JDev 12c: Multi Line Button

An interesting question came up in the JDeveloper & ADF ODC space. A user asked how to display a button which shows a long text in multiple lines.

The image above shows an af:button with a longer text. If you don’t have enough space in your layout to show such a long text in a button, you can shorten the Text. If this is not a acceptable, one solution is to break the long text into multiple lines.

Think about an af:panelSplitter which should show the same button

but the space i for the left pane in the splitter s limited. The result will be that the text of the button can’t be read. In other layouts the button might overflow the given space. his can crumble your whole page layout.

In this blog I’ll show you how to design a button which can handle this situation by showing the text in multiple lines. The green dotted rectangles shows the size of the layout container. This is for information only.

As you see in the image above, the text of the button breaks into multiple lines if the space is not wide enough to show it in one line. If we move the splitter to the right you see the effect

Solution

The solution is to create a style class for the button which we use for button which should be able to show their text in multiple lines. This style class is put into a skin to make it available to the ADF application.

.multiLineButton af|button::text {
    white-space: normal; 
}

The usage of the style class is simple as we see in the sample code for the af:panelSplitter

<af:panelSplitter id="ps1" splitterPosition="100" orientation="horizontal" dimensionsFrom="parent"&gt;
	<f:facet name="first"&gt;
	        <af:button text="This Button has a very long text to show" id="b3"/&gt;
        </f:facet&gt;
        <f:facet name="second"&gt;
                <af:button text="This Button has a very long text to show" id="b4"
                           styleClass="multiLineButton"/&gt;
        </f:facet&gt;
</af:panelSplitter&gt;

You can download the sample BlogMultilineButton (or the zipped workspace) from GihHub. The code was developed using JDeveloper 12.2.1.3 and doesn’t use a DB connection.

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Update: InputNumberSpinbox without Spin inside af:query

A user asked how to get rid of the spin buttons if the InputNumberSpinbox is used in an af:query component?

Whenever you have a number attribute in a VO and use it in a view criteria which you then use to show an af:query using this view criteria, the af:query uses an af:inputNumberSpinBox in the query panel to allow the user to enter values. The problem is, that you can’t control how the components rendered inside an af:query is rendered. There are no properties you can change which are available if you use the same component directly.

af:query with af:inputNumberSpinBox and spin buttons

Using the af:inputNumberSpinBox in the af:query has the same advantage as I mentioned in the original post.

And the same disadvantage too. In most cases, you don’t want or need the up/down buttons to select a number. Well, this can be done by adding the same style class we added to the af:numberInputSpinBox to the af:query component. The result can be seen in the below image

And we get the same behavior inside the af:query component too.

The reason this works is, that the af:query uses an af:inputNumberSpinBox in the query panel. The skin selector we used in the skin file works for the af:numberInputSpinBox too.

As you see, if you select the af:query in the skin file and hover over the spin button, it tells you which selector is used. This is the same selector we use in our skin file

I added another sample which I extended from the original one build with JDeveloper 12.2.1.1.0. This sample uses the HR DB schema and can be downloaded from GitHub BlogInputSpinBoxWithoutSpinV2

JDev 12.2.1.3: Multi select component table filter

In this blog article, I show how to use a multi-select component as a filter in a table. The sample is based on an older sample from Frank Nimphius (98. How-to use multi select components in table filters). The sample was built for JDev 11g R1 and R2.

It works using 12c too, but you get deprecation warnings after the migration. A user on the JDeveloper & ADF forum asked if I could provide a sample running in 12c without the deprecation warnings.

I will only show how to rewrite the bean method which is called when the user enters one or more values in the filter. The remaining part of the original sample works without a change in 12c.

To better understand what I’m talking about I show some images from the original blog:

The image above shows the sample table. Below we see the multi-select component to filter for multiple departments:

Please read the original blog entry to understand how to build the UI. The remaining part of this blog covers how to build the custom query listener method.

Custom Query Listener

In the original sample the two methods

...
Map _criteriaMap = fqd.getFilterCriteria();
...
fqd.setFilterCriteria(_criteriaMap);

are used which produce deprecation warnings in 12c

Starting from JDev 12.1.3 you can’t use the criteriaMap from the FilterableQueryDescriptor. Instead, you have to first get the ConjunctionCriterion from the FilterableQueryDescriptor and get the map of Criterion from it. The map holds the filter criteria entered by the user.

As you don’t use the criteria directly, you can’t set it back after generating the filter fro the multi-select. You work with the Criterion instead.

The new Method looks like

    /**
     * Custom Query Listener.
     * Applies af:selectMany choice values to the table filter criterion
     * @param queryEvent
     */
    public void onEmployeeTableQuery(QueryEvent queryEvent) {
        //user selected values
        ArrayList<Object&gt; departmentIdArray = null;
        FilterableQueryDescriptor fqd = (FilterableQueryDescriptor) queryEvent.getDescriptor();

        //current criteria
        ConjunctionCriterion conjunctionCriterion = fqd.getFilterConjunctionCriterion();
        Map<String, Criterion&gt; criterionMap = conjunctionCriterion.getCriterionMap();
        Criterion criterion = criterionMap.get("DepartmentId");

        //Translate DepartmentId array list to OR separate list of values
        StringBuffer deptIdFilterString = new StringBuffer();
        AttributeCriterion adfcriterion = null;
        // flag we set only if the DepartmentId filter is set (to reset the selection later)
        boolean flagDepIdFilter = false;
        if (criterion != null) {
            adfcriterion = (AttributeCriterion) criterion;
            Object object = adfcriterion.getValue();
            if (object != null) {
                flagDepIdFilter = true;
                departmentIdArray = (ArrayList<Object&gt;) object;

                for (int argIndex = 0; argIndex < departmentIdArray.size(); argIndex++) {

                    //You need to know what is the underlying data type you are dealing
                    //with for the attribute. If you are on 11gR1 (11.1.1.x) then this
                    //type is jbo.domain.Number for numeric attributes.
                    //
                    //If you are on 11g R2 (11.1.2.x) this could be oracle.jbo.domain.Number,
                    //Integer or BigDecimal. If you use 11g R2, check the View Object for the
                    //attribute data type

                    if (argIndex == 0) {
                        //first argument has no OR

                        //this sample used oracle.jbo.domain.Number for the
                        //DepartmentId attribute
                        Number departmentId = (Number) departmentIdArray.get(argIndex);
                        deptIdFilterString.append(departmentId.toString());
                    } else {
                        //any subsequent argument is OR'ed together
                        deptIdFilterString.append(" OR ");
                        Number departmentId = (Number) departmentIdArray.get(argIndex);
                        deptIdFilterString.append(departmentId.toString());
                    }
                }
                //for some reasons, if in a single value select case, the
                //filter breaks and an error message is printed that the
                //String representation of the single value isn't found in
                //the list. The line below fixes the problem for filter values
                //that are positive numbers
                deptIdFilterString.append(" OR -1");
                String departmentIds = deptIdFilterString.toString();
                adfcriterion.setValue(departmentIds);
                fqd.setCurrentCriterion(adfcriterion);
            }
        }


