Using External REST Services with JDeveloper Part 3

In this blog we look how we can use an external REST service with JDev To make things more interesting we don’t use an ADF based REST service and we look how to get nested data into the UI.

For this sample we like to create an application which allows to search for music tracks and show the results in a table or listview. To get the music data we use a REST service and to display the data we use ADF faces application.

In Part 1 we create the application and the project for the REST Data Control. In Part 2 we started creating the UI using the REST Data Control. In this final part we are enhancing the UI by using nested data from the REST Web Service and add this as column to the search result table. Before we start we look at the use case again.

Use Case

Before we begin implementing something which uses the external REST service we have to think about the use case. We like to implement a music title search using the external MusicBrainz REST service. A user should be able to enter a music title or part of a music title and as a result of the search she/he should get a list of titles, the artist or artists, the album and an id.


Handling nested Data

The use case demands that we add the artist and the album the music track is on to the same table. A look at the table in it’s current layout, make this understandable.

First of all we need to identify the dat a we want to add to the table in the response we get from the service.

Let’s investigate the JSON data, part of it, we get from the service for the search for the track ‘yesterday’


   "created": "2017-08-02T12:42:48.815Z",
   "count": 5985,
   "offset": 0,
   "recordings": [
           "id": "465ad10d-97c9-4cfd-abd3-b765b0924e0b",
           "score": "100",
           "title": "Yesterday",
           "length": 243560,
           "video": null,
           "artist-credit": [
                   "artist": {
                       "id": "351d8bdf-33a1-45e2-8c04-c85fad20da55",
                       "name": "Sarah Vaughan",
                       "sort-name": "Vaughan, Sarah",
                       "aliases": [
                               "sort-name": "Sarah Vahghan",
                               "name": "Sarah Vahghan",
                               "locale": null,
                               "type": null,
                               "primary": null,
                               "begin-date": null,
                               "end-date": null
           "releases": [
                   "id": "f088ce44-62fb-4c68-a1e3-e2975eb87f52",
                   "title": "Songs of the Beatles",
                   "status": "Official",
                   "release-group": {
                       "id": "5e4838fa-07f1-3b93-8c9d-e7107774108b",
                       "primary-type": "Album"
                   "country": "US",

I marked the info ne need in blue in the data above. We see that the artist name is inside a list of name ‘artist_credit’ and that there can be multiple artists inside the ‘artist_credit’. This is a typical master/detail relationship.

The same is true for the album name which is an attribute inside a list of ‘releases’. The big question now is how do we get the nested data into the table as column.

When we expand the MusicBrainz Data Control we see the same structure we saw in the JSON data

So, the data is there, we only need to get to it. The data is structured like a tree and ADF is capable of accessing data in a tree structure (e.g. using an af:tree component). However, we like to use a simple table and don’t want to use a af:tree or af:treeTable. To get to the data, we first have to add the nested structure to the recordings binding we already use to display the current two columns of the table.

Right now we see the first level of the tree, the ‘recodrings’. Click the green ‘+’ sign to add the next level ‘artist_credit’

Add all attributes to the right side

As the artist name is still one level down, click the green ‘+’ sign again and add the ‘artist’ level

And shuffle the id and name attribute to the right side

Finnally we need to add the ‘releases’ level to get to the album name. For this select the ‘recordings’ level (the first) and click the green ‘+’ sign

And shuffle the id, title and track_count to the right side

Now all related data we need can be accessed via the ‘recordings’ binding.

We start with the artist column. Select the af:table in the structure window and open hte properties window

Click the green ‘+’ sign twice in the columns section to add two columns

Select the first added column (score in the image) and change the display label to ‘Artist’ and the component To Use’ to ‘ADF Output Text’. The second added column we change the display label to ‘Album’ and the ‘Component To Use’ again to ‘ADF Output Text’

We change the ‘Value Binding’ in the next step.

To get to the data for the artists we need to traverse two levels of sub rows. First level is the ‘artist_credit’, the second level is the artist itself. Here we have to keep in mind, that there can be more than one artist. In this case we have to join the names into one string for the table. As the ‘artist_credit’ itself can occur more than once, at least that’S what the data structure is telling us, we use an iterator to get the data.

