Vaadin Create Conference 2023 Videos Now Online
Written by Nikos Vaggalis   
Friday, 12 January 2024

The recorded sessions of the Vaadin Create conference, the conference for creators using Vaadin Flow and Hilla, are now available online.

But first, what exactly is Vaadin?

Javascript for front-end development is not an all-or-nothing proposition any more; and not just Javascript. Developing for the web even at the most basic level requires knowledge in at least three Web standards; that of HTML, CSS and Javascript. I say "at least" since on top you can add things like WebSockets, Web Workers and the rest, with the stack continuing to grow.

Vaadin is a framework that hides this complexity and makes use of a single language , Java, for writing both the back end and the front end. With Vaadin you just don't have to think about Server side or Client side; you just go on developing in your favorite Java like you used to do and let the framework handle both sides of the equation.

That was the case initially with Vaadin Flow, which compiles to Web Components and through its Client side JavaScript engine communicates the events taking place browser side to the server side which decides how to proceed, in for example modifying the DOM;that is Vaadin renders the application server side and this server side endeavor goes by the name of Vaadin Flow.

A couple of years back, Hilla also emerged. In an attempt to lure developers that work say with Angular, a frontend framework introduced as Fusion in Vaadin 15, which allows to do your reactive UI logic in TypeScript while continuing writing the backend in Java; that is , it includes a Spring Boot backend and a React frontend with UI components, routing, forms, security, and build tooling. Hilla's main features are :

  • A zero-configuration toolchain for building web applications with Lit TypeScript UI and Java Spring Boot server side

  • Easy and type-safe back end access using TypeScript endpoints and data definitions generated from Java code

  • Form binding with shared data validation on server and client

  • Vaadin web components for building the UI

Of course, those two frameworks were at the center of the attention at the recent Vaadin Conference that took place in October 24-25, 2023, in Frankfurt Germany. The list of the recorded sessions with a short description of the noteworthy ones is:

Welcome to Vaadin Create 2023: keynote and product vision
Reflecting on Vaadin's roots, why it emerged, how it helps developers, what makes Hilla different from Flow, and what the outlook for the future is:

  • Bringing Flow and HILA together in a way that you can choose and have optionality on when you want to use front-end tech, when you want to use the back-end tech.

  • Embracing full-stack, bringing larger blocks of functionality to Vaadin.

  • Embracing the code-first UI editing, bringing in actual layout editors and theme editors to code editing.

  • Working with various AI tools and ultimately making an AI-powered Vaadin expert that helps you side-by-side with you.

Latest product news from Vaadin
The talk goes through Vaadin's release cycle, when the Java version should be upgraded, how they implement features based on community feedback and pull requests, how they maintain old versions etc.

Nailing the designer to developer handoff
When they say designers, they doesn't really mean people who have a design degree, or people who have designer in their title. They mean anybody who does the design, or anybody who plans what the UI should be like. That could be a developer, a business analyst or even a product manager.

Then it goes on explaining why it is beneficial for those designers to utilize the pre-made Vaadin components instead of rolling their own, and how to keep making them aware of the Vaadin UI stack and its variants. For instance, a Vaadin button comes in a few different types of color variants.

The talk also featured a short presentation of the Vaadin Figma library, which has all the around 50 Vaadin components drawn out in pixel perfect representations so that it's easy to make perfect and beautiful Vaadin-based UIs and click-through prototypes.

Vaadin Figma has freed a significant amount of time from the hand of the developers so they can focus on solving users' issues instead of drawing gray rectangles that look like a button, for example. Hence less drawing, more designing.

AI powered business applications
Not Vaadin specific but in general how LLMs can provide value to business, and offering a few examples of that in practice.

How to Theme and Style your Vaadin Application
If you had ever problems in styling your Vaadin app, then this session is a must watch as it explains the logic behind it.

Testing Vaadin Applications Made Easy
This is a great talk because it is not Vaadin specific but provides a good overview of why integration and end-to-end testing is better suitable for UI applications than unit testing. Simon Martinelli then goes on showing how to do end-to-end testing but in a way that it's fast and reliable.

How to build a retrieval-augmented generation (RAG) AI system in Java (Spring Boot + LangChain4j)
This talk gives answers to the following three questions:

  • What are LLMs and AI models good at?

  • Why are they so stupid sometimes?

  • How can I use AI tools for automation so we can focus more on the interesting stuff?

And continues with showing how to build a customer support bot that is able to both reference and talk about the company's policy documents so it knows what we can and cannot do. That with Vaadin of curse and by utilizing RAG, serving as both a very practical example of prototyping an app quickly with Vaadin and how to incorporate the power of AI in it.

The rest are:

  • The when and how of application modernization

  • Optimizing Performance of Vaadin Apps: Removing Bottlenecks for a Seamless User Experience

  • Speeding up React + Java Development with Hilla

  • Multi-Player Business Apps: How and Why to Create a Collaborative UI

The 11 videos are available as a Youtube playlist. Link below.

So this is Vaadin, versatile and making life easy for both back and front end devs. And while it might not be the most popular framework of the Java ecosystem, it is the favorite of big corps; and for good reason too. If you want too to find out why that is, then go on and watch the conference; your questions are going to be answered.


More Information

Vaadin Create

Youtube playlist

Related Articles

Vaadin 23.0.0 Released - Flow and Hilla

Vaadin Reaches Version 21

WebFX - Java To JavaScript 


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Last Updated ( Friday, 12 January 2024 )