Friday Oct 31, 2014

Cloud Application Foundation Rocks OpenWorld

Author: Jens Eckels, Princial, Technology Product Marketing, Oracle
Halloween is upon us, so of course we're all wearing orange, carving pumpkins and planning our evenings to either go trick or treating with the kids, stay home and hand out candy or leave town and avoid the neighborhood crowds like a Halloween Grinch. We're also busying ourselves in the aftermath of OpenWorld 2014, where WebLogic, Coherence and other CAF products had a lot for show-and-tell. So, here are some useful links, topics and recaps just for you.

All treats, no tricks.
And maybe a few bad Halloween puns for good measure.
This year, OpenWorld understandably had a cloud emphasis, and the sessions for WebLogic and Coherence were no exception. We explored how you could keep cloud migrations from "goblin" up your IT budget (sorry for that groaner) as you look at moving from on-premise to the cloud. We looked at some of the advantages of using Coherence in tandem with WebLogic as a strategic in-memory data grid, "witch" allows you to process data in real time and offload back-end services. We held developer sessions on how open technologies like Chef and Puppet are helping you provision your infrastructure. And of course, sessions on Java Cloud Service itself that provides an easy way to move your workloads from on-premise into the public cloud (it's not as "terrifying" as you might think).

No one likes hunting all over for information, so we'll help you be a lazy "bones" by provding you some links here. Boo-ckle your seat belts and enjoy the ride through the internet - if you have the "guts."
Editor's note: I am very, very sorry for suggesting we use Halloween jokes. I didn't foresee they would be so awful. Maybe I should have read my horror-scope. Please click the links anyway.

Keynotes and General Sessions
Slideshare Presentations

We had a great time at OOW 2014, and we're looking forward to seeing in 2015 to keep you on top of your game.

Have a boo-tiful, safe and exciting Halloween and beyond!

Save the date for OpenWorld 2015:
October 25 - 29, 2015

Email me when registration for OpenWorld and JavaOne opens

Monday Oct 27, 2014

Enterprise Mobility – Time to take the lead or perish

Enterprise Mobility – Time to take the lead or perish
Suhas Uliyar, VP Mobile Strategy, Product Management, Oracle

Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, once said: “If you don’t have a mobile strategy, you don’t have a strategy of growth”

I agree. The gap continues to grow between organizations that have embraced mobility as a way of life and those that maintain a tactical business approach and continue to resist the inevitable. The latter find themselves increasingly struggling to play catch-up and stay relevant. Those that have taken a “mobile first” approach, on the other hand, have disrupted the status quo and achieved unprecedented levels of success in a very short period of time.

Consider Uber, for example; launched in March 2009, the ridesharing service quickly tapped into customers’ enthusiasm for ‘everything mobile’ and is now valued at more than US$15 billion. The company completely destabilized the traditional taxi model, which cannot match the agility of a fully mobile business. The implication is clear: Change or perish.

Mobile technology really has worked its way into virtually every aspect of our lives, so it is surprising to see that many organizations are still trying to hold back the tide when it comes to enterprise mobility. Only 24 percent of employers actively encourage the use of mobile devices for work, with one-fifth actually limiting the applications and data that employees can access on these devices[1].

In reality, this strategy serves neither them nor their employees. Our reflex to check our push notifications every few minutes has become almost as ingrained in our psyches as our impulse to drink water when we’re thirsty – and we probably do it more often, to be honest – so why fight the natural progression of things, especially when it can work in our favor?

A mobile approach can transform the way a business operates at its core. It allows people to make the most of their connected devices so they can collaborate more effectively and work in a more flexible way. It also encourages innovation through the use of pioneering apps and services, and perhaps most importantly offers businesses a better way to engage with their customers, their employees, and their partners.

To add to this, businesses have little hope of holding back what has become an unstoppable tide of enthusiasm for “everything mobile”. Only 18 percent of people think their employers can effectively control how they use their personal devices, while many have found ways to use them for work despite businesses’ policies to the contrary[2].

It’s understandable that companies have some concerns around enterprise mobility, particularly when it comes to security and integration, but they should by no means let their apprehension stifle innovation.

The trick for organizations today is to implement their own end-to-end mobile platforms, and to keep things simple. In my experience, simplicity is crucial to the rapid and effective integration of business data with user-friendly mobile applications. The cloud in particular offers businesses an excellent back-end platform to support their mobility solutions in a simple and cost effective manner.

The technology needed to fuel the mobile business is here and the appetite among people in the workforce for “everything mobile” is only getting more voracious. Rather than viewing the rise of enterprise mobility as a potential threat and it letting it blow by them, companies should be capitalizing on the opportunity in front of them.

