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Getting Further with Spring RCP

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Creating a Dialog

Next, when the popup item is selected, we want to display a dialog showing the values of the currently selected row. You can use standard Swing dialogs, if you like. However, if you use the dialogs provided by Spring RCP, you can make use of the Spring RCP rules based validation and the Spring RCP Form Builder. (Both of these topics are discussed later.) Spring RCP provides 4 types of dialogs: ConfirmationDialog, InputApplicationDialog, TitledPageApplicationDialog, and WizardDialog.

In this section, we use the TitledPageApplicationDialog, which gives you a dialog with a title area and an area for information or for an error message. The content of this dialog is managed either by a FormBackedDialogPage, which is what we use in this article, or a CompositeDialogPage, which is applicable when you're dealing with multiple DialogPages simultaneously.

Get started by creating a new class called "CustomerPropertiesDialog" and let it extend the Spring RCP "TitledPageApplicationDialog" class, as shown below, with several of its methods overridden:

package simple;

import org.springframework.richclient.dialog.FormBackedDialogPage;
import org.springframework.richclient.dialog.TitledPageApplicationDialog;
import org.springframework.richclient.form.Form;
import domain.Customer;

public class CustomerPropertiesDialog extends TitledPageApplicationDialog {

private Form form;

public CustomerPropertiesDialog(Customer Customer) {
form = new CustomerForm(Customer);
setDialogPage(new FormBackedDialogPage(form));

protected void onAboutToShow() {
Customer Customer = (Customer) form.getFormModel().getFormObject();
String title =
new Object[]{

protected boolean onFinish() {
return true;

protected void onCancel() {



Notice the definition of the "title" string in line 22 above. It refers to a message, which you need to define as follows in the "" file:

customerProperties.edit.title=Edit Contact: {0} {1}


In this way, because we retrieve the firstname and lastname in the second argument to the "getMessage" call, we will be able to display the current line's firstname and lastname in the dialog that we are creating here.

Also, note that line 13 above will create an error in your code because it refers to a form that you have not yet created. And here is our form, extending the Spring RCP "AbstractForm" class, which is a placeholder for the code that we will add there in the next section:

package simple;

import domain.Customer;
import javax.swing.JComponent;
import javax.swing.JPanel;
import org.springframework.richclient.form.AbstractForm;

public class CustomerForm extends AbstractForm {

CustomerForm(Customer customer) {

protected JComponent createFormControl() {
JPanel panel=new JPanel();
return panel;



In line 12 above, we set the form's ID to "customer". This is a unique ID that needs to be passed in the constructor and is used for label construction. As a result, we need to bear this ID in mind when setting the form's title and description, because these are used to set the labels in the form, in the file:

customer.title=Customer Information
customer.description=Enter the details of the customer below.


Now, back in the CustomerView, let the PropertiesExecutor open the dialog that you created above:

private class PropertiesExecutor extends AbstractActionCommandExecutor {

public void execute() {
new CustomerPropertiesDialog(customerTable.getSelectedCustomer()).showDialog();



The code above refers to a method in the CustomerTable that you have not created yet. Open that class and then add the following to it, for retrieving the data for the currently selected row in the table:

public Customer[] getSelectedCustomers() {
int[] selected = getTable().getSelectedRows();
Customer[] customer = new Customer[selected.length];
for (int i = 0; i < selected.length; i++) {
customer[i] = (Customer) getTableModel().getElementAt(selected[i]);
return customer;

public Customer getSelectedCustomer() {
return (Customer) getSelectedCustomers()[0];


Run the application again and this time when you invoke the Properties popup item, you should see the following result:


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Published at DZone with permission of its author, Geertjan Wielenga.


Matthew Schmidt replied on Thu, 2008/07/03 - 3:25pm

Awesome article.  I love to see Java Swing apps get easier to build.  Spring RCP has been a long time coming, and I'm glad to see it finally starting to turn into something useful.

