JBoss.orgCommunity Documentation

Seam Tools Tutorial

Version: 3.3.0.Beta1

1. Create a Seam Application
1.1. Start Development Database
1.2. Create and deploy Seam Web Project
1.3. Start JBoss Application Server
1.4. Workshop Project Code Overview
2. Seam Action Development
2.1. Create a New Seam Action
2.2. Test Seam Action
2.3. Modify Seam Action User Interface
3. Declarative Security
3.1. Edit Login Authentication Logic
3.2. Secure Seam Page Component
4. Browsing Workshop Database
4.1. Database Connectivity Setup
4.2. Browse Workshop Database
5. Database Programming
5.1. Reverse Engineer CRUD from a Running Database
5.2. Use Hibernate Tools to Query Data via JPA
5.3. Use Hibernate Tools to visualize the Data Model
6. Rich Components
6.1. Add a Richfaces component to the CRUD Application

In this section you will learn how to create a Seam project in JBoss Developer Studio, how to start the server and what structure your project has after it is created.

Minimize the terminal window and run JBoss Developer Studio from Applications Menu or from the desktop icon.

First you will see the Workspace Launcher. Change the default workspace location if it's needed. Click the OK button.

After startup, you see the welcome page. Select Create New... icon and then press on Create Seam Project link.

The New Seam Project wizard is started. You need to enter a name (e.g., "workshop") and a location for your new project. The wizard has an option for selecting the actual Server (and not just WTP runtime) that will be used for the project. This allows the wizard to correctly identify where the destination folder for the required datasource and driver libraries.

All settings are already specified here, you can just modify the Configuration. Click on the Modify... button to configure your custom facet options:

On the whole the dialog allows to select the "features" you want to use in your project. JBoss Developer Studio will then setup the appropriate tooling for your project. Since JBoss Seam integrates all popular Java EE frameworks, you can select any combination of technologies from the list. Here, for the default configuration, Dynamic Web Module, Java, JavaServer Faces (JSF), and Seam Facet are already selected for a typical database-driven web application. The default project facets should suffice.

In the Project Facets form you can also bring up server runtimes panel by clicking Runtimes tab on the right corner. This panel shows available server runtimes.

Click the OK and then the Next button to proceed to the next step.

A dynamic web application contains both web pages and Java code. The next wizard will ask you where you want to store Java files.

Following page provides you Web Module Settings .You can just leave the default values or choose another folder.

On the next form, you will be able to select where those library JARs come from. The easiest is just to select the JARs provided by the JBoss AS runtime associated with this project. That is why it is important to chose the right JBoss AS 4.2 runtime in the project setup window.

  • Select Library Provided by Target Runtime as Type of JSF Implementation Library. We will use the JSF implementation that comes with JBoss server.

  • Click the Next button

Next wizard step needs more settings that previous. Let's start with General section.

Leave the default Seam runtime and check a WAR deployment.

The Database section is a little tricky. The Connection Profile needs to be edited so that the new project works properly with the external HSQLDB server. By default the project wizard tries to use the JBoss embedded HSQLDB, but the tutorial uses an external database to replicate a more real world development scenario. Click on the Edit button to modify the Connection Profile.

Select HSQLDB Profile Properties. Make sure the Database location is set to hsql://localhost:1701

Click the Test Connection button. At this point it probably won’t work. This happens if the HSQL JDBC driver is not exactly the same. This can be solved by modifying the HSQLDB database driver settings. To modify the settings, click the Edit Driver Definition Driver button.

The proper Driver JAR File should be listed under Jar List. Select the hsqldb.jar file found in the jbdevstudio/jboss-eap/jboss-as/common/lib/ directory and click the OK button.

Now, the Test Connection should succeed. After testing the connection, click the OK button.

You can leave the Code Generation section as is. It refers to Java packages in which the generated code will be placed.


If you want to name your web project "MyProject-war" note that the Test project name should not be "MyProject-war-test", it should be "MyProject-test".

Click on Finish button. Now, there should be a new Seam project called “workshop” listed in the Package Explorer view.

Now let's examine the project and its structure. Go back to the Package Explorer view in JBoss Developer Studio.

It seems like it's not much for a project but this shell application contains a login screen with default login logic, a menu template that can be further modified, and other layout templates.

It's important to note that the business logic will reside in the src/hot folder, by default. And, the package naming conventions that were used in New Seam project wizard could have been changed to something different from org.domain.workshop.session. Also, notice that there is a default Authenticator.java file. This is where custom security logic can be added. Seam has a nice declarative security model that we will explore in more detail later on. The src/main folder is a model directory. It stores the project's JPA entity beans.

