Wednesday, October 31, 2012

ADF Mobile : Finally released and ready to use

After extensive beta testing oracle announced last week that ADF Mobile is now generally available and can be used to build multi platform on device apps. I finally am allowed to share my knowledge in blogposts and other kinds of publications. Using JDeveloper and the ADF Mobile extension, it is very easy to create apps for both the iOS and Android platform. If you only want to create apps for Android, you don’t need a mac, however if you want to create apps voor iOS you really do need a mac to compile the ADF mobile app for iOS.
ADF Mobile provides a natural extension of enterprise/internet applications to mobile clients by providing tools, services, and infrastructure to protect against technology shifts. An application built with ADF Mobile framework installs on a smart device, renders user interface via HTML5, and has access to device services. This means the programming model is primarily web-based, which offers consistency with other enterprise applications as well as easier migration to new platforms. But the application has access to device services, enabling a richer experience for users than a browser alone can offer. The architecture of ADF Mobile.
A short explanation of the components on the image: The Device Native Container represents an application container or template compiled as device native application binary which provides the run-time environment for an ADF Mobile application to run as an on-device, native application in the mobile device’s operation system (for example, Apple iOS). The Web View is a part of the device native container that uses a mobile device’s web engine to display and process web-based content. In an ADF Mobile application, the web view is the primary mechanism to render and deliver the application user interface. Server HTML represents a web-based user interface that is generated on the server (ADF Mobile browser and Oracle ADF Faces rich client-based pages) and delivered as a Web page to the ADF Mobile application. The Local HTML represents web pages developed using JDeveloper or third-party tools that are directly embedded within an ADF Mobile application. ADF Mobile AMX Views are based on the ADF Mobile AMX technology that delivers a JSF-like development experience to working with an HTML5-based user interface. ADF Mobile AMX views are defined using UI and code editors provided by JDeveloper. These views are embedded into an ADF Mobile application and deployed to a mobile device. At run time, the JavaScript engine in the web view renders ADF Mobile AMX view definitions into HTML5 components. ADF Mobile AMX components are built to deliver a mobile optimized user experience out of box. These components support the device native user experience through extensive animation and gesture support. The ADF Controller is represented by a mobile version of Oracle ADF controller that supports a subset of Oracle ADF task flow components available to a server-based Oracle ADF application. Java provides a Java run-time environment for an ADF Mobile application. This Java Virtual Machine (JVM) is implemented in device-native code, and is embedded (or compiled) into each instance of the ADF Mobile application as part of the native application binary. Managed Beans are Java classes that can be created to extend the capabilities of ADF Mobile, such as provide additional business logic for processing data returned from the server. The ADF Model in an ADF Mobile application supports a subset of business logic components available to a server-based Oracle ADF application. ADF model contains the binding layer that provides an interface between the business logic components and user interface, as well as the execution logic to invoke REST or SOAP-based web services. PhoneGap is an open-source code library that provides a common JavaScript API to access various mobile device services, such as the camera. PhoneGap provides a majority of the device services integration for an ADF Mobile application. Local Data refers to data stores that reside on the device. In ADF Mobile, these are implemented as encrypted SQLite databases. ADF mobile enables you to interact with mobile device services such as the camera, the email client, contacts and more. There is no need for you to know how to interact with the device because ADF mobile uses phonegap to abstract these device specific api’s. On top of that ADF mobile uses a device datacontrol to even abstract phonegap. The device datacontrol can be used in the exact same way as any other datacontrol. You can drag and drop operations from the data control onto your page. In ADF Mobile, data controls behave similarly to the way they work in Oracle ADF. Device data controls appear within the Data Controls panel in JDeveloper, allowing you to drag and drop the primary data attributes of data controls to your application as (text) fields, and the operations of data controls as command objects (buttons). Performing such drag and drop actions will generate standard EL bindings in your application in the appropriate properties for the controls that are created. The normal ADF bindings for those actions (represented by a general DataControls.dcx file, to point at the data control source, and the page bindings, to link the specific page’s reference to the data control) will be present, allowing the runtime to process the bindings when your application executes.

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