Over on the ADF Methodology group, in a thread called ADF Study, we recently talked about ways to get up to speed with ADF. If you’ve been following this blog at all, you’ve probably guessed (from my sheer number of links to them) that I’m a big fan of the various ADF Developer’s Guides. I want to point these guides up a bit, because they’re a massively underused resource, for beginning and even experienced ADF developers.
If you’re new to ADF, then the absolute first thing you should do, after getting familiar with the JDeveloper IDE and making sure you know at least a little basic Java, is print out the appropriate developer’s guide(s) and read it/them. Cover-to-cover. I’m serious about that–don’t even let such chapter titles as “Advanced Topics” scare you: The topics they cover are neither especially difficult to understand or extremely esoteric in their use.
If you’re a more experienced developer, I still recommend reading the appropriate development guides. Maybe not cover-to-cover, but you should at least:
- Skim most of the developer guide for new features. After all, JDeveloper 11g is a major release affecting all parts of ADF. It even involves quite a number of major revisions to ADF BC–the first release to do so since JDeveloper 3.2. (Did you know there are now special facilities to deal with effective dated tables, critical in any application that needs to track change history? Now you do–go read up on them.)
- Read the “Advanced Topics” chapter in case there are features or techniques you didn’t know about. Again, you’d be surprised at how many of these come in handy pretty regularly.
Yeah, an experienced developer can often figure out how to solve novel problems just using the Javadoc and the occasional bit of context-sensitive help, but you’re just as likely to figure out an exceptionally difficult and ill-performing way to do something that can be handled with a highly-tuned and simple (if hidden) declarative setting.
In case you don’t know how to get to these guides, you can go on-line to get the Fusion Developer’s Guide for Oracle ADF (covering basically everything except ADF Faces RC) and the Web User Interface Developer’s Guide for Oracle ADF (covering ADF Faces RC). Or you can get them straight from within JDeveloper. Go to Help | Table of Contents and look here:
There’s also a Desktop Integration Developer’s Guide for Oracle ADF (dealing with the new functionality that allows ADF to communicate with Microsoft Office on the client machine), which isn’t yet separately available on-line but is in the help system. Plus, I’d guess (though I want to stress that that’s exactly what it is–a guess) that they’ll eventually port the 10g ADF Developer’s Guide for J2EE Developers, which focuses on Oracle TopLink, rather than ADF BC (the new one might focus on JPA), as the business service technology, to 11g, although that’s not in the current technical preview.