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.

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JDev 12.2.1.3: Creating a shared skin jar (Part 1)

In earlier versions of JDev, skins have been created either by pure code or by using the free Skin Editor. However, since JDev 12.2.1.x the skin editor has been integrated into JDeveloper itself.

A couple of questions in the ODC JDeveloper space are about how to create a skin with JDev which can be deployed as a shared library to a WebLogic Server. I gave this a try and it turned out, that you can build an ADF library jar from a skin project but you can’t use images to this jar which you might want to use in the application.

In this blog, I’ll show how to create a skin with resources like images and how to build a jar file from the skin together with the images and deploy it aa s shared jar to a WeblogicServer.

Building a skin project

The first part is to build a small skin project. The project we use to create a minimal skin, just to show that the skin is changing something. Then we add some images to the skin which we want to use in the application which uses the skin. Such images can e.g. used on an af:button component.

We start by creating a new application as an ‘ADF Fusion Web Application’

As we don’t need the created model project we delete it completely

If you get another dialog, telling you that you can’t undo the action, answer ‘Yes’ to delete the project. Now you should see a workspace with just the one project:

Know that we have a project we add a skin and e.g. add some skin selectors to change to the color of the button text. For this, we right click the ‘Web Content’ folder in the project and select ‘New from Garaly’ and then select ‘ADF Skin’ from the ‘JSF/Facelets’ node and fill in the basic information:

This will create the needed css file and the descriptors which define our skin (trinidad-config.xml and trinidad-skins.xml).

We open the sharedskin.css file if it’s not open already and switch to source mode. Here we add two simple skin selectors

which are changing the color of the text of a button and a link. You can add more sophisticated selectors but for this blog, it’s enough to show the working skin. To make it more interesting, and because that’s the real reason for this blog, we add some images to the skin which we like to use in the application using the skin. We add the images into a new folder like shown below

The reason for this structure is, that to read the images from the jar in the consuming application, we need a special resource loader. In case of ADF it’s the resource servlet which listens to the URL pattern ‘/adf/’’. This servlet is installed automatically for ADF Web Applications and is configured in the web.xml file

The final task for the skin project is to create a jar file which we can use in other applications. The easiest way to get such a jar is to create an ADF Library deployment descriptor. Open the project properties of the skin project and select the ‘Deployment’ node

And click the ‘New Profile’ icon, select to create an ADF Library Jar

and click ‘OK’. The remaining dialogs you can just click ‘OK’ or ‘Finish’.

To create the library we have to execute the descriptor by right-clicking on the project and selecting ‘Deploy’ and choosing the ‘sharedskinadflib’

This will create the jar in the ‘deploy’ folder of the project.

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, we want to use option 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 1a

We start with option 1a, just to show the problem when we try to read a resource from a jar. We build another ADF Fusion Web application and add the skin as ADF library from a ‘File System Connection’ which we create and let it point to the ‘deploy’ folder

Right-click on the ‘sharedskinadflib’ and add it to the new sample project. This will make the skin available to the application. To use the skin we have to add a skin to the application like we did to create the skin project. The difference is that we now choose the shared skin as the base skin

Creating a new page and adding a button and/or a link to the page we see the new style introduced by the ‘sharedskin’

So, the shared skin is working. Well, yes, but what about the images we added to the ‘sharedskin’?

Let’s try to add one to the button. In the property editor, we select the icon property of the button and click ‘Edit’ to get

However, we don’t see any image in the whole project. As we know where we put the images (or we can look into the sharedskinadflib) we can just add the path to the image like ‘skins/sharedskin/adf/images/home.png’ and we see the image

Running the application we get the page with the button but don’t see the image

Using DeveloperTools we see that the resource couldn’t be found. Inspecting the button element we see

The path to the image is not found 😦

If we change the address of the image to ‘/adf/images/home.png’ to use the resource servlet we still get an error

The reason is that the resource servlet expects the resources in a different path inside the jar. Every resource which should be read from a jar should be in a folder named ‘META-INF’.

The ADF library did not put the images into the META-INF folder

The problem is that we can’t change the layout of the ADF Library. When you create an ADF Library there is no option to make any changes to the content of the jar.

The conclusion is that using a skin in an ADF Library is problematic if there are other resources which you need to share.

To be continued…

In the final part 2 of the series, we see how the skin can be shared with other applications.

JDeveloper: Skin Radio Buttons

In this blog article, I like to share how to use a skin to alter the look of radio buttons in ADF. The use case was a question on the ODC space JDeveloper & ADF which asked about how to provide more space for the radio buttons.

