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What Are My Options when Going Mobile with ADF?

Earlier this month Oracle A-team member, Steven Davelaar released an in-depth article about the options that exist for going mobile with ADF.  As this is one of my favorite topics I wanted to pass along the knowledge.  I am going to give a quick summary of what the article covers, but I strongly encourage you to read the whole piece. 

Read the full article.

This article is just the first in a series to come.  The collection will be examining A-team’s experiences with adapting existing Oracle ADF applications to Mobile for a series of customers.  Together, all the articles will summarize everything Oracle A-team learned about going Mobile.  This first article is about the technology choices that have to be made when going Mobile and what those choices mean in the long term.

The Differences Between Mobile and Desktop

This section focuses on the differences between desktop interfaces and mobile interfaces.  While it seems like it should be a simple transition between the two, it’s not quite that easy; the big takeaways are: (i) The nature of tasks on mobile is very different from the nature of task performance on desktop and (ii) The user interfaces on mobile and on desktop are very different due to obvious size constraints so they can’t be expected to look and work in  the same manner  (iii) Another difference is of course the nature of how we work on the interfaces; on the mobile we use our fingers for gestures while on the desktop we use key controls and the mouse. This difference in the users interaction with the screen will also affect our interface design.  In short, going mobile means preparing for some changes.

Considerations before embarking on a mobile project?

When going mobile there are many technologies an Oracle developer can consider to develop a mobile UI (They of course only discuss Oracle technologies) : ADF Mobile, ADF Mobile Browser, and ADF Faces Rich Client.  Whereas if one was looking at the broad market they may also look at PhoneGap, HTML5 etc.  In some cases multiple technologies can be mixed to meet specific needs.  In addition to a choice between development technologies, you must also consider other design factors such as:

  • Offline Usage – Do you need offline support and sync with online systems?
  • Integration of Device Features – Do you need calendar, camera, email, maps integration?
  • Mobile User Interface – What elements are needed to make the user experience intuitive and user friendly?
  • Mobile Browser Support – Are the elements used supported by many mobile browsers ? How flexible is our UI to version changes?
  • Reuse of Business Logic – Can we not re-invent the wheel and reuse existing system business logic with a new UI? For more information on how we can re-use Oracle Forms business logic in mobile applications you can see our past blog post.

Next Steps – Moving forward

In the article, Oracle gives their opinion on the best approach to going mobile with ADF and explains how each technology offers different benefits and consequences. We suggest anyone embarking on their road to mobile check out this post to start your journey!

We are also here to help if anyone has any design questions or concerns comment below.

Good luck and Go Mobile!

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Tip of the Week: “ app install failed ” error when I deploy my ipa on an iOS device

In this post, I wanted to give you a quick guide / cheat sheet for deploying your .ipa file. I will tell everyone how to prepare your iOS device for a .ipa installation (for the first time) during the development and test stages, and how to deploy a .ipa file to a new device for testing. That way we can avoid the nasty error  ” app install failed ”

The hard part should be behind you if you’ve already developed an application for your iOS device, and deployed it in to a .ipa file.  All that remains is to install the .ipa file onto your iOS device.

IMPORTANT: You must have a Mac computer in order to go through this process.

A more in depth blog post can be seen here: http://www.intertech.com/Blog/xcode-4-deploying-your-app-to-your-own-iphone-ipad-ipod-touch/

 

The first step is to allow your iOS device to install the .ipa; this step should be performed only once per device.

The following steps should be performed only once per device:

1. Open Xcode on your Mac machine

2. Make sure that you have connected the device (that you wish to deploy) to your Mac

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3. Select your device name from the left panel

4. Press on the button  “Use For Development”

5. Right-click on the device on the left panel, and select “Add device to provisioning portal” – (if you do not do this last step, you will get an “app install failed” error message on your deploying device).

Once you have completed the above steps, your device is ready to be installed with the .ipa programs from iTunes on any operating system.

Installing the .ipa on a device (Windows or Mac)

To install your .ipa file on any device you can use either a windows or MAC PC machine.