[1] Oracle Mobile Simply Connected Report, 2014
[2] Oracle Mobile Simply Connected Report, 2014

Monday Jul 14, 2014

Enterprise Mobility - Follow the Data

Author: Craig Mikus, Sr. Director, Enterprise Mobile Solutions

I always enjoy talking to customers about their enterprise mobile strategy.  Unfortunately, all too often, our conversations are about their short term plans to build one or two mobile apps, as opposed to considering a more comprehensive enterprise mobile strategy around one platform to develop, integrate, secure, manage and deploy hundreds of mobile applications. But that’s OK, most companies have to crawl before they can walk, and then walk before they run.

To start our mobile conversations, I usually like to understand the problem being solved, or on the flip side, how mobile applications will help their company innovate and create real competitive differentiation.   Regardless of our discussion entry points, I always end up talking about their backend data, and not just in terms of integration or security.  Enterprise mobility is not just about a vendor’s technology to develop, integrate, and secure mobile applications.  It’s also about their business processes and accessing or generating critical data from a mobile device.  In many cases, if you “follow the data”, you can uncover the root cause of why a company is really building mobile apps, and it may surprise everyone,  especially those who tasked to develop the mobile applications.   

For example, I was speaking with a customer recently that wanted to understand our mobile development products.   I asked why they were building mobile apps and they responded that they wanted a new way to interact with their customers.   After several more questions, it turns out the company really didn’t know their customers.  You see, this company wholesales their products to a big retailer, who in turn sells their products to the ultimate consumer.  The only way this company knows their ultimate customer is when the buyer responds to a support issue or they register the product for its warranty.  As it turns out, this company only knew about 20% of their actual customers.  To make matters worse, their back end systems (i.e. support and warranty systems) were not integrated so they didn’t have one master customer record, which caused massive data quality issues, especially when they tried to analyze their data. 

To solve these data quality issues, the business was determined to build a mobile application to allow customers to easily register their products and simultaneously build a master customer record.  With a single customer master saved, the company could feed the data into other transactional systems.  This knowledge would then help the business proactively interact with their customers by leveraging the new mobile apps to drive promotions, product updates, product feedback, customer loyalty programs, etc.   

Once everyone understood the primary driver of the mobile app, the company execs re-established the objectives of the mobile project and recruited differentfolks from within the company to be involved in this mobile project.  In the end, the company was able to align this mobile project to an overall company goal and just as important, everyone understood and shared the goal.

My lesson learned and advice to others when outlining an enterprise mobile strategy “Follow the data”.  The data willtypically uncover  opportunities, identify potential problems and root causes, help answer questions around integration and security, and expose what will really drive valued enterprise mobile solutions.

Monday Jun 23, 2014

A Mobile-First Strategy and Beyond...

Did you watch Messi's goal? On your Mobile device or live? Okay so even I will admit, organizers of 2014 FIFA World Cup may not have had mobile FIRST on their priority list, yet, I am certain they had a Mobile-First strategy as a top priority.

Did you know the Mobile traffic, during the opening match at the World Cup2014 exceeded 1 million connections? So far 2014 FIFA World Cup appears to be the most high-tech football event ever, the opening match at the Arena Corinthians in São Paulo has seen more than one million mobile data communications and 135,000 mobile phone calls. Organizers are already expecting data traffic during the World Cup final next month will reach about 12.6 terabytes - so the organizers definitely had Mobile on their minds when planning out their events. 

Recently Oracle’s CIO, Mark Sunday had a candid discussion with Oracle Vice President of Mobile Strategy, Suhas Uliyar, around the trends, opportunities and challenges when it comes to enterprise mobility. “I encourage CIOs to develop a mobile-first strategy and then look beyond. Mobile apps set expectations for usability, appearance, and behavior… It is important to have a multichannel and multi-device strategy, “ Suhas explained. CIOs and IT have an opportunity to sit in the drivers seat in defining the corporate enterprise mobility strategy.

Companies and industries alike are going through what Suhas refers to as, “mobile transformations.” He continues, “Consuming data and being able to act upon events and alerts from these devices will become progressively more important. We are seeing a classic convergence of mobile, IoT, cloud, and big data analytics in healthcare.” Be sure to read more in this two part interview: CIO Drives Innovation: A Mobile-First Strategy  and Mobile and Internet of Things.

Now I hope you catch a bit of World Cup fever!! Stay connected to FIFA 2014 World Cup, perhaps download their much acclaimed Mobile App! And of course visit!

Monday Jun 16, 2014

"AppFast" Design

Posting on behalf of Martin Jarvis, Senior Director, Fusion Middleware Market Development

It’s been said many times, but I’ll say it again, designing for mobile is different. A conversation we often have with customers is scope their apps to best meet their end user’s needs.  

