I had a chance at this year's ODTUG conference to throw an idea out there. It goes against the grain, but sometimes opposite ideas stir useful discussion.
From the ADF EMG, the OTN forums, user group conferences, and more, we often hear the statement "set the ADF whale free!" (okay, "whale" is my word, but it has a certain ring to it) The going idea is if the whole ADF stack was free, or at least there was a free "nobbled" version, it would assist the adoption of ADF because developers like free stuff and they would naturally start using it.
Fair enough, it's a good idea, free is good, at least, it's good for the consumer. No argument there on my part.
By the way, for the uninitiated, the Oracle JDeveloper IDE is free to use, while ADF the major JEE web framework supplied with JDeveloper, is (to coin the right phrase) "a no cost option" on OAS and the contemporary WLS platform. "No cost option" means you don't pay for it directly, instead you pay for it through your OAS/WLS license as a "bonus". This is something I've discussed before.
Anyway, what developers want is for ADF to be free. Agreed?
Yet, would that necessarily help the uptake of ADF?
Huh, what? We're talking about ADF being free aren't we?
Um, well, I've tricked you, you already agree with me. Look back and see what I said. To quote with my emphasis: "if the whole ADF stack was free ..... it would ASSIST THE ADOPTION of ADF".
Okay, so we're also talking about ADF adoption as well, not just about ADF being free.
So for sake of discussion, let's take this idea of "ADF adoption" on board, and let's put "make ADF free" aside for the moment. Further to this, let's discuss something I've noticed waaaaaaaaaay in the outback of Australia, far away from Oracle HQ, that may change your mind on how to drive ADF adoption.
When you work away from OTN, the forums, the user group conferences, and you start working with enterprise customers using Oracle, the customers' main interface to Oracle and technology is their management talking to Oracle salesmen in your local region (Australia being my case), the salesmen trying to push Oracle technologies. (And I should also comment that most of us know the emphasis Oracle puts on salesmen via Larry's recent announcements of a huge Sun hiring spree for new salesmen, while sacking technical staff)
So the 2 parts of the equation on Oracle software adoption are "management", and "Oracle salesmen".
As we know management has a large influence on the adoption of a specific technology into most enterprises. We can't discount developers in this equation, but managers are surely the biggest part.
And as we know an Oracle salesmen's job is to "sell" Oracle technology to management though all sorts of techniques. And what's the driver for Oracle sales to "SELL" something? Kind of obvious isn't it. Something that has monetary value. And we also know that most salesmen don't work for wages alone, they work for wages and commission. (okay, that's a lot of "ands", we're running with logical A-B-C progression here)
So maybe at this point our question on ADF adoption has changed. Will setting ADF free give any reason for an Oracle salesmen to "->SELL<-" ADF?
A: The going answer has to be no. They have no real reason as it's a "no cost option" on OAS/WLS that makes them no direct commission.
And before you scoff at this idea, can you really? Think about most salesmen you know. What's priority number 1 to them? Making money for themselves or doing the best for their products/employer/customers/whatever.
You know the answer to that.
So, how do we get Oracle salesmen to sell ADF.
You know it.
Oracle needs to charge directly for ADF (or maybe potentially the IDE as part and parcel).
Then, and only then will the salesmen start making commission.
And then they'll start pushing ADF along with that $1mill Exadata server to customers.
And then management will wonder what they've bought, and start pushing ADF onto their developers.
And then, well, you get it.
Free is good.
Money is better.
Maybe ADF should be a "cost option".