The value property points to the current row and selects the ‘artist_creadit’. Each item we get from this iterator we access via the var property. So the item inside the iterator can be addressed as ‘artists’.

The artists can be one or more so we need another iterator to get to the artist data.

<af:iterator id="i2" value="#{artists.artist}" var="art" varStatus="artStat">

The value property for this iterator points to the artist we got from the outer iterator and is addressed as #{artists.artist}. To access attributes inside the artist data structure we use the var property and set it to ‘art’.

Now we have to somehow joint multiple artist names together if a track has more than one artist. The MusicBrainz Web Service helps us here by providing a ‘joinphrase’ which can be used to build one string for all artists. This ‘joinphrase’ can be .e.g a ‘&’ or a ‘,’. The full column code for the artist looks like

<af:iterator id="i2" value="#{artists.artist}" var="art" varStatus="artStat">

Here is some sample data for a search for the track ‘Something Stupid’ (to make it more readable I removed some attributes

"recordings": [
  "title": "Something Stupid",
  "artist-credit": [
    "joinphrase": " duet with ",
    "artist": {
     "name": "The Mavericks",
    "joinphrase": " & ",
    "artist": {
     "name": "Raul Malo",
    "artist": {
     "name": "Trisha Yearwood",

This data will be translated into the artist: “The Mavericks duet with Raul Malo & Trisha Yearwood”.

For the album column it’s easier. This too needs an iterator, but we don’t have to go down another level and we don’T have to join the data we get from the iterator. The column code for the album looks like

<af:iterator id="i1" value="#{row.artist_credit}" var="artists">
 <af:iterator id="i2" value="#{artists.artist}" var="art"
   <af:outputText value="#{}#{artists.joinphrase}" id="ot5"/>

The whole table for the search results look like

With this the page is ready and we can run the application. After start we see the page

Now entering a search term ‘something stupid’ into the search field will show

or trying the search with ‘dave’ will show

This concludes this mini series about how to use external REST Services and build an ADF UI from it.

The source code for this sample can be loaded from GitHub BlogUsingExternalREST. The sample was done using JDeveloper and don’t use a DB.


Using External REST Services with JDeveloper (Part 2)

In this blog we look how we can use an external REST service with JDev To make things more interesting we don’t use an ADF based REST service and we look how to get nested data into the UI.

For this sample we like to create an application which allows to search for music tracks and show the results in a table or listview. To get the music data we use a REST service and to display the data we use ADF faces application.

In Part 1 we create the application and the project for the REST Data Control. In Part 2 we start create the UI using the REST Data Control. Before we start we look at the use case again.

Use Case

Before we begin implementing something which uses the external REST service we have to think about the use case. We like to implement a music title search using the external MusicBrainz REST service. A user should be able to enter a music title or part of a music title and as a result of the search she/he should get a list of titles, the artist or artists, the album and an id.

Implementing the UI

In Part 1 we implemented the REST Data Control which we now use to build a small UI. Let’s look at the REST Web Service Data Control in the JDeveloper IDE

Above we see the data control ‘MusicBrainzJSONDC’ with it’s only resource recording, the input parameter names ‘query’ and the return data structure which was created using the sample JSON data we used when creating the REST Web Service Data Control.

When we query the resource we get back a complex data structure which give us information about how many results where found for the query and a list of ‘recordings’ which holds the artist names and the album names as ‘releases’.

To build the result table which should show the title id, the artist or artists and the album we have to go through all the nested data.

Setting up the search page

We start by adding a view the unbounded task flow adfc-config.xml which we name ‘MunicBrainz’ and create the page with a quick layout from the list

Make sure that you have selected to use ‘Facelets’! This will create a starter page with the layout selected. When the page is created it opens up in JDev like

We add an outputText component to the header and set the value to ‘MusicBrainz Test’

The resulting code looks like

For the layout we want to archive (search part and table to show the results) we need another grid row in the panelGridLayout. We drag a GridRow component from the ‘Component palette’ onto the panelGridLayout component in the structure window. You can use the source window too if you like. Dropping a new gridRow in the design isn’t recommended as it’s difficult to control the point where to insert the component.

