Metawidget is proudly: Open Source (OSI) Friend of the JBoss Community Open Invention Network

Building User Interfaces for domain objects is time-consuming and error-prone.

Metawidget is a smart widget that populates itself, either statically or at runtime, with UI components to match the properties of your domain objects.

Metawidget does this without introducing new technologies. It inspects your existing back-end architecture (such as JSON, REST, existing annotations, existing configuration files) and creates widgets native to your existing front-end framework (such as JavaScript, Java Server Faces, Android).

Metawidget does not replace or restrict your existing UI framework. It does not try to 'own' your UI. Its Open Source license allows the use of Metawidget in open source and commercial projects.


Metawidget comes with a UI component native to your existing front-end


Metawidget inspects, either statically or at runtime, your existing back-end architecture


Metawidget creates native UI subcomponents matched to the back-end

Supported Technologies

1. Front-Ends

Metawidget has a native component
for each of these
  • Android
  • Google Web Toolkit (GWT)
  • HTML 5 (POH5)
    • Freemarker
  • JavaScript
    • AngularJS
    • Bootstrap
    • JQuery Mobile
    • JQuery UI
    • Node.js
    • Web Components
  • Java Server Faces (JSF)
    • Facelets
    • ICEfaces
    • PrimeFaces
    • RichFaces
    • Tomahawk
  • Java Server Pages (JSP)
    • DisplayTag
  • Spring Web MVC
  • Struts
  • Swing
    • Beans Binding (JSR 295)
    • Commons BeanUtils
    • JGoodies Validator
    • MigLayout
    • SwingX
  • SWT
  • Vaadin
  • us add more!

2. Back-Ends

Metawidget can read domain object
information from all of these
  • Annotations
  • Bean Validation (JSR 303)
  • Commons JEXL
  • Commons Validator
  • Groovy
  • Hibernate
  • Hibernate Validator
  • Jackson
  • JavaBeans
  • Java API for XML Binding (JAXB)
  • Java Persistence API (JPA)
  • Javassist
  • JBoss Forge
  • JBoss jBPM
  • JavaScript Object Notation (JSON)
  • JSON Schema
  • OVal
  • Representational State Transfer (REST)
  • Scala
  • Seam
  • Swing AppFramework
  • Web Services Description Language (WSDL)
  • XML Schema (XSD)
  • us add more!

At a high level, the goals of Metawidget are:

  • to create UI widgets by inspecting existing architectures
  • not to try to 'own' the entire UI, but to focus on creating native subcomponents for slotting into existing UIs
  • to perform inspection either statically or at runtime, detecting types and subtypes dynamically

The download includes documentation and examples for all supported front-ends and back-ends. Click here to download it.


UI generation

dynamic UI generator

runtime UI generator

Java UI generator

JavaScript UI generator

JavaScript form generator

Desktop: Metawidget has a native Swing JComponent and a native SWT Composite
Web: Metawidget has a native component/taglib for each popular Web technology
Mobile: Metawidget has a native Android View
Inspect: all Metawidgets, regardless of which front-end they are native to, use a common inspection process to inspect the existing back-end architecture
Properties: Metawidget inspects runtime properties from objects such as JavaBeans, Scala objects and JavaScript objects
Annotations: Metawidget inspects runtime objects for existing annotations, such as JPA and Hibernate Validator annotations
XML: Metawidget inspects existing XML configuration files, such as
struts-config.xml, hibernate.cfg.xml and pageflow.jpdl.xml
Create: the inspection results are used to choose the best UI subcomponents, depending on those available on the native platform. This includes support for third-party component libraries
Web: Metawidget creates native components/taglibs for each popular Web technology, including attaching validators
Desktop: Metawidget creates native Swing JComponents, optionally bound with Beans Binding (JSR 295), and native SWT Controls
Mobile: Metawidget creates native Android Views
Embed: the native UI subcomponents slot into the existing front-end