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Oracle Visual Builder - New Features Overview

Catalin Pohrib
Oracle EMEA A&C Cloud Adoption & Implementation Consultant

Oracle Visual Builder offers rapid creation of enterprise apps (Web and Mobile) using a visual development environment with integrated agile collaborative development, version control, and continuous delivery automation. Simpler and Faster Application Creation for Everyone, readily hosted in a in a secure cloud environment.

In this blog entry we are going to highlight some of these new features and enhancements added recently to improve your Oracle Visual Builder experience with the new Release 19.3.1.

Bring Your Own Database

You can now point Visual Builder to an existing Oracle Database in the cloud which will be used to host the tables maintaining the data for business objects created through Visual Builder. This allows you to store larger capacity of data (beyond the 5GB limitation that exist on the embedded DB in VB). Since the tables are created in your own database - you can also access them directly using SQL and do DML operation from outside VB. With the introduction of the new "Free Forever" layer of Oracle's cloud services you can get a free 20GB Autonomous Transaction Processing (ATP) database instance and point VB to use it.

 

DB Connection

In the wizard, the administrator can specify a DBaaS or Autonomous Database instance. The wizard includes a tool for selecting which projects in the tenant are downloaded prior to switching to the new DB instance.
 

New Mobile Capabilities

Visual Builder provide a great solution for building on-device mobile applications packaged either as native apps or distributed as Progressive Web Apps (PWA). New features allow you to access the device location, use the share functionality, and take videos with the camera in a declarative way with built in actions. New events allow you to handle your app being paused or resumed on the mobile device. We also improved the caching used by PWAs to speed up loading of apps.

Mobile Actions

Updated Infrastructure

The new version of Visual Builder leverages Oracle JET version 7.1 out of the box. In addition, new functionality allows you to specify specific JET versions for specific apps you create - giving you better control on their behavior. In addition, new feature support coding with ES6 and ECMA2018 standards (while still able to degrade gracefully to support old browsers such as IE11).

Visual Builder keeps expanding to new data centers across the world as the Oracle cloud expands - you can already find VB in Zurich, Tokyo, Seoul, and Mumbai in addition to existing centers in the US, Canada, and Europe.
 

New Apps and Page Templates

Page TemplatesWhen you create mobile or web apps you'll notice new templates that offer various navigation approaches in mobile apps, and a new responsive + navigation template for web apps. In addition, when creating mobile pages, you'll be able to select from a wider choice of mobile optimized page layouts. As always you can further customize those templates and create your own layouts.

 

Improved Code Editor

While Visual Builder is focused on giving you a visual approach to create your applications, one of the key benefits, it provides is direct access to the actual HTML code of your pages in a code editor from your browser. This editor just got richer with the ability to use the component palette, property inspector, and structure pane while working on code directly. You can, for example, drag a component to your code, reposition it with the structure pane, and change its properties through the property inspector - all while working in "code" view. Also note the new right-click menu option that will show you the list of all the keyboard shortcuts you can use while editing code in Visual Builder.

Rich Code Editor

You'll notice updates to the other editors as well. For example, the action chain editor has a new preview area, allowing you to easily navigate long action chains. It also no longer opens in a separate tab - keeping you in the context of the scope you are working in. Another example is the business object diagram editor which now allows you to choose specific objects to show in the diagram.
 

Improved Page Designer

You can now drag and drop components from the Components Palette directly into the Code view and re-position them in Code view using the Page Structure view.

Cut/Copy/Paste is now supported for selected components in the Page Structure view and Design mode. The actions can be invoked using standard shortcuts (ctrl+x, ctrl+c and ctrl+v, CMD key on macOS), and are also available in the component's popup menu. When a component is pasted into a page it is automatically assigned a unique ID. When a component is pasted on a different page, all property values that are expressions are removed.

Unused component import is removed from the page model when the last instance of the component is deleted from the page. Components dropped into a parent's slot are wrapped with a template element if the slot's metadata includes attribute data.
 

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Much More

There are many other enhancements you'll find all over the tool, from new declarative ways to define search criteria in your queries, new UI components, improved CI/CD support, and better ways to manage app authorization and security that you can read more about them HERE.
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Note:

After signing into Oracle Cloud, Visual Builder administrators use the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Console to access the Visual Builder service. Previously they accessed this service from the My Services Dashboard. See Set Up Oracle Visual Builder in Administering Oracle Visual Builder.

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