Tuesday Jan 13, 2015

More Power to the IT User: Release 9 Applications Cloud Customization and Extensibility

By Sarah Smart, Oracle Applications User Experience

Oracle’s customers need to be able to extend and customize its Applications Cloud easily, and Oracle remains committed to delivering that in Release 9. This release expands Release 7 and 8’s capabilities to allow administrators to take Oracle applications beyond the box without commissioning a major IT project. It places the most relevant tools in the hands of the people who use them most often. Here’s a look at how Release 9 improves Oracle Applications’ customization and extensibility while preserving the user experience throughout.

Simple Modifications in the Sandbox


Starting in Release 9, all edits made using the Settings Structure tab require an active Sandbox, which provides the ability and security to test and validate changes before publishing them for users and protects customers’ investment in their UI. Re-ordering, renaming, and otherwise editing headers and icons on the home page are intuitive and simple, and an employee in IT has a place to try out the changes before deploying them.

Making edits using the Settings Structure tab: After activating your Sandbox, use drag and drop to set up the home page and the names of sub-tabs so it best suits your users.


Expanded Capabilities


The UI Text Editor has been expanded with regard to what text users can edit and how they can use search for it. Now IT users can search and replace keywords to customize UI text across user interface screens, OTBI (Oracle Transactional Business Intelligence) report definitions, Enterprise Scheduler, and Global Menu Labels.

Navigation for UI text customization

Application Composer has also been updated for Sales Cloud Release 9 to continue promoting consistency and ease of adoption. Have you been wanting to add your own custom pages easily?  Now users can effortlessly create new pages that fit right in with the simplified UI. The Sales Cloud Application Composer even offers a set of ad-hoc icons that match the existing visual design to help customers maintain a quality experience.


Creating a new page in CRM Application Composer: This job is easy using the Simplified Pages tab. You can also add your own sub-tabs and manipulate the fields independently among shared objects.


Icons in Application Composer: When you change an icon here, you only need to do it once; it updates automatically for all UIs and devices.

Smoother Access to Additional Information


In Release 9, system administrators and content managers are able to edit both Getting Started and Help topics to help with employee onboarding or custom training. In Getting Started, admins can add or edit text, insert links, and even include videos.


Editing Getting Started: Choose up to five key features, embedded videos, images, and/or paragraphs of text about your own content or a feature to show up here.

The Customizing Help feature lets the most knowledgeable content managers maintain the topics most relevant to their teams with just one click. Everything entered into a Help topic becomes searchable, so users have more options for finding what they need.

Creating Help: Make a topic active or inactive, edit its text, rearrange existing topics, and drill down as needed for more levels of customization.


To Learn More

Read about the Release 9 Sandboxes
Learn how to customize the look of the simplified UI
Read about the UI Text Editor

Tuesday Oct 28, 2014

Meet the OAUX team on the road! Next stop: London!

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

If you missed meeting up with the Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) team at Oracle OpenWorld 2014 this year, you still have a chance to connect with us. The first stop on our regional update tour is London, during the first week of December.

The goal for the visit is to update Oracle Applications Cloud partners, as well as a few select customers, on the Oracle Applications Cloud strategy and roadmap. Oracle is continuing to invest in moving the user experience forward, and by spending a couple of hours with us at this event, you will find out what to start thinking about for your own organization down the road.

Jeremy & Dionne
Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley), Oracle Applications User Experience vice president, talks with Dionne Rodrigues, senior client executive, of Oracle, about Oracle’s cloud user experience strategy for Oracle HCM Cloud at the OAUX Exchange during Oracle OpenWorld.

What:
Oracle is hosting a series of executive briefing events, each two hours long, for director-level and above Oracle partners and Oracle customers located in the UK, Ireland, and Northwestern Europe. These events will focus on the Oracle Applications Cloud User Experience strategy for HCM Cloud, Sales Cloud, ERP Cloud, extensibility, and emerging technologies.



Kristin, Killian
Oracle employees Kristin Desmond, from left, and Killian Evers talk about the next generation of the Oracle Sales Cloud user experience being shown during the OAUX Exchange, held during Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco in September.

Holger, Ray, Jeremy, Misha
Holger Mueller (@holgermu), left, and Ray Wang (@rwang0), both analysts with of Constellation Research, at the OAUX Exchange, with Oracle Applications User Experience VP Jeremy Ashley, far right, and Director Misha Vaughan (@mishavaughan), center right.

