Monday, June 22, 2015

Oracle Mobile Cloud Services - Mobile Application Accelerator (MAX) Demo

To satisfy the many, many enterprise use cases for mobility we need a new way to satisfy the demand without having to involve a mobile app development project.For many, the answer lies in giving business-side workers the ability to mobilize their own business processes. To address this requirement, Oracle is announcing the preview of Mobile Application Accelerator (MAX) , a new capability in Oracle Mobile Cloud Service. MAX is a cloud-based offering that brings mobile application development capabilities to professionals with no previous software development experience. With MAX, program managers, power users, and business professionals can develop mobile applications quickly and visually through their web browser.

Here are a few highlights of the Mobile Application Accelerator (MAX):
  • Browser based development
  • No coding required
  • Easily map to business services
  • App Preview
  • Edit, Test and Publish from the web browser
Have a look on the following demo what MAX looks like:

Friday, April 3, 2015

How to Change Oracle JDeveloper 12c Font Size on Mac OS X

There are a few references to this on the Internet but they all seem to describe the behavior of Oracle JDeveloper 11g and not the current version 12c.

If you, like me, have been using Oracle JDeveloper 12c on a Mac OS X and wondered how can you change the IDE's font size then look no further :) Here are the instructions that worked for me:

  • After installing Oracle JDeveloper 12c go to the Help menu and Check for Updates. Install the necessary extensions to do the kind of work you want (i.e. Mobile Application Framework) and restart JDeveloper.
  • You'll probably see an undesired font size after you restart JDeveloper like the picture below. 

  • Shut down JDeveloper and open a Terminal session.
  • Go to /Users/<username>/.jdeveloper/system12.x.x.x.xx.xxxxxx.xxxx/o.jdeveloper.12.x.x.x.xx.xxxxxx.xxxx (i.e. /Users/Marcelo/.jdeveloper/system12.
  • Open the file (you can use vi, nano, etc). Any text editor will do it.
  • Find the line Ide.FontSize.Aqua=10. It should be something similar to:
 # The default Ide.FontSize for Mac OS X.  
  • Update the IDE's font size replacing the lines above with the following:
 # The default Ide.FontSize for Mac OS X.  
  • Save and close the file. Start JDeveloper again and you should see the updated IDE's font size similar to the picture below.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Redirecting the log file in the Oracle Mobile Application Framework

If you have been developing with the Oracle Mobile Application Framework you already know that's not always easy to get debugging information out of the iOS Simulator or the Android Emulator.

When you are running on the iOS Simulator you can now use the -consoleRedirect option and send the logging information to an easier location to find. Although you can do that in Apple's XCode, doing that in JDeveloper is quite straightforward.

Open up your MAF project in JDeveloper, select Run >>> Choose Active Run Configuration >>> Manage Run Configurations

Then, click Edit and select the Mobile Run Configuration

Add the -consoleRedirect=<Any_File_You_Want> and select the Simulator configuration (if you have multiple ones configured). Click OK.

You can now use the JDeveloper Run button (the little green triangle on the top menu) that will launch and run your app (you must use this approach to redirect the log file - that's a limitation but worth the price).

This has been tested with the Oracle Mobile Application Framework 2.1.

Happy Debugging!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Oracle Mobile Application Framework Getting Started Demo

Sometimes you just need a little push to get started on something and this is pretty much the goal of this post... to get you started with the Oracle Mobile Application Framework.

I'm a very visual person and no matter how much I read about a specific topic I prefer watching a demo or a tutorial and then I try to do something on my own.

With that idea in mind I recorded a 3-part Oracle MAF demo that covers how to get started developing a mobile app, create a new feature (module), create and customize a task flow, invoke a REST Web Service as well as a SOAP Web Service, customize the request and response for the Web Service calls, create a data control, customize the MAF AMX pages, import a local HTML resource, configure a Remote URL based feature and deploy to the iOS Simulator.

I hope you enjoy!

Part 1: Getting Started with Oracle Mobile Application Framework

Part 2: Getting Started with Oracle Mobile Application Framework

Part 3: Getting Started with Oracle Mobile Application Framework

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

How to dial a phone number from Oracle Mobile Application Framework?

