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ICEsoft has released a beta of their ICEfaces Community Edition framework. ICEfaces is an ajax framework for JSF, and based on my experience with the alpha version, it is quite good.

The one concern I continue to have (which has kept us from implementing it in any big projects yet) is performance, due to the large amount of overhead associated with each call. In tests, we found ICEfaces to be very responsive when doing fairly simple examples - so much so that you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between it and a “lighter” implementation. The concern is that as you start getting any decent number of simultaneous users, you’ll see the server get overloaded rather quickly.

For this reason, we have taken a slightly different approach when building ajax JSF components and will typically process ajax requests outside of the normal JSF lifecycle when possible. Obviously, this strategy has drawbacks of its own, and there is always a bit of a tradeoff between the two.

I hope to use ICEfaces in a side project I am doing next month, and hopefully I can get a better grasp on the performance implications at that time. At any rate, the ICEfaces team should be congratulated on such an awesome framework. Keep it up!