Oracle has stripped down their Application Developer Framework to a core set of utilities and are releasing it to the community as a 'free of cost' offering called Oracle ADF Essentials.
So, what exactly are we looking at here? First, we're getting about 150 web components based on JavaServer Faces, along with a feature enhanced JSF controller known as the ADF controller. We're also getting a collection of ADF Binding and ADF Business components to help connect UIs to business components and business components to various back-end business services.
Here’s how Oracle trumped it all up in the September 24th press release:
· Oracle ADF Essentials enables the global developer community to leverage the core capabilities of Oracle Application Development Framework free of cost.
· Oracle ADF Essentials is standards-based and deploys on GlassFish Server Open Source Edition, giving developers the ability to adopt and extend Oracle ADF functionality to new environments.
· To simplify the developer experience and deliver rich functionality, Oracle JDeveloper provides visual and declarative development capabilities for Oracle ADF Essentials.
· Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse is intended to support Oracle ADF Essentials in a future release.
Of course, it's nice to know that a developer who has worked on these components in an Oracle-only environment can now transfer his skills and experience anywhere, regardless of whether a future employer has paid any Oracle licensing fees. But still, these types of components should never have been fee based in the first place. Developing user interfaces with Java has always been a pain, and the learning curve around JSF has scared off more than a few Java professionals. Perhaps if Oracle had embraced more of a 'freeware' based approach from the start with these feature enhanced JavaServer Faces components, the community wouldn't have seen so many JSF defectors.
But assuming the horse hasn't already left the barn, it is nice to witness Oracle finally sharing their ADF components, license free, with the greater Java community.
The other good news that comes along with the ADF Essentials announcement is the fact that Oracle's JDeveloper is also being made available as part of the package. JDeveloper is actually a pretty fun development environment to work in, and version 11g is lightning fast given the way it was built using OSGi technology.
So all in all, it's good news from Oracle, and it's an indication that the people that are pulling the strings behind the scenes are looking out for the Java community's best interests. It's just sad that an announcement like this didn't happen a year or two sooner.
In other news, JBoss' RichFaces continues to rock.
Edited by: Cameron McKenzie on Sep 25, 2012 7:20 PM