Unlike their desktop and web counter parts, the best mobile apps are designed to do one thing and to do it well. You don’t have one mobile app for ERP and one for CRM, instead you have specific individual apps for specific tasks. For example, you might have an app for submitting timesheets, an app for submitting expenses and another app for manager approvals. This approach is sometimes known as “micro-apps”. Although they are separate apps, it’s very likely they will integrate to the same back end system and utilize the same authentication and authorizations schemes. This micro app approach to app design has benefits and implications for the whole development organization.

The most significant benefit is that the development complexity is reduced which can also significantly reduce development timescales. It’s not uncommon to hear our customers say they have developed and deployed the first version of their app in a matter of weeks.  This means the end user organization will start  enjoying the business benefits of the app faster than even, which I like to call “AppFast!"

With over-the-air updates through public or enterprise app stores, functionality can be enhanced and rolled out very quickly. Mobile development teams can employ an iterative develop approach, delivering new functionality early and often.  This further increases the business value of mobile delivered to the end user organization.  

The key to getting this micro-app approach to work AppFast is to employ a robust integration and security platform. Since the apps will likely be integrated to the same back end systems, it is vital that a common set of services are defined and utilized by all apps.  Without this development teams will spend too many cycles re-developing integration code, resulting in complexity and unnecessary duplication. 

To go AppFast, think micro apps built on top of a common mobile platform.   

Monday Apr 28, 2014

Mobile has changed the game and enterprises need to decipher how they will compete, innovate and transform

Author: Steve Ng, Senior Vice President, OFM, Oracle APAC

We are in the midst of a revolution where mobile is upstaging PCs, laptops and tablets to emerge as the device of choice for Internet connectivity. In fact, the entire user experience is undergoing a dramatic change – with the “carry it anywhere, everywhere” convenience and accessibility offered by mobile phones. Together with its ease-of-use interface, mobile is almost ubiquitous in today’s world. Consider the following global trends[1]:

  • Facebook has crossed a billion monthly active users of which 819 million (more than 80%) access it through a mobile device
  • iTunes is the largest music vendor in the world
  • Google generated around $1billion of its total $13.9 billion revenues from mobile in Q1 2013

The Asian market is a huge contributor to the global mobile boom with the region contributing to around 895 million active mobile subscriptions in the year 2012 alone.[2]  In fact, a Nielsen Smartphone Insights Study 2013 shows that smart phone penetration in the Asia-Pacific region is booming, presenting a huge mobile commerce opportunity. It has progressed especially well in sophisticated markets like Korea and Japan, with close to nine in 10 (89%) Japanese consumers and around two-thirds (67%) of Korean consumers having participated in mobile commerce activities in July 2013.As the technology wave catches on, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Australia are slated to be the next big mobile commerce markets and it’s only a matter of time before mobile commerce shapes the future of Asia’s overall retail landscape.

What’s more, it’s not only the developers that are tech savvy, but also end customers, who are more demanding when it comes to their business expectations around mobility. With an ever growing young population entering the workplace– 24x7 connectivity and instantaneous updates are the norm rather than the exception. There is clearly a need for business apps to move to the mobile to harness productivity and business efficiency of this young demographic. 

It is hardly surprising then that 90% of CIOs expect to deploy more than 25 mobile apps in 2014 and by 2015 mobile app development projects will outnumber native PC projects by a ratio of 4:1. [3]

Chart a mobile roadmap

While the need to go mobile is entering boardroom discussions, what remains imperative is charting out a mobile roadmap. Enterprises can seldom convert their complete suite of apps at one go. A well thought out roadmap can however help prioritize their portfolio. Starting with the most critical apps that can deliver the most value in the initial years, enterprises need to gradually move into a ‘Mobile First’ mindset. This mindset teaches enterprises to think of mobile at the inception stage of a new application/solution, but also consider the use case when developing the mobile app (eg. consider the device form factor, requisite capabilities or ease of use). Indeed, if enterprises adopt a long term vision that the future is mobile, they can translate this into crucial brainstorm sessions at the initial product development stage to ensure mobile experiences are integral to all their applications.

Sometimes it is because of the absence of this mindset that enterprises act in retrospect –simply replicating the same set of capabilities for their web applications to mobile is no longer acceptable. Take for example when a customer wishes to conduct a banking transaction on the mobile. Expecting the customer to wait two days for a password to execute the mobile transaction can defeat the entire purpose of providing users with the convenience and immediate access that customers now expect from their mobile apps. 

Leverage the power of the mobile device and recognize its constraints

Enterprises need to grasp the potential and for that matter even the constraints of mobile. While a mobile provides the efficiency of location based solutions, the size of the device is not suited to long, busy web pages that make browsing inconvenient. While designing for mobile, enterprises need to pay attention to the different kinds of things one can do with a tablet vis-à-vis a phone vis-à-vis a desktop. This starts by identifying the current state of the application and its suitability to the mobile device. Most web applications are in fact ‘mobile hostile’ and not at all user friendly when viewed in a three to four inch screen or mobile device. When developing the mobile apps, enterprises need to adapt the application to make it more tolerant of the mobile device. A step further would be to weave in a responsive design that makes the app mobile friendly– either providing a different application flow or even providing different types of information to the mobile user. Of course for the most optimized mobile experience, enterprises can always redesign and rebuild the app from ground up. But before venturing into the custom design space, enterprises should first evaluate what they want to achieve via the app, consider the integration to many of the standard device features such as GPS or camera etc. Many times, a simple notification sent via SMS or a social network can create as powerful a user experience.

