This is the promised follow up to the Java EE 7 with Angular JS – Part 1

The Application

The original application in Part 1: it’s just a simple list with pagination and a REST service that feeds the list data.


In this post we’re going to add CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) capabilities, bind REST services to perform these operations on the server side and validate the data.

The Setup

The Setup is the same from Part 1, but here is the list for reference:

The Code

Backend – Java EE 7

The backend does not require many changes. Since we want the ability to create, read, update and delete, we need to add the appropriate methods in the REST service to perform these operations:

import com.cortez.samples.javaee7angular.pagination.PaginatedListWrapper;
import javax.ejb.Stateless;
import javax.persistence.EntityManager;
import javax.persistence.PersistenceContext;
import javax.persistence.Query;
import java.util.List;
public class PersonResource extends Application {
    private EntityManager entityManager;
    private Integer countPersons() {
        Query query = entityManager.createQuery("SELECT COUNT( FROM Person p");
        return ((Long) query.getSingleResult()).intValue();
    private List<Person> findPersons(int startPosition, int maxResults, String sortFields, String sortDirections) {
        Query query = entityManager.createQuery("SELECT p FROM Person p ORDER BY " + sortFields + " " + sortDirections);
        return query.getResultList();
    private PaginatedListWrapper<Person> findPersons(PaginatedListWrapper<Person> wrapper) {
        int start = (wrapper.getCurrentPage() - 1) * wrapper.getPageSize();
        return wrapper;
    public PaginatedListWrapper<Person> listPersons(@DefaultValue("1")
                                                    Integer page,
                                                    String sortFields,
                                                    String sortDirections) {
        PaginatedListWrapper<Person> paginatedListWrapper = new PaginatedListWrapper<>();
        return findPersons(paginatedListWrapper);
    public Person getPerson( @PathParam("id") Long id) {
        return entityManager.find(Person.class, id);
    public Person savePerson(Person person) {
        if (person.getId() == null) {
            Person personToSave = new Person();
        } else {
            Person personToUpdate = getPerson(person.getId());
            person = entityManager.merge(personToUpdate);
        return person;
    public void deletePerson(@PathParam("id") Long id) {

The code is exactly as the same as regular Java POJO, but using the Java EE annotations to enhance the behaviour. @ApplicationPath("/resources") and @Path("persons") will expose the REST service at the url yourdomain/resources/persons (yourdomain will be the host where the application is running). @Consumes(MediaType.APPLICATION_JSON) and@Produces(MediaType.APPLICATION_JSON) accept and format REST request and response as JSON.

For the REST operations:

Annotation / HTTP Method Java Method URL Behaviour
@GET / GET listPersons http://yourdomain/resources/persons Returns a paginated list of 10 persons.
@GET / GET getPerson http://yourdomain/resources/persons/{id} Returns a Person entity by it’s id.
@POST / POST savePerson http://yourdomain/resources/persons Creates or Updates a Person.
@DELETE / DELETE deletePerson http://yourdomain/resources/persons/{id} Deletes a Person entity by it’s id.

The URL invoked for each operations is very similar. The magic to distinguish which operation needs to be called is defined in the HTTP method itself when the request is submitted. Check HTTP Method definitions.

For getPerson and deletePerson note that we added the annotation @Path("{id}")which defines an optional path to call the service. Since we need to know which object we want to get or delete, we need to indicate the id somehow. This is done in the service url to be called, so if we want to delete the Person with id 1, we would callhttp://yourdomain/resources/persons/1 with the HTTP method DELETE.

That’s it for the backend stuff. Only 30 lines of code added to the old REST service. I have also added a new property to the Person object, to hold a link to image with the purpose of displaying an avatar of the person.

