Welcome!

Recurring Revenue Authors: Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Carmen Gonzalez, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Recurring Revenue, Java IoT

Recurring Revenue: Article

Java Product Review — Oracle JDeveloper An IDE Worth a Second Look

It's never too late for a second chance at a first impression

As the saying goes you never get a second chance at a first impression. In general, that's true, but if you've been thoroughly revitalized, matured, and cosmetically re-engineered, shouldn't you get a second shot at that first impression? I'd argue that's true of Oracle's Java/J2EE Workbench, Oracle JDeveloper.

Starting out life as a code fork from Borland's JBuilder tool back in 1997, Oracle JDeveloper has had a fairly long history as a Java IDE, most of it in relative obscurity. Things have changed though. During JavaOne 2005, Oracle announced that Oracle JDeveloper would henceforth be free. This sparked interest, since JDeveloper always had areas of definite benefits over other tools but came with a price tag. Furthermore, over the last couple of years, Oracle has added rich support for all areas of Java and JEE development, especially in the case of the latest 10.1.3.1 rev released in October 2006 during Oracle OpenWorld.

This latest release supports JEE 5 standards such as EJB 3.0 and JSR-220 Java Persistence API, JSR-181 Web Service Annotations, as well as JavaServer Faces. It also brings a visual design time environment for creating Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) processes and Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) Services and features-enriched functionality for Java, XML, Web Services and Web application development. I'd like to invite you to take a brief tour to get that second look and a new first impression of Oracle JDeveloper.

Getting To Know Oracle JDeveloper
JDeveloper 10.1.3.1 can be downloaded from Oracle's Technology Network at http://oracle.com/technology//jdev (up to 420 MB). Installation only takes unzipping an archive. When running, JDeveloper's Studio Edition consumes a somewhat greedy 180 MB memory by just being there.

Plain Old Java Programming
Java IDEs are typically evaluated first and foremost on their ability to support pure Java programming. Oracle JDeveloper has a history riddled with wizards and frameworks and facilities for all kinds of development, but it tended to trail behind other prominent IDEs when it came to Plain Old Java Programming (POJP). With recent releases that gap has been closed and Oracle JDeveloper currently offers at least the same, if not more features, than can be found in alternative tools.

Built-in features include:

  • Refactoring - with options such as extract code fragment as method and extract interface or superclass
  • Code folding
  • Quick view of JavaDoc of referenced classes and methods
  • Code completion and code reformatting
  • User-customizable code snippets
  • Generation of bean accessors for properties
  • Smart import organization of classes and libraries
One feature I particularly like and frequently use is the CTRL+ - a key combination for "Go to Java Class." This brings up a window where developers can type in the name of a class or interface and navigate directly either to the source code or the JavaDoc.

Advanced tools found in Oracle JDeveloper, not generally part of the core of IDEs, include a code profiler to identify performance and memory hotspots, and an auditor that does quality control on Java source code - even on non-compilable code - according to predefined standards and guidelines. The profiler monitors and logs a running program's use of processor and memory resources and can be used to locate and correct inefficiencies. Developers can also use the profiler with the debugger and CodeCoach for efficient source code troubleshooting.

The march of Plain Old Java Objects (POJOs) seems unstoppable. With EJB 3.0, and particularly the Java Persistence API (JSR-220), as well as the Web Service annotations defined in JSR-181, a POJO can be easily promoted to an entity, persistently mapped to a database table or a Web Service simply by adding some annotations to the bean definition. JDeveloper will recognize these annotations and provide code completion support for them.

JDeveloper 10.1.3.1 also features wizards that can create entities (annotated POJOs) from selected tables and views in a database, or that can create a new entity. Currently there's no synchronizing support to realign entities and tables; however, given Oracle's leading role in the Dali Eclipse plug-in, I expect this feature to be added to a future version of Oracle JDeveloper.

The Web Service wizard allows easy publication of a POJO and selected methods as a Web Service; this wizard can add the JSR-181 annotations to the POJO, or create a WSDL document along with the WSIF binding definition.

Integration IDEb The biggest news with Oracle JDeveloper 10.1.3.1 is the Integrated Service Environment workbench. In particular, BPEL and ESB tooling is now fully integrated into JDeveloper.

There is a visual diagrammer with drag-and-drop component palettes and built-in wizards that help the developer design the BPEL processes. Wizards help create partner links for adapter services that link to external systems like (SOAP) Web Services, JMS, file system and FTP servers, MQ Series and databases (SQL or Oracle PL/SQL). The BPEL process is created by dragging BPEL activities such as pick, flow, invoke, reply, and assign to the diagram and configuring them through wizard screens. The invoke and reply steps are connected to the partner links with external services. A BPEL process can be deployed directly to the Oracle BPEL Process Manager from within the JDeveloper IDE (see Figure 1).

