Sunday, June 9, 2013

Book Review: Oracle ADF 11gR2 Development Beginner's Guide

Book cover from
http://www.packtpub.com
Oracle ADF is a framework for building Rich Web applications with Java which is built on top of Java EE. So if you have previous experience in building Web applications using JSF you are likely to start developing with Oracle ADF pretty fast. On the contrary, if you are just beginning with Web development, the visual and declarative development that this framework offers will let you build your applications in a fast pace.
The latest release of the framework (as of today) is 11gR2 (11.1.2.4.0) and you can develop using Oracle JDeveloper or Eclipse with the Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse  (OEPE) plugin. Oracle ADF is not free, but there is a smaller version of the framework that is free to develop and free to deploy (even on production) and is called ADF Essentials.

In this post, I'll be reviewing the book "Oracle ADF 11gR2 Development Beginner's Guide" written by Vinod Krishnan and published by PACKT. Although this book covers the 11.1.2.3.0 version the concepts are the same as of the latest version (11.1.2.4.0 released on May 2013), it is a great book to get you started with Oracle ADF.
I enjoyed the way the chapters are written: first, they introduces you to the concepts that are going to be explained. Then, they have this "Time for Action" section, where you are asked to follow a set of steps in order to better understand a concept. There is another section called "What just Happened" where the author explains what you just did in the "Time for Action" section. At the end of each chapter, there are key questions regarding to the content of the chapter (answers are found at the end of the book). I think this is a good way for learning.

Following is described what you will find on each chapter:

Chapter 1, Installing and Configuring JDeveloper IDE, shows the steps you should follow in order to start working and get familiar with JDeveloper which is the official IDE for Oracle ADF applications.

Chapter 2, Getting Started with ADF, introduces you to the key concepts behind Oracle ADF applications development such as: MVC, Entity Objects, View Objects and Applications Modules. There's also a sample application which guides you to the steps needed in order to develop a simple application.

Chapter 3, Understanding the Model Layer, explains deeply what the model layer of an Oracle ADF application looks like and their relationships. It explains the meaning of every option for the Entity Objects and View Objects.

Chapter 4, Validating and Using the Model Data, shows the different validations that can be configured in the model layer. Explains the declarative validation mode and how to validate data using Groovy expressions.

Chapter 5, Binding the Data, this chapter explains how we can bind the model and view layers of an Oracle ADF application. Key concepts are Data controls and Page Definitions.

Chapter 6, Displaying the Data, talks about the development of the Web pages. It explains the concept of Page Template which is an important concept when developing Web applications with many Web pages. Then, you are presented with some of the most important ADF components for building your Web pages.

Chapter 7, Working with Navigation Flows, presents the concept of a Task flow and the different types of task flows that ADF offers. It also describes the different components that conform a task flow. An important chapter, since the ADF lifecycle is described here.

Chapter 8, Layout with Look and Feel, since Oracle ADF supports skinning, this chapter explains what skinning is, the concepts behind ADF Skinning and how you can create and deploy skins for your  application.

Chapter 9, Implementing Security, is about roles, permissions, and other security concepts related to Oracle ADF security. It also provides a step by step guide to configure and deploy security for your applications.

Chapter 10,  Deploying the ADF Application, presents the configurations needed in order to deploy your Oracle ADF application to an application server, which in this case is Weblogic Server. It also explains the structure of the deployment files and deployment descriptors. Shows the steps needed to deploy an Oracle ADF application to a standalone Weblogic server.

Chapter 11, Advanced Features of ADF,  this chapter is all about advance configurations including: tuning Entity Objects, tuning View Objects, debugging ADF applications, among others.

For more information about this book go to:
http://www.packtpub.com/oracle-adf-11gr2-development-beginners-guide/book

See ya!