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JavaFX Tutorial: How To Create Rich Desktop Applications In Java?

JavaFX Tutorial: How To Create Rich Desktop Applications In Java Using JavaFX

JavaFX tutorial Are you facing difficulties while trying to create rich, stunning desktop applications? If yes, don’t think you are alone in the queue. A lot of developers get confused while they try to handle JavaFX, a software platform for developing and delivering desktop applications. JavaFX provides a rich set of graphics and media APIs enabling you to develop visually attractive attractive applications easily.

JavaFX is a Java library that allows developers to produce rich client applications with visually demanding user interfaces. It offers a detailed set of UI controls, layout containers, and multimedia integration capabilities. JavaFX lets developers create cross-platform applications that can run on various operating systems such as, Windows, macOS, and Linux.

JavaFX was a standard part of the Java Development Kit (JDK) up to Java 8, starting from Java 11, it has been decoupled from the JDK. Developers can use standalone JavaFX SDK or explore alternative UI frameworks based on their preferences.

This article will help you to make familiar with creating rich desktop applications with JavaFX. So, let’s start discussing our topic ”JavaFX Tutorial: How To Create Rich Desktop Applications In Java Using JavaFX” together.

You may also visit series of tutorials on Core JavaSpring Boot, and Java Microservices.

What Are The Key Features of JavaFX? 

JavaFX is an open-source platform based on Java which is utilized for increasing rich client applications. JavaFX is acknowledged as the substitute or inheritor of Java Swing in the field of graphical user interface (GUI) development technology in the platform of Java.

The JavaFX library works as a public Java application programming interface (API). The JavaFX library incorporates a lot of kinks that make it a handpicked choice for developers to create rich client applications. These characteristics are given below:

Java Library:

JavaFX is a Java library that enables the users to acquire the support of all the Java features like multithreading, generics, lambda expressions, and so on. The user can also use any of the Java editors or IDEs of their preference for writing, compiling, running, debugging, and packaging their JavaFX application.

Platform Independent:

The rich internet applications created using JavaFX are platform-independent. The JavaFX library is open for all the scripting languages that can be allocated on a JVM, which include: Java, Groovy, Scala, and JRuby.


JavaFX accentuates an HTML-like declarative markup language called FXML which is based on extensible markup language (XML). The only goal of this markup language is to identify a user interface (UI). In FXML, the programming can be accomplished to adapt the user with an improved GUI.

Scene Builder:

JavaFX also enforces a tool called Scene Builder, which works as a visual editor for FXML. Scene Builder develops FXML mark-ups that can be sent to the IDEs which further enables the user to integrate the business logic to their applications. The users can also use the drag-and-drop design interface, which is utilized to design FXML applications.

Hardware-accelerated Graphics Pipeline:

The graphics of the JavaFX applications are established on the hardware-accelerated graphics generating pipeline, generally called Prism. The Prism engine provides smooth JavaFX graphics that can be generated quickly when used with a supported graphics card or graphics processing unit (GPU).


JavaFX applications are also able to put in web pages. For embedding web pages, Web View of JavaFX utilizes a new HTML rendering engine technology called WebKitHTML. WebView is utilized to insert web pages within a JavaFX application. JavaScript running in WebView can name Java APIs and vice-versa.

Built-in UI controls:

JavaFX contains all the main built-in UI controls that assist in creating well-featured applications. These built-in UI elements are not operating system-reliant. In brief, these controls do not rely on any of the Operating systems like Windows, iOS, Android, etc. These built-in controls are single-handedly comprehensive to conduct an entire implementation of the applications.

CSS Styling:

Just like websites use CSS for styling, JavaFX also delivers the characteristic of incorporating the application with CSS styling. The users can improve the styling of their applications and can also enhance the perspective of their implementation by having a simple understanding and knowledge of CSS styling.

