One of the greatest advantages of JavaServer Faces technology is that it offers a clean separation between behavior and presentation. Web applications built using JSP technology achieve this separation in part. However, a JSP application cannot map HTTP requests to component-specific event handling nor manage UI elements as stateful objects on the server, as a JavaServer Faces application can. JavaServer Faces technology allows you to build web applications that implement the finer-grained separation of behavior and presentation that is traditionally offered by client-side UI architectures.
The separation of logic from presentation also allows each member of a web application development team to focus on his or her piece of the development process, and it provides a simple programming model to link the pieces. For example, page authors with no programming expertise can use JavaServer Faces technology UI component tags to link to server-side objects from within a web page without writing any scripts.
Another important goal of JavaServer Faces technology is to leverage familiar UI-component and web-tier concepts without limiting you to a particular scripting technology or markup language. Although JavaServer Faces technology includes a JSP custom tag library for representing components on a JSP page, the JavaServer Faces technology APIs are layered directly on top of the Servlet API, as shown in Figure 3–2. This layering of APIs enables several important application use cases, such as using another presentation technology instead of JSP pages, creating your own custom components directly from the component classes, and generating output for various client devices.
Most importantly, JavaServer Faces technology provides a rich architecture for managing component state, processing component data, validating user input, and handling events.