Tuesday May 26, 2015

Mobile – it is all about the user journey

By Ian Wallis – issue 3

Can you recall your first experience of early smartphone apps? Where they based on trivial, or informational use cases? The first iPhone 3 app I witnessed was a beer-drinking app, which would mimic a glass of beer being drunk empty as the user tilted the phone over to much hilarity in the office.

Fast-forward to today and we are in the midst of a mobile digital age where apps understand the context of what we are doing. Whatsapp knows which friends are online, Spotify suggests playlists, Netflix recommends films, Tripcase knows my next flight and Waze can get me home fast with two finger presses.

Every time I run one of our Talk Mobile workshops, I ask the audience what is their favourite app. Most people mention two, one they use frequently and one they love to use. And every time, I learn about a new app that does fantastically useful stuff for us.

This has involved a significant shift beyond information and transactions to user experiences where context and advice make our life easier, encompassed in what is being termed the Digital journey. And at the heart of this journey are mobile apps that know what you want to do next.

Nevertheless time and again we encounter mobile apps that come up short. Our banking apps should be warning us if we over spend this week. Our supermarket apps should flag up what we are likely to need or more importantly what we will not need in our cart almost like an inventory management service. We most certainly should not be receiving the load of outbound notifications and marketing clutter we get through poorly conceived push notifications or email.

Considering how mobile can enhance this experience is key: consider my entire user journey, allow me to upload a photo if it saves me time, use my location to guide me, if I complain get back to me immediately with what I require, push me stuff I really need to know and drop the rest. You don’t have to ask me my customer number, address, post-code, birthday and mother’s maiden name every time, you have access to my finger print.

By linking mobile, business process, data and customer insight these great Digital experiences are possible and they do not need to take years to implement. By using mobile cloud services, organizations can get started immediately, providing fantastic user experiences, driving loyalty, attracting business, achieving efficiency and gaining significant advantage over the competition.

To download our eBook on Oracle’s Mobile Cloud Service, click here.


Thursday May 21, 2015

Why I'm Excited About Oracle Integration Cloud Service - New Video

By Bruce Tierney Oracle February 26, 2015 

Having worked with Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) products for many years, I have come to the conclusion that,

in the early days, SOA was a solution looking for a problem.  

Businesses deployed standalone CRM, ERP, and other applications that were closed off from easy integration and had few if any small services that could be assembled as part of a composite application, thereby limiting the value of SOA.

Pre-integration Video LinkFast forward to today and “services“ are everywhere providing easy justification for SOA. If you want to deliver new offerings on your web site for your customers quickly, you don’t start from scratch. You leverage internal and external services (ex: GetCustomerRecord, GetCreditScore, etc.) and your project is already partially completed. That’s great progress but it took over 20 years for the concept of SOA (coined in 1994) to become the accepted standard in most medium-to-large enterprises.

Integration complexity

In contrast, Oracle Integration Cloud Service marks a dramatic shift in how we approach integration… equal to the shift from EAI to SOA but with one major difference. Instead of requiring a new learning curve on how to integrate with loosely coupled SOA, Oracle Integration Cloud Service goes in the opposite direction with a focus on ease of use. And instead of integration from scratch, its pre-integration; instead of your best guess, its crowdsourced recommendation ratings. In the past, it was a shame that the application developers who knew their respective CRM, ERP, service, marketing, etc. applications best didn’t embed the integrations themselves into the integration platforms. With Oracle Cloud Integration Service and the Oracle Cloud Adapters…that’s what happened.

And so I wrote the script for this video to graphically convey the ease of use and dramatic shift that Oracle Cloud is bringing to integration into a story of how Oracle Integration Cloud Service can connect a disconnected business.

It’s not very often that a solution to a long-standing problem is such a major shift in the right direction. It’s my belief this has happened with Oracle Integration Cloud Service.Built by Oracle

Watch the new video now to see for yourself.  I expect it will be 3 minutes of time well used. 

Link to video

Monday May 18, 2015

New Mobile Innovations Enhance the Marketing, Sales, and Customer Experience

Today's post comes courtesy of Chris Lynch, Senior Director, Product Marketing, Oracle Marketing Cloud. To follow the Modern Marketing blog, click here.

When I attend technology conferences, I get a chuckle when the presenter holds up a mobile phone and says: “These devices are changing everything.”

That’s because mobile is so pervasive—doing nearly everything everywhere—that it’s become passé and cliché to make such statements. According to research from Nielsen, 87% of US smartphone and tablet owners are using their mobile devices for shopping and that consumers check their mobile devices 150 times a day.