Put the backend in the forefront

Embarking on the mobile channel, especially for enterprises, is not just about the device or the design and interface of the app; it’s about providing a complete end to end user experience. This user experience depends upon a stable back end. Indeed, for enterprises, the integration and secure access to backend systems is the most critical aspect, whether they are developing B2B, B2C or B2E mobile applications. A common approach is to build Web APIs in the backend but since this architecture requires constant connectivity, the challenge arises when the mobile device is disconnected. A Transaction Replay model works well when users are disconnected since a cached database sits on the mobile client. This allows the user to perform all available transactions that are subsequently recorded and replayed when the connection is restored. For connectivity that is consistent and superior, an open backend that can leverage the power of new technology trends such as Cloud and Internet of Things (IoT) is increasingly emerging as the platform of choice for enterprises across the board. Last but not least, security.

Convenience offered by the mobile cannot come at the cost of security. Especially with mobile penetration in the retail merchant channel growing rapidly - nearly one in 10 merchants accepted mobile payments in 2013, an increase of 50 percent per year since 2011 - enterprises have to consider security from device to data center. [4] Without a doubt, security is the key aspect of an integral mobile experience – not merely for the end user but the merchant too. As per a recent study on the True Cost of Mobile Fraud, fraud threats are impacting merchants to the tune of $283 for every $100 of actual fraud losses through the mobile channel. 

Even within closed corporate networks, the mobile device looms as a significant security threat. According to a Global Corporate IT Security Risks study conducted by B2B International and Kapersky Lab in May 2013, personal mobile devices used for work-related purposes remain one of the main hazards for businesses with 65% surveyed seeing a threat in the Bring Your Own Device policy. [5]

Yet according to the same study, only 14% of companies have a fully developed mobile device security policy for their corporate networks. This is especially alarming in light of the fact that mobile devices caused more critical data leakages than either phishing attacks (5% of companies), employee fraud (4%), or corporate espionage (3%). Enterprises require a secure environment on the mobile device that separates personal data from corporate sensitive data. Real BYOD management means delivering a secure container around the corporate applications so that enterprises can secure access privilege, easily separate, protect, and wipe corporate applications, e-mail and data of their employees, partners or customers. From the end-user perspective, BYOD management also means that their personal applications and data can be kept separate from the enterprise information. Businesses are beginning to recognize the significance of comprehensive security architecture and the need to create strong, stable and secure mobile ecosystems that simplifies compliance and truly exploits the new opportunities that mobile, cloud and social access have introduced.  After all, there’s no looking back with mobile- it’s changed the way we communicate forever and it can change the way business is conducted for our future generations. The way forward is for enterprises to embrace the mobile revolution responsibly – to deliver engaging user experiences on secure platforms, for any application, on any device and around any data.


[1]India’s mobile internet- The revolution has begun’; A report by financial services provider, Avendus, March 2013's_Mobile_Internet-2013.pdf

[2]Nielsen Smartphone Insights Study 2013:

[3]Forbes: Mobile Business Statistics 2012

[4]True Cost of Fraud Mobile, A study by LexisNexis, December 2013

[5]Kaspersky and B2B International studyGlobal Corporate IT Security Risks, May 2013

Thursday Apr 24, 2014

ACE Director Discusses How AppAdvantage Can Help Enterprises

Written By: Debra Lilley, ACE Director, Fusion Applications

I just got back from Collaborate 2014 where I spoke about AppAdvantage with Ed Zou, VP Product Management Oracle who is responsible for the AppAdvantage team. We gave a joint presentation explaining the thought process behind AppAdvantage and the renewed importance of looking at business challenges and how perhaps Fusion Middleware may help.

Our audience was small, something that I noticed in a of sessions at collaborate, perhaps there is simply just too much choice, but that aside those that did attend believed our content resonated with what they were seeing in their own organisations. In fact this is a topic that I’ve written about in my own blog about how I found the users attending collaborate to be at an exciting point in their own applications journey.

I talked about mobile amongst the other entry points into AppAdvantage. Again as I normally do I used the example of the Fusion expenses app and how that can be used not just with Fusion Applications but also other ERP systems. Ed expanded this with Oracle’s mobile strategy and explained that selecting the app that you want to write or commission is actually the simple part, it is more important and challenging to achieve the security and integration into your ERP systems. Ed gave the example of MYLA311 mobile app available to residents of the LA area. This mobile app looks really cool and it would be great if I could download it and show it when talking about mobile however the security recognises that I am not normally U.S.-based and does not allow me to do so.

