Saturday Aug 24, 2013

What’s Coming for Oracle’s Applications User Experience Customers at OpenWorld 2013

By Misha Vaughan, Director, Oracle Applications User Experience

We are literally just a few weeks away from Oracle’s biggest annual event for meeting with customers and partners from around the world. This year, the Oracle Applications User Experience (Apps UX) team is unveiling some pretty exciting things that we are very pleased to share with you.

First among our projects is an update from last year’s presentation around simplicity. We are still talking about simplicity, but we’ve added mobility and extensibility into the mix – which you can read more about in an article on UsableApps.


Simplicity: The Essential Information to Complete Your Work


OpenWorld 2013 Sessions


Apps UX Vice President Jeremy Ashley will be talking about what simplicity, mobility, and extensibility mean for Oracle’s cloud applications user experiences at his OpenWorld presentations. You can catch him here:  

CON8029: Oracle Applications User Experiences In the Cloud: Trends and Strategy

Learn how simplicity, consistency, and emerging trends are driving the applications user experience strategy at Oracle. We will talk about trends in mobile workers and their devices in the cloud, gamification, new ways to visualize information, consumer-like experiences, and how to create applications that require a light touch and zero training. See the first demos of what’s new in the pipeline for Oracle Applications user experiences here.

Date: Monday Sept 23rd
, 2013
Time: 4:45-5:45 pm

Location: Moscone West 2006/2008

If you are a customer and interested in the deeper story about tailoring technologies and tools that are available for Oracle’s cloud applications user experiences, you can find a lot more detail in this panel, which will be chaired by Killian Evers, Senior Director, and will include Tim Dubois, Architect, talking about our composer tool set. Ultan O’Broin (@ultan), Director, will talk about Apps UX design patterns and ADF tooling, and Floyd Teter (@fteter), Executive Vice President, EiS Technologies, will share a success story.

CON8493: Tailoring Your Applications User Experiences in the Cloud

Date:  Weds Sept 25th, 2013
Time: 11:45am-12:45 pm
Location: Moscone West 3001


On-Site Usability Labs

There are a few more things available for customers, including access to the Apps UX on-site Oracle Usability Labs. If you sign up to participate, you can find out what Oracle thinks the future will look like and give us your feedback about what the future should look like.  Gozel Aamoth, Manager, Applications User Experience, said that this year attendees will get a preview of products designs for:

  • Oracle Fusion HCM and SCM
  • Fusion Applications Help
  • Oracle Social Relationship Management
  • Mobile Design Patterns
  • My Oracle Support
  • Oracle Social Network
  • Oracle E-Business Suite, that's right. E-Business Suite (thank you Steven Chan & Sara Woodhull!)
  • WebCenter Portal and more

The on-site usability labs at Oracle OpenWorld

Regardless of your job title, we can offer you a session that might interest you. Here are just a few job profiles we are looking for:

  • Employees
  • Business Analysts
  • Functional Subject Matter Experts
  • Marketing professionals
  • IT professionals
  • Developers, System Administrators
  • Product Managers
  • Managers of all levels more


If you want in on one of these sessions, reach out now to angela.johnston@oracle.com. Advance registration is required, and the slots are filling up.  

Cloud Applications User Experiences: The Future of What Your Employees Will Touch, See, & Hear

Check out our demopod this year at OpenWorld and take the chance to try out the new simplified user experience first-hand. You will also have an opportunity to chat about what’s happening with mobile design. 

Get on the Bus!

If you're staying through Thursday, Sept. 26, sign up for one of Oracle’s exclusive tours at Oracle Headquarters in Redwood Shores, California.  Customers and partners are invited to hop on 
one of our chartered buses to Oracle Headquarters to see where Oracle brings together best practices to create innovative, next-generation user experiences.


The Oracle Usability Lab Tour Bus

Our usability experts will demonstrate an eye-tracking device, how Oracle’s usability experts use an interactive SMART board, and show the latest design concepts for mobile enterprise applications on different mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets.

Round-trip transportation will be provided from the InterContinental Hotel in San Francisco to Oracle Headquarters.  Return times are estimated, depending on traffic.  Advanced sign-up is recommended, and spaces will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

To join a tour, register here.  For additional questions, email gozel.aamoth@oracle.com.

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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