Mobile is big. We all get it.

But while today’s marketers and advertisers realize that mobile marketing should be a key component of their overall marketing mix and cross-channel strategy, they face significant hurdles to do it right.

One issue is around identity. As consumers use a mobile device, they create different identifiers depending on whether they log into an app or browse more anonymously on the mobile web.

The data they create—whether it’s behaviors, preferences, or attributes—can end up in silos across channels. In fact, 85% of digital marketers say the biggest challenge to cross-channel marketing is customer data that’s spread across multiple channels.

But help is on the way. New mobile marketing innovations can help marketers and advertisers target their ideal customer and orchestrate a mobile experience that’s coordinated with other marketing channels. Mobile touches different areas of the customer lifecycle—from acquisition to retention to advocacy. Let’s walk through these innovations with that in mind.

1. Enhance Mobile Advertising and Acquisition with Smarter Data Strategy  

Now you can connect identities across disparate mobile channels and devices to one person while easily building mobile audience segments using your owned proprietary data and third-party data. To target those customers with relevant advertising, you can use hundreds of pre-integrated media and ad providers so you can serve up a mobile ad on your preferred paid media providers.

2. Increase Retention and Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) with Mobile Marketing Orchestration

Too often, mobile messages don’t take into account other cross-channel interactions, especially when marketers try to reach consumers with new promotions, cross-sell offers, or in-store messages. Now mobile enhancements for B2C Marketers can be orchestrated alongside email, social, display, and other key marketing channels. 

These include:

  • SMS Campaign Management. You should be able to use a variety of campaign templates to support various SMS use cases within easy-to-use frameworks for building two-way customer interactions. Customers could then text in a coupon code to redeem at a store, or receive notifications when their favorite products are in store.
  • Link Tracking for SMS. Go ahead and embed branded short URLs in your SMS messages to get deeper insights into how well campaigns perform by monitoring SMS click through rates, conversions, and click recency. SMS click recency behavior is recorded at the individual level and can be used for advanced targeting.
  • SMS Keyword Listening. You can now listen for customers who text in keywords to short or long codes. When you receive a keyword, you can trigger a marketing program and an orchestrated response.
  • Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS). How about delivering rich MMS to mobile devices as part of your cross-channel orchestration strategy? What’s an example? You could use mobile coupons and promotions that include images, audio, color, and animation.
  • Push Picture Notifications. On Android devices, push picture notifications can now incorporate images such as coupons. Images sent as part of a mobile message entices recipients into taking a follow-up action. This could encourage users to open the notification and further engage with a mobile app.
  • Push Campaign Management. Campaign marketers need push capabilities that are fully integrated into their cross-channel marketing solution. Now you can design, configure, and manage all push campaigns with greater personalization with data tied to your contact profile table. 
  • Dynamic Deep Links in Push & Email Messages. Bring customers back to their mobile app by embedding dynamic deep links in push and email messages. When customers click on these dynamic links, it will open offers directly inside the mobile app, creating a more seamless mobile experience. 

3. Improve the Mobile Experience for Business Buyers and Sales Teams with Better Connections

B2B marketers need mobile connections that help marketing and and sales teams support better customer interactions with their product or services while they’re on the go.

  • Mobile Profile Access. Sales executives can now use their mobile device to access customer profile and Digital Body Language information such as customer web, email, and social activity. This puts rich contact data literally in the hands of a sales rep, wherever the rep is working. 
  • Visualizing Responsive Design. Make it easy to see how an email or landing page will scale across devices, including to a mobile or tablet experience.
  • Engagement Tracking. Business marketers can include trackable links in either SMS or push messages orchestrated within their campaigns to better understand engagement with their content.
  • Connected Vendor Functionality. Marketers can now connect to their mobile technology vendors of choice for SMS and MMS messaging, including sending images, managing short and long codes, and sending QR codes to their customers.

Mobile Case Study: ACE Cash Express

So what’s an example of a company successfully incorporating some of these mobile tools into their cross-channel marketing strategy? ACE Cash Express, a check cashing business providing payday loans and cash advancing services, is one. The world of lending is highly regulated, making mobile a critical channel to engage and communicate with ACE’s customers.

ACE uses behavioral data to personalize interactions across email and SMS as part of an orchestrated experience. For example, starting at sign up, ACE asked customers to opt-in for email and SMS during their loan applications in order to provide the relevant and timely messages they needed. Then they receive a series of messages personalized to where they are in the lifecycle and based on how they responded to previous messages. Each customer’s path evolves in various ways depending on when they sign up and how they interact along the way.