        // preserve default query listener behavior
        //#{bindings.allEmployeesQuery.processQuery}

        FacesContext fctx = FacesContext.getCurrentInstance();
        Application application = fctx.getApplication();
        ExpressionFactory expressionFactory = application.getExpressionFactory();
        ELContext elctx = fctx.getELContext();

        MethodExpression methodExpression =
            expressionFactory.createMethodExpression(elctx, "#{bindings.allEmployeesQuery.processQuery}", Object.class,
                                                     new Class[] { QueryEvent.class });
        methodExpression.invoke(elctx, new Object[] { queryEvent });

        //restore filter selection done by the user. Note that this
        //needs to be saved as an ArrayList
        if (flagDepIdFilter) {
            adfcriterion.setValue(departmentIdArray);
            fqd.setCurrentCriterion(adfcriterion);
        }
    }

From the FilterableQueryDescriptor we get the ConjunctionCriterion and from this the map of Criterion. This map holds all filter values entered by the user in the filter of the table. We retrieve the one for the ‘DepartmentId’ and check if the value for it is not null. In this case, the criterion holds an array of the selected DepartmentId. From this array, we build a new string where we use the ‘OR’ operator to concatenate the array values.

Once this string is built, we set it back to the Criterion and execute the original query listener

You can download the sample from GtHubBlogMultiSelectComponentFilterTable for inspection and/or testing. The sample was built using JDev 12.2.1.3 and uses the HR DB schema.

JDeveloper: executeWithParams Problem: bind variable setters are not called

In one of my current bigger ADF projects (yes, there are still big ADF projects!) I had a problem with the ‘executeWithParams’ operation binding called from a bean. To understand the problem I first give a brief description.

Problem

We have a special string column in some of our VOs. For this column, there is a bind parameter which is added to the where clause of the VO. Getter and setter for this bind parameters are generated to be able to set this parameter safely. In the setter method, some checks are done and special formatting is applied to the passed value.

Now we used the VOs executeWithParams operation to create a search form. Hitting the button to execute the query gave us a wrong result. As it turned out, that the execWithParams operation passes the parameters to the VO but it doesn’t use the getter/setter methods for the parameter. The parameters are directly set into the slots by the VariableManager.

Solutions

We want to transform or convert the given parameter right in the query. This way the developer doesn’t need to think about or to remember that there should be a transformation of the parameter. A central solution is preferred. Two solutions come to mind.

Expose a method in the VO

One solution would be to create a method in the VO and expose this method in the client interface of the VO. Then this method is visible in the binding layer and you can use call the method instead of using executeWithParams.

This works OK, but if a developer uses the executeWithParams method, you’ll still don’t get the right result.

Change the behavior of the executeWithParams method

I looked for a direct hook into the executeWithParams method but did not find one 😦

However, it turned out that the executeWithParam method calls the executeQuery method of the VO. At this point, the parameters are all set. This is done in the background via the VariableManager used in VOs to keep track of the bind parameters and their different type. There are where clause parameters and parameters used in view criteria. The latter are handled differently but this is not essential for this solution. All we need to know is that the parameters are correctly set when the executeQuery method is called.

The solution is to overwrite the executeQuery method of the view object (or use a base class) and check the parameters before executing the query.

Implementing the solution

In an earlier blog “Dump VO query and it’s parameter with their values” I showed how to get to the parameters defined for a VO and dump their values. Instead of writing the values to the log file, we look for the parameter, change the value, if one is given and then execute the query with the now converted parameter.

I use reflection to check if a setter method for a parameter is defined in the VO. If this is the case, I call the setter with the value set by the user. This way the setter is called when the query is called via the executeWithParams method. The code to change the parameter has only to be written once in the setter.

Below is the code:

    @Override
    public void executeQuery() {
        _logger.info("executeQuery");
        transformHistoryParameter();
        dumpQueryAndParameters();
        super.executeQuery();
    }

    private void transformHistoryParameter() {
        VariableValueManager vm = ensureVariableManager();
        Variable[] variables = vm.getVariables();
        // check each parameter for this query
        for (Variable var : variables) {
            String varName = var.getName();
            try {
                String mName = "set" + varName;
                Class mvarType = var.getJavaType();
                Method m = this.getClass().getMethod(mName, new Class[] { mvarType });
                // check if method is a setter method
                if (isSetter(m)) {
                    Object val = vm.getVariableValue(var);
                    m.invoke(this, val);
                }
            } catch (NoSuchMethodException e) {
                // nothing to do if there is no setter defined
                return;
            } catch (IllegalAccessException | InvocationTargetException e) {
                // nothing to do if there is no setter defined
                return;
            }
        }
    }

    public boolean isGetter(Method method) {
        if (!method.getName().startsWith("get")) {
            return false;
        }
        if (method.getParameterTypes().length != 0) {
            return false;
        }
        if (void.class.equals(method.getReturnType())) {
            return false;
        }
        return true;
    }

    public boolean isSetter(Method method) {
        if (!method.getName().startsWith("set")) {
            return false;
        }
        if (method.getParameterTypes().length != 1) {
            return false;
        }
        return true;
    }

    public void dumpQueryAndParameters() {
        // get the query in it's current state
        String lQuery = getQuery();
        // Dump query
        _logger.info("---query--- " + lQuery);
        //get Valriables
        AttributeList attributeList = getNamedWhereClauseParams();
        String[] attributeNames = attributeList.getAttributeNames();
        if (attributeNames == null || attributeNames.length == 0) {
            _logger.info("--- No variables found");
        } else {
            _logger.info("---Variables:");
            for (int ii = 0; ii < attributeNames.length; ii++) {
                Object lObject = attributeList.getAttribute(ii);
                _logger.info("  --- Name: " + attributeNames[ii] + " Value: " +
                             (lObject != null ? lObject.toString() : "null"));
            }
        }
    }

Sample

The sample to see the code at work can be downloaded from GitHub BlogExecuteWithParamsProblem

It was implemented using JDeveloper 12.2.1.3 and the HR DB schema.

To make it easy, I used the HR DB schema and built a query on the EMPLOYEES table:

A forth bind variable is introduced in a view criteria

The transformation uses the pMail bind parameter and makes it uppercase.

