[Note] Updating to MAF 2.0.1 is necessary to stay current with the latest Apple iOS AppStore upload requirements. Apple has just changed several upload requirements in the first part of September 2014, and MAF 2.0.1 has been enhanced to meet these ever-changing upload requirements that were frequently introduced without any prior warning.
Hi, Oracle Mobile Developers:
As many of you are aware, in an effort to stay ahead of the rapid changing mobile technologies, the Oracle Mobile Application Framework team has switched to a rapid and agile released model. This translates into roughly 2-3 months for new minor releases and major releases coming out roughly twice a year. Therefore, in a little over 2 months after Mobile Application Framework first hits the street, a new minor version is now generally available. Download instructions are available on the MAF Download page at the Oracle Technology Network.
Please note that the Eclipse Support for MAF 2.0.1 is being released as part of the Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse (OEPE) update for the Eclipse Luna SR1.
Let's take a look at the key new features:
Apple iOS 8 Support
As many of you know, Apple iOS 8 was released just last week. The MAF team has been testing with beta and GM builds of the iOS 8, and finally against the release version of iOS 8. We are pleased to announce that iOS 8 is officially supported for MAF 2.0.1.
One thing to note, however, is that the final release version of iOS 8 contains some late breaking changes that cause permissions request dialog boxes to be displayed. For example, if you are running an application such as Google Maps, you will be prompted to allow it to access your location even if you are not using the app. For MAF applications, you will see permission requests for "Notifications". The exact dialog box you will see as you navigate around the application would contain the text "<Your Application Name> would like to send you notifications". This notification refers to the ability for MAF applications to, for example, set the badging count on the application icon. In MAF 2.0.0 and 2.0.1, the permission will be requested regardless whether the APIs to set badging count is actually used in your application. For a future release of MAF, we are planning to add a switch to allow developer to decide whether the local Notification permission should be requested or not.
Please note that you must continue to use the latest version of Xcode 5.x to deploy your MAF application. This does not impact the functionality nor upload/approval of your application. Please do not upgrade to Xcode 6 as of yet.
Full Xcode 6 support is planned for the next release.
Enterprise Application Management and Security Enhancements
With MAF 2.0.1, there is tighter integration with Oracle Mobile Security Suite (OMSS) to manage iOS version of MAF applications. Mobile Application Framework by itself provides robust encryption and tight integration with enterprise security infrastructure. However, when you need Mobile Application Management, Data Leak Policy Enforcement, and Containerization support, Oracle Mobile Security Suite is Oracle's recommended solution. With MAF 2.0.1, securing MAF application with OMSS is as simple as clicking a check box in the Deployment Profile Dialog Box, and the deployment process automatically generates the iOS binary (ipa file), wraps the binary with Oracle Secure Workspace container, and signs the application with the distribution certificates and provisioning profiles.
As both OMSS and MAF provide encryption features, MAF 2.0.1 adds a number of internal enhancements to ensure compatibility between encryption mechanisms between the two products. While you could use OMSS tools to wrap a MAF application built using previous versions in the past, it is necessary to disable certain security policy features. With MAF 2.0.1, all of the Data Leak Security Policies can be enabled and enforced against a MAF 2.0.1 application.
Please note that currently containerization support is limited to iOS platform only - Android support for MAF-based applications is planned for the next patch set release of Oracle Mobile Security Suite.
Enhanced Tooling Support
- Integrate JDeveloper Run/Debug configurations with MAF: JDeveloper users are used to using the “Run Configurations” feature in order to test their code. Previously in MAF, this was never hooked up and the only way to run an app was to deploy it via the applications menu. Now the run/debug configurations are setup to build/deploy and run the applications in either release or debug mode.
AMX Component Enhancements
There are also a number of enhancements for AMX Components, for both data display and visualization:
- Ability for ListView component to have multiple items (cards) per row: Have the ability to show multiple "cards" on a row in a list and show dividers and an indexer. This blends well with the data paging and other concepts that exist in the list already but allow for a variety of different layouts.
- Consistent Support for static data in DVT Components: Most DVT components use the stamping mechanism when rendering contents based on collection model data, which works fine today. MAF adds the ability to define the component structure statically by enumerating the elements corresponding to data items (e.g. charDataItem elements for charts, or timelineItems for timeline series). However, this mechanism only exists for Chart component in MAF 2.0.1, but not in Sunbust, Treemap and Timeline. MAF 2.0.1 adds consistent support across all these DVT components.
- Ability to align a popup to a marker on a Geomap: You can now anchor the display of an amx:popup to a DVT geographic map markers. As of today, they can display the popup as an outcome of a marker action event, but they cannot anchor the popup to the marker.
- Shaded area option on the DVT Component Line Chart: DVT Chart has recently added the option to display a shaded area below the line. MAF 2.0.1 enhances this support with with semi-transparent color covering the area under the line.
- Vertical Status Meter Gauge: MAF 2.0.1 adds a new type of DVT Gauge called Vertical Status Meter Gauge.
- Spark chart line and marker enhancements in MAF: In MAF 2.0.1, Spark Charts lines now adds the ability to set the line width, line style and line type For Spark Chart data markers, there is now ability to set the marker shape, marker size, marker border color.
Thank you again for using Oracle Mobile Application Framework to accelerate mobile application development. Please let us know if you have more questions on the MAF Community on OTN.
The Mobile Product Management Team