These campaigns have generated a 2x lift in response rates when SMS was used in conjunction with emails. Furthermore, the company reported that they saved more than 15 hours per month in company resources from this automation.

If you’re an Oracle Marketing Cloud customer, these new mobile innovations are now available and at your service courtesy of Oracle ID Graph, Oracle Data Management Platform (DMP), SMS Campaign Management Tool, Push Campaign Manager, and our mobile DMP.

While we discussed a lot about technology, your strategy is just as important.

Learn more in our upcoming webinar on Maximizing Your Mobile Marketing Strategy on May 27 at 11:00 a.m. PT / 1:00 p.m. ET, where the experts will highlight the value and benefits in using mobile marketing as part of an overall effective marketing strategy and identify the key points you need to achieve mobile marketing success.


Monday May 11, 2015

Creating Data Control in Jdeveloper from REST Service in Oracle Database

Cross posting from original post by Gökhan Göksu-Oracle

In this post I will be showing you how to create data controls for a mobile application in Jdeveloper to consume a REST service deployed as a RESTful Service Module on Oracle Database Cloud.

Oracle REST Data Services (formerly known as APEX Listener) is a JavaEE based implementation that offers increased functionality, enhanced security and file caching for REST resources.

For the mobile application we will use the A-Team Mobile Persistence Accelerator which is a lightweight mobile framework that enables data synchronization and persistence. This comes as a plugin that we can install in Jdeveloper (Help>Check for Updates)  At the backend, we will use the RESTful Service Module 'oracle.example.hr'  which is already deployed as an example service in an Oracle Database Cloud instance that exposes methods to select from employees table.

In Jdeveloper, start by creating a simple MAF Application called HR_REST. Then right-click the ApplicationController project and choose Business Tier > Mobile Application Framework > MAF Business Objects from REST Web Service in,,,continue to orig post.

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Thursday May 07, 2015

Why is Cloud File Sharing a PaaS Solution?

Oracle Documents Cloud Service (DOCS) is an enterprise grade cloud file sync and share solution that allows enterprise users to collaborate internally and externally anytime, anywhere and from any device. With its ease of use and the benefits it provides around frictionless collaboration and mobile productivity soon as the service is switched on, we often get asked why Oracle DOCS is not considered a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution but rather a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solution? The reasons are multi-fold. One, because more than simple file sharing, Oracle DOCS enables all Lines of Businesses (LoBs) to leverage cloud document sharing with the same ease of consumer grade solutions but with the security and controls that the IT team approves. Second, because we consider cloud file sharing a strategic investment rather than a point solution for one-off document sharing. But most importantly, because it ties into your enterprise, your business.

Learn more about this and get your other questions answered at our Wednesday, May 13 live webcast on "Introducing Documents Cloud Service" at 10 am PT/1 pm ET. join the conversation using #OracleDOCS and don't forget to register today. Your evite awaits.

Webcast: Introducing Oracle Documents Cloud Service

Driving Improved Productivity and Collaboration for Sales, Marketing, Customer Experience and Operations

A recent survey shows that 89 percent of business managers believe their employees need 24/7 access to core business systems to implement their business strategy. But are current file sync and share solutions up to the mark?

Join Oracle Chief Information Officer and SVP, Mark Sunday, Senior Oracle Product Management and customer executives for a live webcast on Documents Cloud Service – an enterprise-grade, secure and integrated cloud-based content sharing and collaboration offering from Oracle. Find out how your organization can standardize on a corporate/IT-approved cloud solution while meeting the varying business needs of Marketing, Sales, Customer Service, HR, Operations and other departments.

Learn how Oracle Documents Cloud Service is uniquely positioned to:
  • Power anytime, anywhere secure access across Web, mobile and desktop
  • Mobilize enterprise content without creating information silos
  • Drive enterprise-wide collaboration with IT-sanctioned security and controls
Register Now for this webcast.
Register Now

May 13, 2015
10:00 AM PT
/ 1:00 PM ET
#OracleDOCS
Featured Speakers:


Mark Sunday
Chief Information Officer and Senior Vice President, Oracle


Judd Robins
Executive Vice President, TekStream Solutions


Melissa Webster
Program Vice President Content and Digital Media Technologies, IDC
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Monday May 04, 2015

Cloud and Mobile, Two Sides of the Same Coin


There’s a tremendous amount of interest in cloud computing. The interest is certainly well deserved - but let’s not lose sight of mobile, IMHO, the other side of the the same coin that that is affecting every facet of IT and our daily lives.  