Here is an image of the default and the resulting radio buttons:

As you see, in the first radio group the space between the selectItems is narrower than in the second group.

In my older post about JDeveloper: Advanced Skin Technique I showed how to find out which style to change, so I spare this here.

The image above shows the standard “radiogroup” in Chrome Developer Tools. As you can see the radiogroup consists of “div” elements, each specifying one of the selectItem.

To change the spacing, we add a style class to the skin file like

.mysor af|selectOneRadio::content div {
  padding: 0px 0px 10px 0px;
}

The “.mysor” is the name of the style class which we later use on the page. The magic is done by specifying the base style as af|selectOneRadio::content and from there style each “div” element having the base style as a parent. This way we style the blue marked div in the image above.

One question remains. Why do we use a skin and don’t add the code right into the page?

Well, using a skin is the preferred method. The skin is created once and can be used everywhere in the application. If you need to make changes, you don’t have to search for the pages where the style has been added, but you just change the skin file and you are done.

Download Sample

You can download the sample which is build using JDev 12.2.1.2.0 and uses the HR DB schema from GitHub BlogAdvancedSkin

 

 

Quo vadis ADF?

Last week I attended DOAG Konferenz & Ausstellung in Nürnberg Germany. The DOAG (Deutsche ORACLE-Anwendergruppe e.V.) is the biggest German Oracle user group. The conference covers all Oracle products and technologies, way too much to name them all.

As my personal center of gravity is middle-ware and here ADF and the surrounding technologies, I attended lot’s of sessions about middle-ware, cloud, ADF, MAF and JET. The big picture of Oracle becoming a cloud company is getting clearer.

The way developers currently are working on premise with their products migrating to the cloud is getting clearer. There where about 4-5 sessions which gave explicit advice when to use which technology and what problems might arise mixing them. I’ll cover the main three here.

Frank Nimphius started with a session ‘The Future of Application Development Welcome to your new Job’ where he summarized areas of future of application development as

  • “Server-less” deployment
  • [Micro] [Cloud] Services
  • REST & JSON
  • Mobile centric
  • API first
  • Multi channel
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cloud Native Development
  • JavaScript
Future Application Development Summary 1

Future Application Development Summary 1

Future Application Development Summary 2

Future Application Development Summary 2

and defined different job roles around this like

  • Citizen (Low Code) Developer
  • Mobile Developer
  • Service Developer
  • Architect
  • Line of Business Manager

Each role using different technologies to fulfill the tasks. This should open spaces for new and old developers

Mobile Job Roles

Mobile Job Roles

Duncan Mills tackled the bear from a different perspective. In his session ‘Standing at Crossroads’ (Oracle ADF and Oracle JET) he pointed out the differences between ADF and JET

Oracle ADF Oracle JET
Support 5 + 3 + unlimited, no backport limitations Major release every 6 month, backports only to previous version
API are stable No guarantee of API stability
Could or on premis Cloud
Metadata focused Code focused
Full stack solution Client only solution
Has to „own“ the page Can be used „anywhere“

However, there are things both have in common, as Duncan states:

“Don’t assume the you have to go to JET to look ‘modern'”

“Don’t assume that JET will automatically be more perfomant”

There are more things you have to take into account before making a decision between ADF and JET like

  • Transaction and Services: here you have to check if your services and data model can support a stateless model. Same for your UI which handles the interaction with the user. One thing to note too is that using JET will produce less client – sever traffic.
  • Need to shape the services for the convenience of the UI: paging data, pre-computation, attribute reduction and mega endpoints

If you plan to mix ADF and JET there are a couple of things which should make you think twice:

  1. No session sharing between ADF and JET
  2. ADF and JET can’t use the same cache
  3. No shared transaction
  4. Separate timeouts
  5. geometry management
  6. Drag & drop not possible between ADF and JET
  7. Different maintenance and different libraries
  8. Different popup’s and glasspane

Summary is that there are plenty of reasons not to mix ADF and JET. If you want to mix ADF and JET in a project you should stick to module level and not mix them on one page.

duncan_doag5

The decision for ADF or  JET should take these points into account.

Shay Shmeltzer attended the German Oracle (ADF) Developer Community meeting on the DOAG and we ask him to talk about this topic ‘The Future of Developer Frameworks’.

shay2_doag1 Shay started by giving a main difference between ADF and JET:

“ADF is a framework, JET is a toolkit”

meaning that ADF allows development in all tires (MVC) whereas JET is only a client technology. Using JET you still have to have a back-end which generates the needed REST services. Here ADF comes into the picture again.

