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Mobile Apps for Oracle E-Business Suite

Steven Chan
Senior Director

Many things have changed in the mobile space over the last few years. Here's an update on our strategy for mobile apps for the E-Business Suite.

Mobile app strategy

We're building our family of mobile apps for the E-Business Suite using Oracle Mobile Application Framework.  This framework allows us to write a single application that can be run on Apple iOS and Google Android platforms. Mobile apps for the E-Business Suite will share a common look-and-feel.

The E-Business Suite is a suite of over 200 product modules spanning Financials, Supply Chain, Human Resources, and many other areas. Our mobile app strategy is to release standalone apps for specific product modules. 

Our Oracle Timecards app, which allows users to create and submit timecards, is an example of a standalone app.

Oracle Timecards app for E-Business Suite screenshot

Some common functions that span multiple product areas will have dedicated apps, too. An example of this is our Oracle Approvals app, which allows users to review and approve requests for expenses, requisitions, purchase orders, recruitment vacancies and offers, and more.

Approval app for E-Business Suite screenshot

You can read more about our Oracle Mobile Approvals app here:

Our goal is to support smaller screen (e.g. smartphones) as well as larger screens (e.g. tablets), with the smaller screen versions generally delivered first.  Where possible, we will deliver these as universal apps.  An example is our Oracle Mobile Field Service app, which allows field service technicians to remotely access customer, product, service request, and task-related information.  This app can run on a smartphone, while providing a richer experience for tablets.

Mobile Field Service for iPhones screenshot

Deploying EBS mobile apps

The mobile apps, themselves (i.e. client-side components) can be downloaded by end-users from the Apple iTunes today.  Android versions will be available from Google play. You can monitor this blog for Android-related updates.

Where possible, our mobile apps should be deployable with a minimum of server-side changes.  These changes will generally involve a consolidated server-side patch for technology-stack components, and possibly a server-side patch for the functional product module. Updates to existing mobile apps may require new server-side components to enable all of the latest mobile functionality.

All EBS product modules are certified for internal intranet deployments (i.e. used by employees within an organization's firewall).  Only a subset of EBS products such as iRecruitment are certified to be deployed externally (i.e. used by non-employees outside of an organization's firewall).  Today, many organizations running the E-Business Suite do not expose their EBS environment externally and all of the mobile apps that we're building are intended for internal employee use.  Recognizing this, our mobile apps are currently designed for users who are connected to the organization's intranet via VPN.  We expect that this may change in future updates to our mobile apps.

Mobile apps and internationalization

The initial releases of our mobile apps will be in English.  Later updates will include translations for all left-to-right languages supported by the E-Business Suite.  Right-to-left languages will not be translated.

Customizing apps for enterprise deployments

The current generation of mobile apps for Oracle E-Business Suite cannot be customized. We are evaluating options for limited customizations, including corporate branding with logos, corporate color schemes, and others. This is a potentially-complex area with many tricky implications for deployment and maintenance.  We would be interested in hearing your requirements for customizations in enterprise deployments.

Prerequisites

References

Related Articles

The preceding is intended to outline our general product direction.  It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract.   It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decision.  The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle’s products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle.

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Comments ( 83 )
  • Dawna Roberts Saturday, August 23, 2014

    Hi Steven,

    Our company is very interested in the Mobile Timecards and Mobile Approvals apps. However our company has standardized on Android devices - both tablets and smart phones. When we were notified that the apps had been released we were disappointed to find that Android versions of these apps are not available.

    I have been asked by our IT management why there is a delay in releasing the Android version? It was my understanding that the Mobile Application Framework builds apps compatible with both iOS and Android - and that was verified in your above posting.

    I would like to be able to provide management with an informed response so could you elaborate on why the iOS and Android apps are not being released simultaneously?

    Thanks


  • Mohamed Mostafa Saturday, August 23, 2014

    Great post Steven, thank you.


  • Greg Frost Saturday, August 23, 2014

    Thanks Steve.

    One quick question - is the intent that these are licensed products, or are they simply additions to our current licenses?

    (E.g. If I'm licensed for OTL, I can get the Time card app. )

    Cheers

    Greg


  • guest Monday, August 25, 2014

    This is a great update - thank you for posting!

    I'd like to offer my organization's small voice that the Mobile Supply Chain Applications would be wonderful to see updated to current standards, and be able to run on a modern mobile OS such as Android, iOS, etc.

    The current version is getting harder and harder to find devices that will run the application as it is since it still even in the 12.2.4 release notes look largely unchanged in many versions.