    /**
     * Returns the bind variable value for pMail.
     * @return bind variable value for pMail
     */
    public String getpMail() {
        String val = (String) getNamedWhereClauseParam("pMail");
        _logger.info("value: " + val);
        return val;
    }

    /**
     * Sets <code>value</code> for bind variable pMail.
     * @param value value to bind as pMail
     */
    public void setpMail(String value) {
        _logger.info("value:" + value);
        String newVal = value;
        if (value != null) {
            newVal = value.toUpperCase();
            _logger.info("Value transformed to " + newVal);
        }
        setNamedWhereClauseParam("pMail", newVal);
    }

I know that it would be easy to without this code by just setting the ‘ignore case’ flag when defining the query, but this is just a sample of a change of a parameter.

The data model in the application module looks like

As you see I added a second instance of the EmployeesView and attached the view criteria to this instance. Running the application module in the tester (see JDeveloper & ADF: Use the Application Module Tester (BC4J Tester) to Test all your BusinessLogic)

We get

And the following log

Feb 08, 2019 3:05:38 PM de.hahn.blog.execwithparams.model.EmployeesViewImpl executeQuery
INFO: executeQuery
Feb 08, 2019 3:05:38 PM de.hahn.blog.execwithparams.model.EmployeesViewImpl setpMail
INFO: value:ski
Feb 08, 2019 3:05:38 PM de.hahn.blog.execwithparams.model.EmployeesViewImpl setpMail
INFO: Value transformed to SKI

Feb 08, 2019 3:05:38 PM de.hahn.blog.execwithparams.model.EmployeesViewImpl setpName
INFO: value: null
Feb 08, 2019 3:05:38 PM de.hahn.blog.execwithparams.model.EmployeesViewImpl setpDate
INFO: value: null
Feb 08, 2019 3:05:38 PM de.hahn.blog.execwithparams.model.EmployeesViewImpl dumpQueryAndParameters
INFO: —query— SELECT Employees.EMPLOYEE_ID, Employees.FIRST_NAME, Employees.LAST_NAME, Employees.EMAIL, Employees.PHONE_NUMBER, Employees.HIRE_DATE, Employees.JOB_ID, Employees.SALARY, Employees.COMMISSION_PCT, Employees.MANAGER_ID, Employees.DEPARTMENT_ID FROM EMPLOYEES Employees WHERE ( ( ( ( Employees.LAST_NAME LIKE ( :pName || ‘%’) ) OR ( :pName IS NULL ) ) AND ( ( Employees.EMAIL LIKE ( :pMail || ‘%’) ) OR ( :pMail IS NULL ) ) AND ( ( Employees.HIRE_DATE >= :pDate ) OR ( :pDate IS NULL ) ) ) )
Feb 08, 2019 3:05:38 PM de.hahn.blog.execwithparams.model.EmployeesViewImpl dumpQueryAndParameters
INFO: —Variables:
Feb 08, 2019 3:05:38 PM de.hahn.blog.execwithparams.model.EmployeesViewImpl dumpQueryAndParameters
INFO: — Name: pMail Value: SK
I
Feb 08, 2019 3:05:38 PM de.hahn.blog.execwithparams.model.EmployeesViewImpl dumpQueryAndParameters
INFO: — Name: pName Value: null
Feb 08, 2019 3:05:38 PM de.hahn.blog.execwithparams.model.EmployeesViewImpl dumpQueryAndParameters
INFO: — Name: pDate Value: null
Feb 08, 2019 3:05:38 PM de.hahn.blog.execwithparams.model.EmployeesViewImpl dumpQueryAndParameters
INFO: — Name: pSalary Value: null

We see, that executeQuery() is called, then setpMail is called and the value given in the UI is converted to uppercase. In the dump of the query, we see that the uppercase parameter is used for the query.

The same works with the other view object in the application module. Just try it out yourself. The sample has a small UI project allowing you to test it in the browser too.

JDeveloper 12c: using Expression Language in pageDef to switch ControllerClass

An interesting question came up late 2018 in the JDeveloper & ADF forum. A user asked how to use Expression Language (EL) in a pageDef file to switch the ControllerClass at runtime depending on some condition of a page.

The ControllerClass can be used to add custom code into the lifecycle of a page or fragment (see the full details at 27.4 Customizing the ADF Page Lifecycle). A tip

Tip:
You can specify the value of the page definition’s ControllerClass attribute as a fully qualified class name or you can enter an EL expression that resolves to a class directly in the ControllerClass field.
When using an EL expression for the value of the ControllerClass attribute, the Structure window may show a warning indicating that e “#{YourExpression}” is not a valid class. You can safely ignore this warning.

given in the documentation mentioned that you can use EL to specify the ControllerClass. The missing information is exactly how to do it.

Use Case

For a JSF page, a ControllerClass should be defined at runtime. The selected ControllerClass should depend on a condition.

Solution

There are a couple of blogs available which use a custom ControllerClass in a pageDef, but they use the direct specification of the custom class in the pageDef. Only one sample (https://github.com/oracle/adf-samples/releases/download/v1.0.0/OnPageLoad.zip) from Duncan Mills uses EL to set the ControllerClass. However, this sample was built for JDev 10.3.1! None of the samples I found use EL to switch the ControllerClass at runtime.

In summary, it’s time for a fresh sample using JDev 12.2.1.3

Building the UI

We start by creating a new Fusion Web Application from the gallery. The steps to follow can be looked up at Why and how to write reproducible test cases, so I skip them here.

Once the basic Fusion Web Application is built we open the adfc-config.xml (the unbounded ADF task flow) and add a page onto it.

We name the page index and create it using a Quick Layout. I normally use

but you can use whatever layout like. We add a Text to the header section and an af:inputText and an af:button to the content section. The page markup will look like

<?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?>
<!DOCTYPE html>
<f:view xmlns:f="http://java.sun.com/jsf/core" xmlns:af="http://xmlns.oracle.com/adf/faces/rich">
    <af:document title="index.jsf" id="d1">
        <af:form id="f1">
            <af:panelGridLayout id="pgl1">
                <af:gridRow height="50px" id="gr2">
                    <af:gridCell width="100%" halign="stretch" valign="stretch" id="gc1">
                        <!-- Header -->
                        <af:outputText value="Using EL to switch ControllerClass" id="ot1"
                                       inlineStyle="font-size:x-large;"/>
                    </af:gridCell>
                </af:gridRow>
                <af:gridRow height="100%" id="gr1">
                    <af:gridCell width="100%" halign="stretch" valign="stretch" id="gc2">
                        <!-- Content -->
                        <af:panelGroupLayout id="pgl2" layout="horizontal">
                            <af:inputText label="Use Listener" id="it1"/>
                            <af:button text="Update" id="b1"/>
                        </af:panelGroupLayout>
                    </af:gridCell>
                </af:gridRow>
            </af:panelGridLayout>
        </af:form>
    </af:document>
</f:view>

Next, we open the properties of the af:button and edit the actionListener property. Here we create a new bean, name it ‘IndexBean’, create a new method ‘updatePage’. The bean we create in sessionScope. Once the bean has been created, we delete the actionListener from the af:button we just created. The ‘updatePage’ method in the IndexBean we delete too. We don’t need the listener and I only used it to create the bean in the right scope for other things.