“ADF hides the complexity of the technology from the developer” 

True, building a REST service from an exiting ADFbc model is very easy and allow shaping the service too. Besides ORDS (Oracle REST Data Service, a tooling which allows to develop modern REST interfaces for relational data in the Oracle Database ) this is the easiest way I know.

During the Q&A of his talk we specifically ask him how Oracle sees the future of ADF as some rumors are that ADF is dead. Shay answered (loud and clear):

“ADF isn’t dead!”

Oracle is using ADF heavily in the SaaS products and will going on to do so. There are areas where building UI with JET is preferred (not in SaaS), but here the points mentioned by Duncan Mills are always considered.

My personal opinion is that ADF is alive will be used in the future, but there are options now which allow developers to choose different technologies in certain areas. Using ADF in the model layer and working with relational data bases, create REST or SOAP services with ease is a big plus. For the UI there are use cases where JET will be used, but ADF has its share too.

JDeveloper 12.2.1.2 is out

Aside

Today October, 19th 2016 JDeveloper 12.2.1.2 was released. From the first look at it it’s only a maintenance release.  There is currently no ‘What’s new’ document, only a release notes are available.

The release notes show only some bug fixes and some deprecation. Noteworthy are some changes in the REST runtime. One of them is that ADF REST HTTP PUT is deprecated functionality. From the doc

ADF REST HTTP PUT is deprecated functionality

Oracle has deprecated the functionality for executing HTTP PUT methods on ADF REST resource requests. In the current release, the describe for ADF REST resources continues to display PUT actions when the backing view object has the Update operation enabled (the operation enables both PUT and PATCH methods); however, ADF REST service clients should avoid making PUT requests (replace all items of the view row) as this functionality will be desupported in a future release

Another change in the REST department is that adf date and datetime attributes are no longer described as string but as date and datetime. Interesting if you work with ADFbc and Oracle JET.

There are some other small bug fixes and deprecation’s of oracle.domain data types and the dvt:stockGraph. You should use dvt:stockChart instead.

Let’s wait if Oracle releases an ‘What’s new’ document in hte near (?) future which will spear us some time searching for new stuff 🙂

DOAG DevCamp2016: Oracle Development Cloud Service Hands On (Part 4)

In part three of the series we completed the task to setup the build system in the DCS for the AppsCloudUIKit application. This final part of the series concludes with setting up the ‘Continuous Integration’ part of the application into the JCS.

Setting up the Continuous Integration to the JCS

The final task is to setup the continuous integration to the Java Cloud Service we use. This is done in the ‘Deploy’ tab where we create a ‘New Configuration’

We then fill in the needed data:

The Configuration name and the application name must match

Nest we select a deployment target. Here we can choose between a JCS and an Application Container Cloud depending on the type of application we develop. As we have created a web application using ADF we select the Java Cloud Service.

We can decide which type of deployment we like: on ‘Demand’ or’ Automatic’. Automatic means that after each build the deploy task is triggered. With the checkbox ‘Deploy stable builds only’ we tell the task to only deploy successful builds. If we choose ‘On demand’ we can select the build we like to deploy

To see the application running in the JCS we can use the URL AppsCloudUIKit (http://140.86.8.75/AppsCloudUIKit/faces/Welcome)

DOAG DevCamp2016: Oracle Development Cloud Service Hands On (Part 3)

In part two of the series we have moved the source of the application to the DCS GIT repository and covered the agile development capabilities of the Oracle Development Cloud Service. In this final part we show how to setup the continuous build service for the application.

To build the application in the DCS we have to create ANT build files or a Maven pom. We use ANT to build the project. To create a starting set of ANT build files we can use JDeveloper (New->Ant->BuildScript from Application). This will create two files, build.xml and build.properties. The build.xml file is the ANT build file and is not dependent on the environment. All environment dependent variables are put in the build.properties file. A sample of the created build properties look like

#Mon Feb 15 21:29:41 CET 2016
oracle.commons=R\:\\Java\\12.1.3.0.0\\Oracle\\Middleware\\oracle_common
install.dir=R\:\\Java\\12.1.3.0.0\\Oracle\\Middleware
oracle.jdeveloper.ant.library=R\:\\Java\\12.1.3.0.0\\Oracle\\Middleware\\jdeveloper\\jdev\\/lib/ant-jdeveloper.jar
oracle.home=R\:\\Java\\12.1.3.0.0\\Oracle\\Middleware\\jdeveloper
oracle.jdeveloper.workspace.path=Q\:\\JavaDevCloud\\DOAGDEVCAMP2016\\AppsCloudUIKit\\AppsCloudUIKit.jws
oracle.jdeveloper.deploy.profile.name=*
oracle.jdeveloper.deploy.dir=Q\:\\JavaDevCloud\\DOAGDEVCAMP2016\\AppsCloudUIKit\\deploy
oracle.jdeveloper.ojdeploy.path=R\:\\Java\\12.1.3.0.0\\Oracle\\Middleware\\jdeveloper\\jdev\\bin\\ojdeploy.exe
oracle.jdeveloper.deploy.outputfile=Q\:\\JavaDevCloud\\DOAGDEVCAMP2016\\AppsCloudUIKit\\deploy\\${profile.name}