  • Steven Chan Monday, August 25, 2014

    Hi, Dawna,

    We don't have sufficient resources to test and release iOS and Android apps simultaneously. We'll eventually release both versions, but the iOS versions are likely always to be released first.

    Regards,

    Steven


  • Steven Chan Monday, August 25, 2014

    Hi, Greg,

    Disclaimer: I'm in Development and am not a licensing specialist.

    Yes, my lay understanding is that these apps are included as part of your product license: e.g. if you're licensed for OTL, you can get the Timecard app.

    Regards,

    Steven


  • Steven Chan Monday, August 25, 2014

    Hello, Guest,

    I've passed your comment on to the MSCA product team.

    Regards,

    Steven


  • Craig Hevey Tuesday, August 26, 2014

    Hi Steven,

    We are interested in deploying these mobile apps and have a corporate BYOD plan. At present our secure connection from mobile devices isn't using VPN but managed by Good Technology. Is there any way in which we can secure these mobile apps using Good Technology to meet our existing secure setup?

    Kind regards

    Craig Hevey


  • Steven Chan Tuesday, August 26, 2014

    Hi, Craig,

    We haven't been able to validate our apps with the solutions offered by Good Technology. We don't have access to third-party tools like that, so we don't have any plans to do any hands-on interoperability testing.

    I would be interested in hearing your feedback if you get a chance to try that combination.

    Regards,

    Steven


  • Dhilip Ranganathan Thursday, August 28, 2014

    Hello Steven,

    Great post, and also very much on time for me. I will definitely follow-up with my management for extending our Apps foot print to the mobile world. The timecard example you have mentioned is definitely of interest to me. Having said that, I dont think we have VPN connectivity on our company provided mobile devices either at our stores or in our office buildings. Licensing of the mobile apps is definitely a question that needs to be clarified with the appropriate team in Oracle. Is there a document / white paper that lists all the modules that have been extended to the mobile world today?

    Again, thanks for the post, it is definitely useful.

    Best Regards,

    Dhilip Ranganathan.


  • Sriram Thursday, August 28, 2014

    Hi Steven,

    This is timely as we were researching mobile App platforms for our in house App development. Our team is very excited as we have already got it working in our test environment (both Timecard App and Approvals App)today. They can't wait to play around with it.

    Thanks,

    Sriram


  • Pawan Gupta - Deloitte Monday, September 1, 2014

    Here is my thought based on talking about these apps with various existing clients of ours.

    Exposing mobile app for employees which works in intranet - it defeats the very purpose of releasing mobile app and makes it very less usable and some case will never be useful. Like Mobile Approval - how it really adds value when i cant access it when i am anywhere and wants to respond. Customer are unable to understand and accept this given Oracle owns the best middleware product available and infra needed to make it true mobile app. Be it (OSB - Proxy service - business service, OIAM products).

    So result could actually be good news for SI's (as we could get custom app build project) though we are finding it difficult to sell given dilemma in customer's mind as to why spend money, may be soon Oracle will give for free.

    Thanks.

    Pawan Gupta


  • guest Friday, September 12, 2014

    This is a good development, but i doubt if this will that useful, especially when it is limited only with the intranet firewalls. I believe customers would prefer having a mobile app that connects anywhere. We have a lot of sales reps/commodity mgrs who spend a lot of time traveling. If these apps would work outside the intranet firewall, then it will be a big plus for them, especially when it comes to approvals of expenses/new suppliers etc., However this is the right direction that Oracle has taken, keeping up with the smart world!


  • Steven Chan Monday, September 15, 2014

    Dhilip,

    See the document linked in the article above:

    Oracle E-Business Suite Mobile Apps, Release 12.1 and 12.2 Documentation (Note 1641772.1)

    Regards,

    Steven


  • Nishan Motilal Tuesday, September 16, 2014

    Hi Steven,

    Can users view attachments via the app? example a sick note.

    If so, how?

    Kind Regards,

    Nishan


  • guest Wednesday, September 17, 2014

    Nishan, Thank your for your question. The attachment feature is not yet available in Timecards app as of now. We are currently analyzing different ways to view, retrieve and submit attachments for our mobile apps.


  • Dave Flitton Thursday, September 18, 2014

    Hi Steven, is there a definitive list of the mobile platforms and devices which are supported for use with Oracle EBS R12.x and also which mobile devices Oracle is actively developing mobile applications for?


  • guest Friday, September 19, 2014

    Hi Steven,

    Are there any plans to support offline capability with the EBS Timecard App?

    Thanks,

    Sriram


  • Steven Chan Friday, September 19, 2014

    Hi, Sriram,

    Yes, we're looking at options for that for all of our mobile apps.

