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Oracle® Fusion Middleware Desktop Integration Developer's Guide for Oracle Application Development Framework
11g Release 2 (11.1.2.0.0)

Part Number E16180-01
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5 Getting Started with the Development Tools

This chapter describes how to use the development tools provided by ADF Desktop Integration. It provides an overview of the development environment that Oracle ADF exposes within Excel and goes on to describe how to display and use the different elements of this environment.

This chapter includes the following sections:

5.1 About Development Tools

ADF Desktop Integration provides several tools to configure Excel workbooks so that they can access Oracle ADF functionality. Using these tools you configure the workbook and corresponding worksheets to display, and edit, data from the Fusion web application in the integrated Excel workbook The tools are available in the Oracle ADF tab and in the ADF Desktop Integration Designer task pane.

ADF Desktop Integration development tools include the following tools, also shown in Figure 5-1:

Figure 5-1 ADF Desktop Integration Development Tools

ADF Desktop Integration Development Tools

ADF Desktop Integration provides two modes, design mode and the test mode, in which you can work while you configure the Excel workbook.

In design mode, you use the tools provided by Oracle ADF in Excel to design and configure the integrated Excel workbook. In test mode, you can view and test the changes you made in the design mode, in the same way that the end user views the published integrated Excel workbook.

5.1.1 ADF Desktop Integration Development Tools Use Cases and Examples

You use the development tools to configure and design the integrated Excel workbook. For example, as shown in Figure 5-2, in EditPriceList-DT.xlsx a binded ADF Table component is inserted in the integrated Excel workbook using the ProductTable binding from the Bindings palette.

Figure 5-2 ADF Desktop Integration Components and Bindings

ADF Desktop Integration Components and Bindings

Other ADF Desktop Integration components, such as ADF Button and ADF Label, are inserted from the Components palette, and configured using the Property Inspector and Expression Builder.

5.1.2 Additional Functionality for ADF Desktop Integration Development Tools

After adding the desired components and configuring your work, you may find that you need additional functionality such as changing the appearance of the workbook, and localizing it. Following are links to other functionality that you can use:

5.2 Oracle ADF Tab

You use the Oracle ADF tab for various tasks such as configuring the integrated workbook and worksheets properties, insert Oracle ADF components and edit their properties, run the workbook in test mode, and publish the workbook. The Oracle ADF tab, also shown in Figure 5-3, provides various buttons in design mode.

Figure 5-3 Oracle ADF Tab in Design Mode

Oracle ADF tab in design Mode

You can use Oracle ADF tab buttons to invoke the actions described in Table 5-1.

Table 5-1 Oracle ADF Tab Options

In this group... Click this button... To... Mode when the button is available...

Workbook

Workbook Properties button

Display the Edit Workbook Properties dialog to view and edit integrated Excel workbook properties.

The button is also used to enable ADF Desktop Integration in a non-integrated Excel workbook.

Design

Workbook

Worksheet Properties button

Display the Edit Worksheet Properties dialog to view and edit the current worksheet properties.

Design

Workbook

About ADF Desktop Integration button

Open the About Oracle ADF 11g Desktop Integration dialog that provides version and property information of integrated Excel workbook.

The button is also available in non-integrated Excel workbooks after ADF Desktop Integration is installed.

Design, Test, Runtime

ADF Components

Insert Component button

Display a dropdown list of Oracle ADF components that you can insert in the selected cell.

Design

ADF Components

Edit Component button

Display the property inspector window to view and edit component properties of the selected component.

Design

ADF Components

Delete Component button

Delete the selected component from the Excel worksheet.

Design

ADF Components

Refresh Bindings button
  • Reload the application workspace file (.jws) and project file (.jpr) referenced by the workbook properties of the integrated Excel workbook.

  • Refresh all information from the page definition files used in the active integrated Excel workbook.

Any modifications that you made to the page definition files in the JDeveloper project now become available in the Excel workbook. For more information, see Section 4.3.3, "How to Reload a Page Definition File in an Excel Workbook."

Design

Test

Switch to Test Mode button

Switch the Excel workbook from design mode to test mode. This button is active only when you are in design mode.