We see that the generated properties are holding absolute path variables to programs like ojdeploy or the installation path of your local JDeveloper. We can use these two files to build the application locally without a problem. Working with the same properties, the absolute path variables, in the DCS will not work. The path from the local machine simply does not exist on the server. We need to make some changes to the properties file.

The goal is to use the ant build.xml and build.properties file in both environments with minimal changes. The less we lees to change the better. JDeveloper did some good ground work for us. The build.xml file have no dependency to the environment it’s running at. The save build.xml file can be used to run on the local environment and any server. All locations are either relative or are addressed with properties from the build.properties file.

The DCS offers two different environments (today), one for version 11.1.1.7.0 and one for version 12.1.3.0.0. The environments can be used by using environment variables which are preset for the server which is running the DCS. There are two ORACLE_HOME variables predefines env.ORACE_HOME_11G7 and env.ORACLE_HOME_12C3. Depending on which JDeveloper version we use to develop an application and which runs on the server we substitute the absolute path by one of the preset environment variables:

oracle.commons=R\:\\Java\\12.1.3.0.0\\Oracle\\Middleware\\oracle_common

changed to

oracle.commons=${env.ORACLE_HOME_12C3}\oracle_common =${env.ORACLE_HOME_12C3}

This we have to do with all absolute path variables we find in the build.properties file. We don’t even have to know the real path of the installation on the DCS, all we do is to use the predefined environment variables. Another thing to take care of is that the Hudson server which uses the build files run on a Linux machine whereas we normally use a Windows machine. In case that you run rue local development on a Linux machine too, you can skip the next paragraph.

Use the same build.xml and build.properties on Windows and Linux machines

There are some small but vital differences when running the development on Windows against running it on Linux.

  1. The path separator is different: ‘/’ in Linus, ‘\’ in windows
  2. Executables in windows have a suffix ‘.exe’

It would make sense to use the same build files on both machines. The path separator isn’t much of a problem as the ant tool manages reading Windows and/or Linux without a problem. To make the path separator work on both machines we use the Linux version in the build.properties. This can be done by a simple search and replace job.

The build properties contain one call to an executable ojdeploy. This is the packaging task JDeveolper uses to build jar, war and ear files. The name suggests that its use is to deploy something to a server, but that’s not what’s ojdeploy is doing. The problem is that Windows uses a suffix ‘.exe’ for executables, whereas Linux does not. Here an executable just has a flag set on the file properties. One solution would be to rename the ojdeploy on the Linux side to ‘ojdeploy.exe’, but for this we have to have access to the servers file system and the right to change this setting. We use a property which we define for the ant build job, ‘${env.EXEC_SUFFIX}’. The trick is to set the ‘${env.EXEC_SUFFIX}’ property to ‘.exe’ on a windows system and to ” (empty) on a Linux system.

On a Windows machine we define a system property for this

041516_1236_DOAGDevCamp1.png

On a Linux local system we can use an export command. For the Hudson build we use an ant property

Optimizing the build.properties for reuse

A close inspection of the original build.properties file shows, that we only need five properties to make the build.properties easy to handle for every project which we want to develop in the cloud and on a local environment.

  • workspace.name: holds the name of the workspace, in our case AppsCloudUIKit
  • project.viewcontroller.name: holds the name of the view controller project which is used to build the WAR file. The sample application uses the ‘DemoMaster’ project to create the WAR file.
  • project.deploy.folder: holds the folder where all artefacts are stored. This folder holds the final artefact, the EAR file.
  • oracle.jdeveloper.deploy.profile.name: The name of the application profile which builds the EAR file.
  • output.dir: holds the directory the build process uses to put the class files to.

The remaining properties don’t change as they use environment variables which will be set by the machine the build system is running on. In the cloud we have two environments (at the time of writing), one for 11g (11.1.1.7.1) and one for 12c (12.1.3). We use the 12.1.3 environment as our JCS uses 12.1.3 too.