    Regards,

    Steven


  • Steven Chan Friday, September 19, 2014

    Hi, Dave,

    We don't list mobile devices specifically. While that's fairly straightforward for iOS, it's impossible for Android due to the latter's level of fragmentation. Our reference platform for Android internally is Samsung. We test on other Android devices from other manufacturers, too, but the majority of our testbeds use Samsung.

    Regards,

    Steven


  • guest Tuesday, September 30, 2014

    Hi Steven

    Our organisation has decided to adopt windows 8 smartphones as our standard devices for corporate users due to the cost savings against iPhones. Please can you confirm what oracles strategy is regarding developing oracle Ebusiness suite apps for windows phones ?

    Thanks


  • Sriram Tuesday, September 30, 2014

    Hi Steven,

    I upgraded my iPhone from iOS 7.x to iOS 8.0.2 and the Timecard and Approval App are not working anymore. Once I login, I get a blank screen. Has anyone reported this issue yet? On the other hand, the Fusion expenses App seems to be working just fine.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks,

    Sriram


  • Steven Chan Monday, October 6, 2014

    Hi, Guest,

    We're going to focus on iOS and Android for now. If the Windows Phone platform manages to achieve more market penetration, we'll revisit our platform strategy.

    Regards,

    Steven


  • Steven Chan Monday, October 6, 2014

    Hi, Sriram,

    I'm sorry that you're encountering issues with this.

    This is a known issue; we have a fix coming out very soon. Please log a Service Request so that you can be notified automatically when the fix is available.

    Regards,

    Steven


  • Mehabub Sheikh Wednesday, October 29, 2014

    Hi Steven,

    With the latest Oracle Press Release we came to know that there are 14 mobile applications available for EBS. Can these be customized- UI, color scheme, logo etc?

    Are these available with these latest versions?

    Thanks,

    Mehabub


  • Steven Chan Wednesday, October 29, 2014

    Hi, Mehabub,

    You can't do that today, but we're looking at options for that in future releases of our apps.

    Regards,

    Steven


  • Nikhl Tuesday, November 25, 2014

    Hi Steven,

    This is something our company has been looking for, We have been doing some POC's around this and have our instance configured on a AWS. We do get blank screen and connectivity issues as mentioned by some users on the comment list.

    As per the write-up the instance needs to be configured internally and used through a VPN.

    "All EBS product modules are certified for internal intranet deployments (i.e. used by employees within an organization's firewall)".

    Can Mobile Apps be used only through VPN and not on the internet such as hosting the instance on AWS?

    Regards,

    Nikhil


  • Steven Chan Tuesday, November 25, 2014

    Hi, Nikhil,

    As stated in the article above, you need VPN in this generation of the mobile apps. We're testing options for getting around that requirement; watch this blog for new articles with the details.

    Regards,

    Steven


  • Stephen Friday, December 5, 2014

    Steven,

    Thank you once again for keeping us in the loop and well informed on the lightning fast area of mobility.

    Our ogranization is very interested in spinning up a POC for the Mobile Approvals for E-Business suite however we experiencing some challenges. As like most organizations, our ERP would is inside our internal firewalls and is only accessible from internal means. In order to accomodate this, we have adopted an EMM (Enterprise Mobile Management) strategy using Citrix Worx. In order for us to be able to deliver the app within the Citrix Worx store, it needs to be wrapped by Citrix. In order to do this, the app needs to be made available in the Citrix App Gallery http://www.citrix.com/ready/en/worx

    Upon visiting the gallery, i did notice that Oracle CRM app is already available.

    http://www.citrix.com/ready/en/web-and-saas-apps/oraclecrm-web-saas

    Is there any traction to have the Oracle apps registered with Citrix Worx?

    Thanks Stephen


  • guest Tuesday, December 9, 2014

    Hi Steven,

    We are testing the mobile app for ios7 tablet.

    After login with the ebs credentials in the mobile app the app is not launching and we are getting a blank screen.It was mentioned in above post that this is a known issue.Can you let me know if the fix is ready for this.

    Thanks,

    Gautam


  • Steven Chan Tuesday, December 9, 2014

    Hi, Gautam,

    I'm sorry that you're encountering issues with this.

    That issue is fixed in the latest versions of all EBS mobile apps uploaded to the iTunes App Store. Please give the latest versions a try.

    Regards,

    Steven


  • Steven Chan Tuesday, December 9, 2014

    Hi, Stephen,

    We are evaluating technical options for certifying Oracle E-Business Suite mobile apps with Oracle Mobile Security Suite. We currently do not have any plans to certify the containerization of Oracle E-Business Suite mobile apps with third-party mobile virtualization or containerization solutions. It is expected that Oracle will provide E-Business Suite patches only for mobile app issues that can be reproduced with Oracle Mobile Security Suite.

