Tuesday Jun 25, 2013

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.

Friday May 31, 2013

ADF Academy: Learn ADF Mobile for free on line

I'm very pleased to announce that we are launching a new on line learning initiative called ADF Academy.  The first release is focused on ADF Mobile.  This is an interactive learning course which includes interviews with ADF Mobile experts, live demos, and quizes; all delivered through an engaging and dynamic learning style.  The whole idea is to move away from the bullet point driven learning we often see, and instead move to a much more engaging model of learning. 

I'm really excited to release this course and we're keen to hear your feedback.

For ANYONE who is learning ADF Mobile, this is the place to start your learning journey.

Thursday May 30, 2013

Forms and ADF Mobile at Scottish OUG

June 12th will be the Scottish Oracle User Group at which I'll be presenting two sessions.  The first is What to do with your Oracle Forms Applications and Developers.  The second session will be Mobile Application Development for the Enterprise

Friday May 24, 2013

ADF Mobile - accessing the SQLite database

I've just uploaded a new video to our official YouTube Channel which shows how to access to the local SQLite database from an ADF Mobile application.  Very useful feature if you want to run off line data retrieval and storage. 

Tuesday Apr 30, 2013

Free Webinar from ADF Ninja Andrejus Baranovskis

I'm pleased to announce that Andrejus Baranovskis, one of the leading experts in Oracle ADF, is running a free webinar masterclass on the 14th of May 2013.  This is a chance for you to learn from a consultant who is behind some of the most successful ADF implementations.  Full details can be found on his blog here but if you have any interest in building successful ADF projects, this is the man to listen to!

Monday Apr 29, 2013

UKOUG Run Full Day SIG on ADF Mobile

After the success of the generic mobile development SIG earlier in the year, the UKOUG are having a SIG focused on ADF Mobile, the technology behind the mobility of Fusion Applications.  Topics include device integration, security, web service development for mobile and user experience.  Its on the 21st May in Oracle's UK London city office.

Places are, as usual, limited so get registered ASAP.

Friday Apr 12, 2013

Learn Oracle Mobile Technologies from ADF Expert Chris Muir

For anyone looking to skill up on ADF Mobile, Chris Muir is running a series of events in Australia in April and May.  Each will be a full day covering how to build mobile applications, security, integration with device features like phone/GPS/email, and apart from anything else is a chance to learn from one of the leading experts in Oracle ADF.  You can get full details from Chris' blog.

Tuesday Apr 02, 2013

ADF Mobile - integrating with device features

For those of you looking at ADF Mobile for building on-device mobile applications we published a playlist called ADF Mobile - Integrating Device Services which brings together the various videos we recorded on how to integrate ADF Mobile applications with device features such as SMS, email and camera.

Thursday Mar 28, 2013

Run Oracle Forms Applications in the Cloud

 

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Tuesday Mar 19, 2013

Free Hands on ADF Training from Grant Ronald

Oracle has confrimed a hands-on ADF training day on the 10th April 2013 in Oracle's Reading offices in the UK.  This will be aimed at new ADF and JDeveloper developers and will lead you through the basics and some more intermediate topics to kick-start your ADF learning.   I will be delivering the training and places are limited to less that 20 so get registered ASAP.

 

Monday Mar 11, 2013

OUG Ireland 2013

I'm off to the Oracle User Group Ireland tomorrow (12th March) where, amongst other things, I'll be presenting two sesssions:

  • The Quick Start Guide to Oracle ADF is based on my book and is aimed at giving you a whistlestop tour of what ADF is all about.
  • Mobile Application for the Enterprise will be focused on the hot topic of developing for mobile devices, the market, the challenges and some of the solutions.

I've also go my eye on "Mobile in Fusion: Rich User Experience Through Reusable Design Patterns" inbetween my sessions which should be an interesting insight on the user experience challenges of how we build mobile applications for Fusion.

 

Wednesday Mar 06, 2013

Qualcomm talks about using Oracle ADF

Nice video from Qualcomm talking about their application development based around SOA, Oracle ADF and EBusiness Suite.  Specifically points made about Oracle ADF:

  • Modern, contemporary look and feel
  • Don't have to have low-level code development

 

Monday Mar 04, 2013

Calling REST services from an ADF Mobile Application

I've just recorded and uploaded a new video on how to call REST services from an ADF Mobile application.  Given REST is one of the primary mechanisms for interacting with mobile devices, I'm hoping this will be a key piece of information on developing ADF Mobile Application (after all, that's why the channel is called ADF Insider Essentials!)  In the demo I show using the URL Data Control and also how to use the REST Service Adaptor.

Wednesday Feb 27, 2013

ADF Insider Overview of ADF Mobile

I've just uploaded a new video giving an overview of ADF Mobile including positioning, technology and a product demo.  The video is available on our official YouTube Channel

Thursday Feb 21, 2013

Virtual Developer Day - Learn ADF on line

Do you want to join a free online developer day where you can learn about the various components that make up the Oracle Fusion Development platform including ADF, ADF Mobile, Oracle WebCenter, Business Intelligence and more. Online seminars and hands-on labs available directly from your browser.   This virtual developer day is running on the 5th March and you can register here.

There are seminar sessions as well as live chat with Oracle experts (including me!) and hands on sessions.  This is a great way to kick start as well as improve your knowledge of Oracle FMW, Oracle ADF and other technologies.

 

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Tips, Tricks, Events and Information around Oracle JDeveloper, ADF, and Oracle Forms

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