The main environment variables are ‘${env.ORACLE_HOME_12C3}’, ‘${env.MIDDLEWARE_HOME_12C3}’, ‘${env.WORKSPACE}’ and finally ‘${env.EXEC_SUFFIX}’. All of them start with ‘env.’ which shows that they are read from the environment. To make ant aware of the environment variables we have to add one line to the generated build.xml at the beginning of build.xml

<property environment=”env” />

The final version can be seen below or downloaded at Ant build.properties

#Change the next properties to match your projects names
workspace.name=AppsCloudUIKit
project.viewcontroller.name=DemoMster
project.deploy.folder=deploy
oracle.jdeveloper.deploy.profile.name=AppsCloudUIKit
output.dir=classes

# Don't change anything below!
oracle.home=${env.ORACLE_HOME_12C3}
oracle.commons=${env.MIDDLEWARE_HOME_12C3}/oracle_common
middleware.home=${env.MIDDLEWARE_HOME_12C3}
install.dir=${env.ORACLE_HOME_12C3}

#Flags
javac.deprecation=off
javac.nowarn=off
java.debug=on
project.workspace.file=${workspace.name}.jws
oracle.jdeveloper.ant.library=${oracle.home}/jdev/lib/ant-jdeveloper.jar
oracle.jdeveloper.workspace.path=${env.WORKSPACE}/${workspace.name}.jws
oracle.jdeveloper.project.name=${project.viewcontroller.name}
oracle.jdeveloper.deploy.dir=${env.WORKSPACE}/${project.deploy.folder}
oracle.jdeveloper.ojdeploy.path=${env.ORACLE_HOME_12C3}/jdev/bin/ojdeploy${env.EXEC_SUFFIX}
oracle.jdeveloper.deploy.outputfile=${env.WORKSPACE}/${project.deploy.folder}/${oracle.jdeveloper.deploy.profile.name} 

Setting up the Build Job in the DCS

The next task it to set up the build job in the DCS. For this we create a new job

Give the job a name and can now select to create a new job or to copy an existing one. We select to create a new one

Now we configure the build job by filling in the needed information. On the main tab we can describe the job, decide which JDK to use and how many build job executions are saved. If you use a high number the space on your virtual storage is filling up quickly as all output and all artefacts are stored. We set this to 10.

We skip the next tab ‘Build Parameters’ and move to the ‘Source Control’ tab

As we use Git, we set the radio button to Git and select the repository of the project we want to build. The ‘Advanced Repository Settings’ are set automatically. In the ‘Branch Specifier’ field we can tell which branch we want to check out. Next we tell the build system when to start working

Here we select that we want to poll the source control system every minute for changes. The schedule uses the Linux ‘cron’ syntax. We skip the ‘Environment’ tab and define one build step on the ‘Build Steps’ tab

All we need to do is to execute the Appbuild.xml target ‘deploy’. This will compile all other needed projects and create the needed jars before finally creating the applications ear file. The remaining tab we leave unchanged and save the job configuration. In the ‘Properties’ field we see the definition of the ${env.EXEC_SUFFIX} variable mentioned before.

The ‘Post Build’ tab defines what to do with the outcome of the build. Here we define that the generated artifacts which end up in the ‘deploy’ folder should be archived in GZIP format. If we don’t do this the build runs but as nothing is saved, we later can’t deploy the ear file. The remaining tab ‘Advanced we skip and save the created job.

Now we can run the build job by clicking the ‘Build’ button. The job doesn’t start immediately but is queued first, then starts running.

… when the build starts we see the change in status.

We can look at the console output of the job by clicking the console icon of the running job. If you click on the console icon of a finished job you see the complete output.

Once the job has finished successfully the artifacts are shown with the build.

In the next and final part we see how to setup the ‘Continuous Integration’ part by deploying the application to the JCS.

DOAG DevCamp2016: Oracle Development Cloud Service Hands On (Part 2)

In part 1 of this series we talked about the Oracle Development Cloud Service (DCS) in general terms and what we plan to do. This part describes the migration of an application developed for an earlier version of JDeveloper to version 12.1.3 and how to move it into the cloud.

As a test case we use the sample application provided by the Rapid Development Kit which shows a sample on how to easily develop modern, scalable applications using the Alta UI. The image below shows the landing page of the application with the splash screen. The running application can be seen at http://140.86.8.75/AppsCloudUIKit/faces/Welcome

In Part 1 we already downloaded the source of the application, created the DCS project, assigned users to the project and initialized the GIT repository for the application in the DCS. The next step is to migrate the application which was designed using JDeveloper 11.1.1.9.0 to JDeveloper version 12.1.3 which we use in the DCS.