    The preceding is intended to outline our general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decision. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle’s products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle.

    Regards,

    Steven


  • Eduardo Friday, December 12, 2014

    Hi Steven, how are you doing?

    Any news about android version?

    Best Regards,


  • Steven Chan Friday, December 12, 2014

    Hi, Eduardo,

    They're coming soon. Watch for new blog articles with those announcements soon.

    Regards,

    Steven


  • vishnu Wednesday, December 17, 2014

    aren't these usable for EBS 11 version


  • Steven Chan Wednesday, December 17, 2014

    Hello, Vishnu,

    EBS 11i was released in May 2000 has been in Sustaining Support since Nov. 2013. Our mobile apps are designed to work with our latest releases such as EBS 12.2 and 12.1.

    If your organization is still running EBS 11i, I strongly urge you to consider upgrading to either EBS 12.2 or 12.1 as soon as possible.

    Regards,

    Steven


  • Peter parker Friday, December 26, 2014

    Microsoft operating system is world's third biggest mobile operating system after Android and iPhone. I love to see the windows mobile app for E-Business Suite.


  • Steven Chan Saturday, December 27, 2014

    Hi, Peter,

    Thank you for your comment. We have not received any requests for Windows Phone to date, so I'd be interested in learning more about your requirements.

    1. Has your organization standardized on Windows Phone-based devices?

    2. Which manufacturer and model?

    3. How many devices?

    4. What version of Windows Phone?

    5. What EBS applications would you like to see ported to Windows Phone?

    6. What are your future plans for rolling out new devices?

    7. Do you have a mix of iOS and Android devices in your user environment?

    Regards,

    Steven


  • Prasad Friday, January 2, 2015

    Dear Steve,

    We require further information on mobile apps integration with E-Business suite.

    Can you share some informationwith respect to how these mobile apps are integrated with ERP back end services, i mean with out ISG, SOA etc for service publishing, consumtion, orchestraton etc.

    I am very much interested fo long time to develop a mobile app with out any dependency on addtional technology platform like SOA, making a direct integration betweenn mobile app and ERP services.

    Appreciate any reference material or any information with respect to technical approach of developing these mobile apps which will help us to build our own apps as well.

    Thanks for sharing the useful information as always.

    Thanks


  • guest Sunday, January 4, 2015

    Steven,

    Thanks for the information. We weren't aware of the E-Business suite expense mobile app (and neither was our Oracle partner!).

    We had looked at Concur - https://www.concur.com/ and another company called Gorilla Expense - http://gorillaexpense.com/

    We ended up going with Gorilla Expense because the product was great and economical at the same time.

    Look forward to hearing about new EBS related mobile apps. What is a good place to find the latest news on mobile apps released by Oracle. I just happened to stumble on this page in google.

    Drew


  • Steven Chan Monday, January 5, 2015

    Drew,

    You're welcome to monitor or subscribe to this blog. I post updates here about new EBS technology stack updates as soon as soon as they're available.

    Regards,

    Steven


  • Steven Chan Monday, January 5, 2015

    Dear Prasad,

    I appreciate your interest in building your own mobile apps for the E-Business Suite. Your questions are beyond the scope of a blog comment (or even a blog article).

    We'll be releasing a mobile apps SDK and developer's guide for the E-Business Suite soon. That should cover all of your questions.

    Oracle's Revenue Recognition rules prohibit us from discussing certification and release dates, but you're welcome to monitor or subscribe to this blog. I'll post updates here as soon as soon as they're available.

    Regards,

    Steven


  • Ashish Mehta Monday, January 5, 2015

    Hello Steven,

    We just implemented Oracle Access Manager as our SSO solution for our EBS R12.1.3, using OID, with our users doing AD authentication to login into EBS.

    Now we are trying to implement the iExpense mobile app (for iPhones) for the EBS R12.1.3 but we saw information from Oracle regarding iExpense mobile app (for iPhones) and using OAM as SSO solution but the need to keep the passwords in OID, if AD authentication is needed.

    So we opened the SR 3-10015691131 on this.

    Can you please have some review the SR and provide us with some guidance .

    Thanks

    Ashish


  • Steven Chan Monday, January 5, 2015

    Hello, Ashish,

    I'm sorry that you're encountering issues with this.

    I've contacted the Support Engineer assigned to your Service Request with an offer of assistance. Please monitor your Service Request for updates.

