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Grant Ronald's Blog

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Oracle Forms

Got Oracle Forms? Get to UKOUG Tech15 Conference.

Anyone (and I know there are THOUSANDS of you) who have an Oracle Forms system somewhere in your company might be aware that Forms is having a bit of resurgence.  Oracle Forms 12c was released last month with a bunch of new features.  However, there is one other killer reason to be taking stock of your Forms investment: the UKOUG Tech15 conference is next month with some of the biggest and brightest brains talking about Oracle Forms.Mike Ferrante, the product manager for Oracle Forms is flying in from the US to give us an insight into the new Oracle Forms 12c Mia Urman, CEO of Auraplayer, Oracle ACE Director and long time supporter of Forms will be hosting an Oracle Forms roundtable discussion. Mark Waite from SOA Consultancy experts Griffiths Waite give his insight into "The Digital Transformation of Oracle Forms" Oracle A-Team architect Steven Davelaar (the author of JHeadstart) will share an amazing story of a customer who is running a Forms backend from tablets! If that is not enough, I'll be there (x-lead of Forms Product Management), Duncan Mills, Senior Director of Product Management who for about 15 years was "Mr Forms" (and still is for most people) and Frank Nimphius the author of many of the Forms PJC samples and last time I looked had answered about 15,000 Forms questions on OTN.Throw in some partners talking about Forms such as PITSS, Auraplayer, ExplorerUK and you'll get just about the best advice on what to do with Oracle Forms - and all for about 1 hour of consultancy time from those consultants that told you Forms was dead! 

Anyone (and I know there are THOUSANDS of you) who have an Oracle Forms system somewhere in your company might be aware that Forms is having a bit of resurgence.  Oracle Forms 12c was released last...

ADF Mobile

ADF Mobile - attached device not being recognised

Seemingly randomly I started having errors trying to deploy an ADF Mobile application to my Nexus 7 tablet.  I was getting[10:28:07 AM] Shutting down Android Debug Bridge server...[10:28:07 AM] Deployment cancelled.[10:28:07 AM] ----  Deployment incomplete  ----.[10:28:07 AM] Failed to detect a connected Android device.  Make sure the device is connected.  Otherwise, manually restart the ADB server.  The following results were provided by ADB:List of devices    attached (oracle.adfmf.framework.dt.deploy.android.deployers.CheckAttachedDevicesDeployer)But in addition, I also noted that some software I was using to view the Nexus on my PC was also not finding the tablet.  I also couldn't see the tablet on the Windows Explorer window - so, something somewhere outside of JDeveloper seemed to be the problem.What I did to fix this was the followingFrom the Windows Start I ran devmgmt.msc and from here I found "Android Composite ADB Device" - I double clicked on this to chose to uninstall AND delete the driver.I then re-connected the Nexus and it started to install the driver.  I got an error here but I pressed on regardless since now at least Windows Explorer could see the device although JDeveloper couldn'tI made sure USB Debugging was ON on the tablet AND I also switch off Media Device (MTP) which is a USB connection option.The combination of the above and the luck of the gods seemed to have got things working. 

Seemingly randomly I started having errors trying to deploy an ADF Mobile application to my Nexus 7 tablet.  I was getting [10:28:07 AM] Shutting down Android Debug Bridge server...[10:28:07 AM]...