Before we start we checkout a new branch named ‘develop’ from the GTI repository. This allows us to work outside the ‘master’ branch. When we finished the migration we can merge the changes back to the master. This resembles the GIT Flow pattern (see ‘The Git Experience (Part 4)‘).

Migrating is as simple as to open the project in your local JDeveloper 12.1.3 and let JDeveloper do an automatic migration. There are some things which have to be changed in the sources as JDeveloper can’t do them automatically.

  1. We check the libraries used in each of the projects of the AppsCloudUIKit workspace. Make sure that there are no red marked libraries as this would mean that the library is not available in the current defined libraries. If we see one of those (e.g. JSF1.2 which is JSF2.1 in 12.1.3) we need to find an equivalent library for 12.1.3 and choose this instead.
  2. We compile each project and correct any errors we find in the compile window. There are some warnings which we let go for the moment. They tell us that the UI uses some tags or components which have been deprecated in JDeveloper 12.1.3. The components are still available but we should exchange them with the new components in the future. When we compile the projects we have to follow a specific order, the dependency of the project. There is a common project ‘UIKitCommon’ which is used in all other projects. This project holds the foundation of the application. Once the project compiles we have to create an adfLibrary from it which is used in the other projects. For this we right click on the project and select ‘Deploy’->’adflibUIKitCommon…’ and follow the instructions.
  3. We need to setup the data used for the application. The application doesn’t use a DB in this version. All data is created and served via POJO Java classes. All of them reside in the ‘DemoData’ project. We compile this project and create an ADF library from it like we did for the ‘UIKitCommon’ project.
  4. We compile and deploy (to adfLibrary) the other projects in this order: ‘DemoCRM’, ‘DemoHCM’, ‘DemoFIN’ and finally ‘DemoMaster’. The ‘DemoMaster’ project create an EAR File which can be deployed to a standalone server.

After this we can run the application in our local server integrated in JDeveloper and see if it works (see the image above). Once this is verified we save all changes in the GIT repository and push them to the cloud based remote GIT Repository. This is like working with any other remote GIT repository, no difference in usage. After this the landing page of the DCS project shows the trail of work as in the image below.

Using the collaboration features

One really nice thing about the DCS is the integrated collaboration features like a wiki page, an issue tracker like Jira and an agile board where we can plan sprints to track the progress of the project.

We create a wiki page to collect all decisions made during development and generating documentation this way. This will help members to understand the project and how they are supposed to work with the project. New members added to the project at a later point in time can use this wiki to understand the project and how to work with the team.

The image below show the start wiki page of the project

and add some basic information about the project. Later we add more info about who we changed the project and how to setup the build system.

The wiki supports cascading pages too. We add a page describing the build system to the project. This allows other team members to efficiently use the build system on the DCS. We talk about details of the build system and how to use it in the next part.

Agile Development

The DCS supports agile development. The tab ‘Agile’ opens a sprint planning view to the project. This is a very neat feature. Teams can use this to plan their tasks and track their progress. Here we can create issues (tasks, feature or issues) which first end up in the bag log. We can create sprints and assign the issues to sprints.

We can work like in e.g. Jira, we drag issues from the backlog to the sprint

to add the issue to the sprint

If you like you can change the agile board, e.g. add progress states

Finally we can start the sprint by defining the start and end date. Once a sprint is started we can look at the active sprint to see the tasks in their different states. This view allows drag & drop to make it easy to change the status of a task.

Once all tasks are finished we can complete the sprint.

A look at the ‘Issues’ tab shows the finished work.

All this works out of the box. As a teaser I added a couple of images from the DCS team feature when they are integrated in JDeveloper 12.2.1

When the DCS supports JDeveloper 12.2.1 the integration to the agile board and issue tracker is as simple as logging into the DCS. No hassle setting up a team server and all other needed software and their adapters.

This concludes the second part of the series. The next part reveals details about the build system.

DOAG DevCamp2016: Oracle Development Cloud Service Hands On (Part 1)

End of February the DOAG held its annual DevCamp in Bonn, Germany. One big part of the DevCamp was a session or better a couple of session about the Oracle Developer Cloud Service and how to use it.

This part shows some general information about the Oracle Cloud. In the next part we show how to migrate an existing application to the cloud and how to use some of the available tools of the Development cloud.

The Developer Cloud Service (DCS) was introduced last year and became available to the public around the OOW2015. It offers a whole toolset to allow development of applications in the cloud. The DCS is bundled with the Java Cloud Service (JCS) which is bundled with the Database Cloud Service (DBCS). There are a couple of other services like Storage Cloud Service , responsible for managing the disk storage needed, and Compute Cloud Service responsible for the security and firewall of all services used by a company. For more information see Fasten your seat belts: Flying the Oracle Development Cloud Service (1- Boarding).

