Empty Test for String Values using Expression Language

On the OTN ADF & JDeveloper space (aka forum) I often read use cases where an action depends on the state of an af:inputText, or better the value entered in the component.
This is problematic as a String value can either be null or it can be empty. The problem is that is you want to test a String value using Expression Language (EL) in the UI, you can’t use e.g.

#{bindings.myText1.inputValue eq ''}

The solution is an existing, but mostly unknown operator of Expression Language (EL) called ’empty’. This operator checks a String value if it’s empty. Usage of the operator is a bit different from the other operators which are used after the value. The ’empty’ operator is used in front of the valeu like

#{empty bindings.myText1.inputValue}

consider the following use case: a button should be enabled only if a inputText component is not empty. For this we can use this code

            <af:panelGroupLayout layout="scroll" xmlns:af="http://xmlns.oracle.com/adf/faces/rich" id="pgl1">
              <af:inputText label="Label 1" id="it1" value="#{bindings.myText1.inputValue}" autoSubmit="true"/>
              <af:commandButton text="commandButton 1" id="cb1" disabled="#{empty bindings.myText1.inputValue}" partialTriggers="it1"/>
              <af:outputText value="Working (empty bindings.myText1.inputValue): #{empty bindings.myText1.inputValue} --- not working(bindings.myText1.inputValue eq '': #{bindings.myText1.inputValue eq ''}" id="ot1"

As you see, the af:inputText component stored it’s value in a pageDef variable (or a VO row) and submits the entered value using the autoSubmit property set to ‘true’. The af:commandButton gets enabled only if the EL
#{empty bindings.myText1.inputValue}
returns false. This is the case when you enter anything into the af:inputText. The final piece to make it work is the partial trigger on the af:button component listening to the change of the input value.
The outputText below the button is just to show that the EL
#{bindings.myText1.inputValue eq ''}
does not work correctly.