It's been a wild and crazy week here in EBS Development; my workload seems to have tripled overnight. In a desperate attempt to protect my inbox, here's a quick article that answers some common questions around the use of smartphones and other mobile devices with the E-Business Suite.
Before I go into the details, though, it's very important to note that this particular area is evolving extremely
rapidly. If a search engine has brought you to this article long after its initial publication, you should check this blog and other Oracle sources carefully to confirm our latest position on mobile device support for the E-Business Suite.
Support for iPhones and iPads
Apple's seems to have had a good week with their iPad launch
. Even before that, interest in using iPhones with the E-Business Suite seems to be extremely high. Oracle offers several official iPhone apps that are related to the E-Business Suite, including:
Apple has indicated that all existing iPhone apps will work transparently on the iPad as well. I'm sure that the Oracle teams who currently produce iPhone apps will be only too-pleased to justify their purchase of iPads to do these certifications.
Using smartphones and mobile devices with EBS self-service apps
Suite products offer web-based screens that can be accessed
by standards-compliant browsers. These products have HTML-screens, are
built using OA Framework, and are sometimes referred to as
"Self-Service Web Applications" (SSWA).
We officially certify and support
these web-based products in Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12 with:
- Various Windows desktop clients running Microsoft Internet Explorer 6, 7, and 8
- Various Windows desktop clients running Firefox 3
- Mac OS X desktop clients running Safari 3
We do not
any formal certification tests of the latest smartphone or mobile
device browsers with the E-Business Suite. To be explicit about this,
we do not
currently test the E-Business Suite with:
- Mobile Safari running on iPhones
- Internet Explorer Mobile (formerly Pocket Internet Explorer)
- Opera Mobile
- Firefox Mobile
- BlackBerry Browser
- Other mobile device browsers
If a mobile browser is standards-compliant (e.g. passes the latest Acid test
it might work with the E-Business Suite's self-service HTML screens.
However, if you experience any issues with a mobile browser that cannot
be reproduced on a certified desktop browser, our recommendation would
be to use a desktop browser instead.
Using smartphones and mobile devices with EBS Forms-based apps
E-Business Suite products run in Oracle Forms. These Forms-based
products require the use of Sun's Java Runtime Engine (JRE) to run. We test the Sun JRE with Windows-based desktop clients. We do not test any mobile Java clients with E-Business Suite Forms-based products, and I would be rather nonplussed if I received any reports of this configuration actually working.
If you encounter any issues with mobile-based Java clients that cannot be reproduced on a Windows-based desktop client, our recommendation would be to use the latter client, instead.
Using standards-compliant mail clients to approve Workflow notifications
is a key part of the E-Business Suite's technology stack. It can be
configured to send emails (via SMTP) that notify E-Business Suite users that
certain EBS transactions are awaiting their approval. E-Business Suite
end-users can respond to those notification emails by clicking on a
link in those emails, or responding with an email containing certain
keywords in the body of a reply.
We test Workflow and E-Business
Suite notifications using Windows desktop based email clients such as
Microsoft Outlook. We do not currently perform any tests of Workflow
notification emails with mobile devices such as iPhone Mail app or
We would expect standards-compliant email
clients to be able to handle Workflow notification emails properly,
including email clients on mobile devices. Some mobile email clients
are unable to handle standards-based emails, and other email clients
may truncate long Workflow notification emails. These issues may
prevent certain email clients on mobile devices from handling Workflow
If you encounter issues with Workflow
email notifications on smartphones or mobile devices that can't be
reproduced on a conventional Windows desktop-based email client, our
recommendation would be to process Workflow notifications on the latter.
a side note: technically-inclined readers might be interested to hear
that we're aware of at least one web-based email client that does not
comply with RFC 2368
in its handling of new line characters in mailto URL encoding.
Web-based email clients with issues like that will be unable to handle
Workflow notifications properly. If you encounter issues with
web-based email clients that cannot be reproduced on a conventional
Windows desktop-based email client, our recommendation would be to
process Workflow notifications on the latter.
Your feedback is welcome
I mentioned above, it's very important to note that this particular
area is evolving extremely rapidly. This article represents a snapshot
of our current certification and support position, but this position
reflects the relatively small demand for mobile device support today
(at least when compared to desktop-based users).
monitoring demand for new requirements, so your feedback has the
potential to influence our priorities for mobile device support. You
would be amazed at how important decisions about product strategy can
be influenced by a small amount of direct customer feedback.
your organization plans to support the use of smartphones or other
mobile devices with the E-Business Suite, we'd be very interested in
hearing from you. Post a comment here, or drop me a private email with
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.
disclosure: I own shares in Oracle and Apple. This article is
intended to describe our current certification and and support position
and is not an endorsement of Apple products.
- E-Business Suite release and products in
production (e.g. "Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.1, running
iExpenses, HRMS, and Financials")
- Who will be using mobile devices with EBS, and in what scenarios? (e.g. web-based EBS products, Workflow email notifications)
- Numbers and types of mobile devices to be deployed
- Deployment schedule