A JavaFX 8 Stock Ticker application

Since Java SE 7, update 6 , JavaFX is part of the Java SE, it is officially replacing Swing as Oracle’s UI library for Java, and it runs on (any) desktop, mobile, and within the browser (applet). Java SE 7 includes version JavaFX 2.2, Java SE 8 includes JavaFX8, i.e. the version we will use here.

In this blog, I would like to demonstrate how to create a simple stock ticker, written in JavaFX. Data will be fetched by calling a REST service from http://dev.markitondemand.com/#stockquote.
The url for the REST service returning the stockprice :


Where ‘GE’ is the symbol of the company.

Let’s start with some Eclipse setup first.

  1. install the e(fx)clipse plugin from following update site : http://download.eclipse.org/efxclipse/updates-released/1.0.0/site
  2. install the Scene Builder that will be used to design the screen. The Scene Builder is a piece of software that will help you create *.FXML files. These are plain xml files that contain the layout of your screen.
    http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/sb2download-2177776.html is the one I used
    but newer versions can be downloaded from http://gluonhq.com/products/downloads/
  3. Install a JDK SE 8

So now we are ready to go. Open Eclipse and select ‘File’ -> ‘New’ -> ‘JavaFX Project’


Enter a project name: StockTicker, set the JRE to a Java 8 install, and click finish.


A JavaFX project is created with a Main.java class. Right click the project , select Run As , Java Application, and you will see an empty window popping up. This shows that all components were correctly installed.

Our application contains a screen with a combo box, where we can select a company. After selection it will be added to a list view, where we can see its stock price update every 3 seconds. (If there is any trading activity of course : for more detail see http://www.batstrading.com/support/hours/ )

The Layout

In JavaFX we can create our UI in plain Java code or using .FXML files. We’ll use the latter here, as it creates a clean separation between the view and the model.

Right click the project -> New -> Other -> Package. Then enter the popup as shown below and click finish :


Then right click the package -> New -> Other -> New FXML Document


Click Next, enter ‘MainUI’ in the name of the fxml file.
Leave the Root Element as BorderPane. This is a layout with 5 areas : top,bottom, left and right. Click finish.


A MainUI.fxml file is created. Replace the content by the following :

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

<?import javafx.geometry.*?>
<?import javafx.scene.text.*?>
<?import javafx.scene.control.*?>
<?import java.lang.*?>
<?import javafx.scene.layout.*?>
<?import javafx.scene.layout.BorderPane?>

<BorderPane prefHeight="500.0" prefWidth="500.0" xmlns="http://javafx.com/javafx/8" xmlns:fx="http://javafx.com/fxml/1">
      <Label text="Stock Ticker BATS Exchange" textAlignment="CENTER" BorderPane.alignment="CENTER">
            <Font name="Arial" size="33.0" />
      <VBox BorderPane.alignment="CENTER">
            <ComboBox fx:id="cbQuote" prefHeight="20.0" prefWidth="350.0" promptText="Select a company">
                  <Insets bottom="20.0" left="75.0" top="20.0" />
            <TableView fx:id="listQuote" prefHeight="200.0" prefWidth="200.0" VBox.vgrow="ALWAYS">
                <TableColumn fx:id="symbolCol" prefWidth="75.0" text="Symbol" />
                <TableColumn fx:id="companyCol" prefWidth="241.0" text="Company" />
                <TableColumn fx:id="lastpriceCol" prefWidth="153.0" text="Last Price" />

This XML already contains some links to code we will add later in the MainController.java class.
Save the .fxml file, right click the file and select ‘Open with Scene Builder’
The Scene Builder will start up and display the following screen :


Important here, is the Hierarchy block at the bottom left of the screen. It shows the structure of the layouts and components on the screen. We will use a BorderPane as the root layout, where a Label is added in the top area to use as a title. In the center area of the border pane, a VBox is added, containing a Combo Box (for selecting the quotes) and a TableView to view the quotes.

The Application

Now that we got the layout in place, we’ll start coding.
First of all, you can remove the generate package ‘application’ with its contents. It was generated by default by Eclipse, but we won’t be using it anymore.
Next step : create a new java class in the eu.iadvise.stockticker package, and call it MainApp.java. Use the following code :

public class MainApp extends Application {

	private Stage primaryStage;
    private BorderPane rootLayout;

    public void start(Stage primaryStage) {
        this.primaryStage = primaryStage;
        this.primaryStage.setTitle("BATS Ticker Application");
        FXMLLoader loader = null;
        try {
            // Load the root layout from the fxml file
            loader = new FXMLLoader(MainApp.class.getResource("MainUI.fxml"));
            rootLayout = (BorderPane) loader.load();
        } catch (Exception e) {
            // Exception gets thrown if the fxml file could not be loaded
        	System.out.println("FXML NOT LOADED !!!!!");
        Scene scene = new Scene(rootLayout);

	public static void main(String[] args) {

This is our primary class, where, first we set the title of the application window, then, we load the fxml that is used as layout, and then, we launch our application. By now our package explorer should look like this :


When you right click ‘StockTicker’ -> Run As -> Java Application, the application should be launched and will look like this :



The code for the REST call

Before we continue with the JavaFX components, we will create the necessary classes to execute the REST call, that picks up the stock quotes.