Now we adjust the height of the rows and set the first row to 50 pixel, the second one to 100 pixel and leave the remaining height to the third gridRow:

Next we add the panelFormLayout holding the search field and the button to search for music tracks. For this we simply drag the ‘recording(String)’ operation from the MusicBrainzJSONDC data control onto the second grid row and drop it as ‘ADF Parameter Form’

we get a dialog showing us the methods parameter. Here we can bind the field to any other data field we like. However, in this case we leave it as is and just click OK

The framework wires everything up for us and we get the page as

Here we change the text on the button to ‘Search’

To see how things are wired up we look at the pagedef for the page

Here we see the method ‘recording’ and can expand it by clicking on the pencil icon

Where we see the details like where the parameter ‘query’ gets it’s value from (#{bindings.query.inputValue}). The ‘query’ binding is defined right above the recording method:

When we select the binding for ‘query’ wee see that the binding points to a variable defined in the pagedef (see Creating Variables and Attribute Bindings to Store Values Temporarily in the PageDef) which holds the value the user enters into the field. The recordings binding and the other stuff we talk about later.

Next up is creating the table with the results returned from the method call. For this we drag the recordings from the methodReturn binding onto the page and drop it as ADF Table into the third gridRow

To get the next dialog

Where we remove every attribute but the ‘id’ and the ‘title’ by selecting the rows and clicking the red ‘x’ icon. We set the row selection to single and make the table ‘read only’

The resulting page looks like

If we run the application now the UI comes up, but we’ll get an exception

Why’s that?

If we look into the servers log we see the error:-

<oracle.adf.view> <Utils> <buildFacesMessage> <ADF: Adding the following JSF error message: JBO-57001: Invocation of service URL used in connection failed with status code 400 Unable to parse search:tnum:.> JBO-57001: Invocation of service URL used in connection failed with status code 400 Unable to parse search:tnum:.
    at oracle.adfinternal.model.adapter.ChildOperation.getJerseyResponse(
    at oracle.adfinternal.model.adapter.ChildOperation.makeServerCall(
    at oracle.adfinternal.model.adapter.JSONChildOperation.invokeOperationInternal(
    at oracle.adfinternal.model.adapter.ChildOperation.invokeOperation(
    at oracle.adf.model.bean.DCBeanDataControl.invokeMethod(
    at oracle.adf.model.binding.DCInvokeMethod.callMethod(
    at oracle.jbo.uicli.binding.JUCtrlActionBinding.doIt(
    at oracle.adf.model.binding.DCDataControl.invokeOperation(
    at oracle.adf.model.bean.DCBeanDataControl.invokeOperation(
    at oracle.adf.model.adapter.AdapterDCService.invokeOperation(
    at oracle.jbo.uicli.binding.JUCtrlActionBinding.invoke(
    at oracle.jbo.uicli.binding.JUMethodIteratorDef$JUMethodIteratorBinding.invokeMethodAction(


Which doesn’t tell us more. What we see is that an ‘invokeMethod’ is the root cause. The reason is that when the pages loads, the iterators in the executable section of the pagedef are fired. As we saw we have two executables and those are giving us the errors.

As the field is empty the recordings method is called without a query parameter. If you mimic this in Postman with the query

we get

Exactly the same error, only this time as html.

To solve this problem we have to avoid calling the service without a parameter. This can easily be archived by adding an expression to the executable RefreshCondition property

This we have to both executables in the pagedef. After that running the application will get us


This ends part 2 of this series, due to the length and the number of images in this post. The remaining part 3 will cover how to use the nested data and to add it to the search result table and provide the link to the sample application.

Blog Using External REST Servies (Part 1)

Using External REST Services with JDeveloper (Part 1)

In this blog we look how we can use an external REST service with JDev To make things more interesting we don’t use an ADF based REST service and we look how to get nested data into the UI.

For this sample we like to create an application which allows to search for music tracks and show the results in a table or listview. To get the music data we use a REST service and to display the data we use ADF faces application.

In part 1 we create the application and the project for the REST Data Control. Part 2 we will create the UI using the REST Data Control.

Setting up an external REST services

Let’s start be selecting a REST service which is available for public use without the need to get a key first. We use such a service to make it easier for you to run the sample and to look at the code. If we would need a key to use the API, you would need to register yourself with the service before you can run the sample.

