JDeveloper 11g R1 (18.104.22.168.0) - New Features on ADF Desktop Integration Explained
By Juan Camilo Ruiz on Feb 23, 2011
One of the areas that introduced many new features on the latest release (22.214.171.124.0) of JDeveloper 11g R1 is ADF Desktop integration - in this article I’ll provide an overview of these new features.
New ADF Desktop Integration Ribbon in Excel -
After installing the ADF desktop integration add-in and depending on the mode in which you open the desktop integration workbook, the ADF Desktop integration ribbon for design time and runtime are displayed as a separate tab within Excel. In previous version the ADF Desktop integration environment used to be placed inside the add-ins tab. Above you can see both, design time ribbon as well as runtime ribbon.
On the design time ribbon you can manage the workbook and worksheet properties, worksheet component properties, diagnostics, execution and publication of the workbook.
The runtime version of the ribbon is totally customizable and represents what it used to be the runtime menu on the spreadsheet, in this ribbon you can include all the operations and actions that could be executed by the end user while working with the spreadsheet data.
A very important aspect for developers is how to debug or verify the interactions of the client with the server, for that ADF desktop integration has provided since day one a series of diagnostics tools. In this release the diagnostics tools are more visible and are really easy to configure.
You can access the client console while testing the workbook, or you can simple dump all the messages to a log file – having the ability of setting the output level for both.
There are a number of enhancements on security but the one with more impact for developers is tha security now is optional when using ADF Desktop Integration. Until this version every time that you wanted to work with ADFdi it was a must that the application was previously secured.
In this release security is optional which means that if you have previously defined security on your application, then you must secure the ADFdi servlet as explained in one of my previous (ADD LINK) posts. In the other hand, if but the time that you start working with ADFdi you have not defined security, you can test and publish your workbooks without adding security.
Support for Continuous Integration -
In this release we have added tooling for continuous integration building. in the ADF desktop integration space, the concept translates to adding functionality that developers can use to publish ADFdi workbooks as part of their entire application build. For that purpose, we have a publish tool that can be easily invoke from an ANT task such that all the design time workbooks are re-published into the latest version of the application building process.
Key Column -
At runtime, on any worksheet containing editable tables you will notice a new additional column called the key column. The purpose of this column is to make the end user aware that all rows on the table need to be selected at the time of sorting. The users cannot alter the value of this column.
From the developers points of view there are no steps required in order to have the key column included into the worksheets.
Installation and Creation of New Workbooks -
Both use cases can be executed now directly from JDeveloper. As part of the Tools menu options the developer can install the ADF desktop integration designer. Also, creating new workbooks that previously was done through that convert tool shipped with JDeveloper is now automatic done from the New Gallery.
Creating a new ADFdi workbook adds metadata information information to the Excel workbook so you can work in design time.
Support for Excel 2010 and the ADF components ready-only enabled don’t allow to change its value – the cell in Excel is automatically protected, this could cause confusion among customers of previous releases.