1. Make sure that you have connected the device (that you wish to deploy) to your machine

2. Open iTunes

3. Press on the button that shows your device

4. Select: File -> Add to Library

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5. Select the path of your .ipa file

6. Click on the “Apps” tab

7. Click on “Install” button – it should change to “Will Install”

8. On the bottom of the screen, click on “Apply”

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Now the application should be installed on your device!

Let us know how this works for you. If you need any help, comment below.

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Oracle ADF Mobile #{row.index} is Not Supported After Installing Upgrade Patch

You had a great application working in ADF Mobile, you updated to the latest ADF Mobile patch, and then suddenly the actions you perform on a list item aren’t working anymore?

We had an ADF Mobile application, developed in JDeveloper 11.1.2.4, that worked great. In that application there is a list of items, and when you click on a list item, the header of the Panel Page changes to the name of the selected item.

Everything worked really well. We upgraded the Oracle ADF Mobile extension plugin, and suddenly this functionality stopped working!

When clicking on a list item, the item’s name was supposed to appear on the Header of the page, but after the upgrade this has not been happening.

We went over the code and we noticed that the #{row.index} code set  under the  “Set Property Listener” property was circled with a red border. This means that #{row.index} is not supported anymore. We replaced #{row.index} with #{row.rowKey} across our whole project, and now everything is working as it should be.

To sum it up: Search your code for appearance of  #{row.index} and replace it with #{row.rowKey} so you won’t have similar issues!

After this went to print our ADf Guru Steven Davlar shared his code for a more generic solution that will work if the view object have a primary key as well. See his comments below.

His suggested code is:

change amx:setPropertyListener   from=”#{row.rowKey}”  type=”action” to=”#{bindings.<view>Iterator.iterator.currentIndexWithKey}” id=”spl2″ />

Comment if you have an other patch or upgrading issues!

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Download ADF Mobile Patch: New Patch 4 Available Now

The Product Development Team for Oracle ADF Mobile has announced the release of patch 4, an update for Oracle ADF Mobile 1.1.  The new patch contains bug fixes and two new features: URL Scheme support and Custom SOAP Header support. I must admit I’m impressed, with how the development  team for Oracle ADF Mobile has been working they seem to release a new patch every few months.

Learn more about patch 4 and download it.

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Lessons Learned From Oracle OpenWorld 2013

Oracle OpenWorld this year was full of interesting sessions and lots of lessons to learn from.

The major trends were not new but Oracle really seemed to be solidifying their offerings in the areas of Cloud, Mobile, and Social. I was especially pleased to hear about the new offering of the Oracle Mobile Cloud Service.  The Oracle Mobile Cloud is a service that enables developers and IT to create and manage mobile friendly APIs. This will make it very easy for mobile developers to integrate their applications with enterprise data and services. I was happy to hear that this really fits with AuraPlayer’s vision of having Oracle Forms as a back-end API for Mobile user interfaces. With this infrastructure developers will be able to create and manage many webservices each representing different technologies and connect their mobile apps to any or many of these API’s. I think this will really simplify and launch Oracle mobile development in the coming years.

But the most impressive/surprising thing that happened at OOW was actually how many Oracle Forms developers/ managers attended my session with Michael and Grant (Oracle Forms PM)   “The Future of Oracle Forms Applications and Developers“.  You can download our presentation here.  Around 250 people preregistered for the session and eventhough the session was stuck at 7:15 pm on a Monday night we had well over 100 people in attendance. Thanks to all of you who came to learn and show support.  Hopefully Oracle and the various user groups will take notice of the interest in Forms sessions and include additional Oracle Forms sessions in future events. You can see our amazing Oracle Forms on an iPad demo here.

Speaking of the future of Forms, it was interesting to hear in 2 separate sessions, customer stories of companies that had abandoned their original Forms systems and migrated to ADF or Java.  In both cases the migration took an enormous number of man-hours and a HUGE price tag to match and to be honest it seemed the customers weren’t thrilled with the results.

