JSF 2.0 – The action event model

If you are working with JSF 2.0 there are different ways to interact with backend methods and passing params to action methods. A useful link for this topic can also seen here.

So for example if you have a JSF page with the following command link you use different ways to bound your backing bean:

<h:commandLink action="#{workflowController.editAction(workitem)}"
         <h:outputText value="click me" />
               target="#{workflowController.workitem}" value="#{workitem}" />

The important thing here is the order which the jsf framework will trigger the differnt methods of the backingBean ‘worklfowController’

  1. The actionListener method will be called
  2. The setPropertyActionListener will trigger the setter method of the property ‘workitem’
  3. The action method with a custom param will be called

So in this case you backingBean can look something like this – note that there are two different ways to pass a param:


   // first the actionListener method will be called   
   public void doEdit(ActionEvent event) throws Exception {
        // do something...

   // next the setter for the property will be called
   public void setWorkitem(Data aworkitem) {
        // do something    

   // last the action method will be called
   public String editAction(String action) {
        // do something
        return action;      


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