On Thursday 14th of August, the AMIS office was the venue for a session for the ADF community. Oracle Product Manager Katarina Obradovic-Sarkic was the key presenter at an event dedicated to ADF DVT, the data visualization components in ADF. In this event, Katarina went over the many use cases for data visualizations. She told and showed how various Oracle products make use of the visualizations – and how functional requirements from internal product development teams frequently are the driving force behind new visualizations.
She then discussed the many new features in DVT in the recent 12.1.3 release of ADF – as well as their counterparts in the Mobile Application Framework (MAF) that was launched last month. Many DVT components are shared between ADF and MAF, although some are not (yet). For example, the new Diagram component is not yet part of MAF, The Timeline component in MAF has some new features – such as support for time duration – that ADF currently does not have (but will have in the next release, probably 12.1.4). MAF also contains the N-Box that is not yet but will part of ADF too.
Here is the timeline component in MAF, with the time durations:
DVT in 12.1.3 is considerably refreshed – with new components, new features and a partially new architecture. Some examples are for example discussed in this blog article.
An important evolution is the introduction of the new Chart components that replace the pre 12.1.3 Graph components. The Chart components use either simple Java Collections as their data set. They can also work with the same Tree binding that is used for ADF Rich Table and List View. The rendering of the Charts takes place on the client – rather than the server. The render modes flash, png and svg are no longer supported: all rendering is done using HTML5. The client side rendering makes the user experience smoother. Additionally, client side operations such as scroll and zoom are supported and operate very smoothly:
Currently there is no client side API that allows direct manipulation of the data set on which the chart is based. All data refresh has to come in from the server. This might be changed in the near future – as to allow pure client side refresh and interaction between charts. The next release will also bring support for ADS (Active Data Service) for the client side chart components.
Not new in 12.1.3 but still relatively recent is the introduction of the Time Axis. This axis is date and time aware. It can handle irregular data sets (with “missing” periods), can now be used for the y-axis. Time axes also support mixed frequency time data, where the time stamps vary by series.
The Thematic Map component support several new features. These include the option to set the orientation of the marker – allowing us to provide additional meaning such as direction. The ability to hide the map itself. The option to isolate a single area – a form of drilldown. And the ability to use a custom base map. This latter option means that we can take any image, define hotspots on that image and assign logical names or identifier to them. Subsequently, we can take a data set that references those same logical names and have markers displayed on the custom image, allowing interaction such as popup and drilldown.
A brand new component is the Diagram component. This component is very versatile and a little abstract. It is good at showing nodes and dependencies between nodes. That basic premise allows for a wide range of applications, including visual editors, network visualizations, visual bill of materials and many more.
Some observations: with the (client) chart components, styling has become a whole new and much simpler ballgame. Attributes such as color can be data bound, just like value and label.
A new component that is one the drawing table is the picture chart.
Another component that we can expect in the near future is the so called N-Box. It was originally used in HCM Cloud to classify employees along two dimensions (potential and performance). It could be used for classification in any two (discrete) dimensions. The component has some nice aggregation facilities – collapsing individuals into groups based on selected criteria.
A poor or impatient’s man N-Box can be created using a Bubble Chart with reference lines, as was done in Fusion Application:
The event concluded – apart from the drinks at the bar – with an hands-on lab. Participants received a Virtual Machine with Linux, JDeveloper, Oracle XE and several demo applications pre installed. The demos – for which the sources will be made available shortly – showed several new features, including thematic map with custom base map, rating gauge and other new gauges, animation in various DVTs, diagram, client side charting with overview and scroll and a non-DVT component: a 3D tagcloud.
The presentation slides for this event: ADF DVT 12.1.3 – New Features and the Background Story.
Hosted Demo for the Mobile Application Framework – http://jdevadf.oracle.com/amx/ (Chrome or Safari only)
The ADF Rich Components Demo (live) – including ADF DVT: hosted at OTN.
This demo can be downloaded as a WAR file that can be imported into JDeveloper to review all sources and run the demos locally; go to OTN ADF Downloads and near the bottom of the page, click on the download button for Oracle ADF Faces Components Demo
The Recorded videos (ADF):
The Oracle Mobile Platform YouTube channel: http://bit.ly/oramobilesub
New DVT Blog