All these services are working together. If you ever have setup a working Oracle environment consisting of a DB, a WebLogic Server, load balancer, ADF Runtime you know that this isn’t an easy task to accomplish. The good news is that this work is done automatically by Oracle provisioning the different services. You as a user or company have to make some decisions like which version of the DB you want to use, or which version of WebLogic Server to install and how many CPUs to use for each service. You can later upscale the number of CPUs or managed server you want to use in total for your system. All this is very flexible.

Why to use the DCS?

Well, as mentions before, setting up a development environment does take some time and hardware. Sometimes it hard to get the time from your admins to get the hardware and setup the software to get the full environment four your development. This is one reason I see at my customers for not upgrading to newer software versions. The department has to buy the hardware and software licenses, without knowing exactly which hardware parameters they later need. Once the evaluation is finished you have the hardware and software on stock without knowing if you really need them. After all it was an evaluation only.

Oracle Cloud Services (Platform as a Service or PaaS in short) allows you to buy or lease the needed hard and software to setup an evaluation stack. You can use the stack as long and you pay for it. You can up/down scale it to your needs. As a sample you can start with a small scale development environment (DB, WeblogicServer with one admin and one managed server) and later scale it up with a load balancer and multiple managed servers in a cluster.

Right now there are two different environments for development available to configure: 11g as JDev 11.1.1.7.0 and 12c as JDev 12.1.3. In a couple of weeks JDev 12.2.1 should be available too.

Depending on the size (RAM, storage or number of OCPUs) you can select ‘metered’ or ‘none metered’ services. For pricing information see https://cloud.oracle.com/en_US/java?tabID=1385147650676 for a sample for the JCS.

Installation or configuration of the DCS is not part of this document. Oracle Developer Cloud Service smoothly and invisibly integrates your development environment with the latest versions of other services in Oracle Cloud, such as Oracle Java Cloud Service and Oracle Database Cloud Service.

Another big plus is the fully integrated development life cycle which allows to create and administer the configurations for code repositories, continuous integration, testing, building, and deployment for all stages of the development.

Developer Cloud Hands On

The remainder of this document talks about the practical work with the DCS. We show which tools are provided and how to use them to setup a CI (Continuous Integration) environment. As a test case we use the sample application provided by the Rapid Development Kit which shows a sample on how to easily develop modern, scalable applications using the Alta UI. The sample was developed by Oracle Applications User Experience team to give developers a foundation to enhance the sample or use the code they like in their own application. The image below shows the landing page of the application with the splash screen. The running application can be seen at http://140.86.8.75/AppsCloudUIKit/faces/Welcome

The application comes with design guide as an e-book and hints on how to use and extend the sample. We start with downloading the source from the web page. The application was developed using JDev 11.1.1.9.0. In the DCS we use JDev version 12.1.3.

Before we start to use the DCS we copy the sources from the zip into a new empty directory. From this directory we start by first logging into the DCS and creating a new project, DevCamp16 in the image below.

The identity domain holds the service (multiple projects) and members who can access the DCS using different roles. Once we work with one of the project we can add members to the project, but first have to add them to the identity domain as users. For this document we are only using one administrator and multiple development users. The DCS administrator assigns new users to the DCS, the project administrator the members of the DCS to the project. A DCS member can be member in zero or many projects in different roles. This way one DCS can be used for different projects. Members of one project can be excluded from others. A member of the identity domain only sees projects he is a member of. This allows a fine grained project landscape.

The project is the development environment we or the team uses to develop an application. A project holds one or more GIT repositories to manage code, a Husdon build server to manage the builds of the software, an issue tracker (kind of Jira), a wiki which we user to document decisions we made during the development, a deployment section which we use to implement a CI environment and finally we get an agile board where we can plan the development (add issues, backlog and sprints).

The last tab we see is the ‘Administration’ tab which allows one or more members to act as the administrators of the project. An administrator can add other members to the project, manage their rights and even remove the project with all its artifacts. The UI is modern and build using JET with Alta UI Design. The image below shows the administration page of the project.

The image below shows the GIT (or more than one if we add more) and the one Maven repository.

In the next tab we get an overview about the project. This is more or less empty as there has not been much work done.

The final tab hold the information about the members of the project.

This concludes part 1. In part 2 we talk about how to migrate the application from the RDK to the DCS. We learn how to setup the build system and integrate with continuous integration service.

