With the JavaBeans Activation Framework standard extension, developers who use Java technology can take advantage of standard services to determine the type of an arbitrary piece of data, encapsulate access to it, discover the operations available on it, and to instantiate the appropriate bean to perform said operation(s). For example, if a browser obtained a JPEG image, this framework would enable the browser to identify that stream of data as an JPEG image, and from that type, the browser could locate and instantiate an object that could manipulate, or view that image.

The JavaBeans Activation Framework is implemented as a standard extension. Sun provides a royalty-free reference implementation of the JAF software, in binary form, that developers can use to develop JAF technology-enabled applications for any platform that supports version 1.4 or later of the Java 2 Standard Edition. Sun's reference implementation of the JAF standard extension is available for download below.

JAF 1.1.1 released!

The JavaBeans Activation Framework 1.1.1 contains a bug fix for the Turkish locale and a minor enhancement to better support byte arrays and Strings in the DataHandler.writeTo method.

The JavaBeans Activation Framework 1.1.1 requires J2SE 1.4 or greater.

The JavaBeans Activation Framework 1.1.1 final release is included with the Java SE 6 release and is also available separately.

For a detailed description of the fixes see the jaf-changes.txt document.


  • Available for online viewing (in PDF).

System Requirements

Any Java technology-compatible platform running version 1.4 or later of the Java 2 Standard Edition


There is effectively no installation of the JAF. The classes that make up the JAF standard extension are contained in the included Java Archive (JAR) file, "activation.jar". This file can be placed anywhere in your class path.

What's in the JAF release?

  • Release Notes: The release notes for this release including, installation instructions and system requirements.
  • activation.jar: This JAR (Java Archive) file containing the classes that make up JavaBeans Activation Framework.
  • Demos: A directory containing some simple unsupported demos that make use of some of the JAF's features.
  • Documentation: A directory containing the Javadoc API descriptions for the public classes in the JAF.

Download JavaBeans Activation Framework 1.1.1 release


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