When we hear about the advent of a new technology, we are, usually, in a dilemma whether to go for the experiment or continue being loyal to the old one. After the launch of Oracle MAF, many people contemplated on the same lines. Is Oracle’s MAF (Mobile Application Framework) just an extension of ADF Mobile or is it something new and different?
Since Oracle came up with MAF, even before ADF mobile made its strong presence felt in the technical world, developers are still confused as to what to choose between them for developing their mobile app.
This blog aims at demystifying the differences between Oracle ADF and Oracle MAF, and providing an understanding as to why Oracle mobile applications should be developed using the newer MAF platform for better productivity.
Oracle Mobile Application Framework (MAF)
Oracle MAF has a MVC framework and uses declarative components for User Interface development. Oracle’s MAF assists in accessing device features like camera, contacts, GPS etc. MAF is available as a plugin for both JDeveloper 12.1.3 and Eclipse IDE. Few of the above features might sound pretty similar to Oracle ADF mobile capabilities, but MAF has much more to it. They are discussed in detail in the next sections.
How Easy is it to Migrate from Oracle ADF Mobile Applications to MAF?
A question that may arise in the mind of a developer, who currently works in ADF Mobile, is whether applications developed in ADF mobile are compatible with Oracle MAF. The answer is ‘yes’.
We just have to open the ADF mobile application with JDeveloper 12.1.3 (MAF plugin installed) and JDeveloper manages the transferring of the application from ADF mobile to MAF. And there is no need to worry about the configuration of the file that changes; it will all be performed by JDeveloper, automatically.
Comparing Oracle MAF with ADF Mobile
Oracle MAF has definitely got something new that will excite the developers more.
- MAF is available, as a plugin, to both JDeveloper 12.1.3 and Eclipse. Hence, developers, with little experience in JDeveloper, can also, use Eclipse IDE for development.
- MAF comprises more UI components and CSS features than ADF, which makes the UI development easier.
- MAF allows declaring Custom UI components. Custom UI components make UI development more flexible and improves re-usability.
- MAF also provides functionality to debug the applications which is definitely going to help the developers.
- Extended security using O – Auth and Web SSO. Integration with Oracle Mobile Security provides high security for our application features.
- Additional plugins, which allows us to extend our app’s functionality like barcode integration.
Conclusion: The Way Ahead
Many people might think that it is too early to dive into Oracle’s MAF framework but the truth is that, though having many similarities, it is much more advanced than ADF in every way.
Oracle provides complete documentation for MAF application development. There are a lot of sample applications available, also. Using these references, we get a clear idea about various MAF features and functionality. Also, Oracle provides dedicated support for MAF development through various forums.
Hence, it is suggested that, in future, any mobile development, using Oracle technology, should be done with MAF rather than ADF mobile and the ongoing development of ADF mobile applications is to be switched to MAF.
Sujith P Jose
Oracle MAF developer, RapidValue Solutions