I created the bean in session scope as I will use it to store the data from the inputText we added to the page. This is just a convenience, we could have used a pageDef variable for this.

We add a String property ‘usePPListener’ to the IndexBean add the needed getter and setter methods.

public class IndexBean {
    String usePPListener = "1";

    public IndexBean() {
    }

    public void setUsePPListener(String usePPListener) {
        this.usePPListener = usePPListener;
    }

    public String getUsePPListener() {
        return usePPListener;
    }
}

We set the default value of the ‘usePPListener’ to “1”. We set the ‘usePPListener’ to the value property of the af:inputText field of the page. And set the autoSubmit property of the af:inputText to true. The page markup for the content:

<af:gridCell width="100%" halign="stretch" valign="stretch" id="gc2">
    <!-- Content -->
    <af:panelGroupLayout id="pgl2" layout="horizontal">
        <af:inputText label="Use Listener" id="it1" value="#{IndexBean.usePPListener}"
                      autoSubmit="true"/>
        <af:button text="Update" id="b1"/>
    </af:panelGroupLayout>
</af:gridCell>

Running the application at this stage shows

Creating the PagePhaseListener Class

Now we can go on and create the custom PagePhaseListener classes which we then use to switch using an EL. To create such a custom class, the documentation tells us that all we have to do is to create a class which implements the ‘PagePhaseListener’ interface.

This will create the first PagePhaseListener named ‘MyPagePhaseListenerA’. The resulting class looks like

package de.hahn.blog.elpagedef.view.beans;

import oracle.adf.controller.v2.lifecycle.PagePhaseEvent;
import oracle.adf.controller.v2.lifecycle.PagePhaseListener;

public class MyPagePhaseListenerA implements PagePhaseListener {
    public MyPagePhaseListenerA() {
        super();
        System.out.println("MyPagePhaseListenerA created");
    }

    @Override
    public void afterPhase(PagePhaseEvent pagePhaseEvent) {
        // TODO Implement this method
        System.out.println("MyPagePhaseListenerA afterPhase called");
    }

    @Override
    public void beforePhase(PagePhaseEvent pagePhaseEvent) {
        // TODO Implement this method
        System.out.println("MyPagePhaseListenerA beforePhase called");
    }
}

We do it again but name the class ‘MyPagePhaseListenerB’. As you see I added some System.out.println(“…”) statements so that we can see which PagePhaseListener is used later.

Using EL in pageDef.xml

Finally, we start with the interesting part, the EL to use in the pageDef ControllerClass property to switch the listener. The use case demands that we switch the PagePhaseListener depending on a condition. The condition we use is pretty simple:

  • Use MyPagePhaseListenerA if the inputText value stored in usePPListener is equal to “1”
  • Use MyPagePhaseListenerB if the inputText value stored in usePPListener is equal to “2”

We have two options to make the decision,

  1. directly in EL in the pageDef
  2. use a method in a bean where we check the condition

The essential part to know is the type of result both options need to return to work. The ControllerClass expects an object of type PagePhaseListener, or a class which implements this interface.

Solution 1

The classes we created before are implementing this interface, so they should work. To implement option 1 we need to need to instantiate an object of one of the classes and return it on the EL like in the pageDef.xml:

ControllerClass=”#{IndexBean.usePPListener eq ‘1’ ? MyPagePhaseListenerA : MyPagePhaseListenerB}”

And we need to register the bean named ‘MyPagePhaseListenerA’ and ‘MyPagePhaseListenerA’ in the task flow. This will instantiate the object when the task flows starts.

Running this application this way we get

Entering ‘2’ into the af:inputText and clicking ‘Update’ we get

Heureka! The PagePhaseListener have switched as expected.

Solution 2

We implement a method in a bean which returns the right PagePhaseListener class. The EL in the pageDef.xml looks like

ControllerClass="#{IndexBean.pagePhaseListener2Use}"

The method getPagePhaseListener2Use() we implement in the IndexBean as

public PagePhaseListener getPagePhaseListener2Use() {
    if (getUsePPListener() != null && getUsePPListener().equals("2")) {
        return new MyPagePhaseListenerB();
    } else {
        return new MyPagePhaseListenerA();
    }
}

The method returns the PagePhaseListener interface instead of the real class object. This is necessary as a method can only return one object type.

Running the application in this configuration results in exactly the same output we saw before.

Using EL in PageDef for Fragments used in Regions

If you plan to use this technique for fragments which run in regions you would need to return a RegionController instead of a PagePHaseListener. However, as it turned out, you can’t use EL at all in a pageDef of a fragment!

The problem is, that the framework simply doesn’t evaluate the EL you specify for the ControllerClass of a fragment, but uses the EL as the class name. This results in a ‘ClassNotFoundException’ as there is no class named ‘#{your_EL}’.

I’m not sure if this is a bug or a feature. I could not think of a valid use case to use EL for a fragment pageDef.

If you do have one, share it in the comments to this post, please.

If you really think you need to switch the behavior for a RegionController at runtime, you can create one Class which implements the different in the overwritten methods and decide which part to execute inside the method.

Sample

You can download the sample application, which was built using JDev 12.2.1.3 and no DB connection, from GitHub BlogELPageDef

JDeveloper: Creating a FULL OUTER JOIN View Object

On my todo list, I found a topic which I wanted to blog about for a long time. The problem is how to create a ViewObject, based on EntityObjects, which builds a full outer join between two tables.

For those of you who don’t know about full outer joins in SQL here is a short description from https://www.w3schools.com/sql/sql_join_full.asp:

The FULL OUTER JOIN keyword return all records when there is a match in either left (table1) or right (table2) table records.

Note: FULL OUTER JOIN can potentially return very large result-sets!

FULL OUTER JOIN Syntax:

SELECT column_name(s)
FROM table1
FULL OUTER JOIN table2 ON table1.column_name = table2.column_name;
Image to visualize a full outer join

There are not too many use cases where you need to use a full outer join, but they exist (e.g. https://searchoracle.techtarget.com/answer/Another-good-FULL-OUTER-JOIN-example or to compare two or more tables).

Problem: How can a full outer join be created in ADFbc?

