Oracle releases free ADF Essentials

Oracle ADF Essentials can run full JEE applications on the GlassFish application server

In an effort to expand programmer awareness, Oracle has released a free version of its Oracle Application Development Framework (ADF).

"This [release] allows the ADF framework to be used outside of the Oracle stack," said Bill Pataky, vice president of product management in the Oracle Fusion team. The package, called Oracle ADF Essentials, promises to be "a really powerful way to create rich Web applications very quickly," Pataky said.

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By issuing a "freemium" release of ADF, Oracle hopes to expose more developers to ADF programming concepts so they can "discover how rich and how productive it is," he said.

Oracle ADF is a Java Enterprise Edition (JEE)-based framework based on the Model View Controller (MVC) architecture. It provides code to run many commonly used infrastructure routines, such as user authentication, eliminating the work needed to write these functions by scratch. "The goal is to reduce the amount of code that developers need to write each time they deploy an application," Pataky said. The software can be used to build JEE-based applications or to extend the functionality of Oracle applications.

Oracle ADF Essentials contains most of the components of ADF itself. The most notable difference between the two is that ADF Essentials runs on the free GlassFish application server, while ADF requires Oracle's WebLogic application server.

ADF Essentials provides full MVC functionality. The package includes Oracle ADF Faces, a collection of 150 Web User Interface components built from JavaServer Faces (JSF). It includes Oracle ADF Controller, which can be used to create Web pages with dynamically updated content. It also includes Oracle ADF Binding, which provides a pathway to back-end business services.

Several features of ADF are not in ADF Essentials, notably those supported by specific WebLogic functionality. ADF Essentials does not offer declarative customization, the ADF security stack, or the ability to work with either the Oracle SOA Suite and Oracle ADF Mobile.

Oracle also modified its Oracle JDeveloper IDE (integrated development environment) to work with ADF Essentials. It also plans to release a package that customizes the Eclipse IDE to work with ADF Essentials as well.

Oracle ADF Essentials is available for download from the Oracle Technology Network (OTN).

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's email address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com.

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