Cloud is all about infrastructure - whether IaaS, PaaS or SaaS, it’s where a large portion of IT's attention is heading towards.  Sure, cloud based systems have excellent web interfaces, but the new “first screen” is mobile. By "first screen" I mean that mobile is THE interface we spend most of our time on. The recent study from MilwardBrown has shown mobile to have surpassed TV! Think about that - mobile has surpassed TV. Remember the first music video ever played on MTV (you know, that channel that no longer plays music ;-)  the first music video played was Video killed the radio star, by the BugglesGranted that many of us when watching TV are probably also checking our email, Facebook, instant messaging, etc. and thus counted as mobile views butmobile is undeniably the future in terms of interfaces.  Better get on it.

Consider the following:

  • Facebook - the most dominant social media platform today has 1.25 billion mobile monthly users, of which 798 million are daily mobile users and 581 million FB users, and now 581 million only access FB via mobile.
  • Apple, the most valuable company in the world, is nearly $800B market cap, generates 70% of it's revenue via the iPhone
  • Google just announced Project Fi - a program to deliver wireless connectivity thru a combo of WiFi hotspots and partnerships with Sprint and T-Mobile. Interestingly, that's currently only available on their Nexus 6 phone. I guess they need the advantage to make any inroads against the other Android platforms from Samsung, Xiaomi, etc.
And here at the big O ranch with the fastest sailboats on the planet, we’re pushing hard on the mobile apps side as well as infrastructure.  For example, the JD Edwards team is approaching 100 mobile apps, which I suspect they’ll reach before year end.  And in terms of mobile platforms - keep your eyes open for the GA release of Oracle Mobile Cloud Services.  To get a sneak peek as to what MCS is about, check out the new eBook here

So like I said earlier, cloud is all about the infrastructure, but the new “first screen" to all that infrastructure is mobile - two sides of the same coin.

And perhaps soon?... I’ll get my Apple Watch (I ordered it at 12:05AM on the first day! :-\  ) so I can add to this mobile trend.  


Thursday Apr 30, 2015

PaaS Use Cases: Cloud Documents Sharing and Collaboration

In my post yesterday, I had announced the availability of the April Edition of Oracle Fusion Middleware Newsletter. The newsletter was all about how PaaS services are enabling a digital transformation in the workplace. Enterprises are now not just about their employees but the all encompassing ecosystem of employees, partners, suppliers and even customers. Geography and time zones no longer define the workplace. The workforce needs anytime, anywhere access to work content, available off any device. The same content needs to be shared and collaborated on by people both within the organization and outside. In this world, cloud content sharing and collaboration is not a nice to have but a must have. Oracle Documents Cloud Service (DOCS) is an enterprise-grade cloud content sharing and collaboration solution that allows you to store, share and access content from anywhere off Web, desktop and mobile devices securely and with access trails. But more than that,  Oracle DOCS ties the content available to you to context - to the enterprise content, business processes and applications that you rely on to get your work done.

To offer a 360-degree perspective on why Oracle is investing its R&D efforts in cloud sharing and collaboration, be sure to tune into our live executive webcast on Wednesday, May 13 at 10 am PT/1 pm ET where we would have not only our senior Product Management executives but also Oracle CIO, Mark Sunday, VP of Content and Digital Media Technologies at IDC, Melissa Webster, EVP of TekStream Solutions, our customer as well as Oracle VP of Marketing Cloud, Alex Hooshmand discussing the role of enterprise cloud content sharing and collaboration. Save the date and register today for this webcast.

In the meantime, take a look at some of the common use cases we find where enterprise-grade Documents Cloud Service adds value to Lines of Businesses and IT. Here is the feature from our recent April edition of the newsletter featuring our upcoming webcast's host, Scott Howley, Vice President, Product Management at Oracle.

Cloud Computing Use Cases: Oracle Documents Cloud Service

Cloud computing—software as a service, platform as a service, and infrastructure as a service—is an undisputed game-changer in the corporate world. But with so many different cloud options, it can be complicated to align them with possible real-life scenarios. Here’s where use cases come in handy. In this series of articles, the Oracle Fusion Middleware Newsletter will illustrate how various aspects of cloud computing work within a business setting. For this issue, we’re looking at Oracle Documents Cloud Service.