There are a couple of such REST services like Spotify, iTunes or MusicBrainz which offer search APIs for music data as public REST service. Spotify we have to eliminate from the list as this service requires an API key since Mai 2017, meaning that it’s not public available without you register yourself before using it. ITunes REST API allows public access and the data structure returned is very simple. The result for a search get you everything in a flat structure. This will make things easy, too easy 🙂

For this sample where we like to show how to work with more complex data structures returned by a REST service. So, the final vote for this blog goes to MusicBrainz (MusicBrainz Rest API).


Musicbrainz REST API comes in different versions (V1 and V2). The current version v2 is what we are interested in as V1 is already deprecated. The documentation tell us, that the service is an XML style REST service. However, there is a JSON style REST service available too. This JSON style RSET service is what we use for the sample.

Before we implement the REST service calls we need to find out how to search for the data we like to show. For this a tool like Postman is a great help. Postman allows you to enter calls to REST services in a browser like UI. You can set all kind of headers, e.g. below we see a sample of the Postman UI (in the result a couple of sub structures are folded to show the relevant data). The query searched for recordings named ‘yesterday’ and asked for a result in JSON format:

To learn more about the possible searches refer to Web Service Search.The data structures and their meaning are described in in the MusicBrainz Data Structure.

Use Case

Before we begin implementing something which uses the external REST service we have to think about the use case. We like to implement a music title search using the external MusicBrainz REST service. A user should be able to enter a music title or part of a music title and as a result of the search she/he should get a list of titles, the artist or artists, the album and an id.

Creating a REST Web Service Project

After we looked at the REST Service and the data it returned we have identified the data we need to get from the REST service. The first step is to create a project which communicate with the REST service.

We create a normal Fusion Web Application which will create a ADF model project and a view controller project. If you need a script on how to do this you can look at Writing Reproducible Test Cases: Why and How. The model project we don’t need for this sample. You can delete it or just leave it empty.

For the access to the MusicBrainz data we create a new REST Web Service Project inside the application:

Name it and go through the rest of the wizard

Before we create the web service data control, we need to create a REST Connection from the resource pallete we create a new IDE connection of REST type

Then we later need data returned from the REST service which the wizard uses to produce the data structure. A simple way to get such data is to use e.g. Postman to call the REST service:

Copy the result (all of it!) and save it to a file. Next we create a new Web Service Data Control from the gallery

Select the ‘WebService Data Control (SOAP/REST)’

And fill out the wizard. Select the REST connection created before

In the next image click on the green ‘+’ sign

And change the path to ‘/ws/2/recording’, select JSON as data format and checkmark the GET method to enter ‘recording’ into the field.

In the next screen we need to select ‘Parse from Sample Code’ and copy the content of the file we saved from Postman into the textarea

And finally test the Web Service Data Control

The finish the wizard. Now we can test the data contron by finding the DataControl.dcx file in the project and right click on it. Choose ‘Run’ from the context menu:

In the dialog window right click hte data control and choose ‘Operations’

Fill in the fields and click the execute button

The result should look like

You can copy the return value into an editor to fully see it. If you don’t get the successful result, check the steps against the ones in the blog.

This concludes part 1 of this series. In part 2 we develop the UI for the application using the Web Service Data Control we created in this part. The source of the sample can be downloaded from GitHub. The link to it will be provided with part 2.

Use LOV without af:selectoneChoice

A question on the JDev & ADF forum caught my attention. A user asked how to get the attribute value from a list of value (LOV) without using an af:selectOneChoise component. To make the use case clear, let’s look at a listview from the Departments table of the HR DB schema.

this will produce a very rudimentary output like


This doesn’t look charming. OK we can change this to something more meaningful like


But still we see only the key values instead meaningful attribute values like we get if we use a af:selectOneChoce component.

To get the output using an af:selectOneChoise we need to define list of values at the attributes in the view object, DepartmentsView in this case:

Now, when we drag the DepartmentsView onto a page and drop it as a form or table we would get the af:selectOneChoice component. However, if we create the listview again, nothing changes. JDev uses af:outputText components in this case.