First, we create a Company class that will be used to populate the combo box.

public class Company {

	private String symbol;
	private String name;

	public Company(String symbol, String name) {
		this.symbol = symbol;
		this.name = name;
	public String getSymbol() {
		return symbol;
	public String getName() {
		return name;

	// This method returns the value that is shown in the combobox.
	public String toString() {
		return this.name;

	public static List<Company> getListCompanies() {
		List<Company> list = new ArrayList<Company>();
		list.add(new Company("SIRI","SIRIUS XM HLDGS INC COM"));
		list.add(new Company("ABX","BARRICK GOLD CORP COM"));
		list.add(new Company("GE","GENERAL ELECTRIC CO COM"));
		list.add(new Company("TLM","TALISMAN ENERGY INC COM"));
		list.add(new Company("AAPL","APPLE INC COM"));
		list.add(new Company("SPLS","STAPLES INC COM"));
		list.add(new Company("MSFT","MICROSOFT CORP COM"));
		list.add(new Company("PFE","PFIZER INC COM"));
		list.add(new Company("ORCL","ORACLE CORP."));
		list.add(new Company("BAC","BANK AMER CORP COM"));
		list.add(new Company("XOM","EXXON MOBIL CORP COM"));
		list.add(new Company("AA","ALCOA INC COM"));
		list.add(new Company("KO","COCA COLA CO COM"));
		list.add(new Company("C","CITIGROUP INC COM NEW"));
		return list;

The getStockQuote method will execute the REST call to fetch the stock prices. Therefore we added the jersey-bundle-1.18.jar that contains all the necessary JAX-RS class to execute the call. Get this jar from : http://repo1.maven.org/maven2/com/sun/jersey/jersey-bundle/1.18/jersey-bundle-1.18.jar and add it to the project’s build path.

To get the result from the REST call we create the StockQuote class. This is basically just a value object. :

public class StockQuote {

	private String name; //		Name of the company
	private String symbol; //		The company's ticker symbol
	private double lastPrice;//		The last price of the company's stock

	public String getSymbol() {
		return this.symbol;

	public String getName() {
		return this.name;

	public double getLastPrice() {
		return this.lastPrice;

	public void setName(String name) {
		this.name = name;

	public void setSymbol(String symbol) {
		this.symbol = symbol;

	public void setLastPrice(double lastPrice) {
		this.lastPrice = lastPrice;

	public String toString() {
		return "StockQuote [name=" + name + ", symbol=" + symbol
				+ ", lastPrice=" + lastPrice + "]";


Finally, we need to add the stock quote class that will be used in the observable list. :

public class StockQuoteOL {

	private StringProperty symbol; //	Name of the company
	private StringProperty name; //	Name of the company
	private DoubleProperty lastPrice;//	The last price of the company's stock

	public StockQuoteOL(String symbol, String name, Double lastPrice) {
		this.symbol = new SimpleStringProperty(symbol);
		this.name = new SimpleStringProperty(name);
		this.lastPrice = new SimpleDoubleProperty(lastPrice);

	public StringProperty getSymbol() {
		return symbol;

	public void setSymbol(StringProperty symbol) {
		this.symbol = symbol;

	public StringProperty getName() {
		return name;

	public void setName(StringProperty name) {
		this.name = name;

	public DoubleProperty getLastPrice() {
		return lastPrice;

	public void setLastPrice(DoubleProperty lastPrice) {
		this.lastPrice = lastPrice;


The StringProperty and DoubleProperty var’s will cause the components to update if the values of these variables are updated.

The JavaFX code

For each fxml in JavaFX, we create a controller class that contains the code handling all UI actions. So we create a MainController.java class with the following content :

import javafx.beans.value.ChangeListener;
import javafx.beans.value.ObservableValue;
import javafx.collections.FXCollections;
import javafx.collections.ObservableList;
import javafx.concurrent.ScheduledService;
import javafx.concurrent.Task;
import javafx.concurrent.WorkerStateEvent;
import javafx.event.EventHandler;
import javafx.fxml.FXML;
import javafx.scene.control.ComboBox;
import javafx.scene.control.TableColumn;
import javafx.scene.control.TableView;
import javafx.util.Duration;

import javax.ws.rs.core.MediaType;

import com.sun.jersey.api.client.Client;
import com.sun.jersey.api.client.ClientResponse;
import com.sun.jersey.api.client.GenericType;
import com.sun.jersey.api.client.WebResource;

public class MainController {

    private ComboBox<Company> cbQuote;

