Mobile applications are gaining momentum these days, and are getting competitive as well with lot of new products and platforms. But what makes mobile development more competitive is clients’ aggressive timelines. Mostly clients want to launch the application in the shortest time interval possible, nobody wants to wait for months to gain proper profit for their business. This explains the need of emergence of Oracle Mobile Application Framework which neither compromises on any feature nor on security and is capable of delivering the product in shortest time possible. Which as personally experienced impressed my client as well. So here I will be unriddling oracle MAF as per what I have learned till now.
On June 2014, Oracle came out with Oracle Mobile Application Framework (MAF).Oracle MAF has a MVC framework which uses declarative components for User interface development. Mobile applications communicate with enterprise systems using web-services. One of the major advantages of using Oracle Mobile Platform is that it enables to extend backend data to a preferred format for communication with mobile applications using standard FMW technologies.
Being a part of development team for a mobile application development for one of our client was a challenging experience. Our client is a shipping based company which provides inland transport by rail for containers. So basically it was shipping consignment. The application offers various functionalities like the tracking of various international as well as domestic containers, finding the freight charges for the domestic as well as international containers, access to the company’s directory which will include the various criteria like search an employee by name, designation, terminal, region etc from mobile devices. And the solution also offers news flash that will display the latest news and important notices across the organization in pdf format.
The application comes with security. Only registered users can login the application by their username and password. Application comes with session out property as well that will logout a user when the application is idle for more than 15 minutes. Users also have an option to logout from the application.
As part of this business requirement, Oracle MAF is used as a frontend for this mobile application and backend web services are exposed through Oracle SOA. Microsoft SQL Server is the backend database for this application. There is one common web service for all the modules and the different operations are exposed for each of the functionalities.
Let us discuss few features of oracle MAF that has highly accelerated the development of mobile development.
Key features of Oracle Mobile Application Framework (MAF):
- Oracle Mobile Application Framework (MAF) supports hybrid-architecture, to develop applications that run both on iOS and Android devices from a single version of source code which has highly accelerated mobile development.
- Oracle MAF focuses on increasing developer’s productivity. Oracle MAF includes a library that includes more than 80 professionally developed components that can be used to create mobile application.
- In Oracle MAF coding of business logic for mobile application is done using Java language, which enables java developers to work on mobile application. It uses standard basic technologies of Javascipt and HTML5 as well.
- Oracle MAF provides a binding layer that simplifies the connection of business services and data services to user interfaces. This method is used for the integration of specific feature of devices like camera, GPS , SMS etc .The access to device feature is provided through open source Apache Cordova platform that is integrated to Oracle MAF container.
- Oracle MAF allows push notifications events we can register an application, receive and reply to notifications from both Apple and Google push servers.
One very important feature includes security which secures the application from data loss and theft. Oracle MAF comes with built in feature of mobile security that limits the access of application in unknown resources. Oracle Mobile Application Framework imposes encryption in the following areas:
- Communication Encryption: Encrypted using SSL/TLS (HTTPS)
- On-device Encryption: Credentials can be kept in an encrypted key store and used for validation when supporting offline authentication.
- SQLite Database Encryption: The SQLite Encryption Extension is included with Oracle MAF.
- Oracle MAF can work both online and offline. Applications are self contained and can run either ways. Application uses a local encrypted SQLite database for data access and storage.
Mobile application framework fulfils the need of developing mobile application in an easier and faster way. It provides declarative and visual experience through integration and development tools.Oracle MAF has surely accelerated the growth of mobile development by all means.