To show the managers name behind the ManagerId, we can e.g. add another attribute to the view and get the manager name via a join in the sql query.

Or we put a af:selectOnChoice in the list view cell like we get for a cell in a table. This would look like

 <af:panelGroupLayout id="pgl3" layout="horizontal">
   <af:outputFormatted value="ID: #{item.bindings.ManagerId.inputValue} Name:" id="of2"/>
   <af:selectOneChoice value="#{item.bindings.ManagerId.inputValue}" label="#{row.bindings.ManagerId.label}"
     shortDesc="#{bindings.DepartmentsView1.hints.ManagerId.tooltip}" id="soc3" disabled="true">
     <f:selectItems value="#{item.bindings.ManagerId.items}" id="si3"/>
     <f:validator binding="#{item.bindings.ManagerId.validator}"/>

and generate


The gray rectangle is because we have set the disabled property to true to disable the component. To get a better look we can set the readOnly property instead to get


which look much better. However to get this result we have to add a lot of tags to the page.

The final solution is to use the data which is present in the model to show the attribute name instead of the value like it’S done ba the framework for af:selectOneChoice. For this we only need one af:outputText tag like

 <af:outputFormatted value="ID: #{item.bindings.ManagerId.inputValue} Name: #{item.bindings.ManagerId.items[item.bindings.ManagerId.inputValue].label}"

This will generate


The magic is the expression language


which uses the items defined for the selectOneChoice and located the right display attribute in the collection using the attribute value.

You can download the sample application which is build with JDev and uses the HR DB schema from GitHub BlogShowLOVattributeWithoutLOV

JDeveloper: Advanced Skin Technique

This post is about an advanced technique to change the look and feel of an ADF application. Changes to the look & feel are normally done via a skin which you use to change descriptors which are used by the ADF components. The general technique to do this is described in many blogs and articles like ADF Faces Skin Editor – How to Work with It and the official documentation at Oracle ADF Skin Editor.

In this blog we look at an advanced technique which helps to change the look and feel of components like af:query and pf:panelCollection which you can’t change using the normal available descriptors. In the below image you see the Skin Editor showing the ADF components skin descriptors.


Use Case

In this use case we work with the af:panelCollection component. This component is used to wrap af:tree, af:treeTable and af:table components to provide additional functions. From the documentation of af:panelCollection

A panel component that aggregates collection components like table, treeTable and tree to display standard/application menus, toolbars and statusbar items.

The default top level menu and toolbar items vary depending on the component used as the child of the panelCollection.

  • For table, tree and treeTable, the default top level menu item is View.
  • For table and treeTable with selectable columns, the default top level menu items are View and Format.
  • For table and treeTable, the default toolbar item is Detach.
  • For table and treeTable with selectable columns, the default top level toolbar items are Freeze, Detach and Wrap.
  • For tree and treeTable, if the pathStamp facet is used, the toolbar buttons Go Up, Go To Top, Show as Top also appear.

The component allows us to switch off some function

Value Turns off
statusBar Status bar
viewMenu ‘View’ menu
formatMenu ‘Format’ menu
columnsMenuItem ‘Columns’ sub-menu item
columnsMenuItem:col1,col20 Columns with column ID: ‘col1’ and ‘col20’ inside ‘Columns’ sub-menu
freezeMenuItem ‘Freeze’ menu item
detachMenuItem ‘Detach’ menu item
sortMenuItem ‘Sort’ menu item
reorderColumnsMenuItem ‘Reorder Columns’ menu item
resizeColumnsMenuItem ‘Resize Columns’ menu item
wrapMenuItem ‘Wrap’ menu item
showAsTopMenuItem Tree/TreeTable ‘Show As Top’ menu item
scrollToFirstMenuItem Tree/TreeTable ‘Scroll To First’ menu item
scrollToLastMenuItem Tree/TreeTable ‘Scroll To Last’ menu item
freezeToolbarItem ‘Freeze’ toolbar item
detachToolbarItem ‘Detach’ toolbar item
wrapToolbarItem ‘Wrap’ toolbar item
showAsTopToolbarItem Tree/TreeTable ‘Show As Top’ toolbar item
wrap ‘Wrap’ menu and toolbar items
freeze ‘Freeze’ menu and toolbar items
detach ‘Detach’ menu and toolbar items

As a sample the image below shows a normal af:panelCollection (upper half) and an af:panelCollection with the view menu and the toolbar switched off (lower half)


Looking at the possible things to switch off we don’t see anything to switch off the ‘Query by Example’ (QBE) icon. There is no feature toggle to turn this function on or off. An easy way to get rid of the icon would be to make the table not filterable. However, if we like the table to be filterable but don’t want to show the icon to switch the feature off, we have to use an advanced skin technique.

