The most valuable feature of the product is the fact that I can write once, in my preferred coding language (Java) and deploy to multiple platforms. In the beginning the supported platforms were iOS and Android, but recently Oracle was able to add the Windows platform as well.
Improvements to My Organization
Our Java developers can now build mobile apps for all platforms at once. For us, instead of having to hire iOS, Android and Windows developers, we can use our own pool of Java developers.
Room for Improvement
The first one is re-use. There are some concepts of re-use in MAF however, there could be more, and at a more granular level. Currently one can only re-use complete features, whereas it would be nice to also be able to re-use individual 'taskflows'. Furthermore, better support for UI templating would be a very welcome enhancement. What I'mr referring to here is to have UI templates available that enable us to implement Oracle's ALTA UI patterns easier, and not only ALTA UI look and feel.
Use of Solution
I have been working with Oracle MAF since the very beginning, and even before that with its predecessors. If I recall correctly, my first encounter with Oracle Mobile development frameworks was back in 2010. The Oracle MAF framework was released in Q1 2014, and before that I was able to work with the beta of Oracle MAF.
There have been issues with stability in the past, but in the recent releases this has improved.
Customer Service and Technical Support
For us, being a partner with close contact to Oracle Product Management, there has never been issue with service and support. Also, the Oracle forums are very valuable whenever I need detailed technical information.
Initial setup is neither complex nor straightforward, and the initial setup is described in detail in the developer guide. However, this involves many steps. You have to prepare the development machine for multiple platforms (iOS, Android, Windows) and this takes time. Also, acquiring the appropriate certificates can be times consuming. However, this has nothing to do with the MAF product itself, and one would have this with all mobile development tools.
We did several implementations as an Oracle Partner at our customers. So in this case we are a vendor team. If I look at individual customers I would advise them to start with a dedicated in-house team with support of a vendor or preferred Oracle Partner. This helps the in-house team to get started.
Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing
There has always been a debate on the pricing of the product. People tend to finding it expensive. There are some ways to work with Oracle on that, and one other option is to combine Oracle MAF with Oracle Mobile Cloud Service (MCS). An Oracle MCS license gets you unlimited MAF applications. This is worth considering for every customer.
If you are using other tools from the Oracle stack, and are considering the implementation of mobile solutions, you should definitely consider using Oracle MAF. MAF development is similar to the development of other Oracle Middleware tools/frameworks, thus enabling your existing developer pool to work on the mobile solutions. I would also advice to at least look at Oracle MCS. Oracle MCS can actually help you to open up your enterprise to the mobile landscape, without directly exposing it to the big bad mobile world.
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are an Oracle Platinum Partner.
Jul 21 2016