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Monday, 30 August 2010

Comments on Fusion Developer Guide. by F.Nimphius, Lynn Munsinger

On the bright side, the text is well written most of the times, presenting in great detail the theory behind ADF. The book is advanced, and the reader is supposed to have previous experience in J2EE development, in order to follow the use cases mentioned in the text. Some of them offer valuable solutions to reuse in your projects.
On the dark side, the full source code of the book is not available for download, with only a few exceptions. The errata page has vanished for a while, so an older version perhaps incomplete, is available here. The book has not a tutorial step by step, practice on your own form, like the one by D. Mills. Sometimes, the paragraphs are so long and purely theoretical, that reading becomes tedious.
All in all, the book seems like a brief printed synopsis, of the official Oracle fusion Developer guide pdf file, available online for free in OTN. Whether you would like to have a printed version of it as well, is only up to you!

Further critical references concerning ADF:

Tales from the trenches by Dr. Dorsey. Coauthor of JDeveloper 10g handbook.
Performance  and scalability criticism  by several authors

ERRATA: "Oracle Fusion Developer Guide - Building Rich Internet Applications with Oracle ADF Business Components and ADF Faces" (ISBN - 978-0-07-162254-7)

Chapter 01:

to using scope prefixes in EL when reading memory scope attributes

book has it correct. However, we want to make sure memory scope
prefixes are understood correctly and that there is no question left
open in regards to managed beans:

Accessing a managed bean in a standard servlet scope like sessionScope
or requestScope using the scope as a prefix fails if the bean instance
does not exist. Thus, bean reference like #{sessionScope.myBean} may
fail while #{myBean} always succeeds. The reason for this is that
#{sessionScope….} and #{requestScope…} reference
a Map in
memory and not the JSF framework.

Managed beans must be instantiated before they become available in the
memory scope, which means they need to be accessed through JSF.
Luckily, JSF does not allow to configure two managed beans with the
same name in different scopes. So even without a scope prefix, there is
no risk that application code accidentally accesses the wrong object..
Note that using ADFc specific scope, like viewScope and pageFlowScope,
you always need to use the scope name as  a prefix in the EL.

Chapter 03:

Case; Using af:subform in ADF Forms - new sample provided

A complimentary sample is posted on ADF Code
Corner implementing this use case: See it here

Chapter 05:

and Registering a custom Exception Handler

The custom exception handler example extends
AdfcExceptionHandler, which is a class in an internal package. The risk
associated with classes in internal packages is that changes may be
made by Oracle without further notice. Oracle updated the upcoming
version of the product documentation, "Oracle Fusion Middleware Fusion
Developer's Guide for Oracle Application Development Framework 11g"
with a sample that explains how to configure custom exception handlers,
following our example in the book. They corrected the use of
 AdfcExceptionHandler by using ExceptionHandler, the class
that is good to use with no strings attached. The sample thus would
look like

import javax.faces.context.ExternalContext;

import javax.faces.context.FacesContext;

import javax.faces.event.PhaseId;


public class CustomExceptionHandler extends ExceptionHandler {

    public CustomExceptionHandler() {



   public void handleException(FacesContext
facesContext, Throwable throwable, PhaseId phaseId) throws Throwable


     String error_message;

     error_message = throwable.getMessage();

     if (error_message != null

error_message.indexOf("ADF_FACES-30108") > -1)


ExternalContext ectx = facesContext.getExternalContext();









Note that using ExceptionHandler,
the handleException

method does not call super.handleException(...) but throws the
exception so it is handled by the next registered exception handler,
which most likely then is the internal AdfcExceptionhandler instance.
The ExceptionHandler,
class does not implement the handleException
method itself and only acts as a template for defining ADF task Flow
exception handlers.

Chapter 06:

the Task Flow Binding from Java

The code example casts the Task Flow Binding to DCTaskFlowBinding,
which is an internal class used by the ADF framework. To avoid using
internally packaged classes, yu can cast the region binding to
DCBindingContainer, which is the public framework class that DCTaskFlowBinding

BindingContext bctx = BindingContext.getCurrent();

BindingContainer bindings =

DCTaskFlowBinding taskFlowBinding = null;

taskFlowBinding = (DCBindingContainer)

The primary use of accessing the region binding is to
a hold of the referenced binding container and its defined bindings,
which you can also do using the DCBindingContainer.
There is some more infromation available using DCTaskFlowBinding,
but these you can get from other APIs, like ControllerContext as well.

Chapter 09:

says: If the table is a child of the af:panelCollection component, then
an implementation of the multiple column sort use case already exists
using the PanelCollection View | Sort | Advanced menu option

The book has it correct and the functionality exists.
However, you need to set
the table column selection to either single or multiple. This is not
apparent because within the chapter, the column selection
is enabled at the beginning
to handle a different use case. The requirement to enable column
selection has nothing to do with sorting but exists in the current
JDeveloper 11g release. A
bug has been filed to lift this requirement.

Page 309 Selection Event

The example
shows you how to synchronize the table component row selection with the
current row in ADF binding layer using Exression Language. If you
prefer a pure Java solution, we released a generic Java handler example
on ADF Code Corner: read more.

Page 296 How to navigate in specific
row in table.

ADF Code Corner has an improved version of the sample in
book that is worth looking at. The sources are available for dwenload
as well. See

A related sample is here.

Page 281 "invokeMethodBinding"
should be "invokeMethodExpression"

Chapter 9 uses a helper method to invoke method
The main method "invokeMethodExpression" has a overloaded method with a
simplified signature. Unfortunately the name of this method in the book
is "invokeMethodBinding". It should however look as shown below to work
with the samples given in the book


* overloaded method as a convenience for the common case in which only

* a single argument is passed


public Object invokeMethodExpression(String


  Object event,


Class eventClass){

  //call method shown below

  return invokeMethodExpression(methodExpression,


new Object[]{event},


new Class[]{eventClass});


So please put a note on the first method name that the
name has changed as shown above.    

Page 311 What You Should Know About
the Data That Is Exported to Excel
In this
section of the book we provide a hint of how to add an Excel fomular to
the exported table cell data so that it gets propery formatted when
opened in Excel.This hint stopped working in the latest release of
Oracle JDeveloper, which is Oracle JDeveloper 11g R1 PS2 (build number
is Build JDEVADF_11.1.1.3.PS2_GENERIC_100408.2356.5660) because of a
bug fix that prevents the export of hidden output text content.

 We assume that it requires a new enhancement request to properly
implement the option to add excel formulars (adn some users
unfortunately already started suffering from the side effect this bug
fix has  - including this book).

Chapter 15:

Page 483 Typo "exiting" instead of "existing"

Luc Bors from Amis in the Netherlands found this
interesting typo in the book: “A standard JSF component that
is built from exiting ADF Faces
Components …” . This of course should be "A standard
JSF component that
is built from existing ADF Faces
Components ..."

Chapter 19:

Registering the
adf-js-partition.xsd Schema

The adf-js-partitions.xsd schema has been moved

Creating te
adf-js-partitions.xml file

The custom adf-js-partitions.xml file structure has a
typo and wrong xml tag. The correct XML is shown below

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<partitions xmlns="">
 <partition-name> ... </partition-name>
 <partition-name> ... </partition-name>

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