I show how to create a VO based on Employees and Department EO using a full outer join on the department_id. This VO will return all departments with all their employees, departments which don’t have any employee and all employees who don’t have a department.

Following the syntax from above, we use an SQL statement like

SELECT Departments.DEPARTMENT_ID,
  Departments.DEPARTMENT_NAME,
  Employees.DEPARTMENT_ID AS DEPARTMENT_ID1,
  Employees.LAST_NAME,
  Employees.FIRST_NAME,
  Employees.EMPLOYEE_ID
  FROM DEPARTMENTS Departments
FULL OUTER JOIN EMPLOYEES Employees
ON Departments.department_id = Employees.department_id
ORDER BY Departments.department_id, Employees.last_name;

There are other SQL statements which produce the same result like

SELECT DISTINCT * FROM
  (SELECT d.department_id AS d_dept_id,
     d.DEPARTMENT_NAME,
     e.department_id AS e_dept_id,
     e.last_name last_name,
     e.FIRST_NAME
   FROM departments d
   LEFT OUTER JOIN employees e
   ON d.department_id = e.department_id
   UNION ALL
   SELECT d.department_id AS d_dept_id,
     d.DEPARTMENT_NAME,
     e.department_id AS e_dept_id,
     e.last_name,
     e.FIRST_NAME
   FROM departments d
   RIGHT OUTER JOIN employees e
   ON d.department_id = e.department_id
  )
ORDER BY d_dept_id, last_name;

The statement combines a left outer join with a right outer join. The ‘Select distinct….’ is used to eliminate duplicate rows which are returned for both joins. Anyway, the results are equal.

Solution

Now we can build the view object based on the two entity objects (Departments and Employees). We start by creating a new view object

and fill in the name as ‘DepEmpViewObj’. Make sure you select ‘Entity’ as ‘Data Source’

On the next wizard page shuttle the Departments and the Employees entities to the right

Now select the Departments entity and you get

Selecting the Employees entity you get

This we have to change as the join type is ‘inner join’ and not what we like to do. If you select the drop down menu you see

Hm, there is no ‘full outer join’ as joint type. We can’t create this type of join declaratively, we have to do this directly with a SQL statement. So, drop down the ‘Association’ field and select ‘none’

The final definition is

On the next page select the attributes

We don’t change anything in step 4 so we go to step 5. Here uncheck the ‘Calculate…’ checkbox and select the ‘Write Custom SQL’

Now we copy the SQL statement from above and copy it into the text area after deleting the current statement. Don’t forget to delete the ‘order by…’ part from the ‘Select:’ text area and add them into the ‘Order By:’ text field

We skip the steps 6,7 and 8 and add the view object to the application module in step 9

Finally, we finish the wizard and are ready to test the view object.

Running solution

Running the application module in the tester show the resulting table (only the last ~40 rows are shown)

We see departments without employees and we have one employee (see the last row) without an assigned department. All as expected.

To complete the application we add the new DepEmpViewObj onto a page as a table. Running it we get the same result as in the tester.

You can download the sample from GitHub BlogFullOuterJoin. The sample was built using JDeveloper 12.2.1.3 and uses the HR DB. The same technique can be used with other JDeveloper versions too.

JDev: af:panelList without bullet if no link is given

We all know that ADF components are well defined and have a lot of functions. However, what if we want to use a component but don’t like what we get out of the box from it?

The answer is easy most of the times as we can change the look of the component or its behavior to our needs. Sometimes the answer is not as straightforward, but still easy, as in this

Use Case

A user wants to have an af:panelList, showing bullets in front of each item in the list. The Items should be links to other pages. The problem part is that some of the links in the list should not be visible all the time. E.g. a user might not have to needed access right to some of the links.

Problem

When we use an af:panelList as is, we get the following look

From this setup

<?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?>
<!DOCTYPE html>
<f:view xmlns:f="http://java.sun.com/jsf/core" xmlns:af="http://xmlns.oracle.com/adf/faces/rich">
    <af:document title="panelList.jsf" id="d1">
        <af:form id="f1">
            <af:panelGridLayout id="pgl1">
                <af:gridRow height="50px" id="gr1">
                    <af:gridCell width="100%" halign="stretch" valign="stretch" id="gc1">
                        <!-- Header -->
                    </af:gridCell>
                </af:gridRow>
                <af:gridRow height="100%" id="gr2">
                    <af:gridCell width="100%" halign="stretch" valign="stretch" id="gc2">
                        <af:panelList rows="5"> 
                            <af:link text="link 1" id="l1" destination="http://www.oracle.com"/>
                            <af:link text="link 2" id="l2" destination="http://www.oracle.com"/>
                            <af:link text="link 3" id="l3" destination="http://www.oracle.com"/>
                            <af:link text="link 4" id="l4" destination="http://www.oracle.com"/>
                        </af:panelList>
                    </af:gridCell>
                </af:gridRow>
            </af:panelGridLayout>
        </af:form>
    </af:document>
</f:view>

Setting e.g. link 3 to not visible we get

So, seeing the bullet in front of the link isn’t what we are looking for. Using the rendered property instead of the visible property will give us

But the problem now is that the link can’t be simply brought back to the page without a full page refresh. That is one of the disadvantages of using the rendered property. Once a component is not rendered, you need to do a full page refresh to get it back. A partial page refresh won’t work.

If you want to show some white space for the missing ‘link 3’ you can’t use the rendered property at all. Putting a spacer between ‘link 2’ and ‘link 4’ you end up with the same image as you get for using the visible property.

Solution

One solution is to omit the bullet in front of the links, which is automatically generated by the component. If there is no bullet, we’ll get

So, still not what we really want.

The final part is how to get the bullet back in front of the visible links. Easy, as the af:link component has an icon property where can specify an image we use as a bullet. The final page looks like

You can use any other image as an icon to show in front of the link. The missing part is how we got rid of the original bullet from the af:panelList. Simply by using a style class, we defined in a skin file and applying it to the af:panelList

@charset "UTF-8";
/**ADFFaces_Skin_File / DO NOT REMOVE**/
@namespace af "http://xmlns.oracle.com/adf/faces/rich";
@namespace dvt "http://xmlns.oracle.com/dss/adf/faces";

