BeanExplorer is intended to be practical and quick to use solution for many Java application developers who have nor time nor will to dive into the depth of JavaBeans technology. With BeanExplorer by taking several simple steps you can turn any JavaBean (or Enterprise JavaBean) into integral part of your application.

But it is only a part of the picture. BeanExplorer provides universal methodology on how to develop applications. Organize your classes as JavaBeans and you will be relieved from mundane task of implementing dialog windows, table views and many other UI elements.

BeanExplorer consists of the three components:

  1. BeanHelpers to implement Java Beans with extended capabilities
  2. Various PropertyInspectors to work with beans at runtime.
  3. BeanInfo Editor to automate the process of writing the beans according the requirements of BeanExplorer

The following example illustrates the power of BeanExplorer:

BeanInfo Editor itself is based on BeanExplorer and it was written and tested in three weeks! And this is an estimate for you – you can develop complete user interface of your application within two or three weeks! Impressed? Then you should start using BeanExplorer immediately.

BeanHelpers technology

BeanHelpers is an extension of JavaBeans technology for defining beans with advanced capabilities. This extension in conjunction with BeanExplorer’s PropertyInspectors is used to build applications with sophisticated interfaces. Specifically the extension allows the developer to:

  • Implement Simple, Composite and Array properties.
  • Specify order of the properties in Property Inspectors.
  • Change behavior of the properties at run time.
  • Define advanced editors to change values of the properties.

Property Inspectors

BeanExplorer supplies to the developer powerful Property Inspectors that significantly reduce number of dialogs and other UI elements (or eliminate dialogs at all). This makes your application interface modern and consistent.

From the development perspective usage of any of the Property Inspectors greatly reduces time of development and code size. All you need is to write the beans responsible for application logic and possibly some custom editors.

BeanInfo Editor

BeanInfoEditor is a visual editor, that completely supports BeanHelpers technology. It allows the developer to edit BeanInfo for the bean, customize attributes of its properties, test how the bean will look in application and generate the code to embed the bean into application.

The code will include:

  • Meta information about the bean – BeanInfo;
  • Localization information in associated MessageBundle;
  • Test application to execute a bean.

The methodology

BeanExplorer provides new and we dare to say revolutionary methodology of application development:

Organize your classes as JavaBeans and you will be relieved from mundane task of implementing dialog windows, table views and many others.
JavaBeans are responsible for the application logic, some of the beans can be also used as GUI components. BeanExplorer provides three different ways to display and edit property values of the bean:

  • Classic Property Inspector uses tree-table for displaying and editing properties.
  • Dialog Property Inspector uses dialog-like representation of hierarchy of the properties. Pairs ‘property name – property value’ organized in columns and laid out in unified manner.
  • Tabular Property Inspector presents beans in the form of a table where rows are beans and columns are property values.

Developers can implement beans using either basic mechanism provided by JavaBeans technology or using advanced mechanism called BeanHelpers. With BeanHelpers the developers can define backward compatible JavaBeans that will have many advanced features when they are used with BeanExplorer tools like “classic”, dialog and tabular PropertyInspectors.