Last thursday Kscope13 ended. I liked the conference very much and here’s my report from the ODTUG Kscope 2013 in New Orleans. The venue, the Sheraton Hotel, was in the centre of New Orleans on the border of the French Quarter. It was on a walking distance from the Mississippi river and Jackson square (with always fantastic jazz music played by street-performers). Outside it felt like more than 40C, inside under 18C caused by the blowing air-conditioning; warm clothes were no luxery.
At the conference I joined the ADF and Fusion Development track, not only as an attendee but also as a presenter of one session about Oracle ADF performance tuning. At arrival every speaker is personally welcomed by the president of the ODTUG which is very nice.
Most people came to the conference for database and APEX sessions. What surprises me is that the average age at this conference is quite high and that there are hardly any attendees that are in their twenties or thirties.
With an average of 20 to 30 attendees for each session the ADF and Fusion Development track was a bit behind the database track, but I think it was an excellent opportunity for experienced as well as for starters to learn more about the ADF framework. Many Americans that I spoke with are here to orient themselves for the successor of their Forms application and are very curious about our experiences with ADF. This conference is also an excellent opportunity to network as you can meet ADF developers of other companies, experts, and Oracle ADF product managers like Duncan Mills, Shay Shmeltzer, Linn Munsinger, Peter Koletzke, Susan Duncan, Frederic Desbiens, Jon King and Joe Huang.
With over 35 ADF related sessions, the Sunday Symposium, and the hands-on training this year’s ADF and Fusion Development track was a very useful track to learn about FMW. This year, the track was focused around the following areas:
• ADF for Beginners
• Advanced ADF: Mobile, Cloud, Web services
• Customizing Fusion apps
• SOA and Fusion Middleware
There was not big announcements/news from Oracle on the ADF part but that was also not expected.
Kscope13 offered a choice of six symposiums. There were six parallel tracks by interest (BI, database, ADF, APEX, EPM, EPM Content), with all sessions provided by Oracle. Shay Shmeltzer and Lynn Munsinger introduced ADF and all available ADF resources – which are many currently. Many free online sources are out – like the free online advanced ADF series, the JDeveloper document library, ADF insider recorded seminars (also on youtube), OTN harvest, OTN ADF code corner, OTN ADF best practices – too much to name them all. It is great to see how many valuable resources there are. Joe Huang discussed how to get started with an ADF Mobile project. Finally Frederic Desbians and Linn Munsinger introduced the integration of ADF and the Fusion Middleware stack. After that there was a speaker Meeting and welcome reception.
Shay Shmeltzer presented on ADF Faces skinning (an introduction). The since a few months available new skin (Skyros skin) is much improved compared to the fusion skin (simpler, less gradients, more lightweight). In ADF 12C skinning will be less complicated and there will be a completely new skin editor.
My colleague Luc Bors presented on “Creating complex layouts in ADF Faces’ for an interested audience. Luc covered the basics of the ADF layout containers, including what which components are stretchable (or not) and which components do (or not) stretch their child components. The PanelGridLayout was discussed (new since 126.96.36.199 and 11.2.3). This component is a valuable addition to place content in rows and columns.
the most valuable session I attended was a session of Frederic Desbiens about ‘You cannot Be Mobile without a Good Back-end’. In ADF 12C ApplicationModule SDO objects will also support REST services (next to SOAP) which is a big improvement. REST services (using JSON) gives a better performance on a mobile application than SOAP (XML) services, is simpler and a natural choice. SOAP services are still better when you need enterprise features and SOAP has a broad standardization and is more suitable for complex logic.
Wednesday the most valuable session was the ‘JDeveloper 12C and ADF new features’ by Shay Shmeltzer. The core IDE features include (amongst others) a new look and feel, new profilers, a new Swing editor, and a new window system. JDeveloper windows will become movable (drag and dropable) outside JDeveloper; for example you can move your Weblogic server log console to a second monitor which is very useful. There will be improved Maven support, GIT integration, HTML5 support. In ADF 12C there will be tablet support, new layout components like the Springboard, Drawer, PanelGridLayout and DVT components like the Sunburst, TimeLine, and TreeMap. Many of these ‘new components’ are already backported to ADF11g R1 (188.8.131.52) and R2 (184.108.40.206).
In the evening there was a large entertainment event, which was a Mardi Gras style party (a kind of carnival New Orleans Style). It was a nice evening at the banks of the Mississippi river with good food, live music, fireworks, and I saw that the Oracle product managers really like dancing.
My colleague Matthieu de Graaf presented (in the database track) on ‘Programming PL/SQL with testing in Mind; A Practical Approach’. This approach has proven to be very useful in one of our largest ADF projects AMIS is currently doing. He described a strategy that includes special test procedures for PL/SQL programs, an API for creating sets with test data, and the use of a debugging framework to resolve issues efficiently. In this way high-quality software can be created, which can be easily tested and maintained.
I presented on ADF and performance tuning. I got good reactions from my presentation ‘Improve Your ADF Fusion Application’s Response Time by as much as 70%’. I discussed how you can diagnose, report and solve performance problems already in an early stage and how to build an efficient, responsive, scalable ADF application that circumvents frequent bad practices.
You can download my presentation here: Improve Your ADF Fusion Application’s Response Time by as Much as 70 Percent