Statement of Direction for Oracle User Productivity Kit (UPK) - December 2013

Executive Summary

Oracle User Productivity Kit (UPK) is an easy-to-use and comprehensive platform for developing, maintaining, and, deploying content. UPK increases user productivity and user adoption with enterprise applications. Project teams can mitigate risk through all phases of a project life-cycle and dramatically reduce the time to deployment by leveraging UPK.

With thousands of organizations and millions of users using the software in 22 languages, UPK has a rather large and prominent customer base. Oracle recognizes this considerable investment in UPK by our customers and partners alike and continues to innovate, develop, as well as support UPK.

This document clarifies Oracle’s strategic intent regarding UPK.

Upcoming Releases and Feature Overview

UPK product roadmap includes major new releases as well as incremental Enablement Service Pack (ESP). This includes updates to address bug fixes, platform upgrades, enterprise application certifications, and customer requested enhancements. The following are some of the features that are currently planned for our upcoming major release:

Conceptual Content – UPK dominates the market in rapidly creating and easily maintaining transactional content for enterprise applications; however, businesses also require seamlessly integrated conceptual content authoring capabilities. The UPK team is hard at work to deliver an enhanced Web Page Editor as well as a built-in Style Sheet Editor to facilitate your advanced authoring needs. Not only will you be able to fine tune document formatting with subscripts, strikethroughs, customizable bullets, and tables, but all of these enhancements will apply to all of your published document outputs and you will be able to easily apply and maintain your formatting by using (and re-using) Style Sheets. Additional enhancements with the translation workflow will simplify your work to create localized versions of the conceptual content.

Screenshot Overlay – You will be able to quickly edit one or more UPK Topic frames in Microsoft PowerPoint by adding images, clip art, shapes, charts, additional text bubbles and callouts. A new layer will be introduced with UPK topic frames to offer authors an improved data masking workflow, more efficient bulk screenshot editing, and increased flexibility for editing and annotating screenshots within UPK topics.

Application Context Search in Developer – Find documents and topics within your UPK library based on an Application Context – you may easily replace screenshots in frames based on your search results, or identify a set of documents/topics that may need specific changes. This is a unique view into your authored content and the possibilities are simply as varied as your business needs!

Enhancements for iPad/iOS – Support for iPad/iOS will be extended to include the fully featured UPK Player outline (with application context-sensitive “applicable” view and full-text search among other navigational elements). The Knowledge Center user interfaces will be similarly touch-friendly. Do It!, Test It!, and Know It? Modes will be available on iPad/iOS. Support for launching content through a Learning Management System (LMS) will also be available.

Record It! Developer Wizard Enhancements – Record It! Developer functionality will be streamlined for rapidly creating and editing topics by Subject Matter Experts (SME) while the advanced development and content management features remain available with the full Developer.

Play Mode Appearance – Newly enhanced UPK Play mode appearances will be extended to Do It! and Test It! modes. See It! mode will be enhanced with an improved user interface, including navigation controls, elapsed time, estimated play time, mute, and volume control (desktop only).

Player Skins – Player UI customization will be streamlined to be more efficient and user-friendly as well as maintainable over releases and upgrades. Authors will be able to create a Player Skin in a single document and choose which skin to use when publishing content. Newly created skins will be maintained and remain available even as the UPK software is upgraded.

In-Application Support Enhancements – The In-Application Support Configuration Utility was completely re-conceptualized to meet your business needs. We understand that setting up in-application support with UPK requires involvement from a cross-functional team of IT, Application Administrators, Content Managers, etc. and the process is usually not linear. The new In-Application Support Configuration Editor will allow various teams to collaborate throughout your content development lifecycle and in most cases the UPK Developer Publishing Wizard will automatically pick up the correct Configuration document for the content being published – making the deployment process extremely efficient. The configuration process will also be optimized for Knowledge Center based content deployment.

General Performance Improvements – There are many bug fixes and performance improvements throughout our next major new release of UPK. Publishing capacity will be optimized to support very large publishing jobs, Profile creation will be significantly faster and it will require less network bandwidth than previous versions. Similar improvements will be made with Document Purge functionality and Knowledge Center.

Oracle’s Strategic Direction for UPK

One of the key driving forces for Oracle is to deliver the broadest set of enterprise-grade cloud solutions – UPK product strategy is certainly aligned with that vision as well. Going forward the plan is to continue to invest in improving our Cloud provisioning, monitoring, and management capabilities – along with enhanced security and authentication options. Another top objective for the UPK team is to make the UPK Player available for your business-users and mobile workforce regardless of devices, operating systems, and browsers. The intent is not only to modernize the underlying technology for the UPK Player but also to revamp the look and feel as well as feature functionally.

Conclusion

Oracle User Productivity Kit is critically important to countless Oracle customers and Oracle will continue to innovate, develop, and support UPK.

UPK is not only paramount to the success of our customers and partners but also to Oracle itself.  As a matter of fact, Oracle as an organization is one of the largest users of the UPK in the world! Internally, Oracle uses UPK extensively for various application training, sales enablement and customer demonstrations, user-adoption for business process rollouts, and to generally improve availability of information.

Many enterprise application product teams within Oracle create pre-built content for sale for application customers using UPK. 

Our partners and customers alike leverage the UPK In-Application Support SDK to embed one the most differentiating and enabling features of UPK in their own enterprise applications.

Other than investing in new and incremental releases, Oracle remains committed to the long-term support of UPK as illustrated in our Life-time Support Policy: Oracle Applications. We hope to remain increasingly valuable to your business with UPK features, innovations, and, strategic business alignments.

Disclaimer

This document in any form, software or printed matter, contains proprietary information that is the exclusive property of Oracle. Your access to and use of this confidential material is subject to the terms and conditions of your Oracle Software License and Service Agreement, which has been executed and with which you agree to comply. This document and information contained herein may not be disclosed, copied, reproduced or distributed to anyone outside Oracle without prior written consent of Oracle. This document is not part of your license agreement nor can it be incorporated into any contractual agreement with Oracle or its subsidiaries or affiliates.

This document is for informational purposes only and is intended solely to assist you in planning for the implementation and upgrade of the product features described. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described in this document remains at the sole discretion of Oracle.

Due to the nature of the product architecture, it may not be possible to safely include all features described in this document without risking significant destabilization of the code.

Comments:

Is there any indication of when these changes will occur and in which version?
Thanks

Posted by Sharyn Mayne on December 17, 2013 at 02:12 PM PST #

As you realize I cannot legally offer a release date but I can say that the Oracle UPK development team is ecstatic to be at a feature complete stage for the next major release! This is our best UPK to date.

Posted by Taimur Mirza on December 18, 2013 at 07:27 PM PST #

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The authors of this blog are members of the UPK product development, management, and marketing teams. On this blog, you'll find UPK news, tips/tricks, upcoming events, and general information on UPK - the easy-to-use, comprehensive content development, deployment, and maintenance platform for increasing project, program, and user productivity.

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