Oracle Launches Free Version of Application Development Framework

Oracle announced the release of a free version of its Oracle Application Development Framework (ADF) that runs on the open-source GlassFish platform.

Looking to give even more developers access to its core development tools, Oracle announced the release of a free version of its Oracle Application Development Framework: Oracle Application Development Framework (ADF) Essentials.

Oracle ADF Essentials enables the global developer community to leverage the core capabilities of Oracle Application Development Framework free of cost. Previously, developers had to have a license for Oracle WebLogic to use ADF.

However, Oracle ADF Essentials is standards-based and deploys on GlassFish Server Open Source Edition, giving developers the ability to adopt and extend Oracle ADF functionality to new environments.

“Oracle ADF is an MVC [Model-View-Controller] framework that we really built for ourselves,” Bill Pataky, vice president of product management for tools and middleware in the Oracle Fusion Middleware group, told eWEEK. Pataky said as Oracle acquired more and more companies, the database giant needed a framework to help it integrate apps—often modifying and rewriting them on a common platform. ADF became that framework. Last year, Oracle shipped the first version of its Fusion apps based on ADF.

“This is a version of ADF that is moving more to a ‘freemium’ model,” Pataky said. “Previously, it required a paid version of WebLogic to deploy, but we’re releasing this version that runs on GlassFish. We provide over 150 rich enterprise components in this release. And this release gives ADF the chance to be deployed outside an Oracle environment. This is a fairly big step for the ADF community. ADF can now run on Tomcat or JBoss, although we don’t certify it.”

As the strategic framework used to build many Oracle applications, Oracle ADF is an end-to-end Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE) framework that simplifies application development by providing out-of-the-box infrastructure services and a visual and declarative development experience.

“Oracle ADF is already proven as the strategic framework used to build Oracle Fusion Applications,” said Chris Tonas, vice president of Application Development Tools at Oracle, in a statement. “With Oracle ADF Essentials, we’ve combined key tooling from Oracle ADF, Oracle JDeveloper and Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse in a free offering that should be a great way for many of our customers and partners to jump-start their development efforts.”

To simplify the developer experience and deliver rich functionality, Oracle JDeveloper provides visual and declarative development capabilities for Oracle ADF Essentials. And Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse is intended to support Oracle ADF Essentials in a future release.

Available for download through Oracle Technology Network (OTN), Oracle ADF Essentials provides a simpler no-cost way to develop enterprise applications with core capabilities, including Oracle ADF Faces, which is a set of more than 150 advanced, Web user Interface (UI) components based on JavaServer Faces (JSF) that simplify the creation of rich Web UIs, including interactive data visualization.

Oracle ADF Essentials also features Oracle ADF Controller and Oracle ADF Binding. Oracle ADF Controller is an extension of the JSF controller layer that helps build complete reusable process flows and provides the ability to create dynamic regions with changing content in Web pages. Oracle ADF Binding provides a simplified approach to connecting user interfaces to various business services through an XML-based, metadata abstraction layer.

The free version also contains Oracle ADF Business Components, which simplifies developing business services against relational databases by providing declaratively configured, reusable components that implement common design patterns, Oracle said. Oracle ADF Essentials includes the core features of Oracle ADF, but does not include the following enterprise capabilities that are built into the full Oracle ADF: declarative customization, granular security layer, integration with Oracle SOA Suite and Oracle ADF Mobile, Pataky said.

“ADF Mobile is a hybrid programming model, a platform we developed to allow the extension of ADF apps to mobile without having to rewrite them as native on each different mobile platform,” Pataky said.

Oracle will share more on the new ADF Mobile capabilities at the upcoming JavaOne 2012 conference in San Francisco at the end of September, he added.

"At Innowave Technology we have been leveraging Oracle ADF to accelerate project turn-around time at multiple customer engagements,” said Basheer Khan, CEO of Innowave, in a statement. “Oracle ADF gives us an integrated development framework with cutting-edge functionality and great tooling that simplifies our development process. Having an Oracle ADF version that can be used without licensing costs and with the ability to run on open-source servers such as GlassFish Server Open Source Edition will enable us to leverage Oracle ADF in more scenarios and with new customers."