Vaadin is a free ( under Apache License 2.0) web application framework for Rich Internet Application ( RIA). In contrast to Javascript libraries and browser- plugin based solutions it features a server-side architecture, which means that the majority of the logic runs on the server. On the client - side Vaadin is based on the Ajax framework Google Web Toolkit and can be enhanced with it.


One of the key features of Vaadin is that the software developer can write the entire application in Java. The framework includes event-driven programming and controls to the models of conventional GUI software brings closer the programming model than with traditional web development with HTML and JavaScript.

Vaadin uses Google Web Toolkit (GWT ) for displaying web pages. Vaadin adds all actions add a server-side data validation, whereby the server may be compromised client data and informed of these changes is in derogation.

Vaadins standard components can be extended with own GWT controls that can be created for the Themes with CSS.

Extensions and tools

In addition to a number of open source extensions to Vaadin Vaadin manufacturers also market any commercial extensions and tools:


The development started initially as an adapter, based on the open source web framework Millstone 3, which was released in 2002. It introduced a ajax based client communication and render engine. In 2006, this concept was developed separately as a commercial product. This large parts of the server-side Vaadin API are still compatible with the swing similar APIs of Millstone.

In early 2007, the product name was changed to IT Mill Toolkit version 4 and released. It used a proprietary Ajax implementation for display on the client side, which made it difficult to implement new widgets. End of 2007, the proprietary implementation was abandoned on the client side. Instead, the Google Web Toolkit has been integrated to represent the server-side components. At the same time, the product license has been changed in version 2.0 of the free Apache license. The first publication of a production-ready version of IT Mill Toolkit 5 took place on 4 March 2009 after a more than year-long beta period.

On 11 September 2008, publicly announced that Michael Widenius, the main developer of the original version of MySQL in IT Mill, the developers of Vaadin invested. The sum of the investment was not disclosed.

To attract the community, the IT Mill Toolkit was renamed on May 20, 2009 in Vaadin. The name comes from the Finnish word for a female reindeer, which can also be translated as " I insist ." In addition to the name change a pre-release of version 6 was placed together with the community.

On 30 March 2010 Vaadin Directory has been opened, a portal for the dissemination of commercial and open-source extensions for the Vaadin Framework .. The commercial and free extensions of the Vaadin team since then also distributed via the Vaadin Directory. Since February 25, 2011 There are a commercial support model, the so-called Vaadin Pro Accounts.

On March 4, 2013 Vaadin 7 was the first major release since the name change to Vaadin released in 2009.


Historically, Vaadin was compared with the frameworks Wings, Echo/Echo2 and thin wire that use a similar server-side programming model. The server- side APIs are quite similar, but the client-side interactions differ (eg web browser ) in the fact that Vaadin programmed in Java and GWT widgets used, in contrast to the implemented in JavaScript components of echo and Thin Wire.

The most comparisons relied frameworks are currently Adobe Flex, Google Web Toolkit, Apache Wicket and ICEfaces. On the website of Vaadin you will find a comparison matrix.

PhoneGap, an also based on Apache Cordova Framework may be viewed as competition to Vaadin TouchKit. However, PhoneGap is based in programming on HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript.