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Oracle JDeveloper 11g Preview and over 80 AJAX-enabled Open Source JSF Components Released

| by James Kao on May 17, 2007. Estimated reading time: 1 minute |
Oracle has released a technology preview version of its JDeveloper 11g IDE along with over 80 freely-available AJAX-enabled JSF components, bolstering its visual development capabilities with improved support for rich-client interfaces, live database connectivity, data binding, and more. The JDeveloper 11g preview is available for free download and the JSF components are open source, released through the Apache MyFaces Project.

Duncan Mills, Director of Product Management for Fusion, gave InfoQ a live demonstration and described some of the goals Oracle had for this release. In the same example that was shown at JavaOne, Duncan demonstrated a completely visual mechanism for adding AJAX drag-and-drop interactivity to an existing application, including some very interesting data typing functionality (called data flavors in JDeveloper) that allows interactions of drag components and drop targets to be validated and handled both declaratively and automatically. The key point of the new UI-oriented features is to enable "AJAX without AJAX" and let developers create modern web interactivity while staying within Java and JSF. While JDeveloper 11g adds a JavaScript editor and debugger, the tool has been designed to encapsulate inside of supplied components, 90% of the JavaScript and HTML that conventionally would be written by an AJAX developer.

JDeveloper 11g also adds a variety of new features to its data visualization components including graph interactivity (e.g. zooming) and Flash rendering. However, Duncan noted that the Flash rendering present was limited to data visualization and was not an attempt to be an alternate display technology like Flex or JavaFX. Rather, the intent is to use Flash where Flash is appropriate in an HTML, JavaScript, and JSF context.

While the JDeveloper tooling is designed to simplify the development process with graphical interactivity, the underlying JSF components are available on a standalone open-source basis from a sub-project of Apache MyFaces called the Rich Client Framework that was founded on the basis of these donated components.

Oracle has also released its Oracle Development Kit for Spring, an add-on to JDeveloper that provides a series of wizards to assist in the development of Spring applications. There is also editor support for Spring 1.x and 2.x definitions with code insight, completion, and validation, and a transaction manager to tie the lightweight model within Spring to the transactional capabilities of Oracle's application server.

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What about the flaws of JDevil? by Loreno Oliveira

Hi, I´m part of a 84 people team and we are currently using JDev to support our process. All these new features seem to be interesting, but our feeling is that Oracle could invest more on stabilize current functionalities of JDev instead of putting more features into an IDE that already does hundreds of things, but does bad most of them. Among all the problems of JDev, here we extremely serious problems with JDev´s UML modelers and CVS integration.

Has Oracle Changed? by B K

Is this still tied to Oracle DB and Oracle Application Server

Vendor Lock In by serge ----

The largest problem I see is that you’re tied to Jdev once you go down the ADF faces road. Maybe I am mistaken, but all the features to do databinding to controls are only in Jdev and not in other IDEs. It seems that the tooling is built for ex Oracle Forms developers or as some of the marketing lingo goes “people who don’t have to know java” (Controls are reusable). Although Jdeveloper 11 does provide some fancy xml editors over these databinding xml files, you become extremely depend on the IDE. I think JBoss Seam got it right, ability to use the framework with or without tooling.

There never was a restriction by Duncan Mills

What makes you say that JDeveloper has ever been tied to only the Oracle Application server and database? This is not the case.

Re: Vendor Lock In by Duncan Mills

ADF provides a productivity layer, but of course it's only an optional thing. The IDE and the New Faces components don't force you to use ADF, you could build in Seam if you're happier doing that (and have the time to spare)

Re: Vendor Lock In by serge ----

this blog from oracle, what I was referring to is #3

Re: Vendor Lock In by Ted Farrell

Serge, That blog does not state anything about lock-in to JDeveloper, and is not referring to the Trinidad or ADF Faces components. It is talking about the ADFm layer, which is implementing JSR 227. I agree with Brian that we could reduce the number of .xml files in certain cases when Generics were used and the back-end service was Java, but this has nothing to do with you using the ADF Faces components. We have customers using them who do not use JDeveloper at all.

Re: Vendor Lock In by serge ----

Ted your right about the ADF faces components. You can use them in any other IDE. What I should have said was that it would be very nice to see an approach that uses less XML in the data-binding department. As a person who uses and recommends Oracle products often, this is one area that I would be happy to see change. Will the Web beans JSR have an impact this area?

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