The view tier of the application is also important. Seam uses facelets and there is a built-in facelets GUI editor that includes nice WYSIWYG and component drag/drop functionality. Try this out by opening home.xhtml from WebContent folder.

Notice that the templates reside in the WebContent/layout folder. There is a stylesheet in the WebContent/stylesheet folder. There is also a login and default error page. The Facelet editor will be explored in more detail later in the lab.

The project already has a datasource that was created via the Seam project wizard database settings. All of the Seam specific configuration files and JAR dependencies are included and located in their proper locations. On last noteworthy line item is related to the build script. There isn’t a build script because the Eclipse WTP (Web Tools Project) plugin is used to publish web application changes. As you can see, JBoss Developer Studio is removing a great deal of complexity from the enterprise Java project setup and deployment process. The end result is the developer is writing code, not spending time trying to figure out how to get a decent development environment and project build process.

Now it’s time to write some code. The good news is that JBoss Developer Studio can also help out in this respect. In this section, we will create a new Seam Action POJO and facelet with some custom business logic and some GUI changes.

In this section you will see how easy it is to secure the facelets and facelet components in Seam. Let’s go ahead and secure the action button, then we will secure the entire page.

In this section you get to know how to use the workshop database that was started at the beginning of the lab.

Now, it’s time to reverse engineer the workshop database into a fully functioning Seam CRUD (Create Read Update Delete) application.

In JBoss Developer Studio, switch to the Seam perspective, and then right-click the project and select NewSeam Generate Entities.

The "workshop" project in the Seam Generate Entities wizard will be selected automatically. There is no need to change something more, click the Next button to proceed to the next step.

On the next page use the Refresh button to display the database, then click the Include button to include all the tables from the database, and finally click the Finish button.

After running the Generate Entities action, you will see new org.domain.workshop.entity classes. These classes represent insert/update/delete/query logic.

There is also the org.domain.workshop.entity package that contains the JPA classes. These are the entity beans that are mapped to database tables. Note that you can use Seam refactoring tools with Seam components. Read more about it in Seam refactoring tools chapter of Seam Dev Tools Reference Guide.

Last, but not least, there are facelets for all of the CRUD screens. The best way to get a feel for the generated code is to open a browser and play around with the application. Go to http://localhost:8080/workshop and insert/update/delete/query a few records. There is quite a bit of AJAX in this application, but we will explore that later on in the lab. For now, take note of the page tabs, required field logic and data table sorting in the list pages.


If you see the error java.lang.ClassNotFoundException: org.jboss.seam.servlet.SeamListener in the console output from the Application Server, you may need to copy the jboss-seam.jar file from the lib subdirectory in the Seam library (which can be downloaded from here) into the /server/default/deploy/workshop.war/WEB-INF/lib/ subdirectory in your Application Server (where "default" refers to the server profile that you are using).


If you see the error Could not instantiate Seam component: org.jboss.seam.security.ruleBasedPermissionResolver, copy the mvel2.jar file from the Seam library to the same destination directory mentioned in the tip above.

Congratulations! You now have a fully functioning CRUD application that is AJAX enabled.

Now, it's time to write some JPA queries using the Hibernate perspective in JBoss Developer Studio.

In the upper right corner of the workbench there is a small icon (see the figure below), click on it and select Hibernate.

Look at the Hibernate Configurations view. In the "workshop" project, drill down on the Session Factory and notice that the JPA entities/attributes are listed in a nice tree view.

Right click on the Session Factory and select HQL Editor. This will open a JPA query scratch pad window.

Write your query and click on the "Hibernate Dynamic SQL Preview" tab. You should see the SQL that will be executed if this JPA query is run.

Run the query by clicking on the green run icon.

The results are listed in the "Hibernate Query Result" view. There is a "Properties" tab in the workbench that can be used to see a specific JPA result. These results represent the JPA objects because our query did not specify column names.

The query can be refined, and take note that there is nice code completion in the JPA query editor.

A refined query will return results that are more ResultSet oriented. Notice the join logic that JPA supports.

There was no need to specify an Employees table in the from part of the JPA query because JPA supports reference traversal via Java class attribute references. Not only are JPA and HQL queries fully supported, but Criteria based queries can also be written in the Criteria Editor. You should spend some time tinkering with different queries and possibly Criteria based queries, even though the instructions are not provided in this lab.

This lab will conclude with one last AJAX twist. In this section we add a RichFaces inputNumberSlider to the Order Details edit screen.