Friday, September 27, 2013

Book Review: Developing Web Applications with Oracle ADF Essentials

At the end of book, the author has claimed that:
If you have followed the exercises in this book, you are ready to build real-world ADF Essentials applications and can consider yourself an ADF Essentials journeyman.
I cannot agree more. If you are new to ADF (Oracle Application Development Framework) programming, you probably need to add this cookbook to your toolbox. Unfortunately, some hyperlinks embedded in the book are broken. At the end of this article, you can find the correct links to some of the important topics covered in the book.

Bottom-up Approach

ADF Essentials toolkit is used in this book to help you learn ADF programming. The recent released ADF Essentials gives developers a free version of the core components of the ADF framework which they can use to build an end-to-end ADF-based solution including advanced UI components, taskflows,[4] the binding layer and business components or EJBs.

In this book, the author uses a bottom-up approach which introduces you to the ADF programming. A full-blown DVD rental application (in Chap 6) was built, tested and deployed using the following technology stack:
  • The free MySQL database[5]
  • The free GlassFish application server[7]
    • Note that you also need Java Development Kit[6]
  • The free ADF Essentials toolkit[3]
  • The free JDeveloper development tool[9]
    • Oracle also supports ADF Essentials as part of their Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse (OEPE) product.[8]
Although GlassFish was used in the exercises, this book also discusses features that are available only on WebLogic Server (WLS) and its associated management system—Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control. For example, ADF logger is the preferred logging component (vs. log4j and Logback) for ADF applications. And there are differences in the supported features for logging on GlassFish and WLS:
  • Logging configuration
    • ADF logging is controlled by the logging.xml file.
    • JDeveloper offers a nice interface for managing this file for the built-in WLS.
  • Log monitoring
    • WLS—logging can be read and analyzed using Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control.
    • GlassFish—logging can only be read directly from server.log file.

ADF Framework

All ADF applications consist of the following parts:

  • View layer
    • The View layer consists of the pages that are displayed to end users (JSF pages or JSF page fragments).
    • ADF Faces is based on JSF and built on top of Trinidad, an open source JSF framework.
  • Controller layer
    • The Controller layer consists of ADF Task Flows[4,17] that control the flow between the elements of the view layer
  • Model layer
    • ADF Model is a binding layer to bind the UI (ADF Faces based on JSF) without tight coupling UI components to the back end data model.
  • Business Service layer
    • The Business Service layer provides services to query and manipulate data.
    • There are many ways to build business services—in this book, it uses ADF Business Components, but you can also use, for example, JPA Entities and EJB 3.0 Session beansPOJOsweb services, and so on.
  • Database layer
    • The Database layer is where your data is stored persistently.

The Book

In this book, it shows you:
  • How to set up the entire infrastructure for building ADF applications
  • How to install the necessary interconnections and wired everything together
  • How to add Java code to your application to implement customized business logic
  • How to build and deploy ADF applications to application servers
  • How to debug ADF applications
  • How to build scalable structure using foundation workspaces and ADF libraries
  • How to secure ADF application (Apache Shiro[15] is used in this book)
Without doubt, you will be able to write real-world ADF applications after reading this book. But, before you roll up sleeves and jump to the programming, try to read the following guidelines first:
  • ADF Naming and Project Layout Guidelines[11]


  1. Developing Web Applications with Oracle ADF Essentials (reviewed book in this article)
  2. journeyman (wikipedia)
  3. ADF Essentials downloads
    • Version was used in the book.
    • After navigating to this home page, then click on
    • Oracle ADF Essentials - FREEOracle ADF Task Flow in a Nutshell
  4. Oracle ADF Task Flow in a Nutshell (Xml and More)
  5. MySQL downloads
    • Free Community Server edition Version 5.6.12 was used in the book.
  6. JDK 7 downloads
    • In order to be able to install and run GlassFish, your system first needs to have JDK 7 installed. Jdk1.7.0_25 was installed and used in the book.
  7. GlassFish downloads
    • GlassFish Server Open Source Edition (for Windows platform) was used in the book.
  8. Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse 12c (
    • Oracle Application Development Framework - Oracle ADF
    • Oracle JDeveloper downloads
      • Studio Edition was used in the book.
    • ADF Naming and Project Layut Guidelines v1.00 (16/Jan/2013)
    • Oracle ADF Essentials
    • ADF Naming and Project Layout Guidelines (By Chris Muir)
    • Adventures in ADF Logging - Part 1 (Duncan Mills)
    • Apache Shiro
    • Using Bind Variable to Implement Range Selection Declaratively (Xml and More)
    • Understanding Task Flow Transaction and Savepoint Support in Oracle ADF (Xml and More)


    felisberto said...

    I bought your book,however there is no glassfish extension,how to start the server without extension?

    Seth Williams said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Seth Williams said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Seth Williams said...

    Thanks for the tutorial Stanley, it was very informative. Here is a oracle ADF tutorial that your readers may find useful.

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