.ivi af|panelList {
    list-style-type: none; 
}

.ivi af|panelList::item {
    list-style-type: none; 
}

And using this page

<?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?>
<!DOCTYPE html>
<f:view xmlns:f="http://java.sun.com/jsf/core" xmlns:af="http://xmlns.oracle.com/adf/faces/rich">
    <af:document title="panelList.jsf" id="d1">
        <af:form id="f1">
            <af:panelGridLayout id="pgl1">
                <af:gridRow height="50px" id="gr1">
                    <af:gridCell width="100%" halign="stretch" valign="stretch" id="gc1">
                        <af:outputText value="PanelList with Bullet" id="ot1" inlineStyle="font-size:x-large;"/>
                        <!-- Header -->
                    </af:gridCell>
                </af:gridRow>
                <af:gridRow height="100%" id="gr2">
                    <af:gridCell width="100%" halign="stretch" valign="stretch" id="gc2">
                        <af:panelList rows="5" styleClass="ivi"> 
                            <af:link text="link 1" id="l1" destination="http://www.oracle.com"
                                     icon="/images/bullet.png"/>
                            <af:link text="link 2" id="l2" destination="http://www.oracle.com"
                                     icon="/images/bullet.png"/>
                            <af:spacer width="10" height="10" id="s1"/>
                            <af:link text="link 3" visible="false" id="l3" destination="http://www.oracle.com"
                                     icon="/images/bullet.png"/>
                            <af:link text="link 4" id="l4" destination="http://www.oracle.com"
                                     icon="/images/bullet.png"/>
                        </af:panelList>
                    </af:gridCell>
                </af:gridRow>
            </af:panelGridLayout>
        </af:form>
    </af:document>
</f:view>

You can download the sample which was built using JDev 12.2.1.3 from GitHub BlogPanelList. The sample doesn’t need any DB connection or model project.

JDeveloper: Task Flow with optional Parameters

In one of my current projects, I came across a wired problem concerning a task flow which uses parameters to configure the flow. To make it simple to understand the problem I made up a fictive use case.

Use Case

This is not a real use case, but an abbreviation of it just to show the problem and how to resolve it. It might not make sense in real life, but it allows to show the problem.

We like to see a form to enter some data. One of the fields the user can enter should be used to select a specific layout of the following pages. Ony Layout should be horizontal and one should be vertical.

The layout should allow showing a title with a number, a text part, and a footer part. Each of the parts is optional, only the layout must be specified.

The flow can be used at different points in different flows in the application.

Implementation

The implementation is easy. We build a task flow, build with pages, and add 5 parameters to it. This task flow looks like this:

In a router component, we check the required parameter to decide which layout to use. The ‘none’ page is used if the parameter is not ‘v’ or ‘h’.

For the layout pages, which implement the layout part, I used a af:panelGridLayout with the right number of rows and columns. Here is the vertical.jsf page

Or the source view

The other pages can be found in the sample which was built using JDeveloper 12.2.1.3. You can download the sample using the link at the end of the blog.

Now that we have the reusable task flow we need another task flow (adfc-config.xml in this case) to show how to use the use of the task flow.

We see an index page which calls the task flow using three different navigations (toPageNoParam, toPageAllParam and toPageTextOnly). The difference between the navigations are the parameters set to the task flows.

Here they are

Running the application we get the following output after filling in the form on the index page

WAIT, this doesn’t look right. The page with text only parameters displays the text in the footer section instead of the text section. If we look at the parameters defined for this task flow call we see

Yes, we added the value to the wrong parameter, ‘footer’ instead of ‘text’!

Easy change, we copy move it over to the ‘text’ parameter using copy and paste:

And we get

Great, this looks like it should be.

Problem(s)

WAIT again, in the log window we now get an error message

<oracle.adf.model> <ValueMappingXmlImpl> <parse> 
   <ADFc: /WEB-INF/adfc-config.xml: Failed to parse element input-parameter: null value found for value.>

Why’s that?

If you look closely at the parameters, you’ll notice, that the ‘footer’ value is empty, whereas the other not set values showing a ‘-’. So we add the ‘-’ to the footer parameter:

To get this output running the app:

The error message in the log window is gone 🙂

Hm, but now we see the ‘-’ for the footer value. The value for the ‘title’ parameter looks identical to the parameter ‘footer’. However, we don’t see the ‘-’ for the ‘title’ in GUI.

Solution

Looking at the XML of the task flow call shows:

Now the problem is, that JDeveloper shows a ‘-’ for a parameter which is not set in the XML representation, meaning that the parameter is not in the XML structure at all!

The ‘-’ we typed into the ‘footer’ parameter is visible as value for the parameter and thus it printed when running the application.

The final solution is to remove the ‘footer’ parameter from the XML structure:

This will get us the following display in JDeveloper

The resulting running page now looks like

And we don’t see the error message in the log.

Sample Download

You can download the final application from GitHub BlogTaskFlowParameter. The sample was built using JDeveloper 12.2.1.3.0 and doesn’t need a DB connection.

ADF TreeTable Advanced Sample

Building a tree table isn’t straightforward if you want an appealing design. By design, I don’t mean something fancy with different fonts or colors, but I’m talking about the definition of the tree and its sub-notes.

Look at an af:treetable which is generated automatically for you using the Departments and Employees tables of the HR DB.

<af:treeTable value="#{bindings.DepartmentsView1.treeModel}" var="node"
              selectionListener="#{bindings.DepartmentsView1.treeModel.makeCurrent}"
              rowSelection="single" id="tt1">
    <f:facet name="nodeStamp">
        <af:column id="c1">
            <af:outputText value="#{node}" id="ot2"/>
        </af:column>
    </f:facet>
    <f:facet name="pathStamp">
        <af:outputText value="#{node}" id="ot3"/>
    </f:facet>
</af:treeTable>

This code, when put inside a simple page with an af:panelColletion, will produce this output:

As you see, there is only one column. You would not even know that you look at an af:treeTable. OK, the af:treeTable binding used is very simple:

For the first level and for the second level

In the remainder of this post, I show how to build a better-looking version with columns for the different data shown.

As usual, you can download the sample code from GitHub. See the link at the end of this post.

Small changes

To see the whole information in the one tree table column, we change the size of the column to 200px

<af:treeTable value="#{bindings.DepartmentsView1.treeModel}" var="node"
              selectionListener="#{bindings.DepartmentsView1.treeModel.makeCurrent}"
              rowSelection="single" id="tt1">
    <f:facet name="nodeStamp">
        <af:column id="c1" width=”200”>
            <af:outputText value="#{node}" id="ot2"/>
        </af:column>
    </f:facet>
    <f:facet name="pathStamp">
        <af:outputText value="#{node}" id="ot3"/>
    </f:facet>
</af:treeTable>

to get this output which shows all data, but still all in one column:

nodeStamp and pathStamp

When you look at the generated af:treeTable tag you’ll notice two facets:

nodeStamp and pathStamp

 

The nodeStamp facet is used to render the tree table and lets you drill down the data defined in the binding of the tree table.

