In Oracle Forms, the data is made visible to the screen via a database table or a database view or a synonym or a stored procedure.
In other words, Oracle Forms simply can show the data in the screen via a database object.
However ADF is much more powerful. In ADF Fusion Apps, a database table/view etc can be of course exposed to the User Interface screen via BC4J view object.
However in order to use the view object in the screen, that view object must be registered as a Data Control. ADF registers the view objects as a data control automatically for you.
However, ADF also allows you to register any custom java class that you may develop as a data control.
The image below shows that the view objects are automatically registered as a data control.
In other words, the data control acts as a broker for the User Interface’s interaction with the data.