What can we do to get rid of the icon in the tool bar?

The idea is to use a skin or special css to hide the icon or the container which holds the icon. To find the container we first inspect the page in the browser using the browsers ‘Developer Tools’ which you can reach by hitting F12 in your browser. Below you see Chrome 55 with activated ‘Developer Tools’


The image shows the toolbars QBE image as selected element on the page (left red rectangle) and the style classes which are in use for this element (right red rectangle). The names ‘.xfo’ and ‘.xfr’ are the names of the style classes. They are minimized to reduce the download size of the page, but they are not ‘readable’. 

The first thing to do is to make the names ‘readable’ for us. We need to know which skin selector generated the style class. For this we set a context parameter in the web.xml file


Setting this parameter to true will show us the clear names. The image below shows the same selection only this time with the real names


One other nice feature of the ‘Developer Tools’ is that you can inspect elements by just hover over them on the page. This allow us to easily find the element we want to hide via css. Click on the icon marked in hte below image


and move the mouse cursor over the page. You see the HTML and the active styles of the element under the cursor. This feature we use to find an element which holds the icon we want to hide and which we can address via css .


CSS allows us to address elements inside a skin selector.  For this you need to know the skin selector, the tag or container and it’s ID inside the selector you want to address. In the image above we see the ID of the icon container we want to hide as “id=’pc1:_qbeTbr'” and the container or tag itself which is a ‘div’. The skin selector is the af|panelCollection. With this information we can can change the style attached to the ‘div’ container with the id ‘*_qbeTbr’  in the af|panelCollection as

af|panelCollection div[id$='_qbeTbr'] {
    display: none;

This we can add to our skin.css file. However, if we just add it this way it’s changing all af:panelCollection in our application.  If we want this only to be active for specific af:panelColletion we can add a style class name like

af|panelCollection.myPCClass div[id$='_qbeTbr'] {
    display: none;

Now we can add the stale class name ‘myPCClass’ to the af:panelCollection when we like the QBE icon not to be shown

 <af:panelCollection id="pc1" styleClass="myPCClass">
   <f:facet name="menus"/>
   <f:facet name="toolbar"/>
   <af:table value="#{bindings.EmployeesView1.collectionModel}" ...
 <af:panelCollection id="pc2" featuresOff="detachToolbarItem viewMenu">
 <f:facet name="menus"/>
 <f:facet name="toolbar"/>

will generate this UI output



As we see, the QBE icon is gone. In the original page we have placed two af:panelCollection components. As you added the new style class only to one of them, the other QBE icon is still visible.


You can use hte same technique for other complex ADF components like af:query. Here you can style the save button which normally not  supported.


You can download the sample which is build using JDev  and uses the HR DB schema from GitHub BlogAdvancedSkin

JDev12c: Searching an af:tree

On the JDev & ADF OTN space I got a question on how to search an af:tree and select and disclose the nodes found matching the search criteria.

Problem description

We like to search an af:tree component for string values and if we find the value we like to select the node where we found the string we searched for. If the node where we found the string is a child node we disclose the node to make it visible.

Final sample Application

I started with building a sample application and show the final result here:


We see a tree and a check box and a search field. The checkbox is used to search only the data visible in the tree or the whole data model the tree is build on. The difference is that you build the tree from view objects which can hold more attributes than you like to show in the tree node. This is the case with the sample tree as we see when we search for e.g. ‘sa’ in the visible data


When we unmark the check box and repeat the search we get


As you see we found another node ‘2900 1739 Geneva’ which doesn’T have the searched string ‘sa’. A look into the data model, the row behind this node shows


We see that the street address which we don’t show in the node has the search string. To show that the search works for every node we set the search field to ‘2’ and get hits in different levels


The sample application can be downloaded from GitHub. For details on this see the end of this blog.