“One of the reasons that cloud-based file-sharing services are so popular is that they address a universal challenge. Every employee, regardless of their role, needs a secure way to share files for work collaboration,” says Oracle Vice President of Oracle Fusion Middleware Product Management Scott Howley. “In addition, today’s digital workplace requires a 24/7 access to work content from anywhere on any device.”

Use Case 1: Coordinating with Business Partners
Today, internal business functions work with a variety of outside partners—think, for example, of a project in which marketing collaborates with an outside agency on deliverables. “You need to be able to collaborate and share files in real time, but without jeopardizing confidential information such as a press release that could impact stock prices,” says Howley. With Oracle Documents Cloud Service, you have the convenience of collaborative access without the risk associated with consumer products. Enterprise encryption, auditing, tracking, permission controls, and automatic backups keep your information safe.

Use Case 2: Fostering Sales Collaboration
Sales teams often work under deadline, such as when creating a detailed customer request for proposal, a process that involves quickly changing versions that must be instantly shared with both internal and external parties. Additionally, the final output likely needs to be tied back to an opportunity ID in the organization’s CRM system. With Oracle Documents Cloud Service, automatic versioning and syncing ensures version integrity, and its ability to integrate with other Oracle Cloud services such as Oracle Sales Cloud means CRM opportunities won’t get lost.

Use Case 3: Support for Mobile Field Workers
Companies must ensure that mobile or field-site workers can easily and safely access documents—even those with sensitive company information—via a wide variety of devices, from smart phones to tablets and laptops. Oracle Documents Cloud Service provides that flexibility with native support for iPhones, iPads, and Android mobile devices, along with desktop sync for both Mac and Windows computers. Moreover, the ability to embed a user interface in applications, portals, or sites ensures that content can have limitless expressions as work dictates.

“As these use cases show, smart organizations want more than just a standalone file sync and share solution,” says Howley. “They want enterprise-grade security, control, and integration for cloud content sharing.”

To learn more about Oracle Documents Cloud Service, register today for the Oracle Documents Cloud Service executive webcast featuring Oracle CIO Mark Sunday and visit cloud.oracle.com/documents for more information.


Wednesday Apr 29, 2015

On PaaS, Mobile Security, Cloud Content Sharing: April Newsletter is Out

The April edition of the Fusion Middleware newsletter is now out. This edition is all about Digital Transformation. Find out how Platform as a Service (PaaS) is driving the digital revolution and get access to the latest IDC report on the PaaS market, business drivers, benefits and more. As personal and work boundaries blur in the digital age, organizations are getting increasingly concerned about security. The challenges is more acute with trends like Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD)and even Bring Your Own Applications (BYOA). How do you open your company without incurring the security risks? Find out how Mobile Security can help protect your IP, your brand reputation while still enabling a digital trend. And, we continue our ongoing series of Cloud Computing use cases. In this edition, we take a closer look at cloud content sharing and collaboration. Oracle Documents Cloud Service (OracleDOCS)  is an enterprise grade solution that not only offers the intuitive features of cloud file sync and share but to support the various use cases drives a PaaS for SaaS solution allowing you to unlock your company potential. be sure to give it a read to understand how enterprises today are leveraging OracleDOCS.

The newsletter comes complete with news, recent press announcements, information about upcoming events both regional and online, latest market and product materials, and more so don't miss it. And we recommend you subscribe to the newsletter today.


Monday Apr 27, 2015

JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Mobile Enterprise Applications and Learning Oracle MAF

The JD Edwards team has been rocking the mobile scene with numerous mobile applications built on Oracle MAF. There's a new Oracle MAF learning stream here. And noting a quick intro below, a new JD Edwards EnterpriseOne implementation guide.

JD Edwards EnterpriseOne mobile enterprise applications offer users the ability to access and update important business data directly from a mobile tablet or smartphone device. Using Oracle's MAF (Mobile Application Framework) Mobile technology, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne has developed the following mobile applications:

  • Asset Lifecycle Management (ALM)
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Financial Management Solutions (FMS)
  • Health and Safety (HSE)
  • Human Capital Management Fundamentals
  • Project Management
  • Supply Chain Management and Manufacturing
  • Supply Management

Follow @OracleMobile

Friday Apr 24, 2015

Test Drive Oracle’s Application Platform as a Service Solution

By Yoav Eilat-Oracle on Apr 22, 2015

We've just launched a new set of workshops in several U.S. cities: Oracle Platform as a Service for Application Development.

