Shay Shmeltzer's Oracle Development Tools Tips

To ADF or to OAF? or Can I use ADF with Oracle E-Business Suite?

Shay Shmeltzer
Director of Product Management - Oracle

I'm back from the Collaborate 2012 conference - a conference that
brings together several Oracle user groups, including the Oracle
Application User Group. It was nice to see a growing interest in ADF
sessions this year, with many of the attendees actually coming from
an Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS for short) background. One question that came up
several times from this audience in different forms was "Should I
use/learn OAF or ADF for my future development".

The answer is "it depends on what you want to do".

Let me explain. If what you need to do is modify an existing EBS
form/page - then you'll need to do it with the tool that this Form
was built with. This means you'll use OAF (or in some cases Oracle
Forms) and change the metadata that defines the page. This is true
for the scenarios commonly referred to as "customization" or
"personalization" in the EBS world.

However there are situations where what you want to do is not modify
an existing page but rather develop a new user interface that
drastically change the interaction with the system or provides new
functionality that doesn't exist right now in EBS.

Maybe you want to build a Mobile UI for EBS? Maybe you need a rich
dashboard with lots of interactive graphs? Maybe you need to build a system that brings together
data from both EBS as well as other sources of data?

In these cases OAF probably won't cut it, and ADF is probably the right choice for you.

After all ADF is what
Oracle used when we needed to build a new set of functionality for
our enterprise applications - the result is Fusion Applications that
are built from the ground up with Oracle ADF.

Does knowledge in OAF helps with ADF?

If you are already familiar with OAF, some concepts in ADF will be
easy for you to learn. For example OAF uses an older version of ADF
Business Components - so you'll be familiar with key concepts such
as Entity Objects and View Objects etc - although you'll have many new
features that you'll be able to leverage when using ADF 11g.

You'll also be familiar with the component approach to UI design
that is common to OAF and ADF - although ADF has a vastly richer set
of UI components and a much more visual approach for screen

If you haven't seen how ADF development looks like yet, have a look
at this demo - hopefully it will show you why we think this is a
better development experience than we had in the past.

How do you do the integration between ADF and EBS?

If you just need "read only" access to EBS than you can use direct
access to the database using JDBC and potentially the AppsDataSource
(more on that component -https://blogs.oracle.com/stevenChan/entry/appsdatasource_jaas_ebs) and a demo is here.

If you also need to do update/insert/delete of if you need to invoke
more complex processes in EBS than you can use the service
interfaces EBS offers either with the built in integration
functionality in EBS through the Integrated SOA Gateway .
ADF makes it quite easy to build UIs on top of Web services too.

As far as security integration, today you can use the users/roles
defined in EBS to secure your ADF application using the EBS JAAS
solution as explained here

[Update July 2011] - The EBS team just released Oracle E-Business Suite Java SDK version 2, which now also offer session management and other features.

To call an ADF from an EBS application - that's just a matter of
adding a menu option in EBS that calls out to the URL of your ADF

For smooth single-sign-on between the two application you should be
looking at Oracle Access Manager which is certified with both

There is more work being done on integrating the two platforms at
Oracle - so expect more functionality to become available in future

If you are interested in exploring this area - Juan has several
blog entries
that will show you some integration techniques.

Join the discussion

Comments ( 11 )
  • Vipin Kumar Friday, November 30, 2012
  • guest Tuesday, June 11, 2013

    Good Post.Loved it..

  • Oralution Thursday, August 29, 2013
  • jahangir Saturday, January 18, 2014

    Hi shay

    very nice article, clear,very beneficial for newbies(fresh blood) like me not having any experience just have done few courses like SQL,PL/SQL,Forms and Reports

    which is the best ADF or OAF

    shall I learn oracle apps technical before moving for any of the above?

    kindly reply me as soon as possible


    Md Jahangir Pasha

  • Muhammad Ahmad Saturday, January 25, 2014

    Dear Shay,

    Kindly let me know about the reporting.

    Just like Oracle Forms and reports 11g (Oracle Fusion) provides us all reports to present in shape of other file format like PFD, HTML etc.

    What kind of reporting tool we will use for ADF or Jdeveloper?

    Muahmmad Ahmad

  • Shay Monday, January 27, 2014

    Muahmmad, ADF has a bunch of components that can be used to create "reports" which are basically just "read-only" pages.

    Including things like the graph and pivot table components.

    In addition you can call out to any web based reporting tool from ADF including Oracle Reports, BI Publisher, Jasper, BRIT and more.

  • Bill Friday, July 11, 2014

    Hi Shay,

    Can we please let me know if we can call the ADF screens from Oracle forms. We are developing a feature in ADF and trying to call if from oracle forms. The idea is to not migrate entirely from Oracle forms to ADF but to provide new functionalty as part of ADF screens.

    Regards, Bill

  • Shay Friday, July 11, 2014

    Bill - you can invoke an ADF app through a URL and you can even pass parameters to the app on the URL - so from an Oracle Forms you'll use the web.show_document built-in to call the ADF app.

    The two apps can further communicate using JavaScript if you are using the latest Forms version.

  • PonPan Tuesday, February 24, 2015

    Shay,What is your future of Oracle Forms? In future version of EBS, will Oracle start using ADF instead of Oracle Forms?


  • Shay Wednesday, February 25, 2015

    PonPan - Forms is still around and being developed with release 12 planned. EBS is using ADF for some of their newer modules. However AFAIK they are not going to rewrite the whole apps in ADF at this stage. Oracle already did this "rewrite" - those are the Fusion Cloud Apps - all based on ADF.

  • oracle apps Wednesday, November 9, 2016

    Hi Team,

    With the knowledge of ADF can we perform OAF functionality as well.

    Or do we need both OAF and ADF technologies.


    oracle apps

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