June 07, 2011, 8:31 AM — Oracle is releasing on Tuesday an upgrade to its JDeveloper Java IDE, making it modular and backing JSF (JavaServer Faces) 2.0 technology for server-side Web UI development.
With JDeveloper 11g Release 2, Oracle is adopting a modular architecture so that developers need only load the required parts of the IDE, thus boosting performance and startup time, said Duncan Mills, Oracle senior director of product management: "We've actually done a complete re-architecture of the IDE itself. We've moved it to an OSGi backbone." The development experience, he said, "is much slicker." Developers can more easily build OSGi-based extensions to the IDE.
Backing for JSF 2.0 and Facelets page componentization technology in the IDE upgrade provides a visual editing environment for enterprise Java Web developers, Oracle said. "[JSF 2.0] adds new componentization models and a simpler component development model," said Mills. JSF 2.0 also enables use of annotations as a way of configuring a Web UI, as opposed to relying on XML configuration files. The IDE features improved support for RESTful Web services and the Apache Maven software project management tool and the Hudson continuous integration server. Oracle recently donated Hudson to the Eclipse Foundation.
Concurrent with upgrading the IDE, Oracle is releasing an upgrade to its Oracle ADF (Application Development Framework), which includes capabilities for hot reload and functions with JDeveloper. "As the developer is changing the code and metadata, that's automatically loaded into the application server," Mills said. An Oracle ADF Faces skin editor makes user interface customization easier via visual editor that leverages Cascading Style Sheets technology, Oracle said.
Although Oracle is known for also backing two other Java IDEs -- the Eclipse IDE and the NetBeans IDE acquired when Oracle bought Sun Microsystems last year -- JDeveloper is geared toward working with existing Oracle technologies, such as Fusion middleware and the Oracle database. Customers can write extensions as modules in Java that will run in the database. "The focus of JDeveloper is very much on that Oracle developer community," Mills said. JDeveloper is offered free but is not open source. Support services are available, as is free community support on the Oracle Technology Network.