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The perennial question - OAF or ADF?

OAF (Oracle Application Framework) or ADF (Application Development Framework)? This is one of the most common questions from customers when we discuss the extension or customization strategy. The answer is very context specific and depends on the solution that needs to be developed.

 If we are talking about a solution that does not involve Oracle EBS (E-Business Suite) then the answer is probably ADF.

If the solution involves EBS, then we need to understand how much of the data involved comes from EBS, how much of the solution is dependent on the EBS configuration such as a user's responsibility, profile settings, etc and if we want an UI other than what we get in EBS.

The table below shows a comparative study of OAF and ADF and  the key considerations that should go into selecting the appropriate technology for our needs

Consideration

Advantage OAF

Advantage ADF

Data Involved

If the solution is an extension of EBS reading from EBS tables and inserting/updating them.

If the solution is only reading or writing less data from EBS which is relatively minor when compared to its overall functionality.

Access and control

Needs to use the users and responsibility from EBS to control functionality

Not dependent on EBS user access and control and needs its own

User Interface (UI)

Need the same UI experience as that of EBS

Need a different UI experience

EBS Application Object Libraries (AOL)

Solution heavily dependency on the EBS AOL such as profiles, value sets, lookups, concurrent programs, attachments, etc

Not much use of EBS AOL

 

For example, if we want to develop a custom solution to have payable's clerk to key in invoices that has validations against the PO, customer's data within EBS and the invoices need to be created in Oracle Payables, then OAF would be appropriate

If we want to develop a standalone custom solution to have payable's clerk to key in invoices that has validations against the PO, customer's data NOT from EBS or may be only customer data comes from EBS and the invoices needs to be created in a non-EBS application, then ADF would be appropriate

There is a perception that all new solutions in EBS needs to be built using ADF as this will make it easier during Cloud migration down the line. This is so not true. If the solution is considered part of EBS, then it has to be OAF and not ADF.

The architects of the Oracle forms era will probably understand this analogy the best- use of ADF is like developing a standalone application using Oracle developer suite using core forms and use of OAF is like using TEMPLATE.fmb and developing using the EBS standards. Both have powerful capabilities, the key is to understand when to use which!

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