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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

New to OAF

New to OA Framework

Following are the most frequently asked questions in the OAF forums by new OAF Developers
  1. What is OAF?
  2. What are the prerequisites for learning OAF?
  3. I am a forms developer and I want to learn a web technology, should I go for OAF or ADF?
  4. Where to get the jdeveloper for OA Framework?
  5. How to learn OAF and where to find step by step tutorial?
  6. Can I practice OAF in home?
In this article I am going to explain what the developer should do if he is new to OA framework technology.

What is OAF?
OAF is web development framework based on MVC architecture for developing HTML pages and customizations in the Oracle Applications 11i/R12.

What are the prerequisites for learning OA framework?
You need the basic level knowledge in J2EE, good level of knowledge in Java and Oracle database (very important). Especially in java you should have good knowledge of inheritence, overriding, exception handling and collections etc.

I am a forms developer and I want to learn a web technology, should I go for OAF or ADF?
It depends on the purpose of learning the web technology. If you are an ebiz developer and want to do customization and extensions for the HTML based pages in the Oracle applications 11i/R12 then you should go for OA framework. This statment holds well till the release of fusion applications because ADF is well integrated with fusion apps. Also remember learning OAF is not going to be wasted, because ADF uses same bc4j in the name of ADF bc (of course, with good improvements over bc4j), so OAF developers can easily learn ADF in minimal duration.

If you're a forms developer, you're not working in Oracle Applications and you want to develop a new web application for your business, then you should go for ADF 11g. For more information about difference between OAF and ADF follow this link

Where to get the jdeveloper for OA Framework?
The jdeveloper available in the is meant for j2ee developers. So it cannot be used for OAF development. There are different set of jdeveloper versions available in the metalink corresponding to the OAF version of your Oracle Applications. First you need to identify the version of OA Framework available in the Oracle Application instance.

To know that
  1. Open any OAF page
  2. Select the "About this Page" link located at the bottom of the page.
  3. Choose the technology components tab
  4. There you can find the versions of OAF and all technology components of the Oracle application.
  5. You can find the jdeveloper corresponding to the OAF version in the following metalink note How to find the correct version of JDeveloper to use with eBusiness Suite 11i or Release 12
  6. And you need a Metalink login to view the above link and to download the jdeveloper zip file.

How to learn OA framework and where to find step by step tutorial?
The best way to learn OA framework is to start with toolbox tutorials. If you have any doubts in the tutorial you can refer the Developers guide and Personalization Guide. If you want to refer the documentation for OAF java methods like setForwardURL() etc. you can see it in Java Doc available in the index.htm page.

To See the tutorial index
  1. Go to jdevDoc folder in the path where you unziped your file.
  2. Open the index.htm
  3. There you can find Oracle Application Framework Toolbox Tutorials link.
There are around 15 topics in this tutorial to illustrate the basic and advanced topics of the OA framework. It will take 5-10 days to complete all the lessons in this tutorial. These tutorial lessons include almost everything you might need in the OA framework development and customization.

How to practice it in Home?
Running a OAF page from the jdeveloper needs a Oracle Applications Instance up and running. So should have the whole Oracle Applications instance installed in your laptop/desktop or you should have network connection to Oracle Applications instance.

And if you get any doubts in the OA Framework you can get the experts help at the OAF forum

Article By:

Prasanna Jayaraman

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