Who:

  • The briefings are for Oracle partners, ideally director level and above, in the UK, Ireland, and Northwestern Europe for Oracle’s HCM Cloud, Sales Cloud, and ERP Cloud.
  • Select Oracle Applications Cloud customers, ideally director level and above, in the UK, Ireland, and Northwestern Europe are also invited to attend briefings for Oracle’s HCM Cloud, Sales Cloud, and ERP Cloud.
  • All attendees will need to be under non-disclosure.

Why:

Our team would like to share strategy and roadmap on Oracle's ongoing investment in its cloud user experiences for applications, as well as to collect feedback and perspectives from our partners and customers.


When:

Maximum of 30 attendees for each session.

  • Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014 – For Customers
    • 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
    • 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014 – For Partners
    • 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
    • 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.

  • Friday, Dec. 5, 2014 – For Partners
    • 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
    • 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.

Location:  


Oracle London, One South Place, London EC2M 2RB. 
Waterloo conference room

Agenda:
Jeremy Ashley, VP of the Oracle Applications User Experience team, will listen and respond to the issues that are top of mind for attendees around user experience, as well as share the big-picture trends Oracle is paying attention to, and where Oracle is doing research and development from an enterprise software perspective.

Attendees will also have an opportunity to engage with the OAUX team, talk to the experts, and try for themselves the forward-looking user experiences for Oracle Sales Cloud, Oracle HCM Cloud, and Oracle ERP Cloud. It’s a great way for us to get direct feedback about our investment approach.

Attendees will also have the chance to take a deeper dive into the user experience plans for Oracle Applications Cloud Extensibility and Paas4SaaS.

Finally, we will be bringing along representatives from our Emerging Technologies team to demonstrate and discuss what we think about new technologies such as wearables and beacons for the enterprise space.

Register your interest for the event.



Friday Aug 15, 2014

See the latest Applications Cloud user experiences at Oracle OpenWorld 2014

By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience

wide shot of crowd training

OAUX Day:
Oracle Applications Cloud User Experience Strategy & Roadmap
.
This event is for partners, Oracle sales, and customers who are passionate about Oracle’s commitment to the ongoing user experience investment in Oracle’s Applications Cloud. If you want to see where we are going firsthand, contact the Applications UX team to attend this special event, scheduled the week before Oracle OpenWorld.

All attendees must be approved to attend and have signed Oracle’s non-disclosure agreement.

Register HERE.

Date and time:
8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014
Location: Oracle Conference Center, Redwood City, Calif.




jeremy presenting

Oracle Applications Cloud User Experience Partner & Sales Briefing
This event is for Oracle Applications partners and Oracle sales who want to find out what’s up with release 9 user experience highlights for: Oracle Sales Cloud, Oracle HCM Cloud, cloud extensibility, and Paas4SaaS. It will be held the day before Oracle OpenWorld kicks off.

All attendees must be approved to attend.

Register HERE.

Date and time:
10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014
Location: Intercontinental Hotel, 888 Howard Street, San Francisco, Calif. , in the Telegraph Hill room.



george secret chamber

Oracle OpenWorld 2014 OAUX Applications Cloud Exchange.
This daylong, demo-intensive event is for Oracle customers, partners, and sales representatives who want to see what the future of Oracle’s cloud user experiences will look like. Attendees will also see what’s cooking in Oracle’s research and development kitchen – concepts that aren’t products … yet.

All attendees must be approved to attend and have signed Oracle’s non-disclosure agreement.

Register HERE.

Date and time:
  1 - 4 p.m. and 6 - 8:00 p.m. Monday, Sept. 29, 2014
Location: Intercontinental Hotel, 888 Howard Street, San Francisco, Calif., on the Spa Terrace.

Saturday Sep 22, 2012

Find the best OpenWorld sessions for learning about UX highlights

By Kathy Miedema, Oracle Applications User Experience 

vox image

Have you clicked through the Oracle OpenWorld 2012 catalog? It’s amazingly dense, as usual. But one thing we noticed this year is that nearly half of the sessions mention some component of user experience, which is a sea change in our world. It means that more people understand, appreciate, and desire an effective user experience, and it also means that Oracle’s investment in its next-generation applications user experience, such as Oracle Fusion Applications, is increasingly apparent and interesting to its customers.

So how do you choose the user experience sessions that make the most sense for you and your organization? Read our list to find out which sessions we think offer the most value for those interested in finding out more about the Oracle Applications user experience.