So if Ed and I were able to engage our audience and discuss with them how the AppAdvantage concept can help them, which proves the value of the presentation, how do we get more people interested in the first place?

I saw a lot presentations where customers using E Business suite, PeopleSoft, JDE and Siebel were using Fusion Middleware for all sorts of solutions, so the problem is with the marketing of the concept not the idea.

As I write this posting today it is the last day of the Oracle Open World call for papers and I’m pleased to see that there is a stream dedicated to AppAdvantage, which means that hopefully there will be good content and a successful dedicated track for delegates to attend. The other thing at Oracle Open World is the Fusion Middleware Innovation Awards which showcase customers who have gone down this route. My advice Oracle is to talk both about this track and these awards with more emphasis on the AppAdvantage name.

If your organisation has used Fusion Middleware to extend the reach of your ERP systems then submit your story for the Fusion Middleware Innovation Awards not only for the opportunity to be showcased at Oracle Open World but it also comes with a free ticket.

Debra Lilley, Fusion Champion, UKOUG Board Member, Fusion User Experience Advocate and ACE Director.  Lilley has 18 years experience with Oracle Applications, with E Business Suite since 9.4.1, moving to Business Intelligence Team Lead and Oracle Alliance Director. She has spoken at over 100 conferences worldwide and posts at debrasoraclethoughts

Wednesday Apr 23, 2014

Oracle Mobile Platform Breakfast Seminar Series - Australia

Written By: Juliana Button, Director - Fusion Middleware 

With the escalating usage of smart phones, we are already seeing mobile phones replacing cameras, cash, maps, remote controls, boarding passes and more.  Smartphone and tablet sales continue to accelerate. IT has a clear opportunity to work with line-of-business leaders to establish enterprise, cross-channel mobile strategies

With keen interest in Mobility from the Australian market, we recently hosted Breakfast Seminars in Sydney and Melbourne with 60+ attendees in each location, to provide an update on the Oracle Mobile Platform, and showcase some of the mobile innovations from local Australian customers and partners.

With a highly engaged and interactive audience in both Sydney and Melbourne, Chris Muir, Senior Principal Mobile Product Manager at Oracle, and Ruben Garcia Mohedano, ‏Business Integration & Mobility Advisor at Oracle provided an excellent overview of the Oracle Mobile Platform – Keynote Presentation, addressing many questions on Mobile Security.

The Oracle Mobile Platform delivers one single platform for our customer’s multi channel needs, supporting any device, any application, any data and secured with the leading enterprise security solution. The mobile platform has all the components and tools required to build cross platform device-resident hybrid apps that share the same code base across mobile OS and form factors, tools to integrate with backend data and services, comply with existing enterprise security policies and extend for mobile specific security requirements and provide enterprise grade deployment. 

Oracle Gold Partner Colab Managing Director, James Stocks and Echo Entertainment Portfolio Manager Hospitality, Sarah Robinson discussed Cel+ Mobile implemented at Echo Entertainment.  Colab was tasked to mobilize key Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) processes and integrate third party applications through the provision of a single access point and enterprise mobility platform. Colab delivered the Cel+ Mobile application which provided key business processes via smartphones, tablets and desktop with seamless integration to their Virtual Roster application.

The key challenge faced at Echo was to architect a solution that allowed data and services from highly restricted and secured internal systems, that were currently available only to those connected within the corporate network, by either being onsite or connected through a VPN. Oracle WebLogic Server was utilized with a standards-based security approach. Web Services were written using the REST protocol to expose E-Business Suite functionality which provided the performance required for the mobile application. Oracle E-Business  Suite SDK for JAAS authentication was used to authenticate and authorize users. 

From an organizational perspective, there were varied technical capabilities across the organization. Many users did not have English as their first language, and many users could not access or did not have smart phones or tablets and were unfamiliar with the general concepts, navigation and the user interface. This demanded that the Cel+ Mobile user experience be highly intuitive with an easy to use interface that adopts common design patterns found in consumer applications. Additionally, Cel+ Mobile was rendered for desktop so that those users that did not have a smartphone or tablet could still access the system from a home computer.

Oracle ADF, with its MVC architecture, was the framework selected for the web-based application and this made the transition to ADF Mobile a seamless process where the experienced developers were able to reuse their existing Oracle ADF skills and apply them to Oracle ADF Mobile development. Check out the presentation or read the full case-study here.

Oracle Gold Partner Intelligent Pathways Founder and Lead Architect, Gary Crosby, discussed Jetstream, implemented as application system “RED” at Qantas. Jetstream is a mobile solution that enables rapid guest recognition, fast customer recovery and electronic operational reporting in the air.  Jetstream has three applications, Cabin, Forms and Ground, which connect to the Jetstream Ground Server.