UI – Angular JS

For the UI part, I’ve decided to split it into 3 sections: the grid, the form and the feedback messages sections, each with its own Angular controller. The grid is mostly the same from Part 1, but it did require some tweaks for the new stuff:

<!-- Specify a Angular controller script that binds Javascript variables to the grid.-->
<div class="grid" ng-controller="personsListController">
        <h3>List Persons</h3>
    <!-- Binds the grid component to be displayed. -->
    <div class="gridStyle" ng-grid="gridOptions"></div>
    <!--  Bind the pagination component to be displayed. -->
    <pagination direction-links="true" boundary-links="true"
                total-items="persons.totalResults" items-per-page="persons.pageSize"
                ng-model="persons.currentPage" ng-change="refreshGrid()">

Grid Angular Controller

app.controller('personsListController', function ($scope, $rootScope, personService) {
    // Initialize required information: sorting, the first page to show and the grid options.
    $scope.sortInfo = {fields: ['id'], directions: ['asc']};
    $scope.persons = {currentPage: 1};
    $scope.gridOptions = {
        data: 'persons.list',
        useExternalSorting: true,
        sortInfo: $scope.sortInfo,
        columnDefs: [
            { field: 'id', displayName: 'Id' },
            { field: 'name', displayName: 'Name' },
            { field: 'description', displayName: 'Description' },
            { field: '', width: 30, cellTemplate: '<span class="glyphicon glyphicon-remove remove" ng-click="deleteRow(row)"></span>' }
        multiSelect: false,
        selectedItems: [],
        // Broadcasts an event when a row is selected, to signal the form that it needs to load the row data.
        afterSelectionChange: function (rowItem) {
            if (rowItem.selected) {
                $rootScope.$broadcast('personSelected', $scope.gridOptions.selectedItems[0].id);
    // Refresh the grid, calling the appropriate rest method.
    $scope.refreshGrid = function () {
        var listPersonsArgs = {
            page: $scope.persons.currentPage,
            sortFields: $scope.sortInfo.fields[0],
            sortDirections: $scope.sortInfo.directions[0]
        personService.get(listPersonsArgs, function (data) {
            $scope.persons = data;
    // Broadcast an event when an element in the grid is deleted. No real deletion is perfomed at this point.
    $scope.deleteRow = function (row) {
    // Watch the sortInfo variable. If changes are detected than we need to refresh the grid.
    // This also works for the first page access, since we assign the initial sorting in the initialize section.
    $scope.$watch('sortInfo.fields[0]', function () {
    }, true);
    // Do something when the grid is sorted.
    // The grid throws the ngGridEventSorted that gets picked up here and assigns the sortInfo to the scope.
    // This will allow to watch the sortInfo in the scope for changed and refresh the grid.
    $scope.$on('ngGridEventSorted', function (event, sortInfo) {
        $scope.sortInfo = sortInfo;
    // Picks the event broadcasted when a person is saved or deleted to refresh the grid elements with the most
    // updated information.
    $scope.$on('refreshGrid', function () {
    // Picks the event broadcasted when the form is cleared to also clear the grid selection.
    $scope.$on('clear', function () {

A few more attributes are required to configure the behaviour of the grid. The important bits are the data: 'persons.list' which binds the grid data to Angular model value$scope.persons, the columnDefs which allow us to model the grid as we see fit. Since I wanted to add an option to delete each row, I needed to add a new cell which call the function deleteRow when you click in cross icon. The afterSelectionChanges function is required to update the form data with the person selected in the grid. You can check other grid options here.

The rest of the code is self-explanatory and there is also a few comments in there. A special note about $rootScope.$broadcast: this is used to dispatch an event to all the other controllers. This is a way to communicate between controllers, since the grid, form and feedback messages have separate controllers. If everything was in only one controller, this was not required and a simple function call would be enough. Another possible solution if we want to keep the multiple controllers, would be to use Angular services. The used approach seems much cleaner since it separates the application concerns and does not require you to implement additional Angular services, but it might be a little harder to debug if needed.