If you’re interested in Oracle’s strategy for its user experience:

  • CON9438: Oracle Fusion Applications: Transforming Insight into Action
    10:15 - 11:15 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2; Moscone West – 2007
  • CON9467: Oracle’s Roadmap to a Simple, Modern User Experience
    3:30 - 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3; Moscone West - 3002/3004
  • CON8718: Oracle Fusion Applications: Customizing and Extending with Oracle Composers
    11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4; Moscone West – 2008
  • GEN9663: General Session: A Panel of Masterminds—Where Are Oracle Applications Headed?
    1:45 - 2:45 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1; Moscone North - Hall D

If you’re interested in PeopleSoft/PeopleTools:

  • GEN8928: General Session: PeopleSoft Update and Product Roadmap
    3:15 - 4:15 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1; Moscone West - 3002/3004
  • CON9183: PeopleSoft PeopleTools Technology Roadmap
    4:45 - 5:45 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1; Moscone West - 3002/3004
  • CON8932: New Functional PeopleSoft PeopleTools Capabilities for the Line-of-Business User
    5:00 - 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2; Moscone West – 3007

If you’re interested in E-Business Suite:

  • GEN8474: General Session: Oracle E-Business Suite—Strategy, Update, and Roadmap
    12:15 - 1:15 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1; Moscone West - 2002/2004
  • CON9026: Latest Oracle E-Business Suite 12.1 User Interface and Usability Enhancements
    1:15 - 2:15 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2; Moscone West – 2016

If you’re interested in Siebel:

  • CON9700: Siebel CRM Overview, Strategy, and Roadmap
    12:15 - 1:15 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1; Moscone West – 2009
  • CON9703: User Interface Innovations with the New Siebel “Open UI”
    10:15 - 11:15 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2; Moscone West – 2009

If you’re interested in JD Edwards EnterpriseOne:

  • HOL10452: JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 9.1 User Interface Changes
    10:15 - 11:15 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3; Marriott Marquis - Nob Hill AB
  • CON9160: Showcase of the JD Edwards EnterpriseOne User Experience
    1:15 - 2:15 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3; InterContinental - Grand Ballroom B
  • CON9159: Euphoria with the JD Edwards EnterpriseOne User Experience
    11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3; InterContinental - Grand Ballroom B

If you’re interested in Oracle Fusion Applications user experience design patterns:

Functional design patterns that helped create the Oracle Fusion Applications user experience are now available. Learn more about these new, reusable usability solutions and best-practices at the Oracle JDeveloper and Oracle ADF demopods during Oracle OpenWorld 2012. Or visit the OTN Lounge between 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 3, to talk to Ultan O'Broin from the Oracle Applications User Experience team.   

  • Demopod location: Moscone Center, South Exhibition Hall Level 1, S-207
  • OTN (Oracle Technology Network) Lounge: Howard Street tent

On the demogrounds:

Head to the demogrounds to see new demos from the Applications User Experience team, including the new look for Fusion Applications and what we’re building for mobile platforms. Take a spin on our eye tracker, a very cool tool that we use to research the usability of a particular design. Visit the Usable Apps OpenWorld page to find out where our demopods will be located.

lab photo
Photo by Martin Taylor, Oracle Applications User Experience
A tour takes place in one of the usability labs at Oracle’s headquarters in Redwood Shores, Calif.

At our labs, on-site and at HQ:

We are also recruiting participants for our on-site lab, in which we gather feedback on new user experience designs, and taking reservations for a charter bus that will bring you to Oracle headquarters for a lab tour Thursday, Oct. 4, or Friday, Oct. 5. Tours leave at 10 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. from the Moscone Center in San Francisco. You’ll see more of our newest designs at the lab tour, and some of our research tools in action.

For more information on any OpenWorld sessions, check the content catalog, also available at www.oracle.com/openworld. For information on Applications User Experience (Apps UX) sessions and activities, go to the Usable Apps OpenWorld page.


Thursday Jun 21, 2012

Tailoring the Oracle Fusion Applications User Interface with Oracle Composer

By Killian Evers, Oracle Applications User Experience

Changing the user interface (UI) is one of the most common modifications customers perform to Oracle Fusion Applications. Typically, customers add or remove a field based on their needs. Oracle makes the process of tailoring easier for customers, and reduces the burden for their IT staff, which you can read about on the Usable Apps website or in an earlier VoX post.

This is the first in a series of posts that will talk about the tools that Oracle has provided for tailoring with its family of composers. These tools are designed for business systems analysts, and they allow employees other than IT staff to make changes in an upgrade-safe and patch-friendly manner.

Let’s take a deep dive into one of these composers, the Oracle Composer.

Oracle Composer allows business users to modify existing UIs after they have been deployed and are in use. It is an integral component of our SaaS offering. Using Oracle Composer, users can control:
    •    Who sees the changes
    •    When the changes are made
    •    What changes are made

Change for me, change for you, change for all of you

One of the most powerful aspects of Oracle Composer is its flexibility. Oracle uses Oracle Composer to make changes for a user or group of users – those who see the changes. A user of Oracle Fusion Applications can make changes to the user interface at runtime via Oracle Composer, and these changes will remain every time they log into the system. For example, they can rearrange certain objects on a page, add and remove designated content, and save queries.

