JDeveloper & WebCenter – first impressions and first tip

It was hard to miss yesterday as weblogs around the world – just like telex machines in the old days – started ticking and buzzing: JDeveloper is released! And even more exciting: WebCenter is available (well, the design time environment that lives in JDeveloper). From Steve Muench and Didier Laurent to the IT-Eye blog (twice) and now our own: it’s hot!

You can download the new JDeveloper from  JDeveloper Downloadpage on OTN. The most eye catching new component with design time support in JDeveloper is  Oracle WebCenter Suite. The runtime environment – WebCenter Suite Framework, living in Oracle AS 10gR3, will be available from OTN any day now. Rahul Patel, VP for WebCenter and Portal, stated that internally WebCenter has been released from development to a staging area from where it will be put out on OTN within days.

The new features in JDeveloper are listed here. Of course it contains a range of bug-fixes as well.....

Tip: You should not start JDeveloper  – as we used to do for quite some time now – from JDEV_HOME\jdev\bin but instead from JDEV_HOME\jdeveloper.exe! I started it the old way and was not able to find the Preconfigured WebCenter OC4J!

Features I will go and look into in the very near future

While perusing the list of new features – also looking back on some of the demonstration I saw at OOW, I quickly compiled in my head a list of things to investigate:

  • Creating ADF DataControls for Content Repositories – and building Content Repository unaware ADF Faces pages on top of that
  • Using the new PanelCustomizable and ShowDetailFrame ADF Faces components
  • Play with the shipped Portlets in my own JSF pages
  • Portletize some simple ADF Faces application – and consume that Portlet in another application
  • Leverage the Rich Text Portlet in my applications
  • Work with the Declarative Security features


I am not sure yet which parts of JDeveloper require a WebCenter runtime environment (and licence!) and which components can be used in any J2EE environment. For example the ShowDetailFrame component: can I only use that when I have a WebCenter licence?

Some issues so far.. 

A few issues I have run into so far:

  • I could not find the embedded WebCenter Server that supposedly comes with JDeveloper. The WebCenter documentation has instructions on how to start the thing, but the menu-entries and toolbar icons specified do not seem to exist in my local installation. For example: WebCenter documentations – Starting and Stopping the PreConfigured OC4J : see the TIP above for the resolution!
  • JHeadstart and WebCenter do not like one another. The next Service Update (february 2007) for JHeadstart will fix that issue: http://blogs.oracle.com/jheadstart/2007/01/30#a131
  • When using a Data Control based on a Content Repository for creating ADF Faces databound components in my JSF page, the WYSIWYG editor failed me: no WYSIWYG view was available anymore. I will try this out a little more, but the first results were not as expected…


Documentation for JDeveloper

Documentation for WebCenter: http://www.oracle.com/technology/products/webcenter/documentation.html .

Demonstration of Portletizing a JSF page as well as consuming (that) Portlet in ADF Faces application: http://www.oracle.com/technology/products/jdev/viewlets/1013/portletize_jsf_pages_viewlet_swf.html