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JavaFX Architecture

The following image shows the complete architecture of JavaFX platform. There are various built-in components which are interconnected with each other. However, JavaFX contains a rich set of APIs which are more than enough to develop rich internet applications which run consistently across many platforms.

JavaFX public API

The top layer of JavaFX architecture contains a JavaFX public API which provides all the necessary classes that are responsible for executing a full featured JavaFX application. The list of all the packages of this API are as follows.

Package Name Description
javafx.animation Provides the set of classes that are responsible for transitions based animations
javafx.application Provides application life-cycle methods
javafx.collections Provides classes that can handle collections and related utilities
javafx.concurrent Provides classes that are responsible for multitasking
javafx.embed.swing Provides the set of classes that can be used inside the swing code
javafx.embed.swt Provides the set of classes that can be used inside the swt code
javafx.event Provides the classes that deal with events and their handling
javafx.fxml Contains the set of classes that are responsible of loading hierarchy from mark-up
javafx.geometry Provides the 2D classes that contains the methods to operate 2D geometry on the object.
javafx.scene Provides the classes to deal with scene graph API
javafx.scene.canvas Provides the set of classes that deal with canvas.
javafx.scene.control Contains the classes for all JavaFX components.
javafx.scene.effect Contains the set of classes that apply the graphic effects to scene graph nodes
javafx.scene.image Provides the set of classes for loading and displaying images
javafx.scene.input Provides the set of classes for the mouse and keyboard events
javafx.scene.layout Provides the set of classes to support user interface layout Provides the set of classes to integrate audio and video into JavaFX application
javafx.scene.paint Provides the set of classes for colours and gradients to fill shapes and backgrounds when rendering scene graph.
javafx.scene.shape Provides the set of 2D classes that performs the operations on objects related to 2D geometry.
javafx.scene.text Provides the set of classes for fonts and rendering text nodes.
javafx.scene.transform Provides the set of classes that are used to perform rotating, scaling, shearing operations on objects.
javafx.scene.web Provides means for loading and displaying web content.
javafx.stage Provides the top level container classes for JavaFX content.
javafx.util Provides utilities classes
javafx.util.converter This package is for standard string converters for JavaFX

Scene Graph

It is the starting point of constructing a JavaFX application. It is a hierarchical tree of nodes that represent all the visual elements of user interface. It also have the capability of handling event. In general, scene graph can be defined as a collection of nodes.

Each node has its separate id, style and volume. Every node of a scene graph can only have single parent and zero or more children.

All the implementation on a scene graph are actually applied to its node. Their are various classes present in javafx.scene package that are used for creating, modifying and applying some transformations on the node. We will discuss Scene graph later in detail.

Graphics Engine

The JavaFX graphics engine provides the graphics support to the the scene graph. It basically supports 2D as well as 3D graphics both. It provides the software rendering when the graphics hardware present on the system is not able to support hardware accelerated rendering.

The two graphics accelerated pipelines in the JavaFX are:


prism can be seen as High Performance hardware-accelerated graphics pipeline. It has the capability to render both 2D and 3D graphics. Prism implements different ways to render graphics on different platforms.

  • DirectX 9 on windows XP or vista
  • DirectX 11 on windows 7
  • OpenGL on Mac, Linux and embedded
  • Java 2D when hardware acceleration is not possible

Quantum Tool kit

Quantum Tool Kit is used to bind prism and glass windowing tool kit together and makes them available for the above layers in stack.

Glass Windowing tool kit

It is present on the lowest level of JavaFX graphics stack. It basically can be seen as a platform dependent layer which works as an interface between JavaFX platform and native operating system.

It is responsible for providing the operating system services such as managing the windows, timers, event queues and surfaces.

Web View

We can also embed the HTML content to a JavaFX scene graph. For this purpose, JavaFX uses a component called web view. Web view uses web kit which is an internal open source browser and can render HTM5, DOM, CSS, SVG and JavaScript.

Using web view, we can render the HTML content from JavaFX application , and also apply some CSS styles to the user interface.

Media Engine

By using Media engine, the JavaFX application can support the playback of audio and video media files. JavaFX media engine depends upon an open source engine called as G Streamer. The package contains all the classes and interfaces that can provide media functionalities to JavaFX applications.

JavaFX Architecture Media Engine

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