I have a VisualForce page with a list of objects on one side and a section on the right that shows details about the objects. The section on the right is a VF Component. The component controller has a method that looks up the details based on the object's ID.

The idea is when the user clicks on the list, the component updates. Now, I know how to define an ActionFunction, and to call a method on the page controller via Javascript in response to the onclick. But how do I call a method on the component controller to update the ID and have it reload it's data?


The easiest way is to do so via an attribute on the component.

<apex:component controller="XYZ">
   <apex:attribute name="recordId" description="The record to view" assignTo="{!currentRecordId}" />

And in the controller:

public class XYZ {
    Id recordId;
    public void setCurrentRecordId(Id newRecordId) {
        if(newRecordId != recordId) {
            recordId = newRecordId;
    // reloadData and related attributes not included

At that point, all you need to do is set the selected record Id in your page's controller/extension, and the assignTo function will notify your component of the change. Strictly speaking, you don't need an actionFunction, just a normal action method would work as well.

In the page:

<c:myComponent recordId="{!selectedRecordId}" />


<apex:repeat value="{!itemList}" var="item">
    {!item.name} <apex:commandLink action="{!item.selectRecordId}" />

And in your controller:

public class pageController {
    public Id selectedRecordId { get; set; }
    public class Wrapper {
        pageController controller;
        public SObject record { get; set; }
        public void selectRecordId() {
            controller.selectedRecordId = record.Id;
    public Wrapper[] itemList { get; set; }
    // set itemList to the values for the wrapper
  • Hmmm. I am doing pretty much exactly as you suggest. But my page is not reloading. I used an ActionFunction so I could specify exactly what to rerender. I was under the impression that the component controller constructor (say that five times fast) would not be invoked again on the PostBack. Not true? May 26 '17 at 21:27
  • @SalesForceJedi Constructors are not, but assignTo attributes are evaluated each time the component is rendered. Also, commandLink/commandButton both support reRender targets.
    – sfdcfox
    May 26 '17 at 21:28
  • I see it now. You specify the method, not the property in the attribute. That's the missing piece. Thanks so much! May 26 '17 at 21:32
  • To clarify: I was trying to do this in two steps 1) update the attribute value and 2) call some method to refresh the data. Reading @sfdcfox's response I realized D'oh! Just use a setter for the attribute and do both. So my attribute: <apex:attribute name="AppID" description="Selected appointment." required="false" assignTo="{!AppointmentID}" type="ID"/> and in the controller: private ID myID {get; set;} public ID AppointmentID { get {return myID;} set { if (myID!=value) { myID=value; if (myID==null) clearData(); else getDetails(); } } } May 28 '17 at 14:46

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