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h1. Spring Web Flow 2.3.2 and ICEfaces 3.x


h3. About Spring Web Flow

[Spring Web Flow||Spring Web Flow 2.3 Documentation] is a library that extends Spring MVC to user defined "controllers using a domain-specific-language." Web Flow is appropriately used when several actions need to be performed in order for a greater action to be performed (booking a hotel, or a flight for instance).

h3. About This Tutorial

This tutorial borrows heavily on existing JSF tutorials for Spring Web Flow, and is an evolution of the tutorial for [integrating ICEfaces 3.x with Spring Web Flow 2.3.1|ICE:Spring Web Flow 2.3.1].

The purpose of this tutorial is to demonstrate how application developers can use both Spring Webflow 2.3.2 and ICEfaces 3.x in the same application. Both technologies leverage the Servlet API. Understanding how the various parts of the web.xml file are organized to accomodate both frameworks is essential to understanding this tutorial and being able to extend it to meet your own requirements.


This tutorial uses Spring Web Flow 2.3.2, Spring Security 3.1+, Spring Core 3.2.1, JSF 2.1.21 and ICEfaces 3.3.0 (3.0.1 and above work). Additional libraries are needed to support these frameworks and have been noted in the tutorial's pom.xml file.

h3. Tutorial Use Case

The simple business case for this tutorial is the Spring Web Flow standard "booking application". Users can search for hotels and, after authenticating, book a room. Authenticated users can also review their bookings. This tutorial borrows heavily from the Spring Web Flow sample booking application.

h3. Issue with null ViewId and WindowID

There is an issue with the Spring implementation of the Lifecycle that affects the operation of ICEfaces. The ICEfaces BridgeSetup class uses a JSF PhaseListener to restore certain scope variables into the request map. Spring webflow applications, by default, use a POST->Redirect->GET pattern for navigation, but during the subsequent GET operation, the Spring lifecycle implementation does not appear to be executing the phase listeners during the RESTORE_VIEW phase. Side effects of this problem are the following symptoms:

1) Console messages of the following form:

SEVERE - Missing view ID attribute. Request map cleared prematurely.

SEVERE - Missing window ID attribute. Request map cleared prematurely.
{quote}2) NPE trying to rewrite a null viewID into the document:

at org.icefaces.impl.util.DOMUtils.isWhitespaceText(
at org.icefaces.impl.util.DOMUtils.printNode(
at org.icefaces.impl.util.DOMUtils.printNode(
at org.icefaces.impl.util.DOMUtils.printNode(

While the booking tutorial does not take advantage of windowScope, it is clear that functionality is reduced. There is a solution, and that is to use a WebflowListener to duplicate the missing PhaseListener functionality. The spring-booking-tutorial uses the (which is an instance of FlowExecutionListenerAdapter) class to this end. You can download a copy of this WebflowListener directly from the link above, and it is also contained and configured in the tutorial. Configuration of the WebflowListener is shown in the *webflow-config.xml* configuration section below.

h3. Building the Tutorial WAR

Follow the [general instructions for building any of the tutorials|ICE:Tutorials#Setup].

{panel}Configuration Areas:

# [Configure your web.xml For Spring (Core, Web Flow, and Security)|#step1]
# [Configure Spring Core|#step2]
# [Configure Spring Web Flow|#step3]
# [Configure Spring Security|#step4]


h3. Part 1: Configure web.xml For Spring

The web.xml below provides (in order) configuration parameters for JSF, filter configurations for spring security, Spring and JSF Servlet declarations and listeners.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<web-app version="2.5"
xsi:schemaLocation="" >

<!-- Enables JSF debug output during development -->

<!-- Best practice with ICEfaces -->

<!-- Causes Facelets to refresh templates during development -->

<!-- Use JSF view templates saved as *.xhtml, for use with Facelets -->

<!-- The master configuration file for this Spring web application -->

<!-- Declare Spring Security Facelets tag library -->

<!-- Set the ACE theme. When not set, it defaults to sam -->

<!-- Enforce UTF-8 Character Encoding -->


<!-- Enables Spring Security -->


<!-- Loads the Spring web application context -->

<!-- The front controller of this Spring Web application, responsible for handling all application requests -->
<servlet-name>Spring MVC Dispatcher Servlet</servlet-name>

<!-- Map all /spring requests to the Dispatcher Servlet for handling -->
<servlet-name>Spring MVC Dispatcher Servlet</servlet-name>

<!-- Faces Servlet -->
<servlet-name>Faces Servlet</servlet-name>

<!-- Faces Servlet Mapping -->
<servlet-name>Faces Servlet</servlet-name>

<!-- Resolve the missing PNG entry issue on old servers such as WAS7 -->

<!-- Welcome File Configuration -->


h3. Part 2: Configure Spring

This step builds upon the configurations we put into the web.xml file. The two files shown in this step are the general
Spring configuration and the Spring security configuration.