It’s another opportunity to test drive new Oracle Enterprise Manager capabilities, but it goes far beyond Enterprise Manager. This time we focus on Java development and testing in the private and public cloud, and the cloud operations needed to support them.

So bring your laptop, connect to our live environment and try it for yourself!

The day begins with an overview of APaaS benefits and the architectural choices for building your enterprise private or public cloud (or both). You then use step-by-step workbooks that guide you through creating an application platform / middleware cloud environment. The event is perfect for application developers, IT managers and anyone developing, testing and deploying Java applications.

The time is evenly split between private and public cloud labs. These are the workbooks we’ll go through:

· Middleware as a Service

· SOA as a Service

· Fusion Middleware Provisioning

· Creating and Exploring Java Cloud Service

· Building and Deploying an Application with Java Cloud Service

· Managing Java Cloud Service Operations

Looks interesting? Register for an event near you.

Tuesday Apr 21, 2015

Webcast: Develop in the Cloud, For the Cloud

As part of the Oracle Cloud Developer Webcast Series, an upcoming session on April 30 will showcase Oracle's new Developer Cloud Service [DCS]. DCS provides you with a turnkey, secure development platform hosted in the cloud. This session will show you how you can have a complete DevOps solution spun-up within seconds, providing you everything you need to design, develop, build and deploy your applications in the cloud with team collaboration at the heart of it all.

Register Now!
April 30, 9am PT
The Developer Cloud Service product team has just delivered it's latest version, 15.2.2, delivering a feature rich DevOps solution including a New Web UI with support for responsive design. This session consists of both slides and a product demonstration covering the latest release of DCS. For all the specific details of this new release please check out the recent blog post.


Monday Apr 20, 2015

Mobile Cloud Service - Avoiding Apphazard Mobile Delivery

By Ian Wallis, Moble Technical Director, Oracle EMEA

IT organizations are reporting that their traditional three tier architectures are straining to support the needs of mobile users both for customers and employees. And why is this you ask? Well I believe there are many factors causing mobile to stretch and stress traditional IT, a few are listed below:

  • Change – the rate of change in mobile is high with a continuous stream of new devices, features, form factors, operating systems and updates.
  • Innovation – mobile devices can do unique activities such as measure, hear, smell, respond to movement, touch and gesture and many more
  • Connection –the need to handle less reliable connections such as 3G, Edge, GPRS and public WIFI networks
  • Personalisation – mobile devices are personal and apps need the right info at the right place at the right time to avoid being highly intrusive
  • Communication – a trend towards smart endpoints and simple messaging rather than centralized systems and orchestration models
  • Speed of continuous delivery – with the move to Agile development and DevOps, picking the right tool and technology for the job is crucial to be able to work quickly and effectively
  • Processing and battery life - mobile applications work best with simple REST based services rather than more heavy weight XML Web Services which are processor intensive
  • Scale – successful mobile apps can scale very quickly to a global audience of billions of smartphone users
  • Security – a completely new security model with different operating systems and devices, as well as controlling access to data and systems

This struggle has heralded the emergence of new IT delivery models to address the need for scalable mobile services. Services that can support a fragmented set of web and enterprise systems and technologies. Services that can be mashed up to form great mobile apps. One new category of technology is Mobile Backend as a Service (mBaaS). Not an ideal name, as an analyst recently pointed out at an event in Stockholm, asking: “Mobile Backend as a Service, is that even legal?”

Personally I prefer the term Mobile Cloud Services, which combines cloud and service integration with mobile-specific services such as offline functionality, data synchronization, push notifications, location and many others. These Services typically are built with cloud and mobile first in mind, and they leverage node.js infrastructure to provide mobile friendly services sometimes referred to as micro services or micro APIs.

Mobile Cloud Services need to cater for the diverse set of personas involved in developing mobile applications. New roles like Mobile Experience Designer, Producer, Mobile App Developer, Micro Service DeveloperData Scientist and DevOps Engineer have emerged, and these roles need to collaborate, working in parallel rather than sequentially. This includes the ability to create re-usable libraries of mobile services to fast track app development.

Over time I predict that the capabilities supported by  Mobile Cloud Services expanding to include a range of devices an "things" that are well beyond our current understanding of mobile.

Start considering Mobile Cloud Services to avoid the risk of haphazard mobile delivery. To download our eBook on Oracle Mobile Cloud Service, click here.

