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.

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Check here for opinions, updates, and events from Oracle's Applications User Experience team: Applications Cloud, E-Business Suite, JD Edwards, Siebel, PeopleSoft, and more.

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

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