To render the tree table a special EL, normally ‘#{node}’, is used to stamp out the data of each level. Which data is stamped is defined in the tree binding. We defined to show the DepartmentName name for the first level and EmployeeId, LastName and FirstName for the second level. This is why we get the output in the image above.

In summary: the nodeStamp renders the first column of the tree table.

The pathStamp is used for navigation inside the af:treeTable like when you select a node and make it the top node of the tree or tree table. For more info on this check the documentation.

Building columns:

An af:treeTable, like a table, can and should have columns. As you see in the image above, the af:treeTable looks like a normal tree when you don’t define columns yourself.

Columns are defined outside the ‘nodeStamp’ facet (and pathStamp facet) of an af:treeTable. The tag doc tells us:

Columns

Like the Table, the TreeTable’s children must be Column components (see Table Columns). Like the Tree, the TreeTable has a “nodeStamp” facet which renders the “Object Name” Column. The “Object Name” Column contains the primary identifier of an element in the hierarchy. For example, in an organization chart of employees, the “Object Name” Column might be the employee name.

 

Sample: to show columns for Lastname and FirstName of an Employee we add af:column tags like

<af:treeTable value="#{bindings.DepartmentsView1.treeModel}" var="node"
              selectionListener="#{bindings.DepartmentsView1.treeModel.makeCurrent}"
              rowSelection="single" id="tt1">
    <f:facet name="nodeStamp">
        <af:column id="c1" width=”200”>
            <af:outputText value="#{node}" id="ot2"/>
        </af:column>
    </f:facet>
    <f:facet name="pathStamp">
        <af:outputText value="#{node}" id="ot3"/>
    </f:facet>
    <af:column id="c2" width="200">
        <af:outputText value="#{node.LastName}" id="ot4"/>
    </af:column>
    <af:column id="c3">
        <af:outputText value="#{node.FirstName}" id="ot3"/>
    </af:column>
</af:treeTable>

outside the nodeStamp facet. This will get us this output

Now we have a problem. The second level nodeStamp prints out all attributes of hte node. This is exactly what the EL ‘#{node}’ does. The first level doesn’t have this problem as we only defined one attribute ‘DepartmentName’ for this node.

We don’t like to see the sting in the 2nd level. There exist two solutions to solve this problem.

  1. We use the EL ‘#{node.DepartmentName}’ instead of ‘#{node}’. As the attribute DepartmentName doesn’t exist in level 2, the EL evaluates to nothing (or empty string). However, keep in mind that this only works if the attribute only exists in level one.

  1. We define an EL for the node depending on their level. This solution will work in all cases. To implement this we use an af:switcher component which we use to find out which level we are currently stamping out. This allows us to use attributes defined for the level and build some output for the nodeStamp. Details for this solution follows below.

How to find out which node level currently is stamped out?

One easy way is to look at the view objected used for the level. If you are using some other source you can add an attribute (static) for each level which can then be used in the EL for the af:switcher.

To find out the name of The view object used we can look at the source of the tree binding in the pagedef

  <bindings>
    <tree IterBinding="DepartmentsView1Iterator" id="DepartmentsView1">
      <nodeDefinition DefName="de.hahn.blog.treetable.model.views.DepartmentsView" Name="DepartmentsView10">
        <AttrNames>
          <Item Value="DepartmentName"/>
        </AttrNames>
        <Accessors>
          <Item Value="EmployeesView"/>
        </Accessors>
      </nodeDefinition>
      <nodeDefinition DefName="de.hahn.blog.treetable.model.views.EmployeesView" Name="DepartmentsView11">
        <AttrNames>
          <Item Value="EmployeeId"/>
          <Item Value="LastName"/>
          <Item Value="FirstName"/>
        </AttrNames>
      </nodeDefinition>
    </tree>
  </bindings>

The name we are looking for is the DefName of the nodeDefinition. But how do we access this information in an EL?

Frank Nimphius blogged about this here https://blogs.oracle.com/jdevotnharvest/how-to-determine-the-adf-tree-node-type-using-el. We use the EL

#{node.hierTypeBinding.viewDefName}

which returns the nodes DefName from the binding.

With this info, we can build the af:treeTable

<af:treeTable value="#{bindings.DepartmentsView1.treeModel}" var="node"
              selectionListener="#{bindings.DepartmentsView1.treeModel.makeCurrent}"
              rowSelection="single" id="tt1">
    <f:facet name="nodeStamp">
        <af:column id="c1" width="200">
            <af:switcher facetName="#{node.hierTypeBinding.viewDefName}"
                         defaultFacet="default" id="sw1">
                <f:facet name="de.hahn.blog.treetable.model.views.DepartmentsView">
                    <af:outputText value="#{node}" id="ot2"/>
                </f:facet>
                <f:facet name="de.hahn.blog.treetable.model.views.EmployeesView">
                    <af:outputText value="ID: #{node.EmployeeId}" id="ot11"/>
                </f:facet>
                <f:facet name="default">
                    <!-- use this facet if the other facets don't match! -->
                    <af:outputText value="#{node}+++++#{node.hierTypeBinding.viewDefName}"
                                   id="otd11"/>
                </f:facet>
            </af:switcher>
        </af:column>
    </f:facet>
    <af:column id="c2" width="200">
        <af:outputText value="#{node.LastName}" id="ot4"/>
    </af:column>
    <af:column id="c3">
        <af:outputText value="#{node.FirstName}" id="ot3"/>
    </af:column>
</af:treeTable>

to get this output

Using the same technique in the columns allows showing even more information.

How about showing the manager of each department next to the department in the column where the employees are shown?

Easy, after changing the DeparmentView to return the manager info together with the department

and adding attributes for MgrEmployeeId, MgrLastName and MgrFirstName we can implement this using the following code

