Fusion Applications: Extending the User Interface

By Misha Vaughan

WrenchIf you missed OpenWorld 2011 this year, then you missed a remarkably straight-forward (no tech-stack diagrams!) presentation on Oracle’s vision for how Oracle Fusion Applications can be extended.

Presented by Killian Evers, Kristin Desmond and Ronaldo Viscuso, all from Oracle, the story is about the family of “composers.” These composers are all available today, and provide the ability to easily tailor Fusion Applications, or any application built on Fusion Middleware, to meet your business needs.

Changing applications easily is an area on the mind of every customer who picks up an enterprise application. The customer might say: “Ok, that’s cool, but I need it to look like THIS.”

My key takeaway: There is a family of composers provided by Fusion Middleware, designed for the business systems analyst, that supports the upgrade-safe customizations and extensions of key areas that impact the user interface. This includes business objects, user interfaces, reports, analytics, workflows, and business processes.

How it works: These composers are supported by Fusion Middleware’s Metadata Services (MDS), which provide the ability to store changed metadata separately from the original metadata. So when patches or upgrades are applied, they affect the original metadata. After a patch or upgrade, the changed metadata is reapplied, preserving the changes.

I wanted to find out what the presenters’ take was on what this means for applications customers in detail. So I asked them to spell it out for me.

“If you have an application running on Fusion Middleware,” Kristin Desmond says, “you can use Oracle’s Page Composer to make changes to your user interface to meet your needs.”

“If you have a mixed bag of Fusion as well as pre-Fusion applications, you can use these composers to build an integration, e.g., with EBS, PeopleSoft, Agile, or Siebel components – and go all the way down to restyling the skin,” she adds.

“If you have Fusion Applications, you have access to a much wider set of customizations in the user interface. You can move things around on a dashboard, hide and show things on a dashboard, hide and show fields on a page, make sections on a page viewable based on role, or country. You can add new components, such as a Twitter component.”

This presentation went a long way to helping me understand a key customer issue and Oracle’s perspective on the solution: Tailoring the applications user experience to meet custom business needs.

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Misha Vaughan
Misha Vaughan, Director, Applications User Experience
@mishavaughan on Twitter

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