Oracle app dev framework could back Silverlight

Accommodations possible if market demand is there for Microsoft presentation technology

Oracle could accommodate Microsoft's new Silverlight presentation technology with its Oracle ADF (Application Development Framework) if the demand is there, an Oracle official said on Friday morning.

Oracle boasts that its framework, useful for rich Internet application and Web 2.0 development, provides flexibility by enabling users to swap in and out technologies like Adobe Flash software or, perhaps, Silverlight. Customers do not have to change their applications.

"We can update our framework as technologies evolve," said Ted Farrell, Oracle chief architect and vice president of tools and middleware.

Support for Silverlight, which is emerging as a rival to Adobe's Flash technology, could be incorporated, he said.

"If Silverlight starts to grow and people want to use it, we can add Silverlight as an addition to our framework," he said.

Base products in ADF include ADF Faces, featuring JavaServer Faces components, ADF Controller to separate business logic from the UI layer, and ADF Model to help link back-end data to the UI. Complimenting this platform is Oracle's JDeveloper IDE.

ADF Faces features a render kit to accommodate technologies like Flash or JavaScript and it could be extended to Silverlight, Farrell said.

ADF products are expected to be refreshed later this year as part of the upcoming release of Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g. An updated beta version of 11g is due in April.

Oracle is offering core components in ADF via open source through the Apache Trinidad project. "[The open-source effort] allows more people to have access to them and it helps build a community," around the components, Farrell said.

Oracle, which is in the process of acquiring BEA Systems, is expected to continue the BEA WebLogic Workshop development environment in some form, Farrell said. There are features in Workshop that are used by BEA WebLogic Server application server users for low-level coding, he said.

"Those features of Workshop will continue for them," said Farrell. But he acknowledged between overlap and JDeveloper.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.