Binding to a POJO

Steve Sobol <>
Fri, 4 Mar 2011 15:21:37 -0800
Good afternoon!

So, I have a program I'm writing whose primary window is a JFrame. Many
of the JFrame's children are bound to fields within a Java bean.

I was using JGoodies Binding to accomplish this, but then I started
using WindowBuilder Pro, which has very nice support for JSR 295

The often-cited problem with either JGoodies or BeansBinding is this: it
introduces code bloat. Instead of

public void setFoo(Object newFoo) {;

you have to do this:

public void setFoo(Object newFoo) {
  String oldFoo =;;
  // support is a previously-initialized
  // instance of java.beans.PropertyChangeSupport

  support.firePropertyChange(propertyName, oldValue, newValue);

I came up with a solution that will allow you to do this instead:

public void setFoo(Object newFoo {

How do I do this? I make my bean inherit from PCLBean:

package com.lobosstudios.binding;

import java.beans.PropertyChangeListener;
import java.beans.PropertyChangeSupport;
import java.lang.reflect.Field;
import java.lang.reflect.InvocationTargetException;

public class PCLBean {

    private transient PropertyChangeSupport support = new

    protected boolean changeProperty(String propertyName, Object
            Object newValue) {
        System.out.println(propertyName + ": old=" + oldValue + ",
                + newValue);
        try {
            setNewValue(propertyName, newValue);
        } catch (NoSuchFieldException exc) {
            return false;
        } catch (IllegalAccessException exc) {
            return false;
        } catch (InvocationTargetException exc) {
            return false;
        support.firePropertyChange(propertyName, oldValue,
        return true;

    private void setNewValue(String propertyName, Object newValue)
            throws IllegalAccessException,
            NoSuchFieldException {

        Class<? extends PCLBean> c = this.getClass();
        Field f = c.getDeclaredField(propertyName);

        // this next step allows us to set the value of a property
        // even if it wouldn't normally be visible; e.g. if it is

        f.set(this, newValue);


    public void addPropertyChangeListener(PropertyChangeListener
listener ) {
        support.addPropertyChangeListener( listener );

    public void removePropertyChangeListener(PropertyChangeListener
listener ) {
        support.removePropertyChangeListener( listener );


Am I over-thinking this? Is it necessary to do this? (It does keep my
code a little cleaner than it would otherwise. I like that. But it also
uses reflection, which may impact performance.)

What do y'all think? (Please note: this code is still rough, and
improvements can probably be made to it)

Steve Sobol - Programming/Web Dev/IT Support
Apple Valley, CA

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