Business systems analysts can make changes to Oracle Fusion Application UIs for groups of users or all users. Oracle’s Fusion Middleware Metadata Services (MDS) stores these changes and retrieves them at runtime, merging customizations with the base metadata and revealing the final experience to the end user.

A tailored application can have multiple customization layers, and some layers can be specific to certain Fusion Applications. Some examples of customization layers are: site, organization, country, or role.

Customization layers are applied in a specific order of precedence on top of the base application metadata.


This image illustrates how customization layers are applied.

What time is it?

Users make changes to UIs at design time, runtime, and design time at runtime. Design time changes are typically made by application developers using an integrated development environment, or IDE, such as Oracle JDeveloper. Once made, these changes are then deployed to managed servers by application administrators.

Oracle Composer covers the other two areas: Runtime changes and design time at runtime changes. When we say users are making changes at runtime, we mean that the changes are made within the running application and take effect immediately in the running application. A prime example of this ability is users who make changes to their running application that only affect the UIs they see.

What is new with Oracle Composer is the last area: Design time at runtime.  A business systems analyst can make changes to the UIs at runtime but does not have to make those changes immediately to the application. These changes are stored as metadata, separate from the base application definitions. Customizations made at runtime can be saved in a sandbox so that the changes can be isolated and validated before being published into an environment, without the need to redeploy the application.

What can I do?

Oracle Composer can be run in one of two modes. Depending on which mode is chosen, you may have different capabilities available for changing the UIs. The first mode is view mode, the most common default mode for most pages. This is the mode that is used for personalizations or user customizations. Users can access this mode via the Personalization link (see below) in the global region on Oracle Fusion Applications pages. In this mode, you can rearrange components on a page with drag-and-drop, collapse or expand components, add approved external content, and change the overall layout of a page. However, all of the changes made this way are exclusive to that particular user.



The second mode, edit mode, is typically made available to select users with access privileges to edit page content. We call these folks business systems analysts. This mode is used to make UI changes for groups of users. Users with appropriate privileges can access the edit mode of Oracle Composer via the Administration menu (see below) in the global region on Oracle Fusion Applications pages. In edit mode, users can also add components, delete components, and edit component properties.



While in edit mode in Oracle Composer, there are two views that assist the business systems analyst with making UI changes: Design View and Source View (see below).



Design View, the default view, is a WYSIWYG rendering of the page and its content. The business systems analyst can perform these actions:

  • Add content – including custom content like a portlet displaying news or stock quotes, or predefined content delivered from Oracle Fusion Applications (including ADF components and task flows)
  • Rearrange content – performed via drag-and-drop on the page or by using the actions menu of a component or portlet to move content around
  • Edit component properties and parameters – for specific components, control the visual properties such as text or display labels, or parameters such as RSS feeds
  • Hide or show components – hidden components can be re-shown
  • Delete components
  • Change page layout – users can select from eight pre-defined layouts
  • Edit page properties – create or edit a page’s parameters and display properties
  • Reset page customizations – remove edits made to the page in the current layer and/or reset the page to a previous state.

Detailed information on each of these capabilities and the additional actions not covered in the list above can be found in the Oracle® Fusion Middleware Developer's Guide for Oracle WebCenter.


This image shows what the screen looks like in Design View.

Source View, the second option in the edit mode of Oracle Composer, provides a WYSIWYG and a hierarchical rendering of page components in a component navigator. In Source View, users can access and modify properties of components that are not otherwise selectable in Design View. For example, many ADF Faces components can be edited only in Source View. Users can also edit components within a task flow.


This image shows what the screen looks like in Source View.

Detailed information on Source View can be found in the Oracle® Fusion Middleware Developer's Guide for Oracle WebCenter.
Oracle Composer enables any application or portal to be customized or personalized after it has been deployed and is in use. It is designed to be extremely easy to use so that both business systems analysts and users can edit Oracle Fusion Applications pages with a few clicks of the mouse. Oracle Composer runs in all modern browsers and provides a rich, dynamic way to edit JSF application and portal pages.

From the editor: The next post in this series about composers will be on Data Composer. You can also catch Killian speaking about extensibility at OpenWorld 2012 and in her Faces of Fusion video.

Tuesday Nov 01, 2011

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.

Want more information?

About

Check here for news and upcoming events from Oracle's Applications User Experience team on the Oracle Applications Cloud and more.

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

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