Jetstream Cabin integrates with reservation and departure systems, as well as CRM, operations and crewing systems to bring current data into the cabin. Jetstream Cabin enables electronic capture of passenger and operations data in the air, and sends this back to ground systems on completion of the flight. Jetstream Forms enables users to gather and share data via an electronic form on a mobile device. Completed forms are submitted back to the airline for operational reporting. Jetstream Ground is a mobile application used by staff within the airport. It provides users with real time flight and passenger information at the kerb side, lounge, check-in and gate.

The solution uses Oracle SOA Suite to implement the Jetstream services, running on Oracle WebLogic Server, and empowers cabin crew to deliver seamless one-on-one customer service. Check out the presentation or watch one of the Qantas customer testimonial videos – YouTube | YouTube.

Monday Apr 14, 2014

How not to repeat past mistakes in the mobile world

Author: Shay Shmeltzer, Director of Product Management and Strategy

When talking to customers about their mobile development plan, I can't help but feel a slight flashback feeling to the type of discussion we had when people got serious about Web development 10-15 years ago. While mobile is definitelly a new technology, there is no reason to repeat the mistakes of the past and not to learn from the experience we gathered in the application development community. Here are three things that I noticed were solved in the past, and where the approach to the solution can be applied in the new mobile paradigm.

Cross Platform Development

Back in the 90s there was no single OS that controled the server world. Windows, Linux, and various flavors of Unix were mixed together in various IT shops. Today this is the situation on the mobile client side - there is no single mobile OS that rules the market. There are two clear front runner - iOS and Android - but others are in the mix too, and any organization who adopts the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) approach will need to target more than a single platform.

So how do you solve the need to develop with a single language and run on multiple platforms?
In the 90s we solved this with Java, a language that ran inside a container that was available for each platform. Today we take a similar approach for mobile apps - using an approach called hybrid mobile - relying on a container that runs your mobile application on the mobile OS. With Oracle's Mobile development framework, we are providing a container that runs a single mobile app on multiple platforms. By the way, one part of our container is a mobile-flavored JVM that runs your business logic on the mobile device. This concept of a container that runs your code, is also extended to the UI layer where our framework uses the Webview component to render cross device UI layers.
By picking up this approach you are able to reduce your development effort to building just a single application and running it on multiple devices.

A fear we sometime hear is that this type of in-container apps will be slow because of the container overhead. Again this is a flashback to the early days of Java, when there was a fear that because of its architecture it won't be able to handle the performance load required from enterprise apps. This fear has completely passed now, and Java powers every type of system. This is the same thing we are seeing in the mobile space. While it is true that there is a slight edge to native apps in terms of performance - the difference compared to the hybrid approach is so negligible that you'll only notice it if you were trying to build a real-time gaming system. For enterprise style applications the hybrid approach is performing great. In fact if we encounter slow hybrid apps - the problem is almost always in the way that the app talks to the backend, rather than at the client side.

Architecture and Modularity

In the first several iterations of web development architecture developers mixed UI and logic into the same file (think of CGI, Servlets, JSP). While technically this worked - it became a nightmare to maintain and change applications built this way. This gave rise to the adoption of MVC architecture for web apps - a strict separation between the UI layer and the logic and data layers. However today, when you look at many of the Hybrid applications that are being built, you can see a regression back to the old way of coding, with developers mixing HTML5 (UI) and JavaScript (Logic) in the same file.

With our mobile framework, we incorporated the Model-View-Controller (MVC) design pattern into the way we build mobile applications. User interfaces are defined in one file, business logic and data access in another. Making your application easier to maintain. In addition we put a lot of effort into enabling reusability with the ability to package functionality you build as "features", and then integrating various features into a single application, or reusing features in other applications.

Simplifying UI Development

Hybrid applications are mostly using HTML5 and JavaScript to achieve the native like UI on devices. However another lesson we learned from the past is that coding at this level is both tedious and dangerous. There is a faster and safer way to construct your UI - use components instead of low-level coding.
This approach is faster because it reduced coding drastically. With a rich set of components - like the set of over 60 components provided by Oracle's mobile framework - developers can simply pick and arrange components on the page to create advanced UIs.

In addition, UI technology has a tendency to change and evolve rapidly. For example in the world of web development Flash was the "de-facto" standard for rich internet application just 5 years ago - but today it is rarely used anymore for these type of application and HTML5 is replacing it.
The nice thing about working with components that generate markup language is that the markup that is being generated can be changed or evolved over time. We already did this in our ADF Faces components - components that started by generating PNG files evolved to generate Flash and today are generating HTML5 markup. All through those changes there was no need to re-write the application that were created with those components.
Basically using components can provide protection from technology changes down the road - and this is true for mobile apps too.


