ICEfaces 4.0 Beta Released!

The long-anticipated ICEfaces 4.0 Beta release has arrived featuring first-class JSF 2.2 support and new mobile JSF components for accessing native-device functions in your JSF web-applications.

Release Highlights:

  • 25 new integrated ICEfaces Mobile Components (MOBI), including support for native mobile-device features such as camera, microphone, and barcode scanning via BridgeIt
  • 9 new and 27 enhanced ACE Components
  • 4 new ICECORE components, with additional JavaScript APIs for ICEfaces bridge features
  • Support for JSF 2.2 features such as HTML5 pass-through attributes, f:ajax reset, etc.
  • Enhanced ICEpush library, now supports Cloud-Push capabilities
  • Use of the Mandatory Resource Configuration scheme for dynamically loaded components no longer required
  • Extensive updates to the ICEfaces Showcase samples, including new Mobile Components demos

This is a massive release with far too many new features to attempt to cover in one post, but I want to draw special attention on the new MOBI BridgeIt components.

Back in early December ICEsoft released the new BridgeIt app for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone 8 mobile devices. BridgeIt is the easiest way for you to add powerful native capabilities to your HTML5 mobile applications. A simple JavaScript API gives you access to native features like the camera, microphone, address book and more. With the introduction of the new ICEfaces Mobile (MOBI) components, it is now possible for ICEfaces JSF developers to leverage the native-device features provided by BridgeIt using the MOBI JSF components and standard JSF development model – without requiring any JavaScript to be written at all.

Of the 28 MOBI components included in this release, 9 are specific to BridgeIt features, and 19 are general mobile components than can be used without requiring BridgeIt to be installed on the device.

The BridgeIt components include:

  • mobi:camcorder – Allows users to record video with their device’s camera (or select a previously recorded movie) and upload the resulting video file to the server inside their ICEfaces web application.
  • mobi:camera – Allows users to take a picture with their device’s camera (or select a previously taken picture) and upload the resulting image file to the server.
  • mobi:cloudPush – Allows users to enable Cloud Push features. Cloud Push provides asynchronous notifications via Ajax when the web page is visible, and native-device notifications (such as on the home screen) otherwise. Note that in the open-source implementation of Cloud Push any notifications generated when the user is not viewing the web page will be delivered via an email message. Alternative notification delivery options, such as via SMS or native device notifications are available in ICEpush EE (Enterprise Edition).
  • mobi:fetchContact – Allows users to search for and select a contact from their device’s contacts list and upload the contact information to the server.
  • mobi:microphone – Allows users to record audio with their device’s microphone (or select a previously recorded file) and upload the resulting audio file to the server.
  • mobi:scan – Allows users to scan a barcode or QR code using their device’s camera, and upload the resulting code value to the server.
  • mobi:augmentedReality, augmentedRealityMarkers, and augmentedRealityLocations – Allows users to view an augmented-reality view of their surroundings using their device’s camera and screen. The user or web-application can specify location or markers which will appear on the screen in the direction/location specified. (Experimental, only supported on iOS devices at this time)

The remaining 19 general mobile components (that do not require the BridgeIt utility app to be installed on the device) provide mobile-specific functionality such as access to native device data-entry widgets, location services, and containers supporting adaptive-layout based on the device capabilities and screen size.

These mobile-specific capabilities are not generally available in the ACE components, so by leveraging the MOBI components JSF developers can add additional mobile capabilities to their web applications. Note that generally the ACE components can be used in conjunction with the MOBI components, and are intended to be used together on the same page to provide a complete set of component functionality for mobile web applications. Certain ACE containers should not be used with mobile pages due to their lack of adaptive layout features, instead the MOBI containers should be used in these cases.

See the Release Notes for more information on the new components, features, and enhancements, downloads, supported platforms, and known issues.




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