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JSF, Primefaces - Invoking Application Code Even When Validation Failed


A use case

I have a form which has requirements as follow:
- There are some mandatory fields.
- Validation is triggered when changing value on each field.
- A button "Next" is enable only when all fields are entered. It turns to disabled if any field is empty.

My first approach

I defined a variable "isDisableNext" at a backend bean "Controller" for dynamically disabling/enabling the "Next" button by performing event "onValueChange", but, it had a problem:
<h:form id="personForm">
   <p:outputLabel value="First Name" for="firstName"/>
   <p:inputText id="firstName" value="#{person.firstName}"
     required="true">
    <p:ajax event="change" listener="#{controller.onValueChange}" update="nextButton"/>
   </p:inputText>
   
   <p:outputLabel value="Last Name" for="lastName"/>
   <p:inputText id="lastName" value="#{person.lastName}"
     required="true">
    <p:ajax event="change" listener="#{controller.onValueChange}" update="nextButton"/>
   </p:inputText>
   
   <p:commandButton id="nextButton" actionListener="#{controller.onNext}" update="personForm" disabled="#{controller.isDisabledNext}"/>
</h:form>
Due to JSF lifecyle, the application code of Ajax "onValueChange" (at phase Invoke Application) is never invoked when validation failed. How could we update the value "isDisableNext"?
src: http://docs.oracle.com/javaee/5/tutorial/doc/bnaqq.html

My new approach: I don't try to update the backend bean at phase Invoke Application anymore but use custom validator

What is it? And, why is it possible?
- At phase Process Validation, it always calls my application code even when validation failed
- I handle enabling/disabling the button with JSF component tree instead of a backend bean.

The previous implementation turns to the following:
- Don't use required="true" because it won't invoke customer validators when a field's submitted value is empty. Then I need to add the "*" manually with "span class="ui-outputlabel-rfi".
- Use custom validator with "f:validator"
- Pass component button "Next" with "f:attribute" and "binding"
<h:form id="personForm">
   <p:outputLabel value="First Name" for="firstName">
    <span class="ui-outputlabel-rfi">*</span>
   </p:outputLabel>
   <p:inputText id="firstName" value="#{person.firstName}">
    <p:ajax event="change" listener="#{controller.onValueChange}" update="nextButton"/>
    <f:validator validatorId="requiredFieldValidator"/>
    <f:attribute name="nextButton" value="#{nextButton}"/>
   </p:inputText>
   
   <p:outputLabel value="Last Name" for="lastName">
    <span class="ui-outputlabel-rfi">*</span>
   </p:outputLabel>
   <p:inputText id="lastName" value="#{person.lastName}">
    <p:ajax event="change" listener="#{controller.onValueChange}" update="nextButton"/>
    <f:validator validatorId="requiredFieldValidator"/>
    <f:attribute name="nextButton" value="#{nextButton}"/>
   </p:inputText>
   
   <p:commandButton id="nextButton" actionListener="#{controller.onNext}" update="personForm" binding="#{nextButton}"/>
</h:form>
The custom validator looks like:
@FacesValidator(value = "requiredFieldValidator")
public class RequiredFieldValidator implements Validator{

 public void validate(FacesContext context, UIComponent component, Object value) throws ValidatorException {
  CommandButton nextButtonUi = (CommandButton) component.getAttributes().get("nextButton");
  Map<String, String> requestParameterMap = context.getExternalContext().getRequestParameterMap();
  String firstName = requestParameterMap.get(getClientId("firstName"));
  String lastName = requestParameterMap.get(getClientId("lastName"));
  if(StringUtils.isEmpty(firstName) || StringUtils.isEmpty(lastName)) {
   nextButtonUi.setDisabled(true);
  }else {
   nextButtonUi.setDisabled(false);
  }
  
  RequestContext.getCurrentInstance().update(getClientId("nextButton"));
 }

}
How is your approach? Leave your comment down below!

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