Sometimes you need to dial a number from within a mobile app and for my surprise that functionality was not directly exposed through the Oracle Mobile Application Framework APIs.
Oracle MAF provides a component called Link (Go) available under the General Controls palette that can be used for navigation between pages but it can also be used to enable linking to external URLs.
Using the tel: URL scheme with the Link (Go) component gives you the capability to dial phone numbers from within an Oracle Mobile Application Framework app. 
So, here is how to do it:
On your MAF page, drag and drop a Link (Go) to the Panel Page and then set the URL in the component properties to the desired phone number. You can also use a Managed Bean to set the value if you want to do some processing before displaying the number to be called.
MAF Page source code after adding a Link (Go) component

Link (Go) component property panel

If you have mixed UI content on your Oracle MAF app and you want to get the same behavior on a HTML page you just need to add the following on your source code:
<a href="tel:+1-800-555-1234">call this number</a>
The sample code is also available here: 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

New Oracle Mobile Application Framework (MAF) Academy Course

If you want to get into mobile application development with Oracle Mobile Application Framework (MAF), there is a new Oracle Developer Academy course available for you.

This new course includes an introduction to the Mobile Application Framework and teaches you how to design a MAF-based application, integrate with device capabilities, how to develop with web services and how to secure a MAF application.

In this FREE two-hour interactive online course you'll learn and master the design, architecture, interoperability and security of Oracle Mobile Application Framework based applications.

Hurry up and get yourself educated on the Oracle mobile application development framework.

Here is the link to the course:

Have fun!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Working with Device Information in the Oracle Mobile Application Framework

With the proliferation of new device models, form factors and operating systems, you may be thinking about the challenges to make your application work handle all of these different device properties information as there may be features that rely on specific characteristics or capabilities.

As an example, how frustrating it would be for the user trying to use a mapping feature if the device doesn't support geolocation? Or, just getting the device screen height and width to make sure the content fits nicely and also dynamically present different things on the smaller / larger real state you have available. As a developer, it's your responsibility to make sure everything works and looks good on all devices (even though this is a hard task).

The Oracle Mobile Application Framework (MAF) utilizes Apache Cordova to provide access to device properties, SMS, Email, Contacts, Camera, Pictures/Photo Library, Geolocation, Accelerometer, Network, etc. that can either be accessed from Java, JavaScript and Expression Languages in order to support these requirements on your mobile application.

Additionally, the most common functionality (sendEmail, getPicture, createContact, sendSMS, etc) is exposed as a Data Control and can be simply dragged-and-dropped onto an AMX page reducing the need for coding calls to the API and constructing the necessary screens.

The MAF documentation covers all in details but here is a list of what's currently supported by the framework (through the embedded Apache Cordova API):
  • device.platform
  • device.version
  • device.os
  • device.model
  • device.phonegap
  • hardware.hasCamera
  • hardware.hasContacts
  • hardware.hasTouchScreen
  • hardware.hasGeolocation
  • hardware.hasAccelerometer
  • hardware.hasCompass
  • hardware.hasFileAccess
  • hardware.hasLocalStorage
  • hardware.hasMediaPlayer
  • hardware.hasMediaRecorder
  • hardware.networkStatus
  • hardware.screen.width
  • hardware.screen.height
  • hardware.screen.availableWidth
  • hardware.screen.availableHeight
  • hardware.screen.dpi
  • hardware.screen.diagonalSize
  • hardware.screen.scaleFactor

Most of the property names are self-explanatory and I won't go into the details of each one of them but there is a demo available for you that shows how to get started and use some of the information that the framework provides. Screenshots on both platforms are available below so you can take a peek what it looks like:

iOS Simulator
Android Emulator

The demo itself uses EL (expression languages) to get the values and then present them in different ways on the AMX page including outputText, buttons, etc and also change the availability of the component based on the feature capability.

In summary, integrating the device features into a Oracle MAF application is easy and flexible, the declarative drag and drop support suits most of the use cases and you can get deeper control programatically.

The source code is available here:

Have fun!