    private TableView<StockQuoteOL> listQuote;
    private ObservableList<StockQuoteOL> listQuoteObservable = FXCollections.observableArrayList();
    private TableColumn<StockQuoteOL, String> symbolCol;
    private TableColumn<StockQuoteOL, String> companyCol;
    private TableColumn<StockQuoteOL, Number> lastpriceCol;    

    private ScheduledService<ObservableList<StockQuoteOL>> service;
     * Initializes the controller class. This method is automatically called
     * after the fxml file has been loaded.
    public void initialize () {
        // fill up combobox with a list of companies
    	ObservableList<Company> listCompaniesObservable = FXCollections.observableArrayList();
        // add a change listener on the combobox
    	cbQuote.getSelectionModel().selectedItemProperty().addListener(new ChangeListener<Company>() {
			public void changed(ObservableValue<? extends Company> observable,
					Company oldValue, Company newValue) {
	    			StockQuote stockQuote = getStockQuote(newValue.getSymbol());
	    			listQuoteObservable.add(new StockQuoteOL(stockQuote.getSymbol(),
	    					stockQuote.getLastPrice()) );
        // configure the listView with the stock quotes
    	symbolCol.setCellValueFactory(cellData -> cellData.getValue().getSymbol());
    	companyCol.setCellValueFactory(cellData -> cellData.getValue().getName());
    	lastpriceCol.setCellValueFactory(cellData -> cellData.getValue().getLastPrice());
        // define the service to fetch the stock quotes
    	service = new PollingService(listQuoteObservable);
	    service.setOnFailed(new EventHandler<WorkerStateEvent>() {
	    	public void handle(WorkerStateEvent event) {
	    		System.out.println(" Error in call : "+event.getSource().getException().getMessage());
            // start the service that will run every 3 seconds


    class PollingService extends ScheduledService<ObservableList<StockQuoteOL>> {
    	private ObservableList<StockQuoteOL> listStockQuotes;
    	public PollingService(ObservableList<StockQuoteOL> listStockQuotes) {
    	protected Task<ObservableList<StockQuoteOL>> createTask() {
    		return new PollingTask(listStockQuotes);

    public class PollingTask extends Task<ObservableList<StockQuoteOL>> {
    	private ObservableList<StockQuoteOL> listStocks;
    		public PollingTask(ObservableList<StockQuoteOL> listStocks) {
    			this.listStocks = listStocks;
            @Override public ObservableList<StockQuoteOL> call() throws InterruptedException {
            	for (StockQuoteOL quote : listStocks) {
            	return listStocks;

    public static StockQuote getStockQuote(String symbol) {
        Client c = Client.create();
        WebResource r = c.resource("http://dev.markitondemand.com/Api/v2/Quote?symbol="+symbol);
        ClientResponse response = r.accept( MediaType.APPLICATION_XML_TYPE).get(ClientResponse.class);
		StockQuote stockQuote =  response.getEntity(new GenericType<StockQuote>() {});
		System.out.println("Result REST call:"+stockQuote);
		return stockQuote;


This controller class contains the code for our MainUI.fxml layout.

To add this controller, open the MainUI.fxml in the scene builder, open the Controller section in the Document section, and select this class from the dropdown. (the eclipse plugin adds all possible controllers to this list)



Remark : after updating and saving the .fxml file using the scene builder, make sure you refresh (F5) the file in Eclipse, otherwise the changes will not be picked up.

The member variables of the controller class, annotated with @FXML, refer to components in the .fxml file, defined with ‘fx:id’. Eg. : open the fxml in scene builder and select the combobox. in the Code section, you see the name of the member in the fx:id : cbQuote.


Now we have our layout and the components, and the bindings between these components and the member variables in the controller class in place. The next step is to add functionality to the components.

In the initialize() method is executed on startup, and contains code for :

  • fill the combobox with a company list
  • add change listener on the combo box and add company
  • configuration of the list view for the stock quotes
  • definition of the service to fetch the stock quotes
  • Connect observable lists to our listview :
    Any changes (adding or updating of objects) in the observable list will now immediatly result in an update in the component.

As JavaFX runs in 1 thread, we will have to execute the REST service call to fetch the stock prices in a seperate thread, otherwise, the main UI would freeze during the call.

JavaFX has a few classes in the javafx.concurrent.* package that can be used to tackle this problem.

We wrote an extension on the ‘ScheduledService’ class : PollingService.java. This class executes a Task with any given time between the calls. Our Task (PollingTask.java) will fetch new prices for every company that is currently present in the listview. The service as a few methods for configuration purposes :

  • service.maximumFailureCountProperty().set(5) : After 5 failed calls, the service will stop
  • service.setPeriod(Duration.seconds(3)) : The service will be executed every 3 seconds.
  • service.setOnFailed : Callback method if the service fails. (There are more methods available like onSucceed,…)

The service.start() will eventually start the service.

Running the project

Right click the project an select Run as… Java Application.


Remember, if there is no trading at this moment, the prices will not change of course…


One thought on “A JavaFX 8 Stock Ticker application

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About Chris Noë