JHeadstart 11.1.1 Technical Preview Now Available

Oracle JHeadstart 11.1.1 Technical Preview is now available for download. Customers who own a JHeadstart supplement option license can download it from the Consulting Supplement Option portal.

An evaluation version of JHeadstart 11.1.1 is not yet available. We plan to make an evaluation version available in the fall of calendar year 2009.

In addition to many small enhancements, the following features have been added in JHeadstart 11.1.1:

  • New Application Level in Application Definition Editor: In previous versions, a project typically contained multiple JHeadstart application definition files, that were edited and generated separately. In release 11, these application definition files have been renamed to service definition files, and can be edited and generated all together in the application definition editor. The editor has a new top level application node that shows all services. The application node contains a number of properties that were previously found at the service level, but had to be the same accross all services anyway.

  • Generation of (un)Bounded Task Flows: JHeadstart now uses the new ADF 11 controller facilities that extend the JSF controller functionality. For each top-level group a bounded task flow is generated. Through the new metadata element Group Parameters you can specify specific custom taskflow parameters. By default, the generated task flows already contain a number of parameters to maximize reuse of the task flows. For example, you can set parameters to query or set a specific row as the current row or to start the flow in "create mode" (useful in wizard-style layouts).

  • Ability to Generate Page Fragments and (Dynamic) Regions: Through the new properties (Default) Group Usage and (Default) Group Region Access you can specify how groups are generated. You can continue to generate the groups as stand-alone pages like in version 10.1.3. However, to increase the reusability of your groups, it is recommended to generate them as page fragments within a region. You then have the option to generate one common UI shell page, with all group regions displayed through a dynamic region ("One-page application"), or to generate separate group-specific UI Shell pages.

  • Enhanced Menu Generation: The generated menu now uses the new ADF 11 XML Menu Model, which greatly increases the flexibility of the menu generation, both in terms of menu structure as well as menu layout. The menu structure is specified in an XML file, and is
    separated from the layout of the menu. Using the ADF Faces NavigationPane or Tree elements included in the page templates that ship with JHeadstart, you can configure how the menu is displayed. The menu structure is now integrated accross services as well, allowing you to create a true application-level menu. Through the new application-level property Content First-Level Menu Tabs with allowable values "Base groups current service", "All services", and "All base groups" you can determine which levels of the menu are shown with group pages, and whether menu items of different services are "merged" into one menu level.
    If the declarative properties are not sufficient, you can use custom Velocity templates for the generation of the XML menu model files to easily generate menu structures that introduce new intermediate menu levels, effectively "hiding" the underlying structure of services and groups.

  • Support for Page Templates: JHeadstart ships with sophisticated sample page templates. You can use these default templates, or create your own based on one of the sample templates. Using the new Page Template and Region Template properties you can specify which template is used by the generated page (fragments). You can even make the page templates dynamic, JHeadstart will then generate a drop down list to switch page templates which allows you to change the page template used by a page at runtime. This might be useful in prototyping situations where you you want to evaluate different page designs with end users.

  • Enhanced Support for Deeplinking: Through a new item display value groupLink and associated new property Link Group Name, you can now declaratively set up taskflow calls between groups in any service. Using the new Item Parameters element, you can specify parameters that should be passed into the taskflow of the called group. For example, in the employees group, you can deeplink to the Jobs group, showing the job details of the current employee, by passing the JobId of the current employee as parameter. You can choose whether you want to display the called group in a popup window, or in the base window replacing the calling group. Using group taskflow parameters, that are referenced by the Insert/Update/Delete allowed properties you can easily show the Jobs form page in read-only mode, when deep-linked, and in editable mode when called through the menu.

  • Easy Reuse of Groups using a Group Region: In version 10.1.3, group regions were introduced to provide more control over the layout of detail groups that are displayed on the same page as the master group. In version 11 we have significantly extended the functionality of this concept. By checking the new checkbox property Include as ADF Region, you can select any group from any service to be displayed on the page of the group owning the group region. In other words, the group region is now the key concept to reuse a group across your application. You can reuse the same group in many pages by including it as a group region. Through the new child element Group Region Parameters, you can specify parameters that should be passed into the taskflow of the group. For example, using these new concepts it becomes trivial to have one group "Employees" that is used to generate a top-level page with just employees, and reuse that same group as child group under the Departments group to generate a master-detail page with department and its employees. By using group query bind parameters property, that reference taskflow input parameters, you can implement the "master-detail" synchronization. By using additional task flow parameters, you can hide the "DepartmentId" item, the search area, the Save and cancel buttons in the employees group when used as child of the Departments group.

  • Support for Model-based LOV's: ADF Business Components 11 has extensive support for list of values. Using JHeadstart you can choose to use these new model-based LOV's, or the existing web-tier JHeadstart LOV's. When running the "New Jheadstart Service Definition" wizard you can choose which LOV style you want to use. When choosing model-based LOV's, JHeadstart will auto-generate View Accessors and List-of-Values definitions in the View Objects, based on the view links that exist between the view objects. You can choose whether the View Accessors are based on separate auto-generated read-only View Objects or on the existing entity-based view objects. When choosing read-only View Objects, you can choose to create the view accessors based on a shared application module instance, which allows you to reuse the LOV queries across user sessions, which is useful for static reference tables.

  • LOV Groups Reusable Accross Services: It is now possible to create an LOV item that uses an LOV group that resides in a different service.

  • Ability to generate skin switcherThrough a new application-level property, you can generate a drop down list to switch between all skins registered in trinidad-config.xml at runtime.

  • Enhanced Template Editing: The templates tab of the JHeadstart Application Definition Editor is now context-sensitive. You will only see the templates that apply to the node selected in the tree navigator. Furthermore, you can now create and modify custom templates within the application definition editor. On the Templates tab, you can change the file name of the default template, and when you tab out the modified file name field, a dialog pops up that asks for confirmation to create a custom template based on the default template. When you confirm this action, the custom template will be created, and you can edit it directly in the application definition editor, in a new area at the bottom of the templates tab.

  • JHeadstart Forms2ADF Generator: This utility allows you to reuse Oracle Forms .fmb files to create ADF web applications. The utility creates ADF Business Components based on the blocks, LOV's and Record Groups defined in the form. It also creates a JHeadstart Application Definition file which allows you to generate fully functional web pages based on the form definition. The PL/SQL logic is extracted and displayed as documentation nodes into the Application Definition. The Application Definition Editor includes an option to move the PL/SQL logic to the database. This utility is still lacking some functionality and has not yet proven itself in a real customer project. We invite you to test the JFG and report your findings to us. See the chapter "JHeadstart Forms2ADF Generator' in the JHeadstart Developer's Guide, section "Troubleshooting" for more information on how to send us your feedback. This utility replaces the JHeadstart Designer-Forms Migrator which is no longer available in this release.

For a complete list of all existing features, use this link.


Steven, do you have a date for general preview availability of JHeadstart 11g? I work with University of Pennsylvania, and we were very impressed with JHeadstart 's Forms2ADF Generator feature, as shown in the form conversion demo available on the JHeadstart product center page. Unfortunately, it looks as if that demo uses JHeadstart 11g, while the currently available preview ( seems to require Oracle Designer repository to convert existing Forms. Any information would be appreciated Thanks, Massimo

Posted by Massimo Bigliardo on July 02, 2009 at 03:29 AM PDT #

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