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ADF Takeaways from Oracle Open World 2011

It’s often hard to find the little gems of information amongst all the marketing

With the huge amount of sessions at Oracle Open World, it’s often hard to find the little gems of information amongst all the marketing. This is true of ADF like all other technologies at the conference, there’s simply a lot of information to digest and filter. Luckily Oracle publishes the presentations PPTs afterwards and it’s possible to find a jewel or two in all the content with some careful searching.

For the ADF developers among us, this blog post attempts to summarize some of the main ADF takeaways from Oracle Open World 2011. Please remember this is my summary, not Oracle’s (I am not an Oracle employee), and Oracle publishes all of this content under the Safe Harbor statement which means they cannot be held to anything they published.

All the links in this post are not guaranteed to be up forever as Oracle may remove them in the near future. I suggest if you're interested in reading the presentations download them now.

Finally I apologize for some of the clunky grammer and phrases in this post, I wrote it on the plane back to Australia with the usual jetlag that fogs the brain.

ADF Mobile
Of the large announcements at Oracle Open World 2011, the soon-to-be-released (2012) Mobile edition of ADF was the most significant in the ADF space. Some key points of the new platform is it supports both iOS and Android, runs on device with a mini JVM, and uses PhoneGap to allow the native app to access the device’s native facilities.

For me the most telling part was the architecture diagram from the Develop Mobile Apps for iOS, Android, and More: Converging Web and Native Applications presentation by Oracle Corporation’s Joe Huang, Denis Tyrell, and Srini India:

Data Visualization Controls
Dana Singleterry and Jairam Ramanathan from Oracle included screenshots of upcoming DVT components in their Building Visually Appealing Web 2.0 Data DashBoards. First we see a new Network Diagrammer:

As can be seen the component demonstrates the relationship between disparate nodes. This is incredibly useful for visualizing relationships in data. Another screenshot showing a different data relationship structure:

In terms of graphs Oracle is looking at a Treemap graph:

…and a Sunburst graph:

...both useful for showing hierarchical data visually. Of all the DVT controls the Timeline graph excites me most, something I’ve asked for in the past:

However I must clearly stress to readers these DVT controls are not in the current 11.1.2.1.0 release, and under Oracle’s safe harbor statement is not guarantying they will ever see be released (but fingers crossed anyway huh?).

Maven integration
As the ADF EMG moderator I’m involved in a lot of discussions in the community about the IDE and the framework. One hot topic is JDeveloper’s Maven support. 11.1.2.0.0 introduced the first cut of Maven support for the IDE, as discussed by Oracle’s Susan Duncan’s Team Productivity with Maven, Hudson and Team Productivity Center. This first slide shows the current Maven support:

Of more interest is the planned Maven features for 12c, which not only tells me Oracle is committed to Maven support, but also there are definitely limitations in the current implementation:

Most importantly here for me is the first 2 bullet points, which means I wont recommend to customers working with Maven until Oracle makes these available. Don’t get me wrong though, a couple years back there was no Maven support and it’s great Oracle is working to fill that gap completely.

What can Fusion Applications teach us about ADF?
Unlike OOW10, this year at Oracle Open World there was considerable more Fusion Applications demonstrations and presentations. This has been a boon as previously we’ve seen a lot of demos of dashboard-like-screens that while pretty don’t show us where the real work occurs for users. Fatema Madraswala from PwC and Rob Watson from Oracle included screenshots of the Fusion Applications Talent Management system (The very first Fusion go-live case study

:

It’s curious to me that while Oracle has put a lot of effort into communicating the User Experience design effort put into Fusion Applications, then we see a screen that looks Oracle-Forms like, especially with it’s tabbed interface. In turn the worksheet at the bottom looks cluttered with buttons and fields. Yet with respect designing user interfaces for complex business systems is surely not easy.

I recommend ADF developers to search out as many Fusion Applications screenshots as possible as it reveals an insight into how to build the UI and what is and isn’t possible.

What about E-Business Suite?
EBS customers might feel the whole ADF/SOA bandwagon is passing them bye, what with the focus on Fusion Applications. Yet this year saw presentations tailor fitted to cover integrations points with EBS. I must admit I can’t really comment on the quality of the solutions as I have no direct experience with EBS, so I’ll leave experienced readers to make their own assessment. Check out the presentation entitled Extending Oracle E-Business Suite with Oracle ADF and Oracle SOA Suite from Oracle’s Veshaal Singh, Mark Nelson and Tanya Williams.

MetaData Services
As extension to the Fusion Applications demos, I’m detecting more down-and-dirty technical presentations on MedaData Services (MDS) where the framework can support personalizations and customizations. Gangadhar Konduri and a fellow Oracle colleague discussed the theory and demonstrated customizing a Fusion Applications module, with a focus to what technical people need to know. I must admit in the past I’ve been a little skeptical of MDS et all, not for it’s implementation but just the lack of information around on how to maintain and work with it from a developer/administrator point of view. However I’ll need to step back and reassess that opinion. You can read more in Gangadhar’s Managing Customizations and Personalization in Oracle ADF MetaData Services.

For ADF Experts

For the ADF experts who feel many of the presentations aren’t aimed at them, it’s well worth catching one of Steven Davelaar’s presentation. Steven who is the JHeadstart Product Manager at Oracle extends and pushes the ADF framework to its limits. His presentations often include large amounts of code where I discover new properties and techniques way beyond my current level of expertise. This year Steven presented Building Highly Reusable ADF Task Flows and Empowering Multitasking with an Oracle ADF UI Powerhouse for the ADF EMG (great title Steven ;-).

ADF Tuning
From my own perspective one of the most important presentations I attended was Oracle’s Duncan Mill’s ADF – Real World Performance Tuning presentation. As I now have several clients with production level ADF applications, my focus has moved away from the basics of creating ADF applications to architecture and performance. Duncan’s presentation aggregated a wide range of tuning hints into an easily digestible guide, highly valuable.

FMW Roadmaps
In a separate presentation entitled Certified Configurations of Oracle ExaLogic, Oracle Fusion Middleware, BI and Oracle Fusion Apps by Pavana Jain and Deborah Thompson from Oracle Corp, the future roadmap for FMW releases was revealed. Readers are reminded the safe harbor statement means Oracle doesn’t have to stick to what they present, so take the slides as guidelines only.

The first slide shows the approximate dates of each version:

The second slide reveals which 11g FMW products will be included in each release:

Some readers might find it curious why the 11g 11.1.1.X.0 series continues to at least 11.1.1.7.0 while there is already an 11.1.2.0.0 release of JDev. My understanding this is occurring because Fusion Apps will continue on the 11.1.1.X.0 series for some time yet thus extending the life of that branch.

Finally the third slide the same for the 12c FMW products:

Oh and the ADF EMG had a great event too
The ADF EMG also had a "super" Super User Group Sunday, but people are probably a little sick of me talking about it, so I'll just push you to a link instead.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Chris Muir

Chris Muir, an Oracle ACE Director, senior developer and trainer, and frequent blogger at http://one-size-doesnt-fit-all.blogspot.com, has been hacking away as an Oracle consultant with Australia's SAGE Computing Services for too many years. Taking a pragmatic approach to all things Oracle, Chris has more recently earned battle scars with JDeveloper, Apex, OID and web services, and has some very old war-wounds from a dark and dim past with Forms, Reports and even Designer 100% generation. He is a frequent presenter and contributor to the local Australian Oracle User Group scene, as well as a contributor to international user group magazines such as the IOUG and UKOUG.

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