Facelets Development with IDEs

One of the most useful features an IDE can provide for development is auto-complete of methods and xml tags.

Most IDEs have supported auto-completion for JSP tags for some time. They look in the classpath for taglib files, then use the information in those files to provide auto-completion. However equivalent support for tags within facelets xhtml files is not currently nearly as widespread.

IntelliJ IDEA

IntelliJ IDEA 7.0 has good auto-complete for Facelets files.

IntelliJ is a proprietory IDE; a license is required.


Eclipse has supported auto-completion for JSP taglibs for some time, but this does not work in Facelets xhtml files; it only works for jsp files. With Eclipse (at least up to 3.3.1) there is no support for auto-completion of tags in facelets files in any of the plugins available from the Eclipse site.

There have been reports that some people have used a jsp:root tag as the root element for their facelets files to persuade eclipse to use its taglib functionality. As Facelets ignores all tags outside its ui:component tag this "garbage" does not affect the generated output, but it is clumsy.

JBoss have recently made arrangements with Exadel to release the code from Exadel Studio Pro as open source, within the "JBoss IDE" project. At the current date, JBoss IDE plugins are at RC1, but tag auto-completion works well in facelets xhtml files.

An alternative would be to generate an xml schema from the taglib, then use xml auto-completion rather than JSP taglib-based auto-completion. The mapping from taglib file to schema requires just a simple xslt transformation and this would seem to be a good generic solution. Unfortunately at the current time the Eclipse xml editor is incapable of auto-completion from schemas when the document being edited has more than one namespace.

Eclipse is an open-source IDE.


MyEclipse has support autocompletion of facelet tags, and has special support for a Facelet project setup and for Facelet artefacts. It also adds support for Facelets to the xhmtl editors.

MyEclipse is a proprietary Eclipse extension: a license is required.


The NetBeans IDE has had support for Facelets since version 5.5.

NetBeans is an open-source IDE

Exadel Studio Pro

Exadel Studio Pro supports Facelets.

Exadel Studio Pro is a proprietory IDE; a license is required.

Redhat Studio

Redhat Studio is an open source IDE based on eclipse from Redhat, which has merged JBoss IDE, Exadel Studio Pro, and some other eclipse plugins. It has inherited Facelets and Myfaces support from Exadel studio. it also supports apache shale in addition to JBoss Seam

Adobe Dreamweaver

web artists favorite design tool, can support Facelets (and myfaces tomahawk and trinidad) with following additional plug-in(s):



Facelets_Support_within_IDEs (last edited 2009-09-20 23:01:24 by localhost)