Now that we saw the running final application let’s look at how to implement this. We start by creating a small ADF Fusion Web Application. Is you like to you can start by following the steps given in  Why and how to write reproducible test cases.

Model Layer

Once the base application is created we setup the data model we use to build the tree. For this sample we use ‘Regions’, ‘Countries’ and ‘Location’ of the HR DB schema. To build the model we can use the ‘Create Business Components from Table’ wizard and end up with


As you see I’ve renamed the views. The names now show what you’ll see when you use them. We only have one top level view object ‘RegionsView’ which will be the root of our tree in the UI. The child view are used to show detailed data.

View Controller

For the view controller layer we start by a simple page from the ‘Quick Layout’ section


Now we add a title and add an af:splitter to the content area. Here we set the width of the first facet to 250 px to have enough room for the search field. We start with building the af:tree from the data control by dragging the ‘RegionsView’ from the data control onto the content area and dropping it as af:tree

Here we don’t select to show all attributes available but only a few.  Later we see that we can search the whole data model and not just only the visible data. Finally we bind the tree to a bean attribute to have access to the tree from the bean when we have searched it. This is a pure convenience, we could search the component tree each time we need the component to avoid the binding to a bean attribute.  When we create the bean we name it ‘TreeSelectionBean’ and set its scope to ‘Request’.  The bean will end in the adfc-config.xml


the final code for the af:tree looks like

<af:tree value="#{bindings.RegionsView.treeModel}" var="node"
rowSelection="single" id="t1"
  <f:facet name="nodeStamp">
    <af:outputText value="#{node}" id="ot2"/>

Now we create two pageDef variables as java.lang.String to hold the search string and the selection for the check box. If you need more information on how to create pageDef variables see Creating Variables and Attribute Bindings to Store Values Temporarily in the PageDef.


In the first facet we add a check box and an af:inputText inside an af:panelGroupLayout and bind the value properties to the pageDef variables as

<af:panelGroupLayout id="pgl2" layout="vertical">
  <af:selectBooleanCheckbox text="node only" label="Seach" id="sbc1"
  <af:inputText label="Search for" id="it1" value="#{bindings.mySearchString1.inputValue}"/>
  <af:button text="Select" id="b1"

The final thing to do is to wire the button to a bean method which does all the hard work. In the code above this is done with an actionListener which is pointing to the same bean created for the tree binding.

<span></span>public void onSelection(ActionEvent actionEvent) {
<span></span>JUCtrlHierBinding treeBinding = null;
// get the binding container
<span></span>BindingContainer bindings = BindingContext.getCurrent().getCurrentBindingsEntry();
<span></span> // get an ADF attributevalue from the ADF page definitions
<span></span> AttributeBinding attr = (AttributeBinding) bindings.getControlBinding("mySearchString1");
 String node = (String) attr.getInputValue();

// nothing to search!
 // clear selected nodes
<span></span> if (node == null || node.isEmpty()){
<span></span> RichTree tree = getTree();
<span></span> RowKeySet rks = new RowKeySetImpl();
<span></span> tree.setDisclosedRowKeys(rks);
 //refresh the tree after the search
<span></span> AdfFacesContext.getCurrentInstance().addPartialTarget(getTree());


<span></span> // get an ADF attributevalue from the ADF page definitions
<span></span> AttributeBinding attrNodeOnly = (AttributeBinding) bindings.getControlBinding("myNodeOnly1");
<span></span> String strNodeOnly = (String) attrNodeOnly.getInputValue();
<span></span> // if not initializued set it to false!
<span></span> if (strNodeOnly == null) {
<span></span> strNodeOnly = "false";
<span></span>"Information: search node only: " + strNodeOnly);

<span></span>//Get the JUCtrlHierbinding reference from the PageDef
<span></span> // For JDev 12c use the next two lines to get the treebinding
<span></span> TreeModel tmodel = (TreeModel) getTree().getValue();
<span></span> treeBinding = (JUCtrlHierBinding) tmodel.getWrappedData();
<span></span> // For JDev 11g use the next two lines to get the treebinding
<span></span> // CollectionModel collectionModel = (CollectionModel)getTree().getValue();
<span></span> // treeBinding = (JUCtrlHierBinding)collectionModel.getWrappedData();
<span></span>"Information tree value:" + treeBinding);