<div class="form" ng-controller="personsFormController">
    <!-- Verify person, if there is no id present, that we are Adding a Person -->
    <div ng-if=" == null">
        <h3>Add Person</h3>
    <!-- Otherwise it's an Edit -->
    <div ng-if=" != null">
        <h3>Edit Person</h3>
        <!-- Specify the function to be called on submit and disable HTML5 validation, since we're using Angular validation-->
        <form name="personForm" ng-submit="updatePerson()" novalidate>
            <!-- Display an error if the input is invalid and is dirty (only when someone changes the value) -->
            <div class="form-group" ng-class="{'has-error' :$invalid &&$dirty}">
                <label for="name">Name:</label>
                <!-- Display a check when the field is valid and was modified -->
                <span ng-class="{'glyphicon glyphicon-ok' :$valid &&$dirty}"></span>
                <input id="name" name="name" type="text" class="form-control" maxlength="50"
                       required ng-minlength="2" ng-maxlength="50"/>
                <!-- Validation messages to be displayed on required, minlength and maxlength -->
                <p class="help-block" ng-show="$error.required">Add Name.</p>
                <p class="help-block" ng-show="$error.minlength">Name must be at least 2 characters long.</p>
                <p class="help-block" ng-show="$error.maxlength">Name cannot be longer than 50 characters.</p>
            <!-- Display an error if the input is invalid and is dirty (only when someone changes the value) -->
            <div class="form-group" ng-class="{'has-error' : personForm.description.$invalid && personForm.description.$dirty}">
                <label for="description">Description:</label>
                <!-- Display a check when the field is valid and was modified -->
                <span ng-class="{'glyphicon glyphicon-ok' : personForm.description.$valid && personForm.description.$dirty}"></span>
                <input id="description" name="description" type="text" class="form-control" maxlength="100"
                       required ng-minlength="5" ng-maxlength="100"/>
                <!-- Validation messages to be displayed on required, minlength and maxlength -->
                <p class="help-block" ng-show="personForm.description.$error.required">Add Description.</p>
                <p class="help-block" ng-show="personForm.description.$error.minlength">Description must be at least 5 characters long.</p>
                <p class="help-block" ng-show="personForm.description.$error.maxlength">Description cannot be longer than 100 characters.</p>
            <!-- Display an error if the input is invalid and is dirty (only when someone changes the value) -->
            <div class="form-group" ng-class="{'has-error' : personForm.imageUrl.$invalid && personForm.imageUrl.$dirty}">
                <label for="imageUrl">Image URL:</label>
                <!-- Display a check when the field is valid and was modified -->
                <span ng-class="{'glyphicon glyphicon-ok' : personForm.imageUrl.$valid && personForm.imageUrl.$dirty}"></span>
                <input id="imageUrl" name="imageUrl" type="url" class="form-control" maxlength="500"
                <!-- Validation messages to be displayed on required and invalid. Type 'url' makes checks to a proper url format. -->
                <p class="help-block" ng-show="personForm.imageUrl.$error.required">Add Image URL.</p>
                <p class="help-block" ng-show="personForm.imageUrl.$invalid && personForm.imageUrl.$dirty">Invalid Image URL.</p>
            <div class="avatar" ng-if="person.imageUrl">
                <img ng-src="{{person.imageUrl}}" width="400" height="250"/>
            <!-- Form buttons. The 'Save' button is only enabled when the form is valid. -->
            <div class="buttons">
                <button type="button" class="btn btn-primary" ng-click="clearForm()">Clear</button>
                <button type="submit" class="btn btn-primary" ng-disabled="personForm.$invalid">Save</button>

Here’s what it looks like:

JavaEE 7 - Angular - Form

A lot of codeis for validation purposes, but lets look into this a bit more in detail: eachinput element binds its value to person.something. This allows to model the data between the HTML and the Javascript controller, so we can write $ in our controller to get the value filled in the form input with name, name. To access the data inside the HTML form we use the form name personForm plus the name of the input field.

HTML5 have its own set of validations in the input fields, but we want to use the Angular ones. In that case, we need to disable form validations by using novalidate at the formelement. Now, to use Angular validations, we can use a few Angular directives in theinput elements. For this very basic form, we only use required, ng-minlength andng-maxlength, but you can use others. Just look into the documentation.

Angular assigns CSS classes based on the input validation state. To have an idea, these are the possible values:

State CSS On
valid ng-valid When the field is valid.
invalid ng-invalid When the field is invalid.
pristine ng-pristine When the field was never touched before.
dirty ng-dirty When the field is changed.

These CSS classes are empty. You need to create them and assign them styles in an included CSS sheet for the application. Instead, we’re going to use some very nice styles from Bootstrap. For them to work, a few additional classes need to be applied to the elements. The div element enclosing the input needs the CSS class form-group and theinput element needs the CSS class form-control.

To display an invalid input field we addng-class="{'has-error' :$invalid &&$dirty}" to the containing input div. This code evaluates if the name in the personForm is invalid and if it’s dirty. It the condition verifies, then the input is displayed as invalid.

