The power of JQuery and JQGrid

9 05 2010

Off late, I have been working (yes, hands on) on some web applications, after a long gap!! Historically, we were stuck using Struts and Displaytag for our jsp based data grids, to support CRUD operations. As we started revamping our web applications piece by piece, we looked at several options, including JSF. With the time constraints at hand, our choices were pretty much limited and we confined ourselves to look at Ajax based frameworks. We fumbled upon JQuery and its rich set of plugins. Since then, we never looked back. We did try ExtJS, Prototype and other AJAX based frameworks, but nothing matched JQuery.

To make it short, we liked the following:

  1. The Selector API of the core JQuery framework.
  2. The UI components (Modal dialog, DatePicker, Accordion, Tabs etc).
  3. A rich set of plugins, which made our life so easy (JQGrid, JQuery validation etc).
  4. Theme based look and feel (switching themes is only one line of code).

Our turn around time was pretty quick and users were really happy with the UI look and feel and response times.

For people who are not aware of JQGrid, please visit their demo site. JQGrid was the datagrid component which we used to replace Displaytag. We integrated this with Struts and used our Spring/Hibernate based DAO layer to support the CRUD operations, pagination and Data export features. We resorted to JasperReports/iText for PDF based canned reports.

Even though I have immense belief in standardised API’s like JSF, the steep learning curve, the poor performance and availability of developers who “really” understand, have put us off!!