Oracle Enterprise Applications have been available with modern web browser based interfaces for a while now. The web browsers available in smart phones no longer require special markup language such as WML since the processing power of these handsets is quite near to that of a typical personal computer. Modern Mobile devices such as the IPhone, Android Phones, BlackBerry, Windows 8 devices can now render XHTML & HTML quite well. This means you could potentially use your mobile browser to access your favorite enterprise application. While the Mobile browser would render the UI, you might find it difficult to use it due to the formatting & Presentation of the Native UI.
Smart phones offer a lot more than just a powerful web browser, they offer capabilities such as Maps, GPS, Multi touch, pinch zoom, accelerometers, vivid colors, camera with video, support for 3G, 4G networks, cloud storage, NFC, streaming media, tethering, voice based features, multi tasking, messaging, social networking web browsers with support for HTML 5 and many more features.
While the full potential of Enterprise Mobile Apps is yet to be realized, Oracle has published a few of its applications that take advantage of the above capabilities and are available for the IPhone natively. Here are some of them
Oracle Business Approvals for Managers: Offers a highly intuitive user interface built as a native mobile application to conveniently access pending actions related to expenses, purchase requisitions, HR vacancies and job offers. You can even view BI reports related to the worklist actions. Works with Oracle E-Business Suite
Oracle Mobile Sales Assistant: CRM application that provides real-time, secure access to the information your sales organization needs, complete frequent tasks, collaborate with colleagues and customers. Works with Oracle CRM
Oracle Mobile Sales Forecast: Designed specifically for the mobile business user to view key opportunities. Works with Oracle CRM on demand
Oracle iReceipts : Part of Oracle PeopleSoft Expenses, which allows users to create and submit expense lines for cash transactions in real-time. Works with Oracle PeopleSoft expenses
Now, we have seen some mobile Apps that Oracle has published, I am sure you are intrigued as to how develop your own clients for the use-cases that you deem most fit. For that Oracle has ADF Mobile
You could develop Mobile Applications with the SDK available with the smart phone platforms!, but you'd really have to be a mobile ninja developer to develop apps with the rich user experience like the ones above. The challenges really multiply when you have to support multiple mobile devices. ADF Mobile framework is really handy to meet this challenge
ADF Mobile can in be used to
- Develop Apps for the Mobile browser : An application built with ADF Mobile framework installs on a smart device, renders user interface via HTML5, and has access to device services. This means the programming model is primarily web-based, which offers consistency with other enterprise applications as well as easier migration to new platforms.
- Develop Apps for the Mobile Client (Native Apps): These applications have access to device services, enabling a richer experience for users than a browser alone can offer. ADF mobile enables rapid and declarative development of rich, on-device mobile applications. Developers only need to write an application once and then they can deploy the same application across multiple leading smart phone platforms.
Oracle SOA Suite
Although the Mobile users are using the smart phone apps, and actual transactions are being executed in the underlying app, there is lot of technical wizardry that is going under the surface. All of this key technical components to make
1. WebService calls
3. Intercepting Webservice calls and adding security credentials to the request
4. Invoking the services of the enterprise application
5. Integrating with the Enterprise Application via the Adapter
is all being implemented at the SOA infrastructure layer.
As you can see from the above diagram. The key pre-requisites to mobile enable an Enterprise application are
- The core enterprise application
- Oracle SOA Suite
- ADF Mobile