//Define a node to search in. In this example, the root node
 //is used
<span></span> JUCtrlHierNodeBinding root = treeBinding.getRootNodeBinding();
 //However, if the user used the "Show as Top" context menu option to
 //shorten the tree display, then we only search starting from this
 //top mode
<span></span> List topNode = (List) getTree().getFocusRowKey();
<span></span> if (topNode != null) {
 //make top node the root node for the search
<span></span> root = treeBinding.findNodeByKeyPath(topNode);
<span></span> RichTree tree = getTree();
<span></span> RowKeySet rks = searchTreeNode(root, node.toString(), strNodeOnly);
<span></span> tree.setSelectedRowKeys(rks);
 //define the row key set that determines the nodes to disclose.
<span></span> RowKeySet disclosedRowKeySet = buildDiscloseRowKeySet(treeBinding, rks);
<span></span> tree.setDisclosedRowKeys(disclosedRowKeySet);
 //refresh the tree after the search
<span></span> AdfFacesContext.getCurrentInstance().addPartialTarget(tree);

In line 4-7 we get the value the user entered into the search field. Lines 9-19 check if the user has given a search string. If not we clear the currently selected nodes from the tree by creating a new empty RowKeySet and setting this to the tree.

If he got a search string we check if we should search the visible data only or the whole data model. This is done by getting the value from the check box (lines 21-28). Now we data from the tree (lines 30-37).

One thing we have to check before starting the search is if the user has used the ‘show as top’ feature of the tree. This would mean that we only search beginning from the current top node down (lines 39-49).

The search is done in a method

private RowKeySet searchTreeNode(JUCtrlHierNodeBinding node, String searchString, String nodeOnly)

this we pass the start node, the search string and a flag if we want to search the whole data model or only the visible part. The method returns a RowKeySet containing the keys to the rows containing the search string (line 51-52). This list of row keys we set to the tree as selected rows (line 54). As we would like to disclose all rows which we have found, we have to do one more step. This step uses the row key and traverses upward in the tree to add all parent node until the node is found where we started the search (line 53-55). This is necessary as you only see a disclosed child node in a tree if the parent node is disclosed too. For this we you a helper method (line 54) and set the row keys as disclosed rows in the tree.

<span></span> * Helper method that returns a list of parent node for the RowKeySet
<span></span> * passed as the keys argument. The RowKeySet can be used to disclose
 * the folders in which the keys reside. Node that to disclose a full
<span></span> * branch, all RowKeySet that are in the path must be defined
<span></span> * @param treeBinding ADF tree binding instance read from the PageDef
 * file
<span></span> * @param keys RowKeySet containing List entries of oracle.jbo.Key
<span></span> * @return RowKeySet of parent keys to disclose
<span></span> private RowKeySet buildDiscloseRowKeySet(JUCtrlHierBinding treeBinding, RowKeySet keys) {
<span></span> RowKeySetImpl discloseRowKeySet = new RowKeySetImpl();
<span></span> Iterator iter = keys.iterator();
 while (iter.hasNext()) {
<span></span> List keyPath = (List);
<span></span> JUCtrlHierNodeBinding node = treeBinding.findNodeByKeyPath(keyPath);
<span></span> if (node != null && node.getParent() != null && !node.getParent().getKeyPath().isEmpty()) {
 //store the parent path
<span></span> discloseRowKeySet.add(node.getParent().getKeyPath());
 //call method recursively until no parents are found
<span></span> RowKeySetImpl parentKeySet = new RowKeySetImpl();
<span></span> parentKeySet.add(node.getParent().getKeyPath());
<span></span> RowKeySet rks = buildDiscloseRowKeySet(treeBinding, parentKeySet);
<span></span> discloseRowKeySet.addAll(rks);
<span></span> return discloseRowKeySet;

This concludes the implementation of the sear in a tree.


The sample application uses the HR DB schema and can be downloaded from GitHub

The sample was build using JDev