Oracle JDeveloper can also generate test cases for BPEL processes in which partner link response messages and workflow outcomes can be emulated prior to deployment in a production environment. This helps ensure that a process interacts with Web Service partners as expected by the time it's ready for deployment to a production environment.

In late October 2006, Oracle released its ESB as part of its SOA Suite. Oracle JDeveloper provides the design time for the ESB, and ESB router services typically consist of inbound services, routing and transformation rules and outbound services. The router service is constructed visually, using drag and drop, as well the same adapter service wizards used for developing BPEL processes. The transformation of messages in the ESB is done using an XSLT transformation. Oracle JDeveloper has a particularly useful tool that makes creating the XSLT document a simple, highly visual task, using drag and drop from source (inbound) XSD to the target XSD document.

Deploying the ESB is a two-click process using a predefined connection to the application server that hosts the ESB.

The first impression in developing ESB services is that it works very well - even though this is just a 1.0 release of the technology.

I2DE - Integrated IDE
Some integrated development environments (IDE) are more integrated than others. Oracle JDeveloper is much more than a Java programming tool. Integrated into its core Java IDE are a host of other IDEs such as:

  • XML development - visual editors for XSD, XSLT, XQuery, WSDL, and support for debugging XSLT
  • Web development - visual editors for CSS, as well as WYSIWYG editors for HTML, JSP, JSF (pages and config) and ADF Faces (a k a Apache MyFaces Trinidad), Struts (config) and Applets and an HTTP Analyzer for analysis of the packets sent across the wire for Web Services and Web applications
  • J2EE development - wizards for EJB, Web Services, and the built-in OC4J Application Server to deploy J2EE artifacts quickly, as well as very easy remote debugging of both Web and J2EE applications. JDeveloper also provides an IDE for Oracle TopLink - one of the premium tools for object-relational mapping
  • Database development - editors and diagrammers for tables, database browsers, SQL worksheets, data viewer for all JDBC-powered databases as well as programming and debugging support for PL/SQL - the Oracle database's stored procedural language
  • UML modeling - diagrammers for activity, class (with code synchronization), sequence and use case diagrams
  • Integration - visual modeling, testing. and deploying Web Services, BPEL processes, and ESB services
These various IDEs work together and are blended in the overall IDE. Together they share connections (database, application server, UDDI, WebDAV), a project definition with path-setup, library associations, and deployment profiles. Generic tools include a property palette, a structure window, debugger, and a task manager. JDeveloper integrates with various application servers - WebLogic, Tomcat, JBoss, OC4J, and Oracle Application Server for one-click deployment, and also provides powerful Ant integration (see Figure 2).

Check for Updates/Extensions
No matter how rich an IDE may be it's never complete out-of-the-box. Like other IDEs, Oracle JDeveloper has an automated mechanism for installing extensions - the JDeveloper term for what other IDEs call plug-ins - that's also used in updating the IDE itself with patches and service updates.

However, there's obviously only a limited set of extensions available for Oracle JDeveloper, since most of the functionality is already built-in and pre-integrated. While that may mean a little less choice, it most certainly saves a lot of time and money otherwise spent on acquiring the collection of plug-ins offering the same functionality only to find them far less well integrated than one would hope for.

Some useful extensions - that you might have expected to come pre-integrated - include unit testing with JUnit and support for AspectJ and Subversion.

Installing and upgrading extensions is effortless; however, downgrading or de-installing extensions requires developers to disable the extension and remove the archive from the file system.

Oracle Frameworks for Productive Java Development
Oracle JDeveloper is frequently known for its built-in frameworks, such as ADF Business Components - a SQL-oriented framework for mapping between Java applications and relational databases - and ADF Model - a data-binding infrastructure based on JSR-227. While these frameworks can add tremendous productivity, such as the drag-and-drop development of a database-bound JSF application, they are often regarded with some suspicion, because people see them as too proprietary and closed.

Every organization needs to make its own judgment about using these frameworks. They should take into account that these frameworks lower the barrier considerably for doing (productive) J2EE development, allowing less-experienced developers to make substantial contributions to development efforts. Furthermore, Oracle is using these frameworks to develop Fusion Applications, virtually guaranteeing their continued support and enhancement. Applications developed with these frameworks are J2EE-compliant and can be installed on various application servers.

