Author: Dana Singleterry, Prinicipal Product Manager, Oracle Development Tools
"Oracle ADF has allowed us to rapidly develop a rich and compelling User Interface that is so intuitive to our hotel enterprise employees that very little training was required.” – Boro Petrovic, CTO, Micros Systems Inc.
Beyond being the only full systems solutions provider for all market segments within the hospitality and specialty retail industries, MICROS is also the industry leader in providing cloud services in their data centers throughout the globe. They have a global distribution and service network in place for major chains, regional chains, local independents, table service, and the quick services market.
For over 15 years, MICROS, an OPN Platinum partner has been working closely with Oracle, applying industry best practices in the development of their solutions. Their current application suite for the hospitality industry, OPERA 5, was built on Oracle Forms and the Oracle database running on Microsoft Windows. The next generation of this suite, OPERA 9, is being developed and released in modules that are now based on the newer Oracle Fusion Middleware (FMW) 11g technologies, Oracle Database 11g, and will run on Oracle Linux.
Their primary driver for change was a need for modernization of their legacy systems both from a User Interface (UI) and a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) perspective. MICROS leveraged Oracle Application Development Framework (ADF) for providing a rich UI for their business processes that could be served up either through traditional methods or through mobile devices globally. From a SOA perspective, MICROS saw a need for agility based on dynamic business requirements and so leveraged Oracle’s SOA Suite to provide loosely-coupled services that could evolve without impact to other services.
MICROS had begun evolving their legacy system into a modern solution with a feature-rich, attractive, Oracle ADF-based UI that is loosely-coupled with services, which can be distributed via the cloud.
One of the biggest challenges for Micros was how to leverage their existing Oracle Forms-based solution while at the same time taking on the modernization effort. This was accomplished through the innovative use of Oracle FMW technologies. The MICROS R&D team created an architecture that leveraged the 1000+ man years invested in their Oracle Forms-based solution, which was already in widespread production use. Thus, their legacy system was not a throw-away but instead became an integration effort with the newer technologies provided by Oracle FMW including Oracle’s ADF.
Return on Investment (ROI) in migration of Oracle Forms applications to ADF applications comes from re-engineering business processes using new application features / functionality based on ADF Business Components, ADF Task Flows, and ADF Faces Rich Client Components that are more efficient and provide for rapid adoption by users due to rich experience and ease of use. MICROS is migrating Oracle Forms modules by business processes (i.e. Hotel Reservation Booking process; Guest Check-In / Check-Out process; etc.). Within one business process it is either an all-Forms solution or it is an all-ADF solution. Each process is launched independently from within the Oracle WebCenter Portal dashboard. Forms modules run in a separate window and are launched from a common WebCenter dashboard via menu items that are linked to the servlet.
Dashboard style layout with search functionality and customizations enabled. Allows agents to book rooms for their guests.
One of the many unique characteristics of this solution is the innovative use of Oracle FMW to support an enterprise solution that supports all localizations (such as languages, local legal requirements, etc.) and can be deployed globally in the form of distributed services. Services that can be virtualized allowing customers the choice of different providers. This is accomplished in ADF through the use of resource-bundles for each supported locale. In addition to this, the rich set of ADF Faces components has been utilized to provide a very rich UI that is intuitive to use for the hotel employees and provides ADA compliance, internationalization, translation, mobility, as well as gesture touch on tablets for graph data visualization components and data grid scrolling all out-of-the-box functionality provided by ADF.
In terms of Business value to MICROS, this can be seen as follows: