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Branding ADF Applications

Author: Infomentum

Author: Nabil Makhout

Nabil presented his tips on branding ADF applications at UKOUG’s Apps 15 conference.

Every new application created with the WebCenter Portal framework and ADF comes with default styling that you extend from an out-of-the-box skin, like Skyros. But if every time we created an application with the default style, it would be a very boring and monotonous digital world. That’s where skinning comes in to brand your application to your company guidelines!

Why branding?

First of all, it promotes recognition of your brand and sets you apart from the competition. A brand is something you build over the years; customers know what to expect from your company when they recognise your brand. Strong brands build trust and customer satisfaction. Brands give potential clients a firm idea of what they are buying before they buy it, making the purchasing decision easier. Font-family, animations, colours, layouts and so many more factors contribute to building a brand. So branding has so many benefits for your company and your application. Now, let’s have a look how to do it.

Workflow to brand your application?

Use a build tool like gulp to automate part of your workflow. This helps you to stay focused on your code without needing to pay attention to the important, but repetitive, details. These tools allow you to write your code (hopefully) once, and reuse it throughout the development process. Build tools take care of minification, different versions for different environments, and while you are writing code you can get notifications that you have an error, etc. This is just scratching the surface. There is so many more things you can do with it. Have a look at gulpjs for more information.

You can also use SVG as icons. Personally, I like to use font-icons also known as glyphicons. Essentially, you combine SVGs into a font file and you can refer them in the CSS. The nice thing about this method is that you always have a JSON backup and the images are vector based. So you can make it bigger or smaller without losing quality! The annoying thing with a sprite is that you need to recalculate the background positions sometimes. Well, that’s history with your font-icons.

Dos and don’ts in development

- Do try dropping old versions of IE
- ADF comes with a lot of interactive components, so do try to stay away from js and do try to use best practices to get the solution you need
- Don’t use inline styles

I hope this helps other developers to brand your applications to your company’s style!

Oracle SOA explained with London’s Transport

Author: Mauro Flores

Author: Mauro Flores

Recently, I had the opportunity to give internal training to some members of our non-technical team about Oracle Middleware, with a focus on SOA. Of course the title “Middleware for Humans” had to be used.

Oracle’s website describes SOA Suite as:

‘A complete set of service infrastructure components for designing, deploying, and managing composite applications. Oracle SOA Suite enables services to be created, managed, and orchestrated into composite applications and business processes. Composites enable you to easily assemble multiple technology components into one SOA composite application.’

However, I was looking for an analogy to explain SOA in simple words. infoMENTUM’s head office is based in London, so being inspired by John Bronswick, here’s Oracle SOA Suite explained in terms of London’s transport system.

London's Transport

Travelling around London

There are multiple travel services in London available for commuters and tourists alike:

  • Underground
  • London Overground
  • National Rail Train
  • Bus
  • DLR

It’s common to have to use more than one of these services during the day, and many of them are owned and operated by different private companies.

So, what does all these has to do with SOA? Multiple services owned by multiple providers with the need to be consumed by the same client. What would happen if a new provider joins? Or if they decide to upgrade a service? Well, with SOA, we can solve this problem with the Service Bus:

A)
“A style of integration architecture that allows communication via a common communication bus that consists of a variety of point-to-point connections between providers and users of services.”

“An infrastructure that a company uses for integrating services in the application landscape.”

“An architecture pattern that enables interoperability between heterogeneous environments, using service orientation.”

How London solves this issue:

OYSTER CARD

B)
“Use your Oyster card to travel on the Tube, London Overground, DLR, bus, tram and most National Rail stations in London. You can put Travelcards, bus and tram season tickets and pay as you go credit on to the card.“

So, London travellers just have to register for one card only, no matter what version or service they are using. This simplifies the day to day travel experience and also makes changes very simple; if they are registered and they need to change their last name for example, they only need to do it once and can continue to use all of the services as usual.

A)  http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/articles/soa/ind-soa-esb-1967705.html
B)  
http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tickets/27298.aspx

This post originally appeared on Mauro’s blog, Middleware for Humans.

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