At Oracle OpenWorld this year Oracle announced the new Oracle Alta UI - a set of UI guidelines that will help you create better looking and functioning applications. We use these guidelines to build all our modern cloud based applications and products - and you can use it too today if you are on JDeveloper 12.1.3.
The Alta UI site is at http://bit.ly/oraclealta
Take a look for example at one page from the master details pattern page:
You might be wondering how do I go about starting to create such an Alta page layout?
Below is a quick video that shows you how to build such a page from scratch.
A few things you'll see during the demo:
- Basic work with the panelGridLayout - for easier page structure
- Working with the new tablet first page template
- Enabling selection on a listView component
- Working with the circular status meter
- The new AFAppNavbarButton style class
- Hot-swap usage to reduce page re-runs
One point to raise about this video is that it focuses more on getting the layout and look rather then the Alta way of designing an application flow and content. In a more complete Alta mind-set you'll also figure out things like fields that probably don't need to be shown (such as the employee_id), you'll think more about "why is the user on this page and what will he want to do here?" which might mean you'll add things like a way to see all the employees in a department in a hierarchy viewer rather than a form that scroll a record at a time. There are more things you can do to this page to get even better functionality, but on those in future blog entries...
Another Oracle OpenWorld is behind us, and it was certainly a busy one for us. In case you didn't have a chance to attend, or follow the twitter frenzy during the week, here are the key take aways that you should be aware of if you are developing with either Oracle ADF or Oracle MAF.
Oracle Alta UI
We released our design patterns for building modern applications for multiple channels. This include a new skin and many samples that show you how to create the type of UIs that we are now using for our modern cloud based interfaces.
All the resources are at http://bit.ly/oraclealta
The nice thing is that you can start using it today in both Oracle ADF Faces and Oracle MAF - just switch the skin to get the basic color scheme. Instructions here.
Note however that Alta is much more than just a color change, if you really want an Alta type UI you need to start designing your UI differently - take a look at some of the screen samples or our demo application for ideas.
Cloud Based Development
A few weeks before OOW we released our Developer Cloud Service in production, and our booth and sessions showing this were quite popular. For those who are not familiar, the Developer Cloud Service, gives you a hosted environment for managing your code life cycle (git version management, Hudson continuos integration, and easy cloud deployment), and it also gives you a way to track your requirements, and manage team work.
While this would be relevant to any Java developing team, for ADF developers there are specific templates in place to make things even easier.
You can get to experience this in a trial mode by getting a trial Java service account here.
Another developer oriented cloud service that got a lot of focus this year was on the upcoming Oracle Mobile Cloud Service - which includes everything your team will need in order to build mobile backends (APIs, Connectors, Notification, Storage and more). We ran multiple hands-on labs and sessions covering this, and it was featured in many keynotes too.
In the Application development tools general session we also announced that in the future we'll provide a capability called Oracle Mobile Application Accelerator (which we call Oracle MAX for short) which will allow power users to build on device mobile applications easily through a web interface. The applications will leverage MAF as the framework, and as a MAF developer you'll be able to provide additional templates, components and functionality for those.
Another capability we showed in the same session was a cloud based development environment that we are planning to add to both the Developer Cloud Service and the Mobile Cloud Service - for developers to be able to code in the cloud with the usual functions that you would expect from a modern code editor.
The Developer Community is Alive and Kicking
The ADF and MAF sessions were quite full this year, and additional community activities were successful as well. Starting with a set of ADF/MAF session by users on the Sunday courtesy of ODTUG and the ADF EMG. In one of the sessions there members of the community announced a new ADF data control for XML. Check out the work they did!
ODTUG also hosted a nice meet up for ADF/MAF developers, and announced their upcoming mobile conference in December. They also have their upcoming KScope15 summer conference that is looking for your abstract right now!
Want to earn some money on the side? Check out the Oracle MAF Developer Challenge - build a mobile app and you can earn prizes that range from $6,000 to $1,000.
With so many events taking place it sometime hard to hit all the sessions that you are interested in. And while the best experience is to be in the room, you might get some mileage from just looking at the slides. You can find the slides for many sessions in the session catalog here. And a list of the ADF/MAF sessions here.
See you next year.
A short entry to explain how to do field validation in Oracle MAF. As an example let's suppose you want a field to have a value before someone clicks to do an operation.
To do that you can set the field's attribute for required and "show required" like this:
<amx:inputText label="label1" id="it1" required="true" showRequired="true"/>
Now if you run your page, leave the field empty and click a button that navigates to another page, you'll notice that there was no indication of an error. This is because you didn't tell the AMX page to actually do a validation.
To add validation you use an amx:validationGroup tag that will surround the fields you want to validate.
<amx:inputText label="label1" id="it1" required="true" showRequired="true"/>
Then you can add a amx:validateOperation tag to the button that does navigation and tell it to validate the group you defined before (vg1 in our example).
<amx:commandButton id="cb2" text="go" action="gothere">
<amx:validationBehavior id="vb1" group="vg1"/>
Now when you run the page and try to navigate you'll get your validation error.
In the last post I showed you how simple it is to expose CRUD REST operations on your database with TopLink/EclipseLink.
The next logical step is to then consume those with Oracle MAF to build a mobile application.
This is quite simple with the REST data control. All you need to do is just map the right URLs and create the operation.
Here is a quick demo:
One trick I show in the demo is how to delay the call to a REST service until the user actually provides a value to a parameter. A common issue people have when they have the parameter form and the results on the same page. The solution is easy using the refresh condition of the executables of the page and using the "ne null" check on the parameter value.
It seems that REST interfaces are all the rage now for accessing your backend data, this is especially true in the world of mobile development. In this blog I'm going to show you how easy it is to provide a complete REST interface for your database by leveraging TopLink/EclipseLink and JDeveloper.
This relies on a capability that is available in TopLink 12c where every JPA entity that you have created can be RESTified with a simple servlet that TopLink provides.
All you need to do is locate the file toplink-dataservices-web.jar on your machine (this is included in the JDeveloper install so you can just search that directory) and then package your project as a WAR.
At that point you'll be able to get a complete CRUD set of operation for this entity.
In the video below I'm to retrieving departments by their id using a URL like this:
(out - name of my persistence unit. Departments - name of my entity)
A complete list of all the REST URL syntax is here part of the TopLink documentation on this feature.:
Check out how easy the process is in this video (using MySQL database):
Here are some additional URL samples for getting other types of queries:
Get all the Employees - http://127.0.0.1:7101/TLServices/persistence/v1.0/out/query/Employees.findAll
Get all the Employees in department 50 - http://127.0.0.1:7101/TLServices/persistence/v1.0/out/entity/Departments/50/employeesList
Executing a specific named query (@NamedQuery(name = "Employees.findByName", query = "select o from Employees o where o.first_name like :name order by o.last_name")) -http://127.0.0.1:7101/TLServices/persistence/v1.0/out/query/Employees.findByName;name=John