Introduction to ADF Desktop Integration
By Juan Camilo Ruiz on Jul 14, 2009
ADF Desktop Integration or ADFdi is one of the new features of JDeveloper 188.8.131.52.0 and part of the ADF framework that enables desktop integration with MS Excel spreadsheets to manage large volumes of data from web applications via excel, at the same time that the information is being persisted into the application's data sources. In this article I´m going to provide an introduction to this new component of ADF 11g.
ADFdi leverages the use of business services that are exposed through the ADF Model - allowing us to create end-user spreadsheets that can pull and send data from/to the business model layer in online or offline mode, supporting batch transaction management. All of the above following the rich declarative approach of the ADF framework, without writing a single line of code in .Net.
With ADFdi the ADF developer will create pageDefinition files that will be used to generate visual components and execute server-side operations such as business methods or ADFm operations (create, insert, delete, etc.) into MS Excel spreadsheets. This way all of the web application business services can be used on excel the same way they are used on a web interface. Also the developer can integrate web content from the web either coming from the ADF application or from external sources.
The end result will allow the end-users to use desktop tools to access and manage web application data perform calculations, sorting, bulk operations and all the regular tasks performed with spreadsheets in a secure way (ADF Security) and reducing the risks that normal spreadsheet handing involves for organizations.
The main components of ADFdi are:
- A client side program (windows) to convert the spreadsheet so it becomes ADFdi enable.
- A MS Excel 07 plug-in that allows to access published adfdi-workbooks as well as to open workbooks on design time.
- A servlet that enables bi-directional communication with the web application.
- The ADF Model which takes care of the data access, transaction management and operation execution on the server side.
If you want to get started with ADFdi we have an OBE available on OTN, a video tutorial where you have a preview of the design time and runtime features and last but not least the ADF Desktop Integration Developer's Guide. I will start exploring more features of ADFdi in this blog and hope you can provide us with tons of feedback on this new piece of the ADF framework.