ADF offers the Dashboard component for arranging a set of portlets (panel boxes, headers, tabs etc) in a grid format. A good demo is found here: http://jdevadf.oracle.com/adf-richclient-demo/faces/components/panelDashboard.jspx
It is the preferred choice of layout when displaying multiple pieces of information in a page.
In our case we have multiple pages that require this component. However the dashboard component in itself is very limited in functionality.
The demo http://jdevadf.oracle.com/adf-richclient-demo/faces/visualDesigns/dashboard.jspx provides a "richer" dashboard with interface similar to yahoo homepage.
What I have done here is to use the most important features of the above demo and made a generic declarative component out of it. It can be downloaded from here.
The declarative component offers the following features:
1. A simple customizable component. Developer can customize number of portlets displayed, whether side-bar is displayed and ofcourse the content of portlets.
2. Developer only needs to drop the component in his page and add header attributes for only the portlets that need to be displayed.
3. All content can be developed independently as page fragments and then dropped into facets offered by the component.
1. Ability to minimize some or all portlets
2. Ability to re-order portlets.
3. Ability to change portlet size