Design

Test

Switch to Design Mode button

Switch the Excel workbook from test mode to design mode. This button is active only when you are in test mode.

For more information about switching between design mode and test mode, see Section 13.4, "Testing Your Integrated Excel Workbook."

Test

Test

Validate button

Validate the Excel workbook configuration against ADF Desktop Integration validation rules.

For more information about validating a workbook, see Section 13.3, "Validating the Integrated Excel Workbook Configuration."

Design

Logging

Show or hide Logging Console button

Display a dialog to review the client-side log entries. For more information, see Section C.3.2, "About Client-Side Logging."

Design, Test

Logging

Reload Config button

Reload the ADF Desktop Integration configuration file. For more information, see Section C.3.2, "About Client-Side Logging."

Design, Test

Logging

Set Output Level button

Display the Set Output Level dialog to choose client-side log output level. For more information, see Section C.3.2, "About Client-Side Logging."

Design, Test

Logging

Button to add a listener

Create a new temporary logging listener to act as a client-side log output file. For more information, see Section C.3.2, "About Client-Side Logging."

Design, Test

Publish

Publish Workbook button

Publish the Excel workbook after you complete the integration between the Excel workbook and the Fusion web application.

For more information about publishing an integrated Excel workbook, see Chapter 14, " Deploying Your Integrated Excel Workbook."

Design


Tip:

For quick and easy access, you can add Oracle ADF tab buttons to the Excel Quick Access toolbar.

5.3 ADF Desktop Integration Designer Task Pane

The development tools in ADF Desktop Integration Designer Task Pane are organized in two palettes, the Bindings palette and the Component palette. You use the Bindings palette of ADF Desktop Integration Designer task pane to insert a predefined binding into the integrated Excel workbook. ADF Desktop Integration inserts an Oracle ADF component that references the binding you selected, and prepopulates the properties of the Oracle ADF component with appropriate values. Similarly, you use the use the Components palette to insert an Oracle ADF component in the integrated Excel workbook. Figure 5-4 displays the ADF Desktop Integration Designer task pane.

Figure 5-4 ADF Desktop Integration Designer Task Pane

ADF Desktop Integration task pane

You invoke the ADF Desktop Integration Designer task pane through launcher buttons available in the bottom-right corner of the Workbook and ADF Components group on the Oracle ADF tab, as illustrated in Figure 5-5.

Figure 5-5 ADF Desktop Integration Designer Task Pane Launcher Buttons

ADF Desktop Integration task pane launcher buttons

Table 5-2 lists the view tabs and links that appear in the task pane, provides a brief description of each item.

Table 5-2 Overview of ADF Desktop Integration Designer Task Pane

Task Pane UI Element Description

Workbook Properties

Click to display the Edit Workbook Properties dialog. This dialog enables you to view and edit properties that affect the whole workbook. Examples include properties that reference the directory paths to page definition files, the URL for your Fusion web application, and so on.

Worksheet Properties

Click to display the Edit Worksheet Properties dialog. This dialog enables you to view and edit properties specific to the active worksheet. An example is the file name of the page definition file that you associate with the worksheet.

About

Click to display the About dialog. This dialog provides the version and property information that can be useful when troubleshooting an integrated Excel workbook. For example, it provides information about the underlying Microsoft .NET and Oracle ADF frameworks that support an integrated Excel workbook.


5.4 Using the Bindings Palette

The bindings palette presents the available Oracle ADF bindings that you can insert into the Excel worksheet. The page definition file for the current Excel worksheet determines what Oracle ADF bindings appear in the bindings palette. Figure 5-6 shows a bindings palette populated with Oracle ADF bindings in the ADF Desktop Integration Designer task pane. Note that the bindings palette does not display bindings that an integrated Excel workbook cannot use, so the bindings that appear may differ from those that appear in the page definition file viewed in JDeveloper.