    Regards,

    Steven


  • guest Wednesday, January 7, 2015

    Hi Steven,

    We applied the patches Patch 20048948:R12.PRC_PF.B: PRC - 12.1.3 Consolidated Patch For Mobile Applications Foundation V2.1 for product family Procumbent. And did the configurations as per Oracle E-Business Suite Mobile Apps Administrator's Guide for Release 12.1 and Release 12.2 (Doc ID 1642431.1) SECTION 2.2.

    When Validating the Configuration as section 2.2.3 the response payload file for configuration service has distribution versions are as follows

    Oracle Mobile Approvals for Oracle E-Business Suite

    <distribution version="1.0.1" platform="IOS"/>

    Oracle Mobile iProcurement for Oracle E-Business Suite

    <distribution version="1.0.0" platform="IOS"/>

    Oracle Mobile Procurement for Oracle E-Business Suite

    <distribution version="1.0.0" platform="IOS"/>

    Shouldn't these show <distribution version="1.1.0" platform="IOS"/> ?? Are we missing something while applying the patches.

    Also when we are launching our app and entering valid credentials we are getting the error "One or more parameters downloaded from the server are invalid."

    We noted that this error is mentioned in the document Doc ID 1642431.1 that the issue is due to invalid service endpoint. But we have exposed our test ebs instance over internet and doesnot require VPN or intranet. Though we have exposed our instance to internet should we complete the DMZ settings as per the document Oracle E-Business Suite R12 Configuration in a DMZ (Doc ID 380490.1) specifically Section 5: Configuring the E-Business Suite for DMZ Deployments

    for profile "Application Framework Agent".

    Thank you for your time and response. Looking for your response on this.

    Regards,

    Shesh


  • Steven Chan Wednesday, January 7, 2015

    Hello, Shesh,

    I'm sorry to hear that you've encountered an issue with this.

    We can provide general conceptual guidance here, but I'm afraid that this blog isn't the best place to get technical support for specific issues like the one that you're working through.

    Your best bet would be to log a formal Service Request via My Oracle Support (formerly Metalink) to get one of our specialists engaged.

    Please feel free to forward your Service Request number to me if it gets stuck in the support process for some reason.

    Regards,

    Steven


  • Abhishek Thursday, January 8, 2015

    Hi Steven,

    We are configured Oracle sales Order Mobile app for ebs and it's working fine after login but we are unable to Query new and existing orders and also we are unable to search my customers.

    Thanks

    Abhishek


  • Steven Chan Thursday, January 8, 2015

    Hi, Abhishek,

    I'm sorry to hear that you've encountered an issue with this.

    We can provide general conceptual guidance here, but I'm afraid that this blog isn't the best place to get technical support for specific issues like the one that you're working through.

    Your best bet would be to log a formal Service Request via My Oracle Support (formerly Metalink) to get one of our specialists engaged.

    Please feel free to forward your Service Request number to me if it gets stuck in the support process for some reason.

    Regards,

    Steven


  • guest Friday, January 16, 2015

    We recently applied the latest consolidated list of Oracle patches to one of our test environments to try out some of the applications. A user was created and assigned just the roles listed in the documentation. We are getting blank screens or infinite loading screens on all applications, including Sales Orders, iProcurrement, and Procurement. Can you clarify what the issue may be? Does the user need to be assigned additional roles or responsibilities?


  • Steven Chan Friday, January 16, 2015

    Hello, Guest,

    Earlier versions of these apps had issues with iOS 8. Are you using the latest versions available from the Apple App Store today?

    If yes, there may be a setup issue on the EBS server-side. I'd recommend logging a formal Service Request so that we can investigate this. Please feel free to send me your SR number if it gets stuck in the pipeline for some reason.

    Regards,

    Steven


  • Steve Tuesday, January 20, 2015

    Steven,

    Is there a general idea of when the Mobile Approvals for Managers app would be made available in other languages (left to right of course)?

    Fiscal? Quarter? I do realize that Oracle's revenue recognition policy prevents you from disclosing specific dates.

    Thank you,

    Steve


  • Max Arderius Thursday, January 22, 2015

    Steve,

    We have plans to support translations, as well as several other enhancements, so we can not provide exact dates at this time.

    Thanks!

    Max

    The preceding is intended to outline our general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decision. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle’s products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle.


  • guest Monday, February 2, 2015

    Is EBS mobile Fusion expenses view attachments working? We are working with support for last 3 months and no resolution yet. Product is too buggy and functionality is not ready for full roll out.


  • Steven Chan Monday, February 2, 2015

    Hi, Guest,

    I'm sorry that you're encountering issues with this.

    What is your SR number?

    Regards,

    Steven