JDeveloper and ADF

Book Review: Oracle ADF 11gR2 Development Beginner's Guide

Packt Publishing asked me to review Oracle ADF 11gR2 Development Beginner's Guide by Vinod Krishnan, so on a couple of long flights I managed to get through the book in a couple of sittings.One point to make clear before I go into the review.  Having authored "The Quick Start Guide to Fusion Development: JDeveloper and Oracle ADF", I've written a book which covers the same topic/beginner level.  I also think that its worth stating up front that I applaud anyone who has gone  through the effort of writing a technical book. So well done Vinod.  But on to the review:The book itself is a good break down of topic areas.  Vinod starts with a quick tour around the IDE, which is an important step given all the work you do will be through the IDE.  The book then goes through the general path that I tend to always teach: a quick overview demo, ADF BC, validation, binding, UI, task flows and then the various "add on" topics like security, MDS and advanced topics.  So it covers the right topics in, IMO, the right order.  I also think the writing style flows nicely as well - Its a relatively easy book to read, it doesn't get too formal and the "Have a go hero" hands on sections will be useful for many.That said, I did pick out a number of styles/themes to the writing that I found went against the idea of a beginners guide.  For example, in writing my book, I tried to carefully avoid talking about topics not yet covered or not yet relevant at that point in someone's learning.  So, if I was a new ADF developer reading this book, did I really need to know about ADFBindingFilter and DataBindings.cpx file on page 58 - I've only just learned how to do a drag and drop simple application so showing me XML configuration files relevant to JSF/ADF lifecycle is probably going to scare me off!I found this in a couple of places, for example, the security chapter starts on page 219 but by page 222 (and most of the preceding pages are hands-on steps) we're diving into the web.xml, weblogic.xml, adf-config.xml, jsp-config.xml and jazn-data.xml.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you shouldn't know this, but I feel you have to get people on a strong grounding of the concepts before showing them implementation files.  If having just learned what ADF Security is will "The initialization parameter remove.anonymous.role is set to false for the JpsFilter filter as this filter is the first filter defined in the file" really going to help me?The other theme I found which I felt didn't work was that a couple of the chapters descended into a reference guide.  For example page 159 onwards basically lists UI components and their properties.  And page 87 onwards list the attributes of ADF BC in pretty much the same way as the on line help or developer guide, and I've a personal aversion to any sort of help that says pretty much what the attribute name is e.g. "Precision Rule: this option is used to set a strict precision rule", or "Property Set: this is the property set that has to be applied to the attribute". Hmmm, I think I could have worked that out myself, what I would want to know in a beginners guide are what are these for, what might I use them for...and if I don't need to use them to create an emp/dept example them maybe it’s better to leave them out.All that said, would the book help me - yes it would.  It’s obvious that Vinod knows ADF and his style is relatively easy going and the book covers all that it has to, but I think the book could have done a better job in the educational side of guiding beginners.

Packt Publishing asked me to review Oracle ADF 11gR2 Development Beginner's Guide by Vinod Krishnan, so on a couple of long flights I managed to get through the book in a couple of sittings. One point...

Events and Announcements

Meet the ADF Enablement Team

You may know some us of (or at least the names), but I wanted to introduce you to the ADF Enablement team and give you an insight into what we do.  We are part of the Oracle ADF Product Management group and our remit is the successful enablement of ADF.  So what does that really mean?  Well as product managers we are focused on the success of the product, but specifically we are tasked with helping customers and developers adopt, learn and ultimately be successful with Oracle ADF.Generally speaking, there are two ways to do this.  The first is the reactive support and help of customers.  So for example, many of us are engaged with internal (remember, ADF is used for many of our internal systems including Fusion Apps) and external customers.  This might involve code reviews, architecture reviews, helping on escalated issues with Support, developing workarounds, logging bugs, suggesting enhancements and answering forum posts.Now, the problem with that is there are only so many customers we can engage with at any one time, so we try to scale up our enablement through proactive initiatives.  So things like ADF Code Corner, ADF Insider and ADF Insider Essentials, ADF Architecture Square and our Advanced ADF Ecourse are developed from within this team.  Future proactive initiatives also include a live ADF Architecture course, ADF Faces Usability course and two new ecourses (in a new format) for mobile and Java.You'll also find us globetrotting and turning up at various events.  You'll usually find at least one of us at an Oracle user group near you (if not, just ask us!) and we're often the trainers delivering live classes and education for internal and external customers.  Oh, and we've published books on Web Center and ADF and have regular columns in various Oracle and user group magazines.So, that's what we do, now to meet the team.  We're a globally diverse team but late in 2012 we managed to find ourselves all in the same country, and infact, in the same pub and here is the picture to prove it.          The team is, from left to right:Susan Duncan (UK) - who runs the Mobile program office, setting up developers who want to develop mobile applications Chris Muir (AUS) - our APAC ADF guru and co-founder of the ADF EMG Frederic Desbiens (CA) - our newest member who brings a wealth of real world ADF development experience Lynn Munsinger (US) - the brains behind Fusion Order Demo and also runs the team* who develop OU courses and tutorials Grant Ronald (UK) - I have the pleasure of managing this group of wonderful individuals, and anything Forms/ADF Frank Nimphius (DE) - All round ADF-meister and font of all ADF knowledge. So next time you pick up an ADF developer guide, code sample, book or attend a training course, it might be one of the ADF Enablement team who has had a hand in it.* And a call out to Lynn's team: Gary Williams, DeDe Morton and Jeff Gallus.