Figure 5-6 Oracle ADF Bindings Palette in the ADF Desktop Integration Designer Task Pane

ADF Bindings Palette in the task pane

You use the bindings palette in design mode to insert a binding. When you attempt to insert a binding, ADF Desktop Integration inserts an Oracle ADF component that references the binding you selected. ADF Desktop Integration also prepopulates the properties of the Oracle ADF component with appropriate values. For example, if you insert a binding, such as the Commit (action) binding illustrated in Figure 5-6, the property inspector for an Oracle ADF Button component appears. This Oracle ADF Button component has values specified for its ClickActionSet that include invoking the Commit action binding.

To insert an Oracle ADF binding, select the cell to anchor the Oracle ADF component that is going to reference the binding in the Excel worksheet, and then insert the binding in one of the following ways:

5.5 Using the Components Palette

The components palette displays the available ADF Desktop Integration components that you can insert into an Excel worksheet. Figure 5-7 shows the components palette as it appears in the ADF Desktop Integration Designer task pane.

Figure 5-7 Oracle ADF Components Palette in the ADF Desktop Integration Designer Task Pane

ADF Components Palette in the task pane

You use the components palette in design mode to insert an Oracle ADF component. First, select the cell to anchor the Oracle ADF component in the Excel worksheet, and then insert the Oracle ADF component in one of the following ways:

In both cases, the Oracle ADF component's property inspector appears. Use the property inspector to specify values for the component before you complete its insertion into the Excel worksheet.

Note:

The ADF Desktop Integration components are also available in the Insert Component dropdown list of Oracle ADF tab.

5.6 Using the Property Inspector

The property inspector is a dialog that enables you to view and edit the properties of Oracle ADF bindings, Oracle ADF components, Excel worksheets, or the Excel workbook. You can open the property inspector in one of the following ways:

The property inspector also appears automatically after you insert an Oracle ADF binding or component into an Excel worksheet. Figure 5-8 shows a property inspector where you can view and edit the properties of an Oracle ADF Button component.

At design time, you can edit key properties of certain Oracle ADF components by editing the Excel cell where the component appears. For example, you can edit the Value property of ADF Label and ADF Input Text components by editing the value displayed in the cell.

Note:

The property inspector does not validate that values you enter for a property or combinations of properties are valid. Invalid values may cause runtime errors. To avoid runtime errors, make sure you specify valid values for properties in the property inspector.

You can display the properties in an alphabetical list or in a list where the properties are grouped by categories such as Behavior, Data, and so on. Table 5-3 describes the buttons that you can use to change how properties display in the property inspector.

Table 5-3 Buttons to Configure Properties Display in Property Inspector

Button Description
Categorized button to display properties by category

Use this button to display the properties according to category.

Button to display properties alphabetically

Use this button to display the properties in an alphabetical list.


In Figure 5-8, the property inspector displays the properties grouped by category.

Figure 5-8 Property Inspector Window for ADF Button Component

Property Inspector Window for an ADF Component

5.7 Using the Binding ID Picker

The binding ID picker is a dialog that enables you to select Oracle ADF bindings at design time to configure the behavior of Oracle ADF components at runtime. You invoke the binding ID picker from the property inspector. The binding ID picker filters the Oracle ADF bindings that appear, based on the type of binding that the Oracle ADF component property accepts. For example, the SuccessActionID property for an ADF Button component supports only action bindings. Therefore, the binding ID picker filters the bindings from the page definition file so that only action bindings appear, as illustrated in Figure 5-9.

Figure 5-9 Binding ID Picker

Binding ID Picker

For more information about ADF Desktop Integration component properties and the bindings they support, see Appendix A, "ADF Desktop Integration Component Properties and Actions."

5.8 Using the Expression Builder

You use the expression builder to write Expression Language, or EL, expressions that configure the behavior of components at runtime in the Excel workbook. You invoke the expression builder from the property inspector of component properties that support EL expressions. For example, the Label property in Figure 5-10 supports EL expressions and, as a result, you can invoke the expression builder to set a value for this property.

You can reference bindings in the EL expressions that you write. Note that the expression builder does not filter bindings. It displays all bindings that the page definition file exposes. See Table 4-1 to identify the types of bindings that each ADF Desktop Integration component supports.

To add an expression in the Expression box, select the item and click Insert Into Expression. You can also double-click the item to add it in the Expression box. Table 5-4 describes the folders available in the expression builder.

