Monday, November 28, 2011

ADF: Auto Suggest - solutions

I had implemented autosuggest on an input text field and it was all working so I moved it into our template to make it available application wide. The component stopped working (bind problem first then it would not return the value I needed into the text box). Here are the fixes.

The component is quick go button functionality with a suggest lookup to any menu link.

Bind problems solution: I needed to lookup the template binding using the current bind did not have my VO:
 BindingContext bctx = BindingContext.getCurrent();
  DCBindingContainer bindings = 

Not returning the value solution: I had a uppercase conveter on my input text field - this was messing with my return value on the autosuggest. I removed it and it worked like magic.

The working code (note the query is limited to 5 rows in the VO with a bind variable linked to rownum):

<af:panelGroupLayout id="pt_ag12" layout="horizontal">
  <af:inputText labelStyle="color: white" label="Go Link" id="pt_it7" value="#{menuBean.goValue}">
    <af:autoSuggestBehavior suggestItems="#{menuBean.suggestGoItems}"
  <af:commandButton text="go" id="pt_cbGo" disabled="#{menuBean.goEnabled}"

public int getMaxSuggestionResults() {
  return 5;

public List suggestGoItems(
  FacesContext fctx, hints) {
  ArrayList selectItems = new ArrayList();
  String submittedValue = hints.getSubmittedValue();
  if(submittedValue != null && submittedValue.length() > 3) {
    BindingContext bctx = BindingContext.getCurrent();
    DCBindingContainer bindings = 
    DCIteratorBinding binding = bindings.findIteratorBinding("AutoSuggestMenuVOIterator");

    HashMap variables = new HashMap();
    variables.put("userCode", super.getUserCode());
    variables.put("maxLimit", new Integer(getMaxSuggestionResults()));
    variables.put("searchName", submittedValue.toUpperCase());
    ADFUtils.setBindVariables(binding.getViewObject(), variables);
    Row[] rows = binding.getAllRowsInRange();
    for(Row row : rows) {
      Object action = row.getAttribute("Action");
      String name = (String) row.getAttribute("Name");
      selectItems.add(new SelectItem(action, name));
  return selectItems;

public boolean isGoEnabled() {
  return goValue != null && goValue.length() > 3;

public String getGoValue() {
 return goValue;

public void setGoValue(String goValue) {
  this.goValue = goValue;

public String performGo() {
  ExternalContext eCtx = JSFUtils.getExternalContext();
  //sql query to get the destination
  String destination = MenuUtility.getDestinationBasedOnKey(goValue, "name");

  if(destination != null) {
    String contextPath = ((HttpServletRequest) eCtx.getRequest()).getContextPath();
    try {
      logger.debug("redirectUrl=[" + contextPath + destination + "]");
      eCtx.redirect(contextPath + destination);
    } catch(Exception e) {
      logger.error("", e);
  return null;


public static void setBindVariables(ViewObject view, Map variables) {
  VariableValueManager vm = view.ensureVariableManager();
  for(String key : variables.keySet()) {
    vm.setVariableValue(key, variables.get(key));

So anyway here are a couple of auto suggestions for the autosuggest component:

1) I want to control the value selected so a on select method would be nice.
2) The no results found text should be easily customized.

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