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JDeveloper Comes of Age: Visual and Declarative J2EE Development in 10g

Oracle's JDeveloper supports more open source tools and frameworks and introduces a visual and declarative development approach in combination with the Application Development Framework (ADF). Find out how these combined features can help experienced Java developers and beginners alike to improve productivity and performance.




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Editor's Note: The authors are employees of Opitz Consulting, based in Germany. Opitz is an independent provider of consulting services for Oracle systems.

racle JDeveloper has gone through an amazing evolution over the past few years. While older versions were a little bumpy at times, Oracle JDeveloper 10g offers an integrated development environment with substantial features—including modeling, coding, debugging, optimization, and deployment—that address the full development lifecycle of J2EE applications and Web services. In addition, the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) supports more and more open source tools and frameworks. Of particular interest in this version is the visual and declarative development approach in combination with the Application Development Framework (ADF). Together, they offer experienced Java developers and beginners many ways to quickly reach productive results with a very capable integrated IDE.

Like many software vendors, Oracle aims to integrate all the tools you need for daily work in a single IDE. It has accomplished this with Oracle JDeveloper 10g. Several options offer less-experienced developers only the features they need, in order to keep them focused and prevent feature overload. Oracle lets you configure the IDE with regard to the available IDE components (keyword: MyJDeveloper), while Technology Scopes limit the choice of available technologies such as frameworks. Experienced developers can use the entire technology set, of course.

Figure 1. The Graphical Struts Editor: The image shows the graphical struts editor.

Most modern Java IDEs focus on the code-centric developer. Smart Editors, for example, automatically complete code blocks. Oracle JDeveloper 10g goes beyond Smart Editors, supporting a visual and declarative approach of development. For example, Oracle JDeveloper 10g adds such features as WYSIWYG editors for Swing UIs or JSP, graphical editors for Struts configuration data, and property sheets for configuring application components. This offers J2EE developers the convenience and productivity associated with classic 4GL tools, while increasing the experience of skilled developers and helping Java beginners get up to speed.

Oracle's solution for the increasing complexity of the J2EE platform is the Application Development Framework (ADF), included in Oracle JDeveloper 10g. Based on the MVC architecture, ADF lets developers focus on application requirements while it handles the J2EE "plumbing." Visual, declarative, and wizard-based development features are built-into the ADF development environment, so inexperienced developers can quickly become productive with this framework.

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