Figure 5-10 Expression Builder

Expression Builder

Table 5-4 Expression Builder Folders

Folder Name Description

Bindings

Lists the bindings supported in ADF Desktop Integration from the current worksheet's page definition.

Components

Lists the ADF components available in the current worksheet.

Resources

Lists the resource bundles registered in Workbook.Resources along with the built-in resource bundle _ADFDIres.

Styles

Lists all Excel styles defined in the current workbook. For more information, see Section 9.2, "Working with Styles.".

Workbook

Lists parameters defined in Workbook.Parameters.

Worksheet

Lists the errors expression.

Excel Functions

Lists sample Excel functions that you can use with ADF Desktop Integration. For more information, see Excel's documentation.


For more information about using the expression builder, see Section 9.3, "Applying Styles Dynamically Using EL Expressions." For information about the syntax of EL expressions in ADF Desktop Integration, and guidelines on how you write these expressions, see Appendix B, "ADF Desktop Integration EL Expressions."

5.9 Using the Web Page Picker

Use the web page picker to select a web page from your Fusion web application. At runtime, an Oracle ADF component, for example an Oracle ADF Button component, can invoke the web page that you associate with the Oracle ADF component.

You can invoke the web page picker when you add a Dialog action to an action set in the Action Collector Editor. You use the web page picker to specify a web page for the Page property of the Dialog action, as illustrated in Figure 5-11.

Figure 5-11 Web Page Picker Dialog

Web Page Picker Dialog Box

For more information about displaying web pages in your integrated Excel workbook, see Section 8.4, "Displaying Web Pages from a Fusion Web Application."

5.10 Using the File System Folder Picker

Use the file system folder picker to navigate over the Windows file system and select folders. You use this picker to specify values for the following workbook properties:

The first time you open an Excel workbook the picker appears so that you can set values for the previously listed properties. For more information about opening an Excel workbook for the first time and the properties you set, see Section 4.2.2, "How to Configure a New Integrated Excel Workbook."

Figure 5-12 shows the file system folder picker selecting a value for the ApplicationHomeFolder workbook property.

Figure 5-12 File System Folder Picker

File system folder picker

5.11 Using the Page Definition Picker

Use the page definition picker to select the page definition ID of a page definition file and associate the file with a worksheet. The picker appears the first time that you activate a worksheet in an integrated Excel workbook. It can also be invoked when you attempt to set a value for the worksheet property, PageDefinition, as illustrated in Figure 5-13.

Figure 5-13 Page Definition Picker

Page definition picker

For more information about page definition files, see Section 4.3, "Working with Page Definition Files for an Integrated Excel Workbook."

5.12 Using the Collection Editors

ADF Desktop Integration uses collection editors to manage the properties of elements in a collection. The title that appears in a collection editor's title bar describes what the collection editor enables you to configure. Examples of titles for collection editors include Edit CachedAttributes, Edit Columns, and the Edit Action. These collection editors allow you to configure collections of cached data, table columns in the ADF Table component, and actions in an action set. Figure 5-14 shows the collection editor that configures an action set for the Search button that appears at runtime in the Master Price List module's EditPriceList-DT.xlsx workbook.

Figure 5-14 Collection Editor

Collection Editor

Tip:

Write a description in the Annotation field for each element that you add to the Edit Action dialog. The description you write appears in the Members list view and, depending on the description you write, may be more meaningful than the default entry that ADF Desktop Integration generates.

5.13 Using the Cell Context Menu

When working with ADF components at design-time, you can right-click on a component origin cell to get menu options to edit or delete the component. If you click on a cell other than a component origin, the menu options do not appear. Some keyboards feature a key that invokes the context menu. Using this key, you will see the edit and delete menu options as well. Figure 5-15 shows the context menu options of an ADF Output Text component.

Figure 5-15 Context Menu Options of the ADF Output Text Component

Context Menu Options of the ADF Output Text Component

It is recommended that you use either the keyboard context menu key or the mouse's right-click button during any given session. If you use both the mouse right-click and the context menu key, the menu options may not always appear when expected.