The Oracle Applications Framework (OA Framework) is a development and deployment platform used for Oracle Applications (Apps) HTML-based screens. In other words, OA Framework is the standard approach for building and launching Apps web pages. This includes the “i” modules, such as iReceivables, iProcurement, etc. The framework contains the design rules and components that include the look-and-feel for web pages, so any custom-built pages will have a presentation identical to Oracle-developed pages.
JDeveloper is the tool for accessing and employing OA Framework development rules. As the name implies, JDeveloper is a Java-oriented tool, but that includes “all-things-Java”, such as XML, JSP, SOA, and many other items, not all of which will apply to Apps development.
So, using JDeveloper as the development tool and OA Framework as the design architecture, we can modify existing Apps web pages, as well as build new ones.
The framework seeds JDeveloper with pre-defined objects and settings. Custom objects can inherit settings from seeded objects, effectively becoming clones of those objects. Cloned objects can be extended, essentially tweaked to include customizations. Developers familiar with Oracle Forms can begin to draw on the TEMPLATE.fmb for comparisons. See Comparing to What I Know (Oracle Forms) for a further discussion.
WHO NEEDS TO KNOW IT?
Developers: face it, Apps will change and you can react to that fact or not. Oracle will continue to reengineer Apps, moving more Forms-based screens to OA Framework web pages, evolving the Apps to a more Java-centric technology. (For an example, see the changes in Customers page between R12 and 11.5.10.) JDeveloper and OA Framework will be the tools for building and deploying web pages our users work with. For all the PL/SQL and Oracle Forms developers out there, start planning your evolution. Sure PL/SQL and Forms will be around for some time, but you need to add more skills to your stack if you want to stay current (employable).
WHAT TO DO NEXT
Start working with the tool (JDeveloper) and the framework. See Metalink Note:416708.1, “How to find the correct version of JDeveloper to use with eBusiness Suite 11i or Release 12”. If you download JDeveloper with OA Framework for Release 12 beware, the tutorials match the 11i release. That is, the tutorials are not up to date. It’s possible, after some experimentation, to align the tasks in the 11i tutorial to the R12 release.
The major question for a PL/SQL developer with limited or zero Java experience is, “So do I really need to know Java?” Answer: Yes, at least from a conceptual level. Certainly with JDeveloper and OA Framework you can create customizations of easy through mid-range complexity (called Extensions in OA Framework). The intent of OA Framework is to give you a base from which to build. You will be able to satisfy some portion of user requests by extending seeded objects and changing properties. But any seasoned developer will tell you that no code-development tool can generate everything you’ll need.
- Plan your Java education: books, on-line tutorials, instructor-lead classes. You know the method that will work best for you.
- Google OA Framework Blogs and OA Framework Tutorials and discoverer what others are saying
- Check this site for more OA Framework information