outputText value="#{catalog.item.name}" title="Name" />
<h:outputText value="#{catalog.item.description}" title="Description"/>
<h:graphicImage library="images" name="#{catalog.item.imageurl}" title="Imageurl" />
<h:outputText value="#{catalog.item.price}" title="Price" />
<h:outputText value="#{catalog.item.address.city}" title="Address" />
<h:outputText value="#{catalog.item.contactinfo.email}" title="Address"/>

GlassFish v3 is a lightweight server

  • OSGi-based; Embedded API; RESTful admin API; Lightweight and fast startup;
  • iterative development cycle "edit-save-refresh browser":
    • Incremental compile of all JSF 2.0 artifacts when you save.
    • Auto-deploy of all web or Java EE 6 artifacts
  • Session retention: maintain sessions across re-deployments


This concludes the sample application which demonstrates a pet catalog web application which uses Java EE 6, GlassFish v3 and MySQL .

Running the Sample Application

  1. Download and install NetBeans IDE 6.8 M1 with GlassFish v3 b57 (Glassfish v3 preview is Java EE 6 Preview) , and MySQL Community Server .
  2. Follow these instructions to set up a  jdbc-driver for MySQL. (Normally this is already setup with Glassfish, but I got an errror message with Glassfish v3 b57 that it was missing)
  3. Download the sample code. Unzip the catalog.zip file which you downloaded, this will create a catalog directory with the project code.

Create the Pet Catalog database

In order to run the sample code you first have to create the Pet Catalog database and fill in  the Item table.

  1. Start NetBeans IDE
  2. Ensure that GlassFish is registered in the NetBeans IDE, as follows:
    • Click the Services tab in the NetBeans IDE.
    • Expand the Servers node. You should see GlassFish v2 in the list of servers. If not, register GlassFish v2 as follows:
      • Right-click the Servers node and select Add Server. This opens an Add Server Instance wizard.
      • Select GlassFish v2 in the server list of the wizard and click the Next button.
      • Enter the location information for the server and click the Next button.
      • Enter the admin name and password and click the Finish button.
  3. Start the MySQL or Java DB database as follows:
    • Click the Services tab in the NetBeans IDE.
    • Expand the databases node. You should see the Java DB database in the list of databases. If you have installed the MySQL server database, you should also see the MySQL database in the list of databases.. Note:  Java DB  comes bundled with Netbeans, you can  download MySQL separately.

    • Right-mouse click on the Java DB or MySQL server database and select Start.
  4. If you installed MySQL, set the properties of the MySQL server database as follows:
    • Right-click on the MySQL server database and select Properties. This opens the MySQL Server Properties dialog box, as shown in Figure 8.

      MySQL Server Basic Properties
      Figure 8. MySQL Server Basic Properties

    • In the Basic Properties tab, enter the server host name and port number. The IDE specifies localhost as the default server host name and 3306 as the default server port number.
    • Enter the administrator user name, if not displayed, and the administrator password -- the default administrator password is blank.
    • Click the Admin Properties tab.
    • Enter an appropriate path in the Path/URL to admin tool field. You can find the path by browsing to the location of a MySQL Administration application such as the MySQL Admin Tool.
    • Enter an appropriate path in the Path to start command. You can find the path by browsing to the location of the MySQL start command. To find the start command, look for mysqld in the bin folder of the MySQL installation directory.
    • Enter an appropriate path in the Path to stop command field. You can find the path by browsing to the location of the MySQL stop command. This is usually the path to mysqladmin in the bin folder of the MySQL installation directory. If the command is mysqladmin, in the Arguments field, type -u root stop to grant root permissions for stopping the server. The Admin Properties tab should look similar to Figure 9.

      MySQL Server Administration Properties
      Figure 9. MySQL Server Administration Properties

    • Click the OK button.
  5. Right-click on the MySQL server or Java DB database and select Start.
  6. Create the petcatalog database as follows:
    • Right-mouse click on the Java DB or MySQL server database and select Create Database. This will open a create Database window.
    • Enter the database name catalog for Java DB or petcatalog for MySQL.

      For Java DB enter userid password app app as shown below:

       Click O.K. to accept the displayed settings.
  7. Create the tables in the catalog database as follows:
    • Underneath Databases you should see a database connection for the petcatalog database. For example MySQL:

      or Java DB:

    • Right-mouse click on the petcatalog connection and select Connect.
    • Right-mouse click on the petcatalog connection and select Execute Command. This will open up a SQL command window.
    • Copy the contents of the catalog.sql file in the catalog directory and paste the contents into the SQL command window, as shown in below:

      Creating Tables in the Database
    • Click the Run SQL icon Run SQL icon (Ctrl+Shift+E) above the SQL command window.
    • Note: It is ok to see this: "Error code -1, SQL state 42Y55: 'DROP TABLE' cannot be performed on 'ITEM' because it does not exist. Line 2, column 1" . This just means you are deleting a table that does not exist.  If you need to delete and recreate the tables you will not  see this message the second time.
  8. View the data in the Pet Catalog database Item table as follows:
    • Underneath Databases you should see a database connection for the petcatalog database. For example MySQL:

      or Java DB:

    • If the database connection is broken like in the following diagram:

      • Right-mouse click on the petcatalog connection and select Connect. as shown below:
      • if prompted for a password, for MySQL leave it blank, for JavaDB enter user app password app.
    • Expand the Tables node below the petcatalog database in the Services window. You should see the item table under the Tables node. You can expand the item table node to see the table columns, indexes, and any foreign keys, as shown in below :
      An Expanded Table Node
      Figure 12. An Expanded Table Node

      You can view the contents of a table or column by right-clicking the table or column and selecting View Data as shown  below:

      Viewing the Contents of a Table
      Figure 13. Viewing the Contents of a Table
  9. Follow these instructions to Create a JDBC Connection pool and JDBC resource. Name the  pool mysql_petcatalog_rootPool and the jndi resource jdbc/petcatalog. Note: you do not have to create a JDBC connection pool and resource if you use the Netbeans wizard to generate JPA entities from database tables as described in this article GlassFish and MySQL, Part 2: Building a CRUD Web Application With Data Persistence.
  10. Open the catalog/setup/sun-resources.xml file and verify that the property values it specifies match those of the petcatalog database and jdbc resources you created. Edit the property values as necessary.

Running the Sample solution:

If you want to run the sample solution, you have to create the catalog database tables first as described above.

  1. Open the catalog project as follows:
    • In NetBeans IDE, click Open Project in the File menu. This opens the Open Project dialog.
    • Navigate in the Open Project dialog to the catalog  directory and click the Open Project button.

    In response, the IDE opens the catalog project.  You can view the logical structure of the project in the Projects window (Ctrl-1).
  2. Run the catalog by right-clicking on the catalog project in the Projects window and selecting Run Project. The NetBeans IDE compiles the application, deploys it on Glassfish, and brings up the default page in your browser.  (at http://localhost:8080/catalog/).

For more information see the following resources:

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