A wise man is the one who learns from others mistakes. Make sure that when you consider your mobile development approach you are wise. Learn the lessons of the past and apply them to the new world - choose your development framework wisely. 

More Mobile? Checkout the mobile dedicated blog at

Monday Apr 07, 2014

Is Enterprise Mobility Revolutionizing the Way that Business is done in China?

Author: Winston Yuen Hung Lin, VP, Product Management, OFM

What is changing the IT landscape in China? How do local CIOs react towards the change? Have you dreamed of working anytime anywhere?

As one of the most important mobile device markets in the world, China has been booming rapidly driven by ever-higher-performing smart phones, tablets, and other devices enabled by 3G and 4G networks. With more and more different mobile devices like tablets and smart phones being used widely, it is inevitable that workers want to bring their own devices into their workspaces and conduct their business anytime, anywhere.

Enterprise mobility has been triggered along with the shift in business practices. With the support of enterprise mobility, a doctor can get access to a patient’s files from his tablet; a manager can prepare his presentation from his mobile device while travelling; employees can work outside the office and become more and more productive by using their own devices.

Now the multi channel era has come, the request has arisen. It’s time for CIOs to embrace the change and adjust their strategies and infrastructures to support the mobility revolution. According to a recent survey from the famous research website IT168, more than 90% of Chinese companies have implemented their mobility plans or started to think about their mobility strategy, especially in the financial, government and retail industry. These companies are usually large or medium-sized, and require high levels of integration to interact with companies’ data frequently. There are still 5% local companies that do not need enterprise mobility. These companies are mostly traditional businesses that do not need to cover their business via the internet or mobile.

Why do most companies start to implement enterprise mobility? According to recent research, in China, 56% corporations aim at satisfying business requirements, and then increasing operation efficiency directly; 43% aim at increasing work efficiency. Take the financial industry as an example, most customers want to process a variety of financial business anytime, anywhere. To meet business requirements, the four major national banks in China (ICBC, ABC,BOC, CCB) have provided their own mobile banking services. They bring convenience, efficiency, meeting their mobility strategy and also provide customers traditional and creative services.

Undoubtedly, mobility has become a critical part of the IT environment, with more and more companies regarding BYOD (Bring your own device) as the new mobile business trend. According to a recent survey from IT168, it has become a worldwide phenomenon as well: 74% of worldwide corporations allow BYOD usage according to Forbes: Mobile Business Statistics . BYOD brings many advantages, but what CIOs care about is the security issue that BYOD causes. According to a business value report, 68% local companies worry about BYOD security and it has become the primary barrier to broad mobile deployments within the enterprise.

In the next blog, we will continue to explore the mobility’s world with you, we will discuss the following questions in depth.

What are the advantages that mobility will bring? Also what disadvantages will it cause? What can we do accordingly?

Friday Apr 04, 2014

It's All Systems Go: Fusion Middleware @ COLLABORATE14 Next Week

 Air travel reservations confirmed - CHECK.  Hotel reservations confirmed - CHECK.  Powerpoint presentation ready for COLLABORATE14 - CHECK.  Now, all you need to do is plan which sessions you don't want to miss.  The Fusion Middleware team is out in full force at this year's COLLABORATE and we want to make it easy for you to come, attend, learn and network at sessions.  Below is a short list of sessions you won't want  to miss and hear Edward Zou, Vice-President, Product Management speak about Oracle AppAdvantage, Mobility and Fusion Middleware's future objectives: 

  • AppAdvantage: Business Advantage through Fusion Middleware - Tuesday, April 8 from 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

The session will discuss how Oracle EBusiness Suite, PeopleSoft, JDEdwards and Siebel customers are extending and enhancing their existing investments in applications with SOA, BPM, IDM, WebCenter, DI, Exa solutions and Mobile Platform technologies to achieve business results.

  • Build Mobile Apps, Extend Fusion Apps and Integrate Cloud Apps with Fusion Middleware - Tuesday, April 8 from 1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

The focus of the session will be a discussion on where we are investing in Oracle Fusion Middleware. We’ll also be discussing the cloud, particularly how to leverage your current and planned investments in Oracle database, applications or other middleware technologies.

  • Simplify Enterprise Mobility: Extend Oracle Applications to Mobile - Tuesday, April 8 from 4:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.

Read up on Edward Zou's interview with IOUG's Dan McDonnel, right here, and learn what's coming up at the show and how AppAdvantage and Enteprise Mobility are key Middleware objectives you should know about. 