The file immediately below (applicationContext.xml) includes 4-other spring configurations for security, webflow, database, and webmvc.
{code:xml|title=/WEB-INF/applicationContext.xml}<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<beans xmlns=""

<!-- Scans for application @Components to deploy -->
<context:component-scan base-package="" />

<!-- Imports the configurations of the different infrastructure systems of the application -->
<import resource="webmvc-config.xml" />
<import resource="webflow-config.xml" />
<import resource="data-access-config.xml" />
<import resource="security-config.xml" />


h3. Part 3: Configure Spring Web Flow

This step provides an overview of what needs to go into the Spring Web Flow configuration file to integrate well with ICEfaces 3. The configuration directs Spring Web Flow to look in the /WEB-INF/flows/\**/*\-flow.xml pattern for web flow declarations. The tutorial application has two of these files which manage the main use case (create reservation) and the secondary use case (booking management). Note also the definition and references to the ICEfaces webflow listener.

{code:xml|title=/WEB-INF/config/webflow-config.xml}<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<beans xmlns=""

<!-- Executes flows: the central entry point into the Spring Web Flow system -->
<webflow:flow-executor id="flowExecutor">
<webflow:listener ref="facesContextListener"/>
<webflow:listener ref="securityFlowExecutionListener" />
<webflow:listener ref="icefacesFlowListener" />

<!-- The registry of executable flow definitions -->
<webflow:flow-registry id="flowRegistry" flow-builder-services="facesFlowBuilderServices" base-path="/WEB-INF/flows">
<webflow:flow-location-pattern value="/**/*-flow.xml" />

<!-- Configures the Spring Web Flow JSF integration -->
<faces:flow-builder-services id="facesFlowBuilderServices" development="true" />

<!-- Installs a listener that creates and releases the FacesContext for each request. -->
<bean id="facesContextListener" class="org.springframework.faces.webflow.FlowFacesContextLifecycleListener"/>

<!-- Installs a listener to apply Spring Security authorities -->
<bean id="securityFlowExecutionListener" class="" />

<!-- Define the ICEFaces webflow listener to restore window Scope -->
<bean id="icefacesFlowListener" class="" />

h3. Part 4: Configure Spring Security

Configuring Spring Security to work properly with ICEfaces 2 requires configurations not included in other JSF-based Spring Webflow tutorials. This is due to the design decision to leverage Spring Security's configurable "redirectStrategy" property.
In the file below we explicitly configure the redirect strategy used by Spring Security to send AJAX redirects if the request is AJAX driven (contains an AJAX header).

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<beans:beans xmlns=""

<!-- Configure Spring Security -->
<http auto-config="false"

<form-login login-page="/spring/login"
default-target-url="/spring/main" always-use-default-target="true"
authentication-failure-url="/spring/login?login_error=1" />

<!-- When using custom filters, please make sure the positions do not conflict with default filters.
Alternatively you can disable the default filters by removing the corresponding child elements from
http and avoiding the use of http auto-config='true'. -->

<custom-filter ref="exceptionTranslationFilter" before="FILTER_SECURITY_INTERCEPTOR" />

<logout logout-url="/spring/logout" logout-success-url="/spring/logoutSuccess"/>
<intercept-url pattern="/secure" method="POST" access="hasRole('ROLE_SUPERVISOR')"/>

Define local authentication provider, a real app would use an external provider (JDBC, LDAP, CAS, etc)

usernames/passwords are:
<password-encoder hash="md5"/>
<user name="keith" password="417c7382b16c395bc25b5da1398cf076"
<user name="erwin" password="12430911a8af075c6f41c6976af22b09"
<user name="jeremy" password="57c6cbff0d421449be820763f03139eb" authorities="ROLE_USER"/>
<user name="scott" password="942f2339bf50796de535a384f0d1af3e" authorities="ROLE_USER"/>

<beans:bean id="sessionManagementFilter"
<beans:constructor-arg name="securityContextRepository" ref="httpSessionSecurityContextRepository" />
<beans:property name="invalidSessionUrl" value="/auth/sessionExpired.jsf" />
<beans:property name="redirectStrategy" ref="jsfRedirectStrategy" />

<!-- -->
<beans:bean id="exceptionTranslationFilter" class="">
<beans:property name="accessDeniedHandler" ref="jsfAccessDeniedHandler"/>
<beans:property name="authenticationEntryPoint" ref="authenticationEntryPoint"/>

<beans:bean id="jsfAccessDeniedHandler" class="">
<beans:property name="loginPath" value="/spring/login" />
<beans:property name="contextRelative" value="true" />

<beans:bean id="authenticationEntryPoint" class="">
<beans:property name="loginFormUrl" value="/spring/login"/>
<beans:property name="redirectStrategy" ref="jsfRedirectStrategy" />
</beans:bean >

<beans:bean id="jsfRedirectStrategy" class=""/>
<beans:bean id="httpSessionSecurityContextRepository" class=""/>


h3. Resources

[Spring Web Flow 2.3 Documentation||Spring Web Flow 2.3 Documentation]