In the first session, Protect Your PL/SQL Know-How While Migrating an Oracle Forms Application to Java on Sunday morning, Stefan Kinnen the Senior Vice President of  T&P Triestram shared his experiences with a Forms migration to Java.  He discussed his upgrade process which was very ambitious, converting 154 Forms, 250 Reports and 400 DB packages to Java. In terms of budgeting, his calculation was that to migrate the 154 Forms it had taken 6 developers about 3 years to complete.  It also seemed that by the time the process was completed the technologies they had chosen to update to were already out of date themselves and now they are rethinking the technology choices. You can see his full presentation here.

In the second session, “Oracle ADF and Oracle ADF Mobile: Lessons Learned in Real-World Implementations” on Wednesday morning Frederik Ronn, Director and Technical Architecture of TIA Technology, shared some interesting statistics on TIA’s migration from Oracle Forms to ADF.  It took a team of 2 architects, 5 inexperienced developers, 10 external resources from Latvia and 2 experts from Holland a total 40,000 man-hours to migrate 300 forms; that translates to a whopping 130 man-hours PER FORM. You do the math for the price tag  :)

These statistics were fascinating to me because it further proves what I have been saying for years. To migrate your Forms applications will costs incredible sums both in terms of time and dollars so unless you have a REAL business need I see no reason to do it. Those of you who attended my session heard the Oracle Forms PM declare several times that Oracle Forms is not going anywhere, so why fix what aint broke. Especially if it will cost you 130 Hours per form! This also furthers what I tried to do in creating AuraPlayer where we provide an easy and efficient way to modernize Forms to webservices / Cloud or Mobile without the cost and risk of redevelopment or migration.  My  advice has always been and will be to stick with your current Oracle Forms system BUT upgrade to the latest releases, modernize the look and feel, and launch it into mobile and cloud environments. Then wait patiently till the next generation tools solidify since developing an entire new system is outrageously expensive and time consuming.

The greatest lesson I learned from Oracle OpenWorld 2013?  Modernize, don’t migrate!

Check out our photos from OpenWorld!

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Israel Daylight Savings Time ( Winter DST ) Change Causing Database “Balagan”

This is a post specifically for all you Israelis out there.  As you all know the  government decided this year  to postpone the transition to the winter clock ( DST ) until the end of October.  This decision has caused (as we say in Israel)  “a balagan”  with several problems discovered in the database and Grid Control Environment time controls.  In short, database programs were not yet updated to the new date for changing to the winter clock; so  programs were not syncing the clock and timezone calculations correctly.

To address these issues I would like to point you to a document written by the customer service department of Oracle Israel.  It explains the problem and offers more information including referrals to the relevant notes in the Oracle Support website to help you along your way.  Also, there is a relevant patch that can be downloaded and should solve all time issues.

You can access the customer service document from Oracle Israel here.

Thank to ilOUG for the support and referal

Good Luck! Comment if you need additional help.

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Configuring Oracle Forms 11g Single Sign On with OAM (Oracle Access Manager Server) or OSSO (Oracle Single Sign-On Server)

Recently we’ve had multiple customers asking us about how to perform Oracle Forms 11g R2 single sign-on. There are many options when it comes to security n fact there are even multiple authentication store products. Luckily, I found a great blog post from the Proactive Support – Oracle Development Tools team to explain the process.

In it they define step-by-step how creating a single sign-on environment can be done using Oracle Access Manager 11g (OAM) and Oracle Internet Directory (OID).  Together, they eliminate the need for additional logins to access applications using the same server during a single user session.

To help secure forms, Oracle Forms Services applications in Oracle FMW 11g Release 2 they can be protected by one of the following authentication servers:

  • Oracle Access Manager (OAM Server) – It is an Oracle FMW 11g authentication server that provides a full range of security functions that include Web single sign-on, authentication and authorization. When running Forms Services, it uses Oracle Internet Directory as the Identity Store. Oracle Access Manager can use either mod_osso or webgate as the access client configured with Oracle HTTP Server.
  • Oracle Single Sign-On Server (OSSO Server) – It is an OracleAS 10g authentication server. It uses Oracle Internet Directory as the Identity Store. Oracle Single Sign-On Server uses mod_osso as the access client configured with Oracle HTTP Server.