Rich set of APIs:

JavaFX library also offers a valuable collection of APIs that enables in creation of GUI applications, 2D and 3D graphics, and many more. This collection of APIs also comprises all the attributes of the Java platform. Hence, working with this API, a user can access the specialities of Java languages like Generics, Annotations, Multithreading, Lambda Expressions, and many other features as well. In JavaFX, the popular Java Collections library was also improved, and ideas like lists and maps were presented. Utilizing these APIs, the users can see the deviations in the data models.

High-Performance media engine:

Like the graphics pipeline, JavaFX also contains a media pipeline that promotes durable internet multimedia playback at low latency. This high-performance media engine or media pipeline is founded on a multimedia framework called Gstreamer.

For optimal utilization of JavaFX in your projects, associating with a specialized Java development company can enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of your software development endeavors.

Why should we learn JavaFX?

Sometimes, applications need to use the local disk of the computer, communicate with various remote systems or use streaming or IAP protocols. For this JavaFX is a better choice as it contains the following features:

  • A massive set of in-built GUI elements like text fields, trees, tables, menus, buttons, charts, etc. This enables the developers to save time while developing desktop applications.
  • The developers can do the styling by using CSS and composing the GUI with the help of FXML. In this way, they can quickly put GUI or alter the composition without any hassle with the help of the Java code.
  • The chart components available in JavaFX are ready-to-use. So, you do not need to do coding from scratch. This will also help you to save your time.
  • It supports 2D graphics, 3D graphics, audio and video support. The developers will find this feature very useful at the time of developing the game or media applications.

What Are The Applications Of JavaFX? 

You may use JavaFX for different purposes such as:

  • Developing rich internet applications.
  • Creating client-side applications that are full of different features.
  • Developing desktop applications
  • Creating games in Java

Use Of JavaFX in Today’s Application Development

JavaFX is not only a tool of the past; it is highly pertinent in today’s world of application development. Its wealthy set of graphics and media APIs, incorporated with the proficiency to create complex, rich client applications, makes it a go-to choice for many developers.

Steps: How To Create Rich Desktop Applications In Java Using JavaFX? 

JavaFX builds on top of JDK and is a standalone component. There are 2 different options for developing JavaFX applications:

  • Use the JavaFX SDK
  • Use a build system (e.g. maven/gradle) to download the required modules from Maven Central

If you want to use the JavaFX SDK instead of a build tool, download an appropriate JavaFX runtime for your operating system and unzip it to a desired location.

If you want to develop JavaFX applications using Maven, you don’t have to download the JavaFX SDK. Just specify the modules and the versions you want in the pom.xml, and the build system will download the required modules, including the native libraries for your platform. Here is the maven dependency:


Environment Variable Configuration

Add an environment variable pointing to the lib directory of the runtime. For example, if you are using JavaFX 11, add below:

For Windows: set PATH_TO_FX=”path\to\javafx-sdk-11\lib”

For Linux/Mac: export PATH_TO_FX=path/to/javafx-sdk-11/lib

You need to follow the steps given below to create a JavaFX application:

  • Extend the Application Class: The Application class of the package ‘javafx.application’ is the entry point of the application in JavaFX. To create a JavaFX application, we need to extend this class and implement its abstract method start(). In this method, you need to write the entire code for the JavaFX graphics. Since this class is abstract, so we will have to provide an implementation of the start () method.
  • Override the start() Method: The start () method is the primary entry point for all JavaFX applications. Here we will say the stage (the top-level JavaFX container) and scene (the content inside the stage).
  • In the main() method, we have to launch the application using the launch() method. This method internally calls the start() method of the Application class as shown in the following program.
public class JavafxSample extends Application {  
   public void start(Stage primaryStage) throws Exception { 
      Code for JavaFX application. 
      (Stage, scene, scene graph) 
   public static void main(String args[]){           
  • Run the application: Eventually, you can run your JavaFX application. You should see a window with a button labelled “Say ‘Hello World’”. When you click the button, “Hello World!” will be printed to the console.

How to create a Typical JavaFX Application?

Within the start() method, in order to create a typical JavaFX application, we need to follow the steps given below:

  • Prepare a scene graph with the required nodes.
  • Prepare a Scene with the required dimensions and add the scene graph (root node of the scene graph) to it.
  • Prepare a stage and add the scene to the stage and display the contents of the stage.