Follow us @OracleMobile 

Thursday Apr 16, 2015

5 Reasons to Register for Oracle CloudWorld Today

By Ancy Dow

Coming to a city near you is a series of truly exciting, groundbreaking events on how to leverage a modern cloud to become a modern business. In an increasingly hyper-connected world, those who are the first to successfully embrace the cloud will be the first to market, and the first to win.

Here are the top 5 reasons why CloudWorld is crucial for any and all technical or line of business decision-makers who want to drive transformational change, enterprise performance, and innovation by taking advantage of the world’s most cutting-edge technology.

1. Insightful Keynotes with the top Industry Leaders. Listen to Oracle President of Product Development Thomas Kurian discuss Oracle’s overall Cloud strategy, as well as a whole host of the industry’s most respected leaders and analysts in Cloud architecture.

2. Thought Leadership Translated into Real-world Case Studies. Hear from customers and industry experts on why Oracle is the leader in supporting Cloud applications, hear how others have leveraged Oracle Cloud solutions to maximize IT efficiency and business agility, and understand actual use cases and implementations.

3. Hands-On Demos. Experience 8+ Onsite Demos around our latest PaaS cloud services from Oracle, including Database, Java, Mobile, Integration, Process, Documents, BI and more. 

4. Dedicated Tracks Tailored to Your Line of Business. Experience dedicated PaaS Solution Tracks, focused on Senior IT leaders, Development leaders, partners, and Line of Business users, supporting Database, Java, Mobile, Integration, Process, Documents, BI and more. These are transformative deep-dive sessions that are dedicated to highly specific personas and thus extremely relevant, specific to customers’ day-to-days, and full of immediately applicable strategies.

5. Network with Industry Experts and Fellow Professionals. Build your network with some of the top leaders and peers in your industry.

These exciting events have already taken place in Chicago, Beijing, Frankfurt, Moscow, Melbourne, NYC, New Delhi, Mumbai, Tokyo, Buenos Aires and more. The next CloudWorld’s are coming up rapidly—and also with immense global reach. Look for additional locations to be announced soon here. Be sure to reserve your spot today as seats are filling up quickly:

San Jose, US April 30, 2015 Register Now

Mexico City, Mexico July 9, 2015 Register Now

These are definitely a events you won’t want to miss, so see you there!

· Paris, April 14

Monday Apr 13, 2015

How to implement iBeacon in Oracle Mobile Application Framework

Want to alert your customer to a special loyalty discount offer when they enter the menswear department in one of your retail stores?  Want to present information about a famous artist’s life when a visitor to your museum nears one of the artist’s paintings?  These are just two of the many real-world scenarios made possible by the use of iBeacon technology.

This blog post provides an introduction to iBeacon technology and a description of how to build two different MAF apps – one that pretends to be an iBeacon and another that detects iBeacons and uses the local notifications functionality provided in MAF 2.1.1 to inform the user, even when the app isn’t even running.

To deploy these apps to iOS devices you will need an iOS developer account.

What is a beacon?

A beacon is a device that is intentionally conspicuous to draw attention to a location, such as a lighthouse sitting on the edge of a cliff. 

In in the Internet of Things (or IoT), a beacon is a small electronic device that transmits a regular radio signal according to the Bluetooth v4 Low Energy spec (otherwise known as “BLE”).  A beacon typically does no more than advertise its existence by transmitting a unique identifier and can last for months on a single cell battery.

Any BLE-enabled device, such as a modern smartphone, can detect a beacon by listening for BLE-based transmissions.

Whilst the possibilities appear endless, typical applications for beacons currently include retail stores, exhibition halls, museums, places of employment and homes, where users can be alerted to information pertaining to their current location within a building.

What is (an) iBeacon?

iBeacon is a technology introduced by Apple in iOS 7 that defines a standard for how a beacon identifies itself (or “advertises”) in its BLE transmissions.  Any beacon that implements this standard can be called an iBeacon.

Most beacon manufacturers implement the iBeacon standard by default, whilst some can also be configured to use their own proprietary protocol.  It’s also possible to configure a post-2012 iOS device, or Mac running OS X Mavericks (not Yosemite), to act as an iBeacon.

Whilst the iBeacon technology is included in the iOS Core Location framework since iOS 7, any BLE-enabled device can detect iBeacons and various libraries exist for use on devices running Android 4.3 or above.

How does iBeacon work?

The iBeacon standard defines three properties that determine a beacon’s identity:

  • A proximity UUID (universally unique identifier), which is a 128-bit value that uniquely identifies one or more beacons as a certain type or from a certain organization.
  • A major value, which is a 16-bit unsigned integer that can be used to group related beacons that have the same proximity UUID.
  • A minor value, which is a 16-bit unsigned integer that differentiates beacons with the same proximity UUID and major value.

