Goodbye Nightmare : Tops and Tricks for creating Layouts
Luc Bors, june 2013, ODTUG KScope 2013 New Orleans
Tips and Tricks for Creating Complex
Layouts with Oracle ADF Faces
Who Am I
• Luc Bors
• Principal Consultant
• AMIS Nieuwegein Netherlands
• Friends of Oracle & Java
• 5 Oracle ACE(D)
• Oracle Partner
Just a Quote…
Let's face it: With ADF Faces rich client, layout ……..
once you are a layout master, all bow before you, but it's more of an art than a
science, and it is often, in fact, way too difficult to achieve what should
(apparently) be a pretty simple.
• Organize (input) components in a form layout
– Aligning labels and fields in
rows and columns
– attribute labelAlignment to
display labels above the fields
• Use the ‘Rows’ attribute
• Use the ‘MaxColumns’ attribute
• Stretches its components to fill available space
– Top and bottom facet can be set to fixed height (or auto)
– Start and end facet can be set to fixed width
– Facets with no content
do not render
• To create resizable panes
– That stretch their content
• panelSplitter has two
facets: first and second
– Content for the panes is
provided in the facets
• Orientation horizontal or vertical
• Can be collapsible
• Position can be fixed
• Can be nested
• Collapse and resize events can be listened to
• The panelAccordion displays one or more collapsible/expandable panes
in a vertically layout
– Multiple panes can be expanded at once if discloseMany=true
• discloseNone=true means
that all panes can be
– Overflow icon is shown
to scroll to panes that
do not fit in the area
– Expanding & Collapsing
panes is a client side
– Accordions can be nested
• The panelTabbed displays one or more tabbed panes
– panelTabbed has position attribute
(tab can be shown at the top,
at the bottom or both)
• The content of a tab pane is
in a showDetailItem
– A tab has attributes for title, icon, disabled,
• panelTabbed can be nested
• Overflow icon and popup are
shown when the tabs do not
fit next to each other
Flowing and Stretching
• Setting Background color can help you
understand what is actually happening.
• Makes you recognize the components at
Be Aware !!
Stretchable ? Stretches ?
PanelStretchLayout YES YES
PanelSplitter YES YES
PanelCollection YES YES
PanelFromLayout NO NO
PanelBorderLayout NO NO
PanelDashBoard YES YES
(Inside a grid)
PanelTabbed YES YES
(StretchChildren = first)
Using the column
• Consider Column Stretching
– none (default): Gives optimal performance
– blank: Inserts an empty blank column that is stretched; use this so that the row’s
background colors will span the entire width of the table
– last: Stretches the last column to fill up any unused space inside the viewport
– column:<id>: Stretches a specified column; use the ID of the column that you want
to stretch (requires that you explicitly set the column’s ID property—the drop-down
list for the property displays all columns whose ID has been set)
– multiple When the "multiple" option is used you can set the widths in the columns
(non-group) to be percentages.
• Can we create a properly aligned form ?
• Having alignment of fields on the left ?
• Having alignment of fields on the right ?
• Having First Name and Last Name in one line ?
• Look at the default layout for such a form…….
• Bring First Name and Last Name into an aggregate Container
– use a panelLabelAndMessage component which is designed specifically for this
purpose of allowing several logical components, or components without their own
label property to be correctly laid out in a panelFormLayout.
• Alignment Components For First Name and Last Name
– By default, the panelLabelAndMessage will lay out its children vertically. In this case
we want the components side-by-side. So simply use a horizontal panelGroupLayout
to align the two fields
Step 3 !
• Remove Labels
– The label is defined by the panelLabelAndMessage.
– set the simple property to “true” on each of the child components.
– also set the for property on the parent panelLabelAndMessage to the relevant child
component id. This will endure that error messages are correctly displayed.
• Ensure Right Alignment
– Components such as the selectOneChoice do not stretch and are controlled by the
size of their data
– You will have to control the size manually using styles.
– The contentStyle property is used to control just the width of the drop down box itself
and therefore is the property to use. Unfortunately getting the exact width, is a matter
of trial and error.
– For precise alignment that can survive zooming by the user, you may have to set
explicit sizes in em’s for all the components in the form, or use the fieldWidth and
LabelWidth properties of the panelFormLayout.
• The panelGridLayout component is a layout container component that
– uses one or more gridRow components to describe the rows of a grid layout
– Each row defines a height and margins.
– Each gridRow uses one or more gridCell components to describe the cells for
columns in that row of the grid layout structure.
– Each cell defines width, margins, column span, row span, horizontal alignment, and
• Work with colors
– Makes it clear what is going on
• Use as little layout containers as possible.
– The pages is smaller and faster
• Reduce the number of components that need to stretch
– The pages are faster
• Use the quick start layouts
– Saves you time
• Start with strechtable outer frame
– Such as…PSL, PSP,
• In there, have the flowing islands.
• Never try to stretch something vertically in a flowing island
– Inconsistent results accross browsers
– Also need to consider the case where you build pagefragments that can be reused in
– Styling only via Styleclass.
• Use the Developerguide or create your own Cheat Sheet !
• Benefit from PanelGridLayout !!!
– 184.108.40.206 or 220.127.116.11+
And do not ….
• Do Not use RAW HTML in the pages
• Do Not use inlinestyle use skinning
• Do Not specify height with %
– Might result in multiple vertical scrollbars
• Do not try to stretch a none stretchable component by setting width =
– Surround with stretchable componenent that also stretches its children
– Or use AFStretchWidth styleClass