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Tips and tricks from Steve Muench on Oracle ADF Framework and JDeveloper IDE


I am a Product Manager in the Tools Division at Oracle working to ensure our JDeveloper application development environment is the most productive way on the planet to build modern, web-based business applications using industry standard technologies and platforms. I work both with our own internal Oracle Applications division -- who are responsible for producing today's Oracle E-Business Suite and tomorrow's Oracle Fusion Applications -- as well as with hundreds of external customers, to:

  • understand their business requirements for the information systems they need to build
  • translate those requirements into product features that will allow them to meet those requirements with minimal to no custom coding
  • coordinate with our development team to implement these features, with our QA team to test them, and our writers to explain them in the product documentation
  • educate our customers on the ways to get the most out of our product by writing documentation, answering discussion forum questions, authoring a bi-monthly column in Oracle Magazine, presenting at user groups and conferences, publishing examples to learn from, and more...
  • troubleshoot problems customers encounter, assist them in working around the problems temporarily, and help our developers identify the root cause so the problems can be fixed in a future release
  • listen to customer feedback to learn how we can further improve them in the next version.

As a hobby, I collect first-edition books by my favorite author Paul Theroux as well as vintage Art Deco advertising posters.

This is a condensed history of my computer-related career...

  • 1976: My father bought a Sol 20 Terminal Computer from Processor Technology and wrote a program in basic to compute the weekly payroll for the factories that he was running with my grandfather. I earned spending money by using his program to do the payroll for his factories each week, entering the workers' timecard information and printing out their paychecks. I also began learning Basic myself, worked with the Sol's Electric Pencil word processor, and played games like Target, Life, and Wumpus.
  • 1978-1983: Dad bought an Apple II computer, and I learned Applesoft basic on it, in addition to playing lots of games. We ported his payroll program over to the Northstar Basic-compatible language called BAZIC from Micro Mike's, and I kept doing the payroll while going to school. Had fun being a beta tester for some games for Broderbund software. Learned programs like Ashton Tate's DBase and Barney Stone's DB Master. Took a 6502 assembly language course with my dad in night school.
  • 1984-1986: Worked as a teacher both at summer school and a summer computer camp for kids, teaching basic and assembly language. Volunteered to teach kids simple Basic and Logo programming at an elementary school near to my high school on Commodore 64 and Vic-20 computers. Helped out the high school's football coach by being a teacher's aid for his Basic programming course, and ended up doing a lot of the teaching!
  • 1985: Developed a cash flow management application in Borland's Paradox for a commercial real-estate company in San Francisco. Built an order management application for my Dad's T-shirt printing shop using FileMaker Pro on the Macintosh.
  • 1986-1989: While attending the University of California at Berkeley, I worked 20 hours a week on campus at the Haas School of Business Computer Center, helping MBA students use the Macs and PC's in the computer lab. During the same period, I worked another 20 hours a week (or more) at Infoworks, a small systems integrator in San Francisco, building database applications using Borland's Paradox, Informix and Informix 4GL, and an application generator called Fourgen.
  • 1989: Graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a degree in Mathematics.
  • 1990-1992: I worked in Oracle's International Technical Support division, based at Oracle headquarters in Redwood Shores. I worked in the Unix support team and focused on supporting the Oracle database and SQL*Forms tool (versions 2.3 and 3.0 character mode at the time). I also was the country manager for Oracle's Italian subsidiary, helping the Oracle Italy technical support folks find resolutions to issues they weren't able to solve locally.
  • 1992-1994: I worked as a product manager on the SQL*Forms development team helping to get the first bitmapped version of the product out the door, SQL*Forms 4.0. I wrote the specs for Oracle Forms 4.5, the first good graphical version of Oracle Forms for Windows. I wrote the specs for the Forms 5.0 version before moving on.
  • 1994: Published the Oracle Forms Developer's Companion, from Maverick Publications, with Brian Adams and Andrew Yang.
  • 1994-1997: I worked on an object-oriented development environment called Project Sedona that didn't end up shipping. The research we did on this project ended up getting applied when we rewrote everything from scratch in Java for BC4J.
  • 1998: Awarded co-inventor credit for US patent 5760776 for an innovative approach to visually designing application menus which we came up with for the Oracle Forms product several years earlier. 
  • 1998-2001: In parallel with working on JDeveloper and BC4J/ADF, during this time I was heavily involved in evangelizing XML technologies across Oracle. I participated for Oracle on the W3C XSLT working group.
  • 2000: Published Building Oracle XML Applications from O'Reilly. 
  • 2000: While writing my book, I discovered an interesting technique for speeding up the performance of XSLT 1.0 data grouping which others subsequently dubbed (blush!) the Muenchian Method.
  • 1997-present: I've worked on the team that brought Business Components for Java to life and enhanced it as we've evolved it into the Oracle ADF Framework as part of the JDeveloper toolset.
  • 2006: I helped produce the ADF Developer's Guide for Forms/4GL Developers. I wrote chapters 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, added interesting sections to chapters 24, 32, and 33, and wrote appendices C, D, and E.
  • 2006-Present: Working on JDeveloper/ADF 11g release and on making thousands of internal customers successful with internal beta versions of our latest major release as they implement Oracle's Fusion Applications.


A typical day at the office helping get JDev/ADF 11g out the door and internal and external customers be successful with it

Steve Muench working at his home office (Feb 7, 2008)

© Copyright 2009 Steve Muench. Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.
Last update: 3/30/2009; 2:36:27 PM.