<af:treeTable value="#{bindings.DepartmentsView1.treeModel}" var="node"
              selectionListener="#{bindings.DepartmentsView1.treeModel.makeCurrent}"
              rowSelection="single" id="tt1">
    <f:facet name="nodeStamp">
        <af:column id="c1" width="200">
            <af:switcher facetName="#{node.hierTypeBinding.viewDefName}"
                         defaultFacet="default" id="sw1">
                <f:facet name="de.hahn.blog.treetable.model.views.DepartmentsView">
                    <af:outputText value="#{node.DepartmentName}" id="ot2"/>
                </f:facet>
                <f:facet name="de.hahn.blog.treetable.model.views.EmployeesView">
                    <af:outputText value="ID: #{node.EmployeeId}" id="ot11"/>
                </f:facet>
                <f:facet name="default">
                    <!-- use this facet if the other facets don't match! -->
                    <af:outputText value="#{node}+++++#{node.hierTypeBinding.viewDefName}"
                                   id="otd11"/>
                </f:facet>
            </af:switcher>
        </af:column>
    </f:facet>
    <af:column id="c2" width="200">
        <af:switcher facetName="#{node.hierTypeBinding.viewDefName}" defaultFacet="default"
                     id="sw2">
            <f:facet name="de.hahn.blog.treetable.model.views.DepartmentsView">
                <af:outputText value="#{not empty node.MgrLastName ? 'Manager: ' : ''}"
                               id="ot5" inlineStyle="font-weight:bold;"/>
                <af:outputText value="#{not empty node.MgrLastName ? node.MgrLastName : ''}"
                               id="ot6"/>
                <af:outputText value="#{not empty node.MgrLastName ? ', ' : ''}" id="ot4"/>
                <af:outputText value="#{not empty node.MgrLastName ? node.MgrFirstName : ''}"
                               id="ot7"/>
            </f:facet>
            <f:facet name="de.hahn.blog.treetable.model.views.EmployeesView">
                <af:outputText value="#{node.LastName}" id="ot211"/>
            </f:facet>
            <f:facet name="default">
                <!-- use this facet if the other facets don't match! -->
                <af:outputText value="#{node}+++++#{node.hierTypeBinding.viewDefName}"
                               id="otd211"/>
            </f:facet>
        </af:switcher>
    </af:column>
    <af:column id="c3">
        <af:outputText value="#{node.FirstName}" id="ot3"/>
    </af:column>
</af:treeTable>

Will produce this tree table:

You can add more, like icons in each column or …

You can download the sample application from GitHub: BlogTreeTable. The sample was built using JDev 12.2.1.3 but the same technique should work in other JDev versions too (11g or newer).

JDev 12.2.1.3: Creating a shared skin jar (Part 2)

In part 1 or the series we created a simple skin, built an ADF-Library from it and tried to reuse it by deploying it to a WebLogic Server. This approach failed. In this part, we try another option to share a jar with

Sharing the skin with other applications

To share the skin with other application we can

  1. Create an ADF Library
    1. Add this library to the other application
    2. Add this library as a shared library to a WebLogic Server
  2. Create a normal jar
    1. Add this library to the other application
    2. Add this library as a shared library to a WebLogic Server

For this blog the way we want to use if 2b. This allows to create the skin once, deploy it to a server and use it in every other application. In the next paragraph, we try out option 1a to show the problems when reading resources from a jar file.

Using a shared skin

Option 2b

Here we create a jar file containing the skin and additional resources like images and deploy it directly to a WebLogic Server as a shared library. The advantage is, that other applications can use the skin and other resources directly and that the jar can be versioned to allow different versions of the same jar on the server.

Option 1a which we discussed in the previous chapter doesn’t work for images. However, the documentation ‘Deploying a Custom Skin File in a JAR File’ and Frank Nimphius pointed it out in e.g. 86. Reading boilerplate images and icons from a JAR or How-to share skin definition files across applications how the jar file must be structured to allow the resource servlet to read the resources. The essential sentence is

‘All image resources and CSS files must also be under the META-INF directory.’

In his article, Frank suggested using the command line jar tool to create the jar. I show how to use JDev to create the jar with the needed structure and how to deploy it to a server as a shared library.

A sample application is used to use the skin and to show an image load from the jar.

The building plan for a skin in a shared Library which can be deployed to a WebLogic server is given in the article as:

To implement the shared library approach, developers need to change their existing skin definition so it can be deployed in a JAR file. The steps for this include

– Creating a META-INF directory – Creating a trinidad-skins.xml file that defines the skins deployed with the JAR file

– Creating an META-INF/adf sub directory for images and icons served from the JAR file

– Changing the image reference in the CSS to include the “adf” directory, which makes sure images and icons are handled by the ADF Faces resource loader, which can read resources from JAR files

– JAR the META-INF directory to create the library file

Looking at the current project for the skin we see a different layout

In the article Frank instructed to create the needed folders yourself and copying or moving the files to the new structure, then to use the command line to build a jar from the structure.

I’ll show how this can be done with a special deployment descriptor from within the project. The image below shows the needed layout of the final jar file.

To transform the folder structure present in JDev to the needed structure of the final jar, we create a new deployment descriptor in JDev

In image 4 we see the first part of the solution: here we set the path inside the jar to ‘MEAT-INF’. This will guarantee the structure we need. Then we add another contributor to the list (public_html) to get everything we need into this folder. Then we use the ‘Filters’ node to select all content we need skin part

Next part is to create another path in the jar for the metadata of the skin

We add another file group for the resources

Now we can deploy the jar using the new deployment descriptor

And the jar file is created in the deploy folder. It holds all files in the right folders

Finally, we can deploy this jar to the WebLogicServer. In this case, I use the integrated WLS, but it can be any stand-alone WLS too.

The error message you see on the 7th image can be ignored. It only tells you that the library can’t be deployed as an application but only as a shared library. This is exactly what we want to do 🙂

Now the jar file is deployed on the WLS as a shared library and can be used for every application on this server.

We use the existing application from part one to consume the jar skin from the shared library and show the images deployed with the jar.

Before we go any further, we have to remove the ADF Library we added to show the problem from the project. For this open the project properties and select the ‘Library/Classpath’ node and remove the ‘ADFLibrary’ entry

The page should now look like no skin is used at all.

As we already added a skin (with the ADF Library) we don’t have to do this again. However, we have to add a library reference to configure the application to use the shared library deployed on the server. For this, we open the application descriptors and edit the ‘weblogic-application.xml’ file by double clicking the entry in the application resources section

In the ‘Shared Library Reference’ section, we add a reference to the now deployed shared jar ‘blogsharedskin’

Saving everything we don’t see any change to the page design, as the library isn’t part of the application yet. Starting the application we get

Just what we liked to see. The images are visible, checking the page with Chrome’s Dev Tools shows that the images are correctly loaded

This proves that the shared library with the skin and the images are working correctly.

To make the skin visible in JDev during development, we can add the jar we developed to the server a library. We create a library

and make sure the ‘Deploy by default’ is NOT set. Adding the library to the project

will make the skin visible in design mode

The unset checkmark prevents the jar from being packed into the WAR or EAR file. It’s just used in the IDE. That you can’t see the images is normal as there is no full server to serve the images to the design view.

Summary

In this mini-series, I showed the problem when creating a skin as ADF Library and trying to share it on a Weblogic Server. Then I showed how to create a deployment descriptor for the skin and other resources and how to deploy the resulting jar to a WebLogic Server.

The sample application can be downloaded from BlogSharedSkin. The sample was created by using JDev 12.2.1.3 but the same technique can be used in any 12.2.1.x JDev version. There is no database connection needed.