Thursday, September 23, 2010

Me and my ADF

--Just a random set of opinions read no further if you are looking for technical info.

Ok so I have been working with ADF for 8 months now (have worked with SOA suite before) and here are a couple of rants and findings:

Development speed etc:
  • The initial learning curve in VERY steep.
  • Get help - we had an adf expert help us out - invaluable.
  • Get the adf source code - it will help you.
  • Like any framework you need to write a bit of framework extension code
  • It is NOT just drag and drop dev if you want anything custom.
  • Try to get things right from the start or you will end up redoing a lot and it is not very "refactoring" friendly.
  • Forms devs will have to get a LOT of training to use this. (they will have to learn java and ADF unless you run a sweat shop dev process)
  • Hire a very very compentant java dev before switching over from forms.
  • Having a lot of logic in pl\sql with this framework may not be a bad thing.
  • Try to do as little custom stuff as possible
  • Once you have a good set of patterns and framework in place dev speeds up CONSIDERABLEY (+- 6 months for a fresh team with no ADF experience)
Comparision with other frameworks:
Getting your forms team to learn java would be less of a learning curve unless you structure you teams very well.

I would love to have a project that uses EJB3 with ADF's (fabulous JSF components) jsf stuff. Not overly fond of BC right now.

At the moment I find the ADF framework more difficult to use than other JEE frameworks because of the size of it and it does a lot of stuff "for free" so it is difficult to debug if it goes wrong. (Note I have worked with the following (Maven, Maven2, Ant, glassfish, DB2, postgres, mysql, EJB3, EJB2, Hibernate, trinidad, myfaces, struts, jsp, IBM RAD, eclipse etc) so I am not speaking out of my ass)

Wish list:
  • Maven2 Intergration
  • Proper SVN and CI intergration
  • JDev startup times improved
  • JDev is crap so use eclispe (wishful thinking)
  • OJDeploy compile times
  • JDev (shortcuts are anti intuitive, Ctrl - across open projects, speed of rendering of Design view etc etc)
Final thoughs: ADF given time will mature into an awesome framework that will speed up dev time and allow developers to focus on solving business problems. It is not a silver bullet and the answer to all you problems though and takes time to learn.

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