Duke’s Bookstore includes a custom image map component on the
index.xhtml page. This image map displays a selection of six book
titles. When the user clicks one of the book titles in the image map,
the application goes to a page that displays the title of the selected
book as well as information about a featured book. The page allows the
user to add either book (or none) to the shopping cart.
Why Use JavaServer Faces Technology to Implement an Image Map?
JavaServer Faces technology is an ideal framework to use for
implementing this kind of image map because it can perform the work that
must be done on the server without requiring you to create a server-side
In general, client-side image maps are preferred over server-side image
maps for several reasons. One reason is that the client-side image map
allows the browser to provide immediate feedback when a user positions
the mouse over a hotspot. Another reason is that client-side image maps
perform better because they don’t require round-trips to the server.
However, in some situations, your image map might need to access the
server to retrieve data or to change the appearance of nonform controls,
tasks that a client-side image map cannot do.
Because the image map custom component uses JavaServer Faces technology,
it has the best of both styles of image maps: It can handle the parts of
the application that need to be performed on the server while allowing
the other parts of the application to be performed on the client side.
Understanding the Rendered HTML
Here is an abbreviated version of the form part of the HTML page that
the application needs to render:
The img tag associates an image (book_all.jpg) with the image map
referenced in the usemap attribute value.
The map tag specifies the image map and contains a set of area tags.
Each area tag specifies a region of the image map. The onmouseover,
executed when these events occur. When the user moves the mouse over a
region, the onmouseover function associated with the region displays
the map with that region highlighted. When the user moves the mouse out
of a region, the onmouseout function redisplays the original image. If
the user clicks on a region, the onclick function sets the value of
the input tag to the ID of the selected area and submits the page.
The input tag represents a hidden control that stores the value of the
currently selected area between client-server exchanges so that the
server-side component classes can retrieve the value.
The server-side objects retrieve the value of bookMap_current and set
the locale in the javax.faces.context.FacesContext instance according
to the region that was selected.
Understanding the Facelets Page
Here is an abbreviated form of the Facelets page that the image map
component uses to generate the HTML page shown in the preceding section.
It uses custom bookstore:map and bookstore:area tags to represent
the custom components:
The alt attribute of the h:graphicImage tag maps to the localized
string "Choose a Book from our Catalog".
The f:actionListener tag within the bookstore:map tag points to a
listener class for an action event. The processAction method of the
listener places the book ID for the selected map area into the session
map. The way this event is handled is explained more in
Handling Events for Custom Components.
The action attribute of the bookstore:map tag specifies a logical
outcome String, "bookstore", which by implicit navigation rules
sends the application to the page bookstore.xhtml. For more
information on navigation, see
Configuring Navigation Rules.
The immediate attribute of the bookstore:map tag is set to true,
which indicates that the default javax.faces.event.ActionListener
implementation should execute during the Apply Request Values phase of
the request-processing lifecycle, instead of waiting for the Invoke
Application phase. Because the request resulting from clicking the map
does not require any validation, data conversion, or server-side object
updates, it makes sense to skip directly to the Invoke Application
The current attribute of the bookstore:map tag is set to the default
area, which is map1 (the book My Early Years: Growing Up on Star7, by
Notice that the bookstore:area tags do not contain any of the
dukesbookstore.renderers.AreaRenderer class. The onmouseover and
onmouseout attribute values indicate the image to be loaded when these
The coordinate, shape, and alternate text data are obtained through the
value attribute, whose value refers to an attribute in application
scope. The value of this attribute is a bean, which stores the coords,
shape, and alt data. How these beans are stored in the application
scope is explained more in the next section.
Configuring Model Data
In a JavaServer Faces application, data such as the coordinates of a
hotspot of an image map is retrieved from the value attribute through
a bean. However, the shape and coordinates of a hotspot should be
defined together because the coordinates are interpreted differently
depending on what shape the hotspot is. Because a component’s value can
be bound only to one property, the value attribute cannot refer to
both the shape and the coordinates.
To solve this problem, the application encapsulates all of this
information in a set of ImageArea objects. These objects are
initialized into application scope by the managed bean creation facility
(see Using the managed-bean Element).
Here is part of the managed bean declaration for the ImageArea bean
corresponding to the South America hotspot:
To reference the ImageArea model object bean values from the component
class, you implement a getValue method in the component class. This
method calls super.getValue. The superclass of
UIOutput, has a getValue method that does the work of finding the
ImageArea object associated with AreaComponent. The AreaRenderer
class, which needs to render the alt, shape, and coords values
from the ImageArea object, calls the getValue method of
AreaComponent to retrieve the ImageArea object.
ImageArea iarea = (ImageArea) area.getValue();
ImageArea is a simple bean, so you can access the shape, coordinates,
and alternative text values by calling the appropriate accessor methods
of ImageArea. Creating the Renderer
Class explains how to do this in the AreaRenderer class.
Summary of the Image Map Application Classes
Table 15-2 summarizes all the classes needed to implement
the image map component.
Table 15-2 Image Map Classes
The javax.faces.event.ActionEvent indicating
that an AreaComponent from the MapComponent has been selected.
The class that defines AreaComponent, which
corresponds to the bookstore:area custom tag.
The class that defines MapComponent, which
corresponds to the bookstore:map custom tag.
This javax.faces.render.Renderer performs the
delegated rendering for AreaComponent.
The bean that stores the shape and coordinates of the
The action listener for the MapComponent.
The Duke’s Bookstore source directory, called bookstore-dir, is
The event and listener classes are located in
bookstore-dir/listeners/. The component classes are located in
bookstore-dir/components/. The renderer classes are located in
bookstore-dir/renderers/. `ImageArea is located in