Application Demos in UPK
By John Zaums on Jun 14, 2010
Over the years, User Productivity Kit has expanded to include solutions to many project challenges. As of UPK 3.6.1, solutions are provided for pre and post application go-live learning, application testing, system documentation, presentation output, and more.
New in UPK 3.6.1 are additional features that can be used effectively for application demo purposes. This can come in handy when you need to do a demo but don't want to show or can't show the live application. Maybe you're doing a presentation for a group of project stakeholders and want to focus on the business workflow implemented by the application rather than the mechanics of using it. Or possibly, you need to show the application but you're disconnected from any network preventing you from running the live application.
In any of these cases, a presentation aid that represents the live application is what's needed. Previous versions of the UPK topic player would allow you to do this but would always show those UPK user interface elements that help a user learn the application. When you're presenting the narrative live, the UPK bubbles can be a distraction. UPK 3.6.1 provides some new features that allow you to control whether the bubbles display.
There are two ways to hide bubbles in a topic. The first is a topic property that allows you to control bubbles across the entire topic. There are 3 settings for the Show Bubbles topic property. The default setting is Use frame settings which allows you to control whether bubbles display on a frame by frame basis. When you choose Always, the bubbles will always display regardless of the frame setting. The final choice is Never. Choosing Never will hide every bubble in your topic with one setting change. As with Always, choosing Never will ignore the frame setting.
The second way to control the bubbles is at the frame level. First ensure that the topic's Show Bubbles property is set to Use frame settings. Navigate to the frame on which you want to turn off the bubble and click the Display bubble for this frame button to turn off the bubble. When you play the topic, the bubble will no longer be displayed.
Depending on your needs, you might also use another longstanding UPK feature that allows you to control whether the action area displays on a frame. Just click the Action area on/off button to toggle its display.
I've found the frame properties to be useful beyond creating presentation aids. When creating "See It!" only topics for more advanced users, I may hide the bubbles on some of the more straightforward frames. For example, if I have a form where one needs to fill out an address, I may display the first bubble in the sequence and explain what the subsequent steps are doing. I then hide bubbles on the remaining frames which are the more mechanical steps of entering the address.
We'd like to hear your thoughts on this new UPK feature. Use the comments below to tell us how you've used it.
Senior Director, Product Development
Oracle User Productivity Kit