These are the fundamental components and steps of a JavaFX application.

The Common JavaFX Issues and Solutions

While you will use any technology it is obvious that you will face some problems. Hence, JavaFX is also not an exception. The common issues you will face while using JavaFX are as follows:

Setup Problems

Setting up JavaFX can sometimes be a problem particularly if you are new to the platform. You may face this issue if you do not have the correct version of Java installed. Modern JavaFX needs Java 8 or later. So, you need to check whether you are using an older version of JavaFX. If yes, you need to update JavaFX immediately.

Another common setup problem is not having the JavaFX SDK  installed or not having it properly configured in your IDE. You may download the JavaFX SDK from the official website, and most IDEs have precise instructions for configuring JavaFX.

Example#1: JavaFX Libraries Not Included (Java 11 and later):

  • Issue: Starting from Java 11, JavaFX is not included in the JDK by default.
  • Solution: Download and include the JavaFX SDK in your project. Add the necessary JavaFX modules to your file if you are using a modular project.

Example#2: ClassNotFound or NoClassDefFoundError: javafx/application/Application:

  • Issue: This error indicates that the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) cannot find the javafx.application.Application class.
  • Solution: Ensure that you have set up your project to use JavaFX libraries. If you are using an IDE, configure the project to include the JavaFX SDK or modules.

Example#3: FXML Loading Issues:

  • Issue: Problems loading FXML files can occur, leading to exceptions like javafx.fxml.LoadException.
  • Solution: Double-check the path to your FXML file. Ensure that the file is in the correct location and that its name and case match the code. Verify that the FXML file is well-formed and does not contain syntax errors.

Example#4: JavaFX Application Not Launching:

  • Issue: Your JavaFX application may not be launching, and the application window doesn’t appear.
  • Solution: Check the console for any error messages. Ensure that your main class extends javafx.application.Application and that you call the launch() method. Also, check for any exceptions in the start() method.

Compatibility Issues

JavaFX applications can sometimes face compatibility problems, particularly when trying to run on different operating systems. To resolve these issues, you have to test your application on all targeted platforms.

If you are experiencing precise compatibility problems you must try to use different tools to bundle a Java runtime environment with your application, assuring it runs consistently across platforms.

Example#1: UnsupportedClassVersionError: Unsupported major.minor version: 52.0:

  • Issue: This error occurs when trying to run a JavaFX application compiled with a higher JDK version on a lower JRE version.
  • Solution: Ensure that your JavaFX application is compiled and run with the same Java version. Upgrade your JRE or recompile the application with the appropriate JDK version.

Example#2: Scene Builder Compatibility:

  • Issue: Incompatibility issues between the JavaFX version and Scene Builder version.
  • Solution: Ensure that you are using a compatible version of Scene Builder that matches your JavaFX version. Check for updates to both Scene Builder and JavaFX.

Performance Considerations

JavaFX applications, especially those with complex UIs or animations, can sometimes encounter performance problems. You may follow the tips given below to enhance the performance of your JavaFX application:

  • Use the updated version of Java and JavaFX. Newer versions often come with performance advancements.
  • Optimize your scene graph. Try to minimize the number of nodes and avoid unnecessary nesting.
  • Use CSS sparingly. While CSS is great for styling your application, overuse can lead to performance issues.

By solving these common issues you will be able to become more proficient in JavaFX and develop robust, efficient applications.


With this comprehensive guide, we have tried to explore the world of JavaFX, a powerful software platform for developing and delivering desktop applications. We have also mentioned the common challenges one might face when using JavaFX, such as setup problems, compatibility issues, and performance considerations, providing solutions and workarounds for each issue. If you are just starting with JavaFX or looking to level up your skills, we can assure you that this guide will give you a deeper insight into JavaFX and its capabilities. Additionally, for a well-rounded approach to desktop application development, consider exploring the capabilities of .NET as well. To utilize the full potential of .NET development, you may want to refer to .NET development company.

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