We have even more sessions at the show across other lines of Fusion Middleware that you shouldn't miss - here's a listing: 

  • Real World Cloud and On-Premise ERP Integration Simplified with Oracle SOA Suite - April 9 from 1:00-2:00 PM, Level 3 Murano 3206
  • Reducing Data Center Cost and Complexity with Oracle Exalogic - April 11 from 8:30-9:30 AM, Level 3 San Polo 3403
  • ADF Mobile with Oracle Java Cloud - April 9 from 12:15-12:45 PM, Level 3 Murano 3206
  • Oracle Exalogic Security Best Practices and PCI Compliance - April 8 from 8:30-9:30 AM, Level 1 Galileo 1005

Have a great week at COLLABORATE14 - See you at the show!

Monday Mar 31, 2014

Enterprise Apps - The Snowball

Author: Martin Cookson, EMEA Director for Mobility

The smartphone has really taken hold within the enterprise. With initiatives such as BYOD (bring your own device) and COPE (corporate owned, personally enabled) in typical knowledge worker industries every professional employee will have a smartphone and/or tablet.  The intelligence of these mobile devices comes down to apps. Currently most of the apps that people use are developed by third parties – and downloaded from public app stores.

Enterprise employees use their mail app, Evernote, LinkedIn, Twitter, Calendar and Contacts to name a few as business apps. Of course we have to get the security right for these dual-usage apps (watch out for future blog posts on this!) but there is immense amount of value from app such as these.

But what about apps developed by the enterprise for their own use? Here we see we have only just scratched the surface. In a survey done my MGI Research in 2012 they stated that 70% of enterprises had only 5 or less apps in development. Now in 2014 the number has probably increased slightly but the opportunity for custom built mobile apps is massive.

For B2C enterprises can provide apps for any customer contact point e.g. for eCommerce or self-service support. Any product or service that is sold could have a mobile app to go with it. Certainly your next new car or smart TV will likely have a mobile app to go with it.

For B2E and B2B, any interaction with a process or system could have a mobile app – allowing freedom in the way that employees work, improving efficiency and provide immediate access to enterprise data. Mobile apps can enhance the collaboration of mobile teams  - providing enterprise social networks and secure data and documentation sharing.

My experience working with customers on their mobile strategy is that they always have candidates for their first mobile apps – they are able to make the first snowball – if you will. Oracle helps them put these ideas into action using the Oracle Mobile Platform – a process we coin “App Fast.”

But if for some reason you can’t identify your first snowball here are some of the typical common first enterprises apps we have helped customers’ develop. They are not always large – remembering the preference for micro apps in mobile -  but they start the snowball rolling!

  1. Approvals - Allow managers to be alerted, review, and quickly take action on: people  moves, expenses, requisition requests, decisions etc.. Often the approvals span multiple back end-systems.
  2. Inspection App - Allows field workers to check status of sites, following set inspection processes including data. This is very popular with examples in: port inspections, restaurants, building sites, retails spaces etc.  The apps can use location and camera to improve the information capture.
  3. Requisitions - Many utility and field engineer applications. For example checking availability of spare parts, scanning component details, ordering parts from the field.
  4. Citizen Self-Serv - There is many examples of this in the public sector as municipal and regional governing bodies look to provide more contact to citizens and service them better. These apps allow reports of potholes in the road, street lighting not working. They provide location of local amenities and provide real time information from transport networking and parking.
  5. I am sick today - For workers operating shifts for example in manufacturing or retail shop workers providing a slick process for informing others when a worker is not able to come to work. The HR sickness reporting is incorporated into the process but then the person responsible for rescheduling rotas as well as the colleagues of the worker is also informed. The app can also capture the location of where the ill worker is when they report the illness … just as a check that the absence is valid.

For each of the apps customers have to have the technology to develop the apps securely but perhaps most importantly it is getting the organization to think mobile and to realist the incredible enterprise mobile opportunity.

Friday Mar 21, 2014

AppAdvantage Webcast Series Rolls On with Mobility and Oracle Applications

Missed our first kickoff Oracle AppAdvantage webcast?  Not a problem -- tune in to the next webcast now available - all about how to innovate and extend Oracle Applications to Mobile. IT needs a consistent way to meet requests to develop new mobile applications quickly and make existing applications, mobile applications.  Oracle AppAdvantage is a program powered by Oracle Fusion Middleware technologies that helps customers strengthen their investments in Oracle Applications. An important part of this program is Oracle Mobile Platform, an integrated set of technologies that enables enterprises to rapidly build, deploy, secure, and integrate mobile applications with Oracle Applications and third-party applications for any device and any data source.  Transforming existing applications (JD Edwards, PeopleSoft, EBS or non Oracle ones) into mobile applications helps take investments further and makes them more accessible anywhere and at anytime.  Register for this webcast and learn how you can Innovate and Extend Oracle Applications to Mobile. 

Monday Mar 17, 2014

Your Enterprise Mobile Strategy

Posting on behalf of Martin Jarvis, Senior Director, Fusion Middleware Market Development

For many enterprises Mobility is rapidly