As we recently announced in our last blog post regarding new features of Application Development Framework, here are the details about Oracle’s new user interface Alta.
So far Applications developed with Application Development Framework had a lot of specifics and ADF components have consisted of large number of parts. Each of these parts had his specific CSS class, which needed to be overridden in order to implement new design. Results were often large number of CSS classes regarding only one component.
To make things easier for developers, Oracle introduced some of default skins of applications and Skin Selector with their JDeveloper IDE. Skin Selector gave developers possibility to visually check out all components included in ADF and see of which parts are they assembled. In addition, Skin Selector allowed developers to change manually style of those components parts. Even with using predefined skins and Skin Selector developers often needed to check CSS in runtime to make additional changes to their CSS in order to fully implement their specific design. All mentioned often required a lot of time and even with successful implementation of design, ADF applications still looked dated. As Oracle saw the need for visual improvement of ADF applications, they introduced Alta User Interface.
Alta UI offers modern minimalistic design achieved through redesign of existing ADF components. To make such design possible component redesign needed to be somewhat radical. New redesign considerably lowered number of parts of which components consisted.
In addition, style attributes are added in runtime of application, meaning that while developing there is no way to see how included component would behave at runtime. Developers will end up looking at the page source and adjusting their CSS files accordingly. Oracle added whole set of components as show cases to introduce developers with their behavior and possibilities. Full list of components can be found at official link.
Alta UI also made an improvement regarding responsive design, therefore making higher availability of applications on desktop and on mobile devices such as tablets.
Important thing to note is that Oracle highly recommend not to use Alta UI with old applications as Alta UI is using different layout which, among other things, better covers responsive design and ensures vertical scrolling in case when large content is needed to be shown on smaller screen resolution. For developing Content Area, Oracle recommends using Panel Grid Layout.
Even though Oracle does not recommend it and application will lose some of benefits given by Alta mostly regarding responsiveness of the design, developers can include Alta UI in their old applications. As Alta UI is available in latest edition of Oracle JDeveloper 12.1.3, application needs to be migrated into the new IDE and therefore certain changes needs to be made on application itself considering some of the components, and component properties were deprecated during improvement and new releases of Application Development Framework.
As for implementation of Alta UI itself there are not out-of-the-box support as there were with ADF skins in past. Currently Oracle provides Alta UI only by making certain changes in some of ADF configuration xml files. Even though process is not very intuitive, it is not very demanding for developers.
To include Alta UI into the application trinidad-config.xml file needs to be modified as on picture below.
Results are immediately visible in Skin Selector, but developers still can’t override CSS classes provided by Alta UI, that is, until they make certain changes in trinidad-config.xml and build their own CSS file. To override default Alta’s CSS trinidad-settings.xml should look like on the example below. On the example it is visible that ADF needs to be told which class will extend Alta’s and that class needs to be created before these changes.
After this, ADFSkin can be created, and in list of predefined skins, Alta’s skin will be provided as option, which needs to be chosen in order to have CSS file, which will override Alta’s CSS classes. After finishing creation of ADFSkin, trinidad-settings.xml will look like on the example below.
As mentioned earlier implementation of Alta UI on applications developed by earlier versions of Application Development Framework require some work regarding functionalities in case of very old applications and almost certainly visual polishing regardless of ADF version used for development. NEOS Ltd. successfully managed to migrated ADF Kickstart product to Alta UI, and now is in finishing stage of visual polishing process. Even though ADF Kickstart visual presentation does not have any influence over application developed using ADF Kickstart in NEOS Ltd. we are very keen to be in step with latest releases of Oracle and open source technologies and to use everything they can offer.
With introduction of Alta User Interface Oracle clearly made vast improvement in visual presentation of applications developed by Application Development Framework. Alta User Interfaces is definitely setting higher visual standards in enterprise application segment. Responsive design ensures higher availability of the application regardless of the device on which it is rendered. Minimalistic and simplified pages make them more appealing to the end-user while ensuring clear data presentation on modern user interface.
This year’s most important Oracle community event, Oracle Days 2012, will take place on March 21 – 22 at the Hypo EXPO XXI Centre in Zagreb. A large number of participants as well as many interesting lectures are expected during the two conference days, focusing on both business and technology. We will be able to hear all about:
- The latest innovations as well as Oracle customers and partners success stories
- New Oracle solutions for computing in public or private cloud
- New ways to increase IT efficiency
- Examples of best practices as well as the expert presentations on the introduction of comprehensive and integrated solutions, for hardware and demanding business applications
As the Oracle Gold and Specialized Partner, Neos is the Gold sponsor of the conference. Neos was specifically involved in organizing the conference through the rounded set of support applications:
- Website www.oracleday.hr
- Mobile website
- Admin application for maintaining content, the definition of the agenda, and registration tracking
- iPad application for registering participants in the fast lane
Complete technical support was carried out via Oracle technology, while Neos ADF KickStart was used as the basis for creating the admin application.
You are invited to listen to the “Oracle ADF – Expert Point of View” lecture about challenges in developing business applications and technical environments we encounter in development, by Davor Stanić and Tino Cindrić. The support preparation case-study for Oracle Days conference will be presented within the lecture.
For all details, discussions, or just simple introduction, you are welcome to visit our booth.
Register here. Do not forget your QR code and see you at the conference!
In the past decade, investments in IT solutions based on Java technology have been counted in billions, and it is certain that in the coming years this trend will not be changed. If we consider that the major players in the IT market have recognized Java as the “de-facto” standard for enterprise scale product development, that Oracle got Java in the recent acquisition of SUN, that IBM made a huge investment in WebSphere middleware, and that Java middleware is the fastest-growing business of JBoss, it sounds unreasonable to start with development of new solutions and not think about Java as a candidate platform for development. So what about Java development on enterprise scale level? Are there any available “add-ons” (frameworks) that can help us in development process?Read more ›
We proudly announce that we once more have confirmed our expertise, and this time in Oracle Application Development Framework. We are the first in Croatia and second in the world to reach the Specialized Oracle ADF Partner status.
The requirements we had to meet in order to become Specialized Partner include a series of certificates proving knowledge and professional skills, and a certain number of successfully completed projects.
In application development, we have been intensively using ADF technology from it’s early stages. Our experience and competence in ADF technology has resulted in our own product that is a business and technological upgrade of the functions that Oracle ADF offers.
Neos ADF KickStart includes enterprise application development methodology and a library of reusable components and modules, thus speeding up and easing the new applications development and transition of already existing ones to the modern technological platform.
The Specialized Gold Partner status in ADF segment as well as BI segment (Oracle Business Intelligence Foundation) is a confirmation of our efforts to establish Neos as a competent, trustworthy, and valuable business partner in the region and beyond.