Wednesday, December 03, 2014

MAF 2.0 : Custom Toggle Springboard Functionality (or how I discovered AdfmfSlidingWindowUtilities)

Mobile apps usually have the possibility to toggle the springboard by using an icon that is displayed in the header of the app. The Oracle MAF reference app, Work Better, also tries to implement this behavior. The showing of the springboard works fine, however, hiding it does not really work as expected. In this post I show you how to implement a working custom toggle springboard functionality.

Default Toggle Springboard Implementation

First let's take a look at how the toggle springboard functionality works out of the box. In your application configuration file you need to set the "Show Springboard Toggle Button" to true in order to enable toggle functionality.

This image is described in the surrounding text
All the rest is taken care of by the framework at runtime and these setting results in the default toggle springboard icons to show up on both iOS and Android. Note that this of course also works with a custom springboard.


This image is described in the surrounding text

An obsolete way to implement Custom Springboard Toggle (you might want to skip reading this)

Now lets see what we need to implement the custom functionality. First we need to show the springboard. This can be done by calling gotoSpringboard() on the containerUtilities class, or by invoking it from the applicationFeatures Datacontrol.

 AdfmfContainerUtilities.gotoSpringboard();  

This all pretty straightforward and provided by the framework.

Second we need to be able to hide the springboard. This can be done by no particular builtin. However, when you call gotoFeature(), the springboard is hidden and the requested feature is displayed.

 AdfmfContainerUtilities.gotoFeature("feature.id");  

It works ok, but what if you don't select a feature to go to, and simply want to stay on the already active feature ? In that case we could really use a hideSpringboard() method, or something similar.
If we create a hideSpringboard() and combine it under one button with the gotoSpringboard() we can use this one button to show and hide the springboard. In order to implement all this we also need to know whether or not the springboard is visible. For that we can use a simple custom property in a bean, lets call it springboardToggleFlag.

Whenever the springboard is shown, we invert the state of the springboardToggleFlag:

 springboardToggleFlag=!springboardToggleFlag;  

and the app knows the state of the springboard. All that we need to do from here is find a way to nicely show and hide the springboard.

While figuring out how to implement the rest of this example I surprisingly found that the solution is already provided by the Framework and also somewhat documented and also available in the PublicSamples provided by Oracle. Because I never had any previous requirement to implement this functionality I totally missed that Oracle added this to the framework. Also I am not sure in what specific version it was added. I know now that the in the MAF 2.0.0 docs it is mentioned very briefly, and in the MAF 2.0.1 docs it is described in a more elaborate way, including a sample app. The API documentation was already available in MAF 2.0.0.  Below you can read the details on where to find this samples and docs.

The (Somewhat) Out of the Box Implementation

By implementing the oracle.adfmf.framework.api.AdfmfSlidingWindowUtilities interface in the application lifecycle listener (ALCL), you can use an application feature as a sliding window, which displays concurrently with the other application features that display within the navigation bar or springboard. You can use a sliding window to display content that always present within the application, such as a Springboard.

An example of the implementation can be found in a workspace called "slidingWindows", and is aprt of the Public Samples. This application demonstrates the use of the AdfmfSlidingWindowUtilities API, which can be used to display multiple features on the screen at the same time. This sample shows how you can create a custom springboard using the AdfmfSlidingWindowUtilities API.


Note that the sliding window plugin API can only be used for features defined within the application that do not appear in the navigation bar and is not the springboard feature .

So in order to make a custom springboard that nicely slides in and out of view we need to instruct the app that it has NO springboard, and create a custom feature that functions as a springboard.



All the other details of this implementation can be found in the sample app.

Resources

https://docs.oracle.com/middleware/mobile201/mobile/ADFMF.pdf
https://docs.oracle.com/middleware/mobile201/mobile/OEPMF.pdf (is missing the description of the Sample app)
https://docs.oracle.com/middleware/mobile201/mobile/api-ref/oracle/adfmf/framework/api/AdfmfSlidingWindowUtilities.html
http://docs.oracle.com/middleware/mobile201/mobile/api-ref/oracle/adfmf/framework/api/AdfmfSlidingWindowOptions.html


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

MAF 2.0 : Loading Images in a Background Process - Part I

Images are heavily used in Mobile apps. For instance a list that contains employees usually shows the images of these employees. This works well when you have a WIFI connection, but what if you are using slower connections ? If you look at a mobile twitter app you will see that, depending on connectivity, images are loaded instantaneously or delayed. In this post I explain how you can load the images of a List in a background process, after the other content has been loaded.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

OOW14 : One week in a nutshell

Two weeks ago I visited Oracle Open World in San Francisco. A glimpse of my activity during Oracle Open World can be found in this post. If you want to hear more, please visit the AMIS Oracle Open World Review Session at October 16th.


Saturday
After a one hour delay at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport the airplane with, amongst others, several AMIS employees took of for San Francisco. There we met with our colleagues who flew in earlier this week.

Book : Oracle Mobile Application Framework Developer Guide

It has been a while since my previous post, and I have a very good reason for that. I have been busy, very busy. But now, after a long time of writing and rewriting I can finally announce that my book, Oracle Mobile Application Framework Developer Guide, is available for you to buy. Many thanks to my reviewers Chris Muir, Frank Nimphius and Joe Huang who guided and helped me all the way.















If you are starting with Oracle MAF development, this book will give you a jump start. You will learn the concepts of MAF and MAF development and learn tips and tricks for MAF development.
In Oracle Mobile Application Framework Developer Guide, I explain how to use this powerful framework to create multiplatform mobile apps based on a single code base. Detailed examples and ready-to-use code are provided throughout the book. A complete, step-by-step sample application highlights the robust functionality of Oracle Mobile Application Framework, including data visualization, UX patterns, geographical maps, push notifications, and more.
A glimpse of the content:
  • Configure your IDE for Android and Apple iOS application development
  • Build AMX pages and task flows for mobile applications
  • Work with the binding layer and data controls
  • Create application features and configure access to them in the springboard and navigation bar
  • Call web services using a data control and create an on-device database
  • Implement device interaction.
  • Debug, test, and secure Oracle Mobile Application Framework applications
And finally you will learn how to build an interactive sample app.
Table of contents
Part One: Understanding the Oracle Mobile Application Framework
1: Introduction to Mobile Application Development
2: Setting Up JDeveloper and Your Development Platform
3: Oracle JDeveloper for Mobile Application Framework Development
4: Building AMX Pages
5: Bindings and Data Controls
6: Application Features
7: Using Web Services and Local Database
8: Device Interaction
9: Debugging and Testing Mobile Application Framework Applications
10: Security and Deployment
Part Two: Developing the Sample Application
11: Explaining the TAMCAPP Sample Application
12: Developing the Springboard
13: Building the Conference Session Feature
14: Building the Attendees Feature
15: Developing the Maps and Social Network
16: Configuring Security and Preferences
17: Implementing Push Notifications
18: Enhancing TAMCAPP
If you want to read the book, You can buy it at the #oow14 bookstore or on-line :
http://www.mhprofessional.com/product.php?isbn=0071830855
Here you can also read the The of Contents and the first chapter to get a glimpse of the book.
The book is also available at Amazon.com
http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0071830855/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1411508554&sr=1-1