Oracle Application Server Patch Available for Download

As of yesterday, the Application Server is available on OTN for download. Note, that this is not a full-blown install, it’s a maintenance release, a patch on top of Search for patch on the download page.


JDeveloper Available for Download

As announced on Shay’s blog, the “brand new” version of JDeveloper 10g is available for download. It comes with a couple of dozen bug fixes on the JSF view and ADF BC front. From the WebCenter side fixes range from content management (Universal Content Management – fka: Stellent), to WSRP interoperability (for consuming portlets produced by Web Logic Portal) and several upgrade related bugs.

As always, the Studio Edition comes with the WebCenter extension installed.

Poll About Future Topics

Haven’t tried polling before, so I thought we could do a quick survey what topics you’d be most interested in. It would be good to see suggestions in the “Others” section as well.

Looking forward to seeing your input!

I Have Oracle Portal – What Can I Do with It?

The simple answer is: enjoy it!

The all new, upcoming release of Oracle Portal will be part of Fusion Middleware 11g. One of our key focus areas in the WebCenter development team is making sure that the investment you made into Oracle Portal (and other portal products in the offering) is safe and can be leveraged by WebCenter, if/when you decide to give WebCenter a try.

So what are the interoperability corner stones:

  • Portlets: WebCenter can consume all your remote portlets deployed to Oracle Portal. This includes standards-based portlets (JSR 168/WSRP), as well as PDK-Java portlets, including OmniPortlet and WebClipping. On top of this, you can also consume local PL/SQL portlets that are remoted through the Federated Portal Adapter (FPA).
  • Content: WebCenter supports a wide variety of back-end content management systems, one of them being Oracle Portal. The WebCenter Developer’s Guide provides detailed information about how you can expose content in your WebCenter applications from Oracle Portal’s lightweight content managemet system.
  • Pages: You can also expose Oracle Portal pages in your WebCenter applications. The key is that you have to turn the pages into portlets (page portlets), and use the aforementioned Federated Portal Adapter (see Portlets).
  • JSF Portlet Bridge: We’ve seen many customers using the above techniques successfully in environments where Oracle Portal and Oracle WebCenter live side-by-side. For those of you interested in enhancing the Oracle Portal environment  and inject some new technology into your pages, you can use the JSF Portlet Bridge to build JSF/ADF portlets or “portletize” JSF/ADF applications. The ultimate promise of the JSF Portlet Bridge is to leverage the WebCenter Enterprise 2.0 services, such as Discussion or Document Library task flows (coming in R11) in Oracle Portal.

Oracle Portal is unique in the market place by giving a lot of power in the hands of techy and not that techy business users. Have fun with it with or without WebCenter!

Building JSF Portlets

In the previous post I showed how you can take any JSF application or ADF task flow and expose them as portlets. It’s a very powerful capability, and is used mostly when you have already built your page or application, and making a portlet out of it is more of an after-thought.

Using the same JSF Portlet Bridge (JSR 301) under the covers, you can use the portlet creation wizard in JDeveloper to build JSF/ADF portlets very easily. You don’t necessarily have to deal with the JSR 168 APIs, you can directly take advantage of the power of ADF.


  • 0:00-1:30 Building the JSF portlet skeleton using the portlet creation wizard.
  • 1:30-3:30 Creating the model for the portlet application: using ADF Business Components (BC) to access a back-end database, creating the data control
  • 3:30-5:50 Creating a stacked chart as the portlet view using ADF Data Visualization Technology (DVT)
  • 5:50-7:30 Deploying the portlet application
  • 7:30-9:46 Building a portlet consumer application: registering and consuming the producer


JSR 301: The JSF Portlet Bridge

When we decided that JSF is going to be the development platform at Oracle going forward, it became clear that we need a way to expose JSF applications as portlets. We looked at the open and not that open source JSF portlet bridges out there. While many of them looked promising, all of them failed when WSRP came into the picture; and we definitely needed one that can be deployed and consumed through WSRP.

To address this issue, Oracle initiated a new expert group: JSR 301, the Portlet Bridge Specification for JavaServer Faces.

I put together a screen cast to demonstrate where we are with the implementation. For this demonstration I used the Technology Preview version of JDeveloper/WebCenter 11g.

The demo walks you through the following steps:

  • 0:00-11:45 Creating an ADF task flow, a reusable ADF component (very much like a local portlet). Everything shown in this section is core ADF functionality, you don’t need WebCenter to do this.
  • 11:45-15:00 Turning the application into a portlet (sometimes referred to as: “portletize” or “portletizing”), and deploying the application.
  • 15:00-18:00 Consuming the portlet in a WebCenter application through WSRP 2.0.

While the actual steps show how to expose an ADF task flow as a portlet, it works very similarly for plain JSF and ADF pages as well.

Lean back, and watch…

Product Roadmap For Enterprise 2.0 After BEA Acquisition

On July 1, 2008 Charles Phillips, President, and Thomas Kurian, SVP for Fusion Middleware, gave an online briefing about Oracle’s Middleware Strategy. Here are some highlights relevant to the Enterprise 2.0 and Portal space.

The level of future support is divided into three categories:

  • Strategic Products: Oracle Universal Content Management, Oracle WebCenter Framework, Oracle WebCenter Spaces, BEA Ensemble and Pathways
    • BEA Products being adopted immediately with limited re-design into Oracle Fusion Middleware
    • No corresponding Oracle Products exist in majority of cases
    • Corresponding Oracle Products converge with BEA Products with rapid integration over 12-18 months
  • Continue & Converge Products: Oracle Portal, BEA WebLogic Portal (aka: Oracle WebLogic Portal), BEA AquaLogic User Interaction (aka: Oracle WebCenter Interaction)
    • BEA Products being incrementally re-designed to integrate with Oracle Fusion Middleware
    • Gradual integration with existing Oracle Fusion Middleware Technology to broaden features with automated upgrades
    • Continued development & maintenance for at least 9 years
  • Maintenance Products: Commerce Services and Collabra
    • BEA had EOL’d due to limited adoption prior to Oracle M&A
    • Continued Maintenance with appropriate fixes for 5 years

One of the key areas our product teams are working on is to ensure the interoperability across these products. The key interoperability vehicle being WSRP 1.0 and 2.0, thus enabling WLP and Interaction to consume WebCenter services, such as the Document Library, Discussions, and Email task flows. On the flip side, it will allow WebCenter applications to consume portlets from WLP and Interaction as well.