For more detailed configuration and implementation instructions check it out:  Read the full blog to address security and sign-on issues.

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Oracle OpenWorld Full Conference Pass Contest

We want everyone to be as excited as we are for this years OpenWorld, so we’ve decided to give away one free FULL conference pass. The yearly event, the pinnacle of Oracle conferences, is being held on September 22-26 in San Francisco! One lucky person will get to experience everything that OpenWorld has to offer: the sessions, the parties, the events and of course Larry’s famous Keynote speeches. Check out the full list of developer events here.

The winner will also get to come see my session :) The Future of Oracle Forms Applications and Developers and visit our ADF Mobile for Oracle Forms booth #3347 in the Mobile Enterprise Solutions Pavilion. But everyone who enters will be a winner since all applicants will get a Discoverer pass and one lucky winner will get a full conference pass.

To enter the contest register here!

All applicants will also have their name automatically entered into our raffle to win one of 3 Leap Motion consoles.

Good luck and we hope to see you there  !

 

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Top 10 Development Sessions at Oracle OpenWorld 2013

top10With almost 40 ADF/Forms/Cloud sessions to attend at this years Oracle OpenWorld It can be a mission just deciding which ones to attend.  So since life is full of too many decisions as it is (just to order a cup of coffee today I had to make about six different  decisions), we decided to help out and share our picks for top ten sessions to attend. We hope that by making this list we’ve removed some of the stress so you can save energy for making more important choices, like tall, light, dark, decaf, etc.

In any case, anytime the sessions get to be too much for you come visit us at the OraPlayer booth , #3347 in the Mobile Enterprise Solutions Pavilion and check out the Leap Motion gesture support for we are using to demo Oracle Forms on ADF mobile simulation demos. Best of all, everyone who stops by the booth can enter to win one of the 3 Leap Motion consoles that we are raffling off!

Now, obviously the very best session is mine along with Grant Ronald and Michael Ferrante The Future of Oracle Forms Applications and Developers (Register Now to secure your place) but  there are some other great looking sessions and the list I made here is just an aid to help with picking some standouts.

1. Best BEST PRACTICES Session – It was a 3 way tie – Best/Worst Practices sessions from this group of experts is basically the holy grail of how to do it (or not to do it)  in ADF

Best Practices for Building Real World Enterprise Mobile Apps with Oracle ADF Mobile
Srinivas Indla, Oracle
Dave Kamholz, Oracle
Denis Tyrell, Oracle

Worst Practices for Developing an Oracle ADF Application
Wilfred van der Deijl, The Future Group
Paco van der Linden, AMIS Services BV

Top 10 Secrets of Successful Oracle Application Development Framework Projects
Sten Vesterli, Scott/Tiger/A/S

2.  Must-attend sessions presented by VP’s at Oracle –  In general I usually enjoy general sessions. I always like hearing from people who are in a position to shape the vision and make the decisions for Oracle development going forward. And since Chris Tonas used to be an Oracle Forms guy he took the title.

General Sessions: Emerging Trends in Application Development – The Oracle Perspective
Chris Tonas, Oracle

 This session is about Mobile development and what Oracle’s strategy will be going forward. I am interested to hear what Bill and Joe have to say about future directions. And I’m sure they will feature a killer ADF Mobile demo ☺

 Developing On-Device Mobile Applications with Oracle Technology: Today and Tomorrow

William Pataky, Oracle
Joseph Huang, Oracle

3.  “Real-World” session to attend – We all make mistakes and  we all love to see where others have succeeded and failed. And best of all its sure to be a session without sales pitches.

Oracle ADF and Oracle ADF Mobile: Lessons Learned in Real-World Implementations
Simon Canil, Colab

Ralf Ernst, IT-Systemhaus der BA
Frederik Ronn, TIA Technology
Dana Singleterry, Oracle

4. Best all-in-one session – Seeing this group of ACES and Directors develop a full end-to-end fusion middleware application in an hour is like watching one of Houdini’s finer escape acts.