You may know some us of (or at least the names), but I wanted to introduce you to the ADF Enablement team and give you an insight into what we do.  We are part of the Oracle ADF Product Management...

Oracle Forms

Accessing an Oracle Forms application from an iPhone!

I'm sitting here writing an article on Mobile application development so its a nice coincidence that this post came up from Oraplayer.  Its a reasonable questions to ask: you've a key application running Oracle Forms, but with more and more demand for mobile access to applications, how could you expose this application to a mobile device.  The first thing to be clear on is that Forms won't run ON the actual mobile device.  The second thing is, not all "typical" Forms screens would make sense on a tiny mobile phone screen, so you really have to be clear on the use case here.So rather than performing some complex order entry on a phone, I'm probably more likely to want to check or update the status of an order.  It turns out that the Oraplayer solution has a neat way of first of all recording which fields on the Form you would want to "mobilize", and then it creates a web service to access those fields.  The web service can then be deployed and accessed, just like any old web service, from a mobile device using a technology like ADF Mobile.So, rather and ripping and replacing your Forms application just because it limits you to "back office" data entry, you now have a shiney new mobile access channel to offer to your employees/customers! 

I'm sitting here writing an article on Mobile application development so its a nice coincidence that this post came up from Oraplayer.  Its a reasonable questions to ask: you've a key application...

JDeveloper and ADF

ADF Real World Developers Guide Book Review

I'm half way through my review of "Oracle ADF Real World Developer's Guide" by Jobinesh Purushothaman - unfortunately some work deadlines de-railed me from having completed my review by now but here goes.  First thing, Jobinesh works in the Oracle Product Management team with me, so is a colleague. That declaration aside, its clear that this is someone who has done the "real world" side of ADF development and that comes out in the book.In this book he addresses both the newbies and the experience developers alike.  He introduces the ADF building blocks like entity objects and view obejcts, but also goes into some of the nitty gritty details as well.  There is a pro and con to this approach; having only just learned about an entity or view object, you might then be blown away by some of the lower details of coding or lifecycle.  In that respect, you might consider this a book which you could read 3 or 4 times; maybe skipping some elements in the first read but on the next read you have a better grounding to learn the more advanced topics.One of the key issues he addresses is breaking down what happens behind the scenes.  At first, this may not seem important since you trust the framework to do everything for you - but having an understanding of what goes on is essential as you move through development.  For example, page 58 he explains the full lifecycle of what happens when you execute a query.  I think this is a great feature of his book. You see this elsewhere, for example he explains the full lifecycle of what goes on when a page is accessed : which files are involved,the JSF lifecycle etc.He also sprinkes the book with some best practices and advice which go beyond the standard features of ADF and really hits the mark in terms of "real world" advice.So in summary, this is a great ADF book, well written and covering a mass of information.  If you are brand new to ADF its still valid given it does start with the basics.  But you might want to read the book 2 or 3 times, skipping the advanced stuff on the first read.  For those who have some basics already then its going to be an awesome way to cement your knowledge and take it to the next levels.  And for the ADF experts, you are still going to pick up some great ADF nuggets. Advice: every ADF developer should have one!

I'm half way through my review of "Oracle ADF Real World Developer's Guide" by Jobinesh Purushothaman - unfortunately some work deadlines de-railed me from having completed my review by now but here...