Conclusion
The new 10.1.3.1 release of Oracle JDeveloper has a lot to offer with functionality that extends far beyond what one would normally expect from a Java IDE. One of its key strengths is its out-of-the-box richness, comprehensive feature set, and tight integration. No need for searching, acquiring, and installing a lot of plug-ins.

In the past there's been a lot of prejudice concerning Oracle JDeveloper: not being suitable for Plain Old Java development, only supporting proprietary Oracle development, being too expensive, etc. However, Oracle JDeveloper 10.1.3.1 is free, allows - but by no means necessitates - using Oracle-specific frameworks, and has scores and scores of features that even the most hardcore Java programmer will appreciate. Support for SOA, XML, Web, database, UML, and J2EE is an added bonus.

If you haven't looked at Oracle JDeveloper in a while, you'll definitely want to take a second look now. Installation only takes unzipping an archive. Oracle JDeveloper 10.1.3.1 is free and available for download at: http://oracle.com/technology//jdev.

More Stories By Lucas Jellema

Lucas Jellema (Oracle ACE) is CTO at AMIS, an Oracle, Java and SOA Technology Consulting firm based in Nieuwegein, The Netherlands. Apart from being a technical architect and workshop instructor, he is a regular presenter at international conferences on topics such as BPEL, EJB 3.0, AJAX and Java Server Faces, Oracle’s ADF (Application Development Framework) and productive application development in general.

Comments (2) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
JDJ News Desk 01/03/07 05:59:54 PM EST

As the saying goes you never get a second chance at a first impression. In general, that's true, but if you've been thoroughly revitalized, matured, and cosmetically re-engineered, shouldn't you get a second shot at that first impression? I'd argue that's true of Oracle's Java/J2EE Workbench, Oracle JDeveloper.

JDJ News Desk 01/02/07 07:52:42 PM EST

As the saying goes you never get a second chance at a first impression. In general, that's true, but if you've been thoroughly revitalized, matured, and cosmetically re-engineered, shouldn't you get a second shot at that first impression? I'd argue that's true of Oracle's Java/J2EE Workbench, Oracle JDeveloper.

@ThingsExpo Stories
"We are focused on SAP running in the clouds, to make this super easy because we believe in the tremendous value of those powerful worlds - SAP and the cloud," explained Frank Stienhans, CTO of Ocean9, Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
"The Striim platform is a full end-to-end streaming integration and analytics platform that is middleware that covers a lot of different use cases," explained Steve Wilkes, Founder and CTO at Striim, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We provide IoT solutions. We provide the most compatible solutions for many applications. Our solutions are industry agnostic and also protocol agnostic," explained Richard Han, Head of Sales and Marketing and Engineering at Systena America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calligo, an innovative cloud service provider offering mid-sized companies the highest levels of data privacy and security, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Calligo offers unparalleled application performance guarantees, commercial flexibility and a personalised support service from its globally located cloud plat...
"We've been engaging with a lot of customers including Panasonic, we've been involved with Cisco and now we're working with the U.S. government - the Department of Homeland Security," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
DX World EXPO, LLC., a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"MobiDev is a Ukraine-based software development company. We do mobile development, and we're specialists in that. But we do full stack software development for entrepreneurs, for emerging companies, and for enterprise ventures," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
While the focus and objectives of IoT initiatives are many and diverse, they all share a few common attributes, and one of those is the network. Commonly, that network includes the Internet, over which there isn't any real control for performance and availability. Or is there? The current state of the art for Big Data analytics, as applied to network telemetry, offers new opportunities for improving and assuring operational integrity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Frey, Vice President of S...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
In his opening keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Michael Maximilien, Research Scientist, Architect, and Engineer at IBM, discussed the full potential of the cloud and social data requires artificial intelligence. By mixing Cloud Foundry and the rich set of Watson services, IBM's Bluemix is the best cloud operating system for enterprises today, providing rapid development and deployment of applications that can take advantage of the rich catalog of Watson services to help drive insights from the vast t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EnterpriseTech has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. EnterpriseTech is a professional resource for news and intelligence covering the migration of high-end technologies into the enterprise and business-IT industry, with a special focus on high-tech solutions in new product development, workload management, increased effic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy named "Bronze Sponsor" of 21st International Cloud Expo which will take place October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud com...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CHEETAH Training & Innovation will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CHEETAH Training & Innovation is a cloud consulting and IT training firm specializing in improving clients cloud strategies and infrastructures for medium to large companies.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datanami has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datanami is a communication channel dedicated to providing insight, analysis and up-to-the-minute information about emerging trends and solutions in Big Data. The publication sheds light on all cutting-edge technologies including networking, storage and applications, and thei...
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...