An Oracle ACE Production: Oracle Fusion Middleware Live Development Demo
Lonneke Dikmans, Vennster B.V, Simon Haslam, Veriton Limited, Lucas Jellema, AMIS
Ronald van Luttikhuizen, Vennster User Experience B.V.

5. Most surprising yet useful session – I guess this session is a surprising choice for the top ten list. It isn’t as flashy as the rest, but I feel it addressees a major challenge in ADF development projects today. With ADF it is so easy to run through the wizards and start building an application that no one ever plans the team/methodology aspects of the project. This inevitably leads to challenges every mis-managed project faces. So go hear from Lynn on how to start off on the right foot.

Ready, Set, Go: Setting Up Your Team for Oracle ADF Development
Lynn Munsinger Brown, Oracle

6. Smoothest operator demo – Shay’s a magician when it comes to demos. He is the no slides wizard. The only problem is his sessions should come with a disclaimed that watching the live demo looks so easy it may not go that smooth when you try it at home.

Oracle ADF: The No-Slides Overview
Shay Shmeltzer, Oracle

7. Best in show – Although we were passed up for the award this year :) It will be cool to see real world systems that have all been recognized as innovators. It always fun to see cutting edge projects that are being done with the Oracle technology stack.

Oracle Fusion Middleware: Meet This Year’s Most Impressive Innovators
Amit Zavery, Oracle
Howard Beader, Oracle
Neela Chaudhari, Oracle

8. Next Gen for newbies sessionCloud computing is the next generation of development environments so I think it is safe to say, you should check it out if you haven’t already.

Oracle Developer Cloud Service: An Introduction
Brain Fry, Oracle
Srikanth Sallaka, Oracle
Dana Singleterry, Oracle

9. Where all Oracle Forms developers should start session – Practice makes perfect and Frank has been at this FOREVER (even longer than me). Also, I always like to attend at least one session of ADF for beginners to meet people from the Oracle Forms community and Frank is an entertaining and funny presenter.

Oracle ADF Programming Best Practices for Beginners
Frank Nimphius, Oracle

10. Best session for A+ students who are ready to go at 8:00am on Sunday

I love the concept of this sessionI Showing how an Oracle Forms system has evolved and grown with an  organization weathering all technological changes in the process for the past 20 years. In the next 20 years we hope to see these same systems being deployed to mobile devices using OraPlayer.

A 20-Year Journey: Oracle Forms 3.0 to Oracle Forms 11g [UGF1864]
Ralf Kölling – Senior Consultant, Logica, now part of CGI

And one more for good luck…

11. Saved the best for Last sessionGrant and Lynn have wrote the book (literally) on ADF adoption and the “ABC’s” of ADF. This is where to go if your looking to start with ADF but don’t know how or where to begin.

 How to Learn Oracle ADF [BOF2207]
Grant Ronald – Director of Product Management, Oracle
Lynn Munsinger Brown – Senior Group Product Manager, Oracle

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Well I hope this list helps you find your way around the maze of development sessions at this year’s Oracle Open World. If you are going to join us please let us know by responding to the poll found here: OTN Community Poll.

 See you all soon!

 

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Adding a virtual directory (Alias) in Oracle Form 11g

I get this question all the time since for Oracle Forms applications we usually need at least an icons virtual directory and most of the time one for flat files or excel files as well. Here is a step by step how to create a virtual directory in Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g R2 – Meaning Oracle Forms 11g R2.

1.)    Sign in to the Enterprise Manager console screen:

http://<server name>.<sample.com>:7001/em

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2.)    Go to Administration > Server configuration:

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3.)    Add Row to the Aliases section:

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4.)    Add Row for the virtual directory you wish to create for example:

URL Path = /excels/
File Path = d:appsexcel/

Please note: The / directions must be as written above.

Click on Apply, and restart the OHS.

I hope this helps everyone – Comment if you need help!

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