Every iBeacon must advertise a proximity UUID, whilst the advertisement of major and minor values is optional.  All beacon manufacturers allow customers to modify these values on their purchased beacons.

A typical iBeacon deployment (e.g. within a retail store chain) would see all beacons advertising the same proximity UUID, those in a particular location (e.g. a single store) advertising the same major value, and the minor values being used to uniquely identify each beacon.

When using iOS Location Services, an app wishing to detect iBeacons must start by monitoring for an iBeacon region.  A region is defined by the proximity UUID and optionally major and minor values, and can therefore represent one or more beacons.  Consider an app for a retail store chain that monitors for a region defined only by the proximity UUID.  This app will be notified when any of the retain chain’s beacons are detected.  Alternatively, if the region being monitored is defined by proximity UUID and major value, the app might only be notified when a beacon from a particular store (represented by the major value) is detected.

Once an app has been launched and the user has given permission for the app to monitor for beacons, the app will be notified when the device enters a beacon region that is being monitored, even if the app is not running and even if the device has been restarted.  If the app is not running, iOS launches the app for a short period (around 10 seconds), allowing the app to receive and react to the event.  Typically, the app fires an immediate local notification to notify the user.

When a user’s device enters a beacon region, the app can start ranging for individual beacons within the region to determine its relative proximity to each beacon.  This is used to determine when the user is in the immediate proximity of a particular beacon, so that information related to that beacon can be displayed to the user.  The relative proximity is an approximation that can be affected by physical objects including walls, water and the human body.  Most beacon manufacturers allow customers to modify the transmission power and advertising interval on their purchased beacons, so as to fine-tune the distance at which the relative proximity is considered ‘immediate’.

When iOS Location Services determines that it can no longer detect any beacons in the region, it notifies the app that the beacon region has been exited.  In practice, I’ve found that this takes around 30 seconds, but some bloggers have reported much longer times.

Libraries exist for Android that provide similar functionality to iOS Location Services, but I have not explored these (yet).

How to create an iBeacon client app

Click here to continue reading the full post. 


Wednesday Apr 08, 2015

Reduce your commute, mobile apps make for efficient motoring

Posting on behalf of Ian Wallis, Mobile Technical Director EMEA

Posting on behalf of Ian Wallis, Mobile Technical Director EMEA

For an entire week I would wake up in a sweat, feeling disconnected from the world, rush into work, disorientated, feeling like I had lost my bearings, turning up to meetings late or going to the wrong locations, missing calls and emails and finally heading to bed at the end of the day frustrated and exhausted. You are probably wondering whether I am suffering from some form of mid-life crisis? Alas, this was something far more ominous, as for one week I experienced the panic of not having a smartphone to hand while I waited for the delivery of a new iPhone.

The biggest impact was felt on my commute into work. Normally my commute takes an hour during peak traffic. Usually I would have the benefit of a mobile app called Waze to guide and advise me through the maze of back routes in Surrey and Berkshire to get to Oracle’s Thames Valley Park. You can imagine my frustration as I spent an average of 1h 35 minutes commuting into work last week. At each traffic jam my blood pressure would rise as I imagined my alter-ego sailing past these points of congestion using the wonderful navigational recommendations provided by Google and Waze.

By using the Waze app I gain a 35% reduction in my commute time. Can you imagine the increase in personal efficiency if every car commute in the UK was cut by say 20%! We are talking about 16m people in the UK saving an average of eleven minutes a day, which equates to almost 3 million hours saved sitting in traffic and burning fuel at a litre per hour! I would have gained over 2.5 hours per week, 140 hours each year. By adopting mobile technology the potential social impact and economic gain in efficiency is utterly remarkable.

This is just one example of how mobile can become a key facet of getting through the day, reducing pressure and increasing overall personal efficiency. It also indicates how we are becoming more dependent on mobile services.

Oracle has recently researched “Millennials and Mobility: how businesses can tap into the app generation” and this research points to how important it is for enterprises to incorporate mobile into their offerings. If you are not engaging and advising customers and employees in the appropriate manner and at the right time, I can assure you that some other app will be.

By using the power of cloud services and drawing on the huge amount of data mobile generates to build engaging experiences, mobile can guide us to be more efficient and effective in our day-to-day activities. All enterprises should focus on how to leverage mobile or risk getting stuck in traffic. 

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