Just a taste?

Oracle ADF goes shareware with ADF Essentials

Elliot Bentley

A cheaper, cut-down edition of the framework may help it compete with open-source rivals like Spring.

Oracle have released a free version of ADF (Application Development Framework) with a cut-down feature list, known as ADF Essentials. It’s an interesting change in strategy for a product which has, in some form or another, been around for over a decade.

Free “to develop and deploy”, though still far from open source (and requiring a survey to be filled out to download), ADF Essentials seems designed to lower the barriers to entry to using ADF. In an FAQ [PDF], Oracle list included and excluded components (quote edited slightly for readability):

Oracle ADF Essentials includes the following Oracle ADF components: Faces Rich Client Components, Controller, Model and Business Components.

The following functionality is not included in Oracle ADF Essentials, and requires the full Oracle ADF version – Mobile, Desktop Integration, Security, Web service data control, remote taskflows Business Component’s Service Interfaces, Data Controls for BI, Essbase and BAM, Integration with Oracle Fusion Middleware features such as MDS, OPSS, OWSM, Enterprise Manager and MBeans, High Availability and Clustering.

Besides being free, ADF Essentials has another advantage over its commercial brother: it comes with support for GlassFish application server, and an Oracle FAQ states that “from a licensing perspective there are no limitations on deploying on other Java EE server[s]”.

With a wealth of web frameworks now available to choose from – both for Java and other languages – this is a shrewd competitive move from Oracle order to maintain ADF’s relevance.

While some have described the strategy as “freemium”, it’s actually closer to shareware – allow the customer to become comfortable enough with the free product to see value in the paid edition. If successful, could we see other Oracle products go down a similar route?

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