Oracle brings cross platform Java dev to mobile devices

The Oracle ADF Mobile extension allows developers to write one program that can run on both Apple and Android devices

Oracle is augmenting its Oracle Application Development Framework (ADF) to allow developers to create mobile applications for Apple and Android devices.

The advantage the newly released ADF Mobile will offer is that a developer can write an application once and have it run with no modification on either the Apple iOS on Android.

"You don't have to learn different languages to deploy on different platforms," said Bill Pataky, Oracle vice president of product management. "We abstracted away the differences of the devices and paneled them in the framework."

This extension to ADF probably wouldn't be suitable for the weekend developer hoping to make the next version of "Angry Birds," Pataky said. Instead, this product is suited for helping developers extend their ADF and non-ADF enterprise Java applications to mobile platforms. "Any Web application, including a website, can be integrated into the mobile application," he said.

ADF Mobile provides the tools to build what Oracle calls a hybrid development architecture, one that combines open Web technologies such as HTML5 and JavaScript, and Java enterprise tools. Each application created in ADF Mobile will be embedded with a lightweight Java Virtual Machine (JVM) to run the Java code, which generates content that is passed to a Web view or to an HTML page.

The reason for bundling a lightweight, or headless, JVM in each application is that Apple will not allow shared runtime environments on iOS, Pataky said. The additional overhead that the embedded JVM adds to each application would be minimal, he promised.

ADF Mobile runs on Oracle's JDeveloper IDE (integrated developer environment), and any applications built with the framework will need to communicate through Oracle's WebLogic application server.

Oracle ADF is a Java Enterprise Edition (JEE) framework based on the Model View Controller (MVC) architecture. It provides code to run many commonly used infrastructure routines, eliminating the work needed to write these functions by scratch. ADF Mobile will also allow developers to take full advantage of the security features in ADF.

Pataky did not reveal a release schedule for how often Oracle would update ADF Mobile going forward, but he said the releases should occur pretty frequently given how often iOS and Android themselves get updated. The company will consider adding support in future editions for additional mobile platforms, such as the BlackBerry and the Windows Phone.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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