What's New In Release 8 For Developers
By Richard Bingham-Oracle on Mar 10, 2014
This article summarizes the key new customizaation features in Release 8 for Business Analysts and Application Developers. More details on the general product functional enhancements check out the product features website.
Customizing Text and the Look and Feel
- Release 8 includes an updated look-and-feel to all pages, reflecting a simple, intuitive, contextual UI. This remains based on ADF and leverages CSS3-based structural components for easier modification as all styles are included in the stylesheet. The design reduces perceived visual clutter with minimized use of shading, gradients, and borders. This includes improved navigation on the global header area and the option to hide user assistance help icon buttons. The new skin, known a "SKYROS", will be the default however support for the previous one (FusionFX) remains for those that customized it, and it is still controlled by the FND_CSS_SKIN_FAMILY profile option and customizations are still deployed as JAR files on each application server.
- In Release 8 the Global Header area at the top of the screen has changed substantially. This redesign groups similar items together in a more logical fashion for a simple user experience, such as global, recent and saved searches all on one dialog, favorites and recent items together, and specific categories under the Settings and Actions menu. Also you can now toggle on/off the User Assistance help pop-up icons to help simplify screens.
- For changing text this release introduces the UI Text Editor. This tool is available to administrators only, from the tools navigator as shown below. The feature allows extensions to the underlying Resource Bundles that contain common text used for things like field labels and page titles. The use-case is that you can change all instances a particular term across all products and pages, such as changing "Worker" to "Employee". All page-specific customizations done using Page Composer still remain, and actually override any UI Text Editor changes. The feature also supports customizing the texts used in the application response messages, for tailoring pop-up messages with important information, warnings, and errors. In later releases the UI Text Editor will increase its coverage to areas such as BI reports, ESS jobs, and navigator menu items. For a full demonstration check out this video.
- The new Extensible Flexfield Registration Metadata Wizard allows design-time flexfield creation from within JDeveloper.
- This release has further integration of flexfields with BI Analytics and BI Publisher.
- A new 'protection' feature is added to the flexfield definition pages, preventing seed data from being mistakenly changed.
- The BPM Worklist App has a new UI design with a simplification of many creation screens and faster methods for making adjustments. More details can be found in Chapter 5 of the Developers Extensibility Guide.
- For several products (notably HCM and Procurement) there are new interfaces for creating custom approval rules, providing easier setup and administration without going into the full BPM Worklist App. This can be found under new functional setup tasks (Manage Approval Transactions for Human Capital Management and Manage [Requisition | Purchasing Document] Approvals) available in the Setup and Maintenance screens. See the Release Content Guides and a demonstration in this video.
- Creating custom BPM processes for triggering by Application Composers Object Workflow or by HCM Workforce Processing remains, however Oracle BPM project template customization is no longer supported. This adjustment leads the way for new methods for run-time business process customization coming in a future release.
- You can now create a new type of custom fields on your Business Objects - a Record-Type. The Record Type is a field which allows you to declaratively tie a list of values (look-up) with a specified list of security roles that are configured for that object. You can choose, for each role, the specific values that can be displayed in the list, and which is set as the default value. It still supports all the standard options for including groovy logic to default a value or set attributes like 'updatable' and 'required'
- There is a new Common Function entitled 'Outlook Setup' offering the generation and extraction of email client localization resources for setting field and object labels.
- The coverage of Joins is extended to cover other standard objects, most notable Sales objects Opportunity and Partner. A demonstration is given in this video.
- There are new Standard Objects and adjustments to existing ones in most product areas, as illustrated by the comparison screenshot below showing Sales objects for Release 8 and Release 7.
- Release 8 of Application Composer includes the new 'Territories and Quotas' application and its objects. These are Sales Goal, Sales Territory, and Sales Territory Proposal under Standard Objects, and Child Objects of Sales Goal Product and Sales Territory Resource. As with other products, it supports the addition of your own custom objects and fields.
Security and Audit
- There are some improvements to managing Attachments, both in the design-time API's available and in the UI component. More can be found in the Developers Guide in Chapter 19.
- Customization Set Migration now includes customized items such as SOA Composites, ESS Jobs, Email Templates, FND Messages, and ADF metadata for several new CRM products.
- As first introduced in R7, Fusion Auditing is further expanded and includes easier setup and configuration.
Simplified User Interface
- The many enhanced features include; new functional areas, more social integration, new dashboards, and even a 'getting started' section.
- For customization you can now add custom content to the Simplified UI by adding new child tabs using Application Composer. This video gives an example.
- To complement this, the 'Settings' options have also been enhanced with features to adjust the header springboard icons and their component tabs, as illustrated in the screenshot below.
Release 8 Resources
- The new Sales Cloud documentation site includes a new Extending Sales guide.
- Fusion Applications Developers Guide (previously mentioning "for Business Analysts")
- Extensibility Guide for Developers - including a new Chapter (8) on creating custom BI Subject Areas.
- Fusion Applications Customization and Extensibility Forum for your questions.