Jonny Wray replied on Thu, 2008/07/03 - 11:02pm

Great article and introduction to Spring RCP. I just wanted to comment that while version 1.0 has only recently been released the code has been useful for a lot longer. Personally, I have a couple of internal applications at work based on the framework, one of which is about three years old.

As an example of a full application, albeit quite simple, people might be interested in Bio Browser, a program to search and browse instances of a domain model from the National Cancer Institute exposed via their web services. The project page, with a web start launch is There is a child page on the wiki, instructions, which gives basic instructions and screenshots.



Peter Karussell replied on Fri, 2008/07/04 - 4:29pm

Thanks a lot! "Forms" was the next task for me, so you saved me a lot of hours :-)

Some more pointers that I have found for this topic (or quite similar):

I even found a full open source app (I didn't try it):

Geoffrey De Smet replied on Sun, 2008/07/06 - 9:21am

I've added links to these articles in svn revision 2051, so they will be published on the next publish of the official spring-richclient website (which contains links to all available documentation):

Geertjan Wielenga replied on Sun, 2008/07/06 - 9:57am in response to: Geoffrey De Smet


I've added links to these articles in svn revision 2051, so they will be published on the next publish of the official spring-richclient website (which contains links to all available documentation):



Great to hear! And there are more parts to this series that I am currently working on and that will be published over the coming weeks.

Lieven Doclo replied on Mon, 2008/07/07 - 2:18am

I've also written a article on how to write a custom binder:

Geertjan Wielenga replied on Mon, 2008/07/07 - 3:11am

Thanks all, Matt, Jonny, Peter, doclolieven, for the comments and support! doclolieven, I will look at that and try it out. Jonny, can you give me some sample data that I can fill into your application so that I can see some results? Peter, I will investigate those links, thanks a lot for them.

Jonny Wray replied on Mon, 2008/07/07 - 10:39am in response to: Geertjan Wielenga


Not a problem, hope you find it useful. The 'instructions' page on the wiki has an example of running a query and then browsing through the results, including viewing pathway diagrams.

Short version, choose Gene from the search menu and enter say, EPO, in the 'Gene Symbol' field. That'll produce a navigable tree in the tree view. Double clicking on entities with a green arrow icon will then fetch those back. Right click on a pathway entity will bring up a context sensitive menu allow diagram to be displayed.

 Hope that's enough to get you going 




Geertjan Wielenga replied on Mon, 2008/07/07 - 11:30am

Hi Lieven Doclo, I tried that code for the custom binder and it works perfectly. Thanks for the interesting example.

Gregg Bolinger replied on Mon, 2008/08/11 - 12:49am

Great series!  Any chance an IntelliJ plugin is in the works?  I realize there is a lot of useful context completion availabe currently but it would be nice to have things like view/form/etc beans automatically added to the context file on creation rather than having to do it manually.

Pierre Teddy replied on Fri, 2008/08/15 - 9:25am in response to: Geertjan Wielenga

Great series! should turn it to a book.

Would appreciate some  help with the following problem pleae :

 In the PropertiesExecutor class I am Importing the following Jars

import org.springframework.richclient.dialog.CloseAction;
import org.springframework.richclient.dialog.CompositeDialogPage;
import org.springframework.richclient.dialog.TabbedDialogPage;
import org.springframework.richclient.dialog.TitledPageApplicationDialog;

However I am unable to resolve getWindowControl()

Would you know what I am lacking.

Thanks a lot 

Japan Trivedi replied on Thu, 2009/07/16 - 5:44am


I'm new to Spring RCP and I'm trying some demo projects to know more about it. But I want to know that how to build a single executable JAR file for the Spring RCP project. I have tried to execute the test JAR file that is been created in the dist folder of the Net Beans RCP project but it didn't run properly it only shows me the splash screen and then the program ends. Please help me out in this matter.

One more thing I want to know is can we integrate a Spring RCP developed in Net Beans with an applet. Because I need to develop one application in RCP but that needs to be run as a client side applet. Or you can show me some other way.

I regularly refers your tutorial on Spring RCP for NetBeans. And it helps me a lot.

Thanks in advance.

Japan Trivedi,

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