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Getting Further with Spring RCP

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Adding Rules Based Validation

Next we set some rules for field validation.

As the user types, feedback needs to be given about the validity of the entered text.

Spring RCP validation rules are provided separately from the domain object, although they are, in this case, within the same package.

The validation rules need to be registered in the richclient-application-context.xml, as shown at the end of this section.

package domain;

import org.springframework.core.closure.Constraint;
import org.springframework.rules.Rules;

public class SimpleValidationRulesSource extends DefaultRulesSource {

private final Constraint NAME_CONSTRAINT = all(new Constraint[]{required(), minLength(2),
regexp("[-'.a-zA-Z ]*", "alphabeticConstraint")
private final Constraint ZIPCODE_CONSTRAINT = all(new Constraint[]{required(), minLength(5), maxLength(10),
regexp("[0-9]{5}(-[0-9]{4})?", "zipcodeConstraint")

public SimpleValidationRulesSource() {

private Rules createCustomerRules() {

return new Rules(Customer.class) {
protected void initRules() {
add("firstName", NAME_CONSTRAINT);
add("lastName", NAME_CONSTRAINT);
add(not(eqProperty("firstName", "lastName")));
add("address.street", required());
add("address.state", required());




Now we need to register the class in the richclient-application-context.xml. Anywhere within that file, add the following:

<bean id="rulesSource" class="domain.SimpleValidationRulesSource" />


Validating forms will interrogate the rules source for rules that apply to the class of a form object, which in this case is the "Customer" object. Therefore, when the user types something that breaks the rules, Spring RCP will give a warning and disable the OK button, as shown below:




Though the application is by no means complete (and even the modification code is very rudimentary, just enough is there to perform the modification, but not much more), many of Spring RCP's unique treasures have been covered in this article—in particular, you have seen how the Spring RCP Form Builder and its rules based validation can be used within the context of Swing applications. In general, you have seen how these features fit together within the context of a Spring RCP application that uses views, dialogs, and forms.

(And now continue to the next part!) 


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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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