Finally, for the form validation messages we need to verify the $error directive for each of the inputs and types of validations being performed. Just add ng-show="$error.minlength" to an HTML display element with a message to warn the user that the name input field is too short.

Form Angular Controller

// Create a controller with name personsFormController to bind to the form section.
app.controller('personsFormController', function ($scope, $rootScope, personService) {
    // Clears the form. Either by clicking the 'Clear' button in the form, or when a successfull save is performed.
    $scope.clearForm = function () {
        $scope.person = null;
        // For some reason, I was unable to clear field values with type 'url' if the value is invalid.
        // This is a workaroud. Needs proper investigation.
        document.getElementById('imageUrl').value = null;
        // Resets the form validation state.
        // Broadcast the event to also clear the grid selection.
    // Calls the rest method to save a person.
    $scope.updatePerson = function () {$scope.person).$promise.then(
            function () {
                // Broadcast the event to refresh the grid.
                // Broadcast the event to display a save message.
            function () {
                // Broadcast the event for a server error.
    // Picks up the event broadcasted when the person is selected from the grid and perform the person load by calling
    // the appropiate rest service.
    $scope.$on('personSelected', function (event, id) {
        $scope.person = personService.get({id: id});
    // Picks us the event broadcasted when the person is deleted from the grid and perform the actual person delete by
    // calling the appropiate rest service.
    $scope.$on('deletePerson', function (event, id) {
        personService.delete({id: id}).$promise.then(
            function () {
                // Broadcast the event to refresh the grid.
                // Broadcast the event to display a delete message.
            function () {
                // Broadcast the event for a server error.

REST services are called using save and delete from the $resource object which already implement the correspondent HTTP methods. Check the documentation. You can get a $resource with the following factory:

// Service that provides persons operations
app.factory('personService', function ($resource) {
    return $resource('resources/persons/:id');

The rest of the controller code are functions to pickup the events created by the grid to load the person data in the form and delete the person. This controller also create a few events. If we add or remove persons, the grid needs to be updated so an event is generated requesting the grid to be updated.

Feedback Messages HTML

<!-- Specify a Angular controller script that binds Javascript variables to the feedback messages.-->
<div class="message" ng-controller="alertMessagesController">
    <alert ng-repeat="alert in alerts" type="{{alert.type}}" close="closeAlert($index)">{{alert.msg}}</alert>

This is just the top section of the application, to display success or error messages based on save, delete or server error.

Feedback Messages Angular Controller

// Create a controller with name alertMessagesController to bind to the feedback messages section.
app.controller('alertMessagesController', function ($scope) {
    // Picks up the event to display a saved message.
    $scope.$on('personSaved', function () {
        $scope.alerts = [
            { type: 'success', msg: 'Record saved successfully!' }
    // Picks up the event to display a deleted message.
    $scope.$on('personDeleted', function () {
        $scope.alerts = [
            { type: 'success', msg: 'Record deleted successfully!' }
    // Picks up the event to display a server error message.
    $scope.$on('error', function () {
        $scope.alerts = [
            { type: 'danger', msg: 'There was a problem in the server!' }
    $scope.closeAlert = function (index) {
        $scope.alerts.splice(index, 1);

This is the controller that push the messages to the view. Listens to the events created by the grid and the form controllers.

The End ResultUff.. that was a lot of code and new information. Let’s see the final result:


There is also a live version running in, thanks to CloudBees. It may take a while to open if the cloud instances is hibernated (because of no usage).


You can clone a full working copy from my Github repository and deploy it to WildFly. You can find instructions there to deploy it. Should also work on GlassFish.

Java EE – Angular JS Source

Since I may modify the code in the future, you can download the original source of this post from the release 3.0. Alternatively, clone the repo and checkout the tag from release 3.0 with the following command: git checkout 3.0.

Check also:

Final Thoughts

  • The form validation kicks in right after you start typing. Angular 1.3 will have an on blur property to validate only after loosing focus, but I’m still using Angular 1.2.x.
  • I have to confess that I found the validation code a bit too verbose. I don’t know if there is a way to simplify it, but you shouldn’t need to add each message validation to each input.
  • A few things are still lacking here, like parameters sanitisation or server side validation. I’ll cover those in a future blog post.