One of the primary components used in programming languages for software development models is reusability. Most developers believe in writing self-contained programming codes that can be run and reused. For Java programming language, JavaBeans are used to add this much required and appreciated reusability element. Java Beans are software components that can be reused in different environments. Let us now jump straight into understanding “what is JavaBeans” and how it works.
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What is JavaBean?
Sun Microsystem introduced JavaBeans in the year 1996. The standard definition of a JavaBean that is referred to across the world says, “A JavaBean is a reusable, platform-independent component that can be manipulated visually in a builder tool.”
If we talk in computing terms, especially the computing that uses the Java platform, we will come to know that JavaBeans are classes that have the capabilities of encapsulating several objects or beans into one object or bean. You can use the builder tool to form and use beans for the development of applications. In other words, a JavaBean is just a class of Java. If you use JavaBeans in other applications, you won’t know how they work internally.
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JavaBeans can also be referred to as everyday old Java objects or POJOs that are defined in line with guidelines mentioned under the software component model. A software component is like any other component of a system that has a physical identity in the sense that it is not entirely replaceable or independent of the system in question.
However, it does have a clear function when it is associated with a well-defined architecture. JavaBeans are not different than any other software component in this sense. They are important components as they are useful in building complex systems using several different parts of software components.
When we mention JavaBeans, we are referring to the architecture that follows the software component model and how the integration of JavaBeans happens to make them an integral part of a self-contained system within the larger system. Here are a few unique characteristics that make JavaBeans different from other classes in Java:
- JavaBeans provide default constructor without any conditions or arguments
- JavaBeans are serializable and are capable of implementing the Serializable interface
- JavaBeans usually have several ‘getter’ and ‘setter’ methods
- JavaBeans can have several properties that can be read or written
Properties of JavaBean
Users of JavaBean objects can access its properties. The feature or property being located could be of any data type, having the classes defined by you – write, read, write-only, and read-only. You can access JavaBean properties through these methods:
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Suppose the property name is FullName; you will be required to use getFullName() as the method name, to read the full name of a person. An accessor is the name given to this method. Properties of this method include:
- It doesn’t take any argument
- It is public in nature
- It is prefixed with the term ‘get’
- It doesn’t have a void return type
Suppose the property name is FullName, setFullName() is the method name that you need to use to write the full name. Mutator is the name of this method. Mentioned below are the properties of this method:
- It takes some argument
- It is public in nature
- It is prefixed with the term ‘set’
- It has a void return-type
- JavaBeans component granularity
JavaBeans are usable as per the software component model. Keeping their built structure and user requirement into consideration, you can build JavaBeans to work in two different modes:
A mode that is built to be a smaller component that integrates seamlessly with a larger application. This means that this form is dependent on other factors, and isn’t capable of working in isolation. You can use a tool to integrate and customize it as a part of another application. A few examples of JavaBeans that follow this pattern include the AWT button or Swing button.
A mode that is built to function as an application. This form can be associated with a user application. An example of a JavaBean that follows this pattern includes a report viewer bean that can easily be embedded into a PDF reader or web page.
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Benefits of JavaBeans
Mentioned below are a few advantages of JavaBeans
1. Easy and compact
One of the biggest advantages of JavaBeans is that they are very easy to create and use. There is no complexity involved. This advantage is what the JavaBeans architecture especially focuses on. You don’t have to put too much effort and take a lot of time to write a simple Bean. JavaBeans are lightweight too. This means they don’t carry unwanted baggage for supporting their environment.
As they are built in Java, JavaBeans can be easily ported to any platform that is compatible with the Java run-time environment. Java Virtual Machine is responsible for implementing both JavaBeans support as well as platform specifications.
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3. Comes with the strengths of Java
JavaBeans is easy and universally compatible. It doesn’t need a complex mechanism to register components with the Java run-time system.
A few other advantages include its reusability in different environments, usefulness in the creation of applications, applets, servlets, and other components, ease of deployment in network systems, and dynamism and customization.
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