JavaOne 2007: Shay Shmeltzer on "What’s new in JDeveloper"

Shay Shmeltzer of Oracle (note the fast hands)


delivered a session today (Thursday) at JavaOne detailing what’s new in JDeveloper release 11, which was just released the other day as a technology preview. The session was attended by (my estimate) 150 people:


After talking about the overall purpose of JDeveloper (keep people in the Java fold by providing a productive alternative to .Net), Shay gave a brief overview of version 10.1.3.2 of JDev, and built a nice demo, which of course, did not run. Stupid oranls18.jar!

Then came the exciting stuff. Any omissions or errors in this section are my own… The focus areas for JDeveloper 11 include:

  • Improved IDE
  • J2EE 5 support
  • Taking JSF to the next level
  • Further ADF improvements
  • Metadata Management

In the area of the improved IDE:

  • Javascript editor/debugger
  • SQL Developer integration (try opening a .sql file in JDev 11 – you’ll get the SQL Developer window)
  • New profilers – it looks like the dependency on Oracle’s JVM (ojvm) is removed, and you can profile with a standard JVM.
  • JUnit 4 support

J2EE 5.0:

  • EJB 3 diagramming, dialogs for managing persistence.xml and orm.xml
  • JSF 1.2 support
  • Web services improvements (JAX-WS, WSDL editor, WS tester, JSF 181 property inspector).

For me, the exciting stuff was in the JSF arena:

  • The new AJAX/Rich Client Framework components (100+ of them)
  • Reusability (page templates, page fragments, task flows, declarative components)
  • Security
  • Graphs (rendered in flash!)
  • Dialog/pop-up framework. In my view, much improved over the 10g release – pop-ups are now rendered in the page itself, not in a new browser window – solves a lot of problems.
  • Navigation menus. I see JDev 11 has a wizard for creating trees of managed beans instead of forcing us to edit XML by hand – quite nice.
  • (not in the technology preview) an “active data framework,” described as a push technology for JSF.
  • Advanced data streaming – if you have 3 tables on the JSF page, they can populate in parallel – the page render can happen before the data is fully loaded.

The ADF Task flows were also quite interesting. They are an extension of the JSF page flow concept, but are modular and re-usable. In addition to pages, page fragments, and method calls, ADF Task flows can also include other task flows. They also have support for bookmarking, transaction management, exception handling, and (ta-daaa!) the dreaded browser back button. I had a hard time conceptualizing the task flows until the demo…

In the demo, one of the things Shay did was to create a simple task flow composed of two JSF page fragments. Just like the simple tutorial we’ve all done, he created two fragments (instead of pages) – one to list (in an af:table) some items, and another to edit a newly created item. Then, he simply dragged the page flow into one of the declared facets on the JSF page template that he was using. Now, whenever he ran his demo, the list -> edit record -> return to list was rendered in the area of the template, independently of the rest of the page content. This looked to me like it was using PPR, so it was quite responsive. I’m going to have to play with this myself…

Shay covered more detail (obviously) than I’ve included here, but this looks like a serious new release of JDev. As Lucas Jellema writes, the Rich Client Framework components are being donated to Apache – with such an amazing, high quality set of JSF components available for free, it’s going to put a lot of pressure on JSF component vendors.

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