What Are My Options when Going Mobile with ADF?

November 4, 2013

Earlier this month Oracle A-team member, Steven Davelaar released an in-depth article about the options that exist for going mobile with ADF.  As this is one of my favorite topics I wanted to pass along the knowledge.  I am going to give a quick summary of what the article covers, but I strongly encourage you to read the whole piece. 

Read the full article.

This article is just the first in a series to come.  The collection will be examining A-team’s experiences with adapting existing Oracle ADF applications to Mobile for a series of customers.  Together, all the articles will summarize everything Oracle A-team learned about going Mobile.  This first article is about the technology choices that have to be made when going Mobile and what those choices mean in the long term.

The Differences Between Mobile and Desktop

This section focuses on the differences between desktop interfaces and mobile interfaces.  While it seems like it should be a simple transition between the two, it’s not quite that easy; the big takeaways are: (i) The nature of tasks on mobile is very different from the nature of task performance on desktop and (ii) The user interfaces on mobile and on desktop are very different due to obvious size constraints so they can’t be expected to look and work in  the same manner  (iii) Another difference is of course the nature of how we work on the interfaces; on the mobile we use our fingers for gestures while on the desktop we use key controls and the mouse. This difference in the users interaction with the screen will also affect our interface design.  In short, going mobile means preparing for some changes.

Considerations before embarking on a mobile project?

When going mobile there are many technologies an Oracle developer can consider to develop a mobile UI (They of course only discuss Oracle technologies) : ADF Mobile, ADF Mobile Browser, and ADF Faces Rich Client.  Whereas if one was looking at the broad market they may also look at PhoneGap, HTML5 etc.  In some cases multiple technologies can be mixed to meet specific needs.  In addition to a choice between development technologies, you must also consider other design factors such as:

  • Offline Usage – Do you need offline support and sync with online systems?
  • Integration of Device Features – Do you need calendar, camera, email, maps integration?
  • Mobile User Interface – What elements are needed to make the user experience intuitive and user friendly?
  • Mobile Browser Support – Are the elements used supported by many mobile browsers ? How flexible is our UI to version changes?
  • Reuse of Business Logic – Can we not re-invent the wheel and reuse existing system business logic with a new UI? For more information on how we can re-use Oracle Forms business logic in mobile applications you can see our past blog post.

Next Steps – Moving forward

In the article, Oracle gives their opinion on the best approach to going mobile with ADF and explains how each technology offers different benefits and consequences. We suggest anyone embarking on their road to mobile check out this post to start your journey!

We are also here to help if anyone has any design questions or concerns comment below.

Good luck and Go Mobile!