Developer Cloud Service: Continuous Integration with JDeveloper 12.2.1

The last blog showed that the Oracle Developer Cloud Service is now available for JDeveloper and ADF 12.2.1 (Developer Cloud Service with JDeveloper 12.2.1 available). The missing part is the connection of the DCS to the newly created JCS for version 12.2.1. This we show in the blog.

The ground work, how to set up a build system for the DCS has been shown in Fasten your seat belts: Flying the Oracle Development Cloud Service (3 – Take Off – ROTATE). We now have to find out which environment variable to use for the 12.2.1 installation. At the time I wrote the mentioned blog there where only environment variables for 11.1.1.7.1 and 12.1.3.0 available. Looking at the documentation Using Hudson Environment Variables we find that the variables

  • ORACLE_HOME_SOA_12_2_1=/opt/Oracle/MiddlewareSOA_12.2.1/jdeveloper
  • MIDDLEWARE_HOME_SOA_12_2_1=/opt/Oracle/MiddlewareSOA_12.2.1
  • WLS_HOME_SOA_12_2_1=/opt/Oracle/MiddlewareSOA_12.2.1/wlserver

Are the right ones (and the only ones which point to 12.2.1). In the application.properties file (from the ‘… Take Off…’ blog) we exchange

# Don't change anything below!
 oracle.home=${env.ORACLE_HOME_12C3}
oracle.commons=${env.MIDDLEWARE_HOME_12C3}/oracle_common
middleware.home=${env.MIDDLEWARE_HOME_12C3}
install.dir=${env.ORACLE_HOME_12C3} 

with

# Don't change anything below!
oracle.home=${env.ORACLE_HOME_SOA_12_2_1}
oracle.commons=${env.MIDDLEWARE_HOME_SOA_12_2_1}/oracle_common
middleware.home=${env.MIDDLEWARE_HOME_SOA_12_2_1}
install.dir=${env.ORACLE_HOME_SOA_12_2_1} 

This change will use the JDeveloper 12.2.1 to run ojdeploy and configure the application to run on a WebLogic Server 12.2.1. This should do the trick and we can use the DCS build system to create application using ADF 12.2.1. As the application I used for the ‘Fasten your seat belts…’ blog series was pretty simple I like to show the result using the application I used for a presentation at the DOAG DevCamp2016, named AppsClouUIKit. You can read all about this application in a blog I wrote here DOAG DevCamp2016.

The application was build using JDeveloper 11.1.1.9.0 and has been migrated during the DevCamp to 12.1.3. This was the DCS version which was available at the time of the DevCamp. The first task is to migrate the source to 12.2.1 by creating a new branch in the GIT repository for the new 12.2.1 version.

We Clone the repository and create a new branch 12_2_1 which we use to build the AppsCloudUIKit for 12.2.1. As we are now running JDeveloper 12.2.1 we can use the Team-Server to get the sources from the DCS GIT repository

But we can use any other GIT client to get it. As this is covers in other blogs I’ll skip the details here. In the end we have this branch tree

Where the green marked local branch 12_2_1 is the one we are working on.

After changing the application.properies as shown above we can run the build using ant on the local machine

By selecting the ‘deploy’ target.

The result is an EAR file in the deploy folder

Setting up the build job

Let’s check-in the changes and setup the build in the DCS. Here are the steps for the build job

With this we can build the application to get the result

Setting up the Deployment

The final task is to set up the deploy task to deploy the application on the JCS_12_2_1. When we select the ‘Deploy’ tab we see the existing deployment configuration for the 12.1.3 JCS.

For the JCS 12.2.1 we created a new JCS instance with a different IP (public). Before we can create a new configuration for the 12.2.1 JCS instance we have to allow the Hudson user access to the JCS. This process is described in detail at Deploying an Application from Oracle Developer Cloud Service to Oracle Java Cloud Service

It’s absolutely necessary to get the Oracle Developer Cloud Service SSH public key and add this key to the JSC 12.2.1 instance as authorized key. Please follow the instructions given in the link above to do so.

After this is done we can create a new deployment configuration

Start filling in the dialog by giving the configuration a name. Next we create a new ‘Deployment Target’

In the dialog fill in the public IP address from the new JC 12.2.1 and select SSH Tunnel. The user name and password is the one you selected when you created the JCD instance. Test the connection and close the dialog by clicking ‘Use Connection’

Finally we can complete the Deployment dialog

We choose ‘On Demand’ here which let us specify which job/Build and artifact to use. A click to ‘Save and Deploy’ closes the dialog and the artifact will be deployed to the JCS 12.2.1. The URL to open the application is AppsCloudUIKit 12.2.1

And we should see