Driving Mobile Development

Oracle ADF Mobile eases the creation and deployment of cross-platform mobile applications.

By Tom Haunert

May/June 2013

Tom Haunert, editor in chief of Oracle Magazine, talked with Denis Tyrell, senior director of middleware tooling product management at Oracle, about the recent release and features of Oracle ADF Mobile. The following is an excerpt from that interview. Listen to the full podcast at

Oracle Magazine: Before we dive into Oracle ADF Mobile, will you give us some background on Oracle Application Development Framework [Oracle ADF]?

Tyrell: Oracle ADF is a Java-based toolset and a framework for application development. It lets you build applications by declaratively defining your model layer, navigation flow, and user interface.

Oracle ADF is also the strategic Java development platform that Oracle uses to develop its own applications. Oracle uses Oracle ADF to build Oracle Fusion Applications, Oracle Enterprise Manager, Oracle WebCenter, Oracle SOA Suite, and services such as My Oracle Support. Oracle ADF also enables Oracle customers to develop custom applications.

Oracle Magazine: What is Oracle ADF Mobile, who is it for, and what can developers expect from it?

Tyrell: Oracle ADF Mobile is an extension of Oracle ADF. It includes some new artifacts to let developers define mobile-specific features. There are some different navigation paradigms in mobile applications, and Oracle ADF Mobile lets developers take advantage of them. At its core, it uses the same development paradigm as Oracle ADF, but with Oracle ADF Mobile the user interface components that developers define in metadata are rendered in JavaScript and HTML5 on the mobile device at runtime.

What you get when the framework deploys the application is a native application for the platform that you’re deploying to, but all the user interface capabilities of the application are in cross-platform HTML5. Oracle ADF Mobile takes care of the platform-specific deployment so the developer doesn’t have to.

Oracle ADF Mobile enables Oracle ADF developers to extend their knowledge and experience to mobile. If you’re an Oracle ADF developer, you can become an Oracle ADF Mobile developer quite easily.

Oracle Magazine: How does Oracle ADF Mobile address portable application development?

Tyrell: Java is the key differentiator. Oracle ADF Mobile is the first development platform to bring Java to iOS and all of the other mobile platforms that it supports, so you can do your development and your business logic in Java. With out-of-the-box declarative UI components, lists, graphs, and great visualizations, you don’t need to be a JavaScript expert. You can stay above that in an abstraction layer and use the declarative components as well as the business language to build cross-platform applications.

Oracle Magazine: You mentioned that Oracle ADF Mobile supports the deployment of Java-developed applications even on platforms, such as iOS, that do not technically support Java. How is that possible?

Tyrell: First, we’re not breaking any rules from the developer programs of the mobile device vendors. The JVM [Java Virtual Machine] is a natively built library, which gets added and compiled with every Oracle ADF Mobile application. This means the JVM is natively written in Objective-C on iOS, and it’s part of the application. In Android, the JVM is a C library. So every application is going to have the JVM, optimized for performance and including none of the Java UI libraries, because all of the UI is rendered with HTML5.

Oracle Magazine: What do you say to developers who are looking at Oracle ADF Mobile as a way to develop mobile applications?

Tyrell: They should consider Oracle ADF Mobile because it’s a cross-platform, rapid application development framework that uses Java for the business logic and HTML5 and JavaScript for the presentation layer. It supports SQLite with encryption, and it is tightly integrated with Oracle Identity Management. Oracle ADF Mobile also provides developers with access to mobile device features such as GPS, camera, contacts, messaging, telephony, and more.

Next Steps

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Photography by G. Crescoli,Unsplash