Thursday, November 30, 2006

Tips for using CVS with JDeveloper

Server: Linux OS, CVS Version 1.11.1p1
Client: Windows XP, JDeveloper using ADF BC / Faces
Other tools (non-mandatory but good to have), PuTTy, PAgent, PGen PSftp

Overview of the Setup Process
Create a generic user to own the CVS Repositry and a group which all the CVS users will belong. Create a user for each developer and add them to the same group.
To create a server repository as the generic user the command is:
cvs -d /oracle/cvs/CVSROOT init

JDeveloper uses a private public key pair and SSH2 (other protocols available) to connect to the CVS. The key pair is generated in JDeveloper and the public key has to be manually added to the users authorized_keys file in the .ssh directory within the users home directory. The CVSROOT is the root directory of the CVS repository which is created by the CVS owner mentioned above.

Key Points About Using JDeveloper with CVS
Using JDeveloper with a CVS will break dependencies within the project which are normally enforced by JDeveloper in single user mode. When updating your project from the CVS the dependencies between objects are not enforced resulting in objects becoming out of sync. For instance a standard ADF BC View Object may consist of two files, its XML definition and View implementation file. It will also be referenced by one or more Application Module(s) and possibly a Viewlink. To prevent missing references and broken dependencies all the referenced / referencing objects must be included when committing and updating the CVS.
Open and close the project if there are dependency errors that do not seem to be correct.
CVS does not implement locking, it is the developers responsibility to make sure that the files they wish to work on are up to date. If two developers have worked on a file simultaneously a merge will be required when synchronising the CVS.

How do I know if my source is up to date with the CVS?
The key to getting the CVS JDev integration working properly is using the Pending Changes window effectively. Within this window are three tabs, Outgoing, Incoming and Candidates. Outgoing contains changed items which are not up to date with the CVS. Incoming displays items are new or the local copy is out of date with the CVS. Candidates are files not yet checked in with the CVS. The most important tab in the Pending Changes window is the Incoming Tab. Watch this one with care as incoming changes are NOT reflected in the Application Navigator unlike other file statuses. New files are not shown in the Application Navigator because they are not in the project but may be referenced by existing objects updated from the CVS. Using the Incoming tab is key to keeping the project in sync.

Minimising Pain and Suffering with CVS
Develop your model first and view second. If the model is not complete before development of the user interface it is worth finalising it first. The reason being is that the user interface (JSP's, pageDef's and Databindings.cpx) are a lot easier to fix than the data model when the project gets out of date and or needs to be merged. Most people will do this anyway, but it not always the case that the model is completed first.
Commit all changes regularly and especially before leaving at the end of the day. In the morning check the Incoming tab and update as necessary.
Occasionally perform a full checkout of your project from the CVS. This will cause any synchronisation issues to come to the surface and recover any missing files from backup if necessary.
Have the Li/Unix administrator include the CVS in the server backups.

Project Files and the CVS
The project JPR files often report conflicts which cannot be resolved by merging or committing changes. Fortunately JDeveloper is smart enough to pick up any stray/new files and add them to the project. Close and open the project and if all files are present force an unchanged commit of the project JPR file.

Bugs and Annoyances
View link files are continually 'touched' when the AM is updated resulting in them being in changed status continually even though they are not out of date with the CVS. This also clutters the Outgoing tab which is a pain if some of them are legitimately updated.
JDeveloper occasionally hangs when performing some CVS actions from the navigator. CVS actions issued from the Pending Changes window seem to be more reliable.
Occasionally some files are not recognised as an Object (such as a VO) and are displayed as their individual files in the Application Navigator. If this happens close and reopen your project and the object will reappear and its supporting files will be attached.

Further Reading
Oracle® Application Development Framework Developer’s Guide For Forms/4GL Developers (chapter 32 Working Productively in Teams) This manual can be downloaded from


stairs said...

I have been trying to create a branch the way I used to in JDev 9, but I haven't been able to do so! There is no "creat branch tag" checkbox, and the help doesn't say a thing about how to create branches.

If you have any ideas on that, please let me know! Great blog by the way!

Brenden Anstey said...

sorry, I've not used branching before with JDev and CVS and there is no mention of it in the ADF Developers guide. You could try posting on the OTN JDev forums if you haven't already.

Pablo said...

I've checked on the Oracle JDev Forum, and there is no such functionality for JDev 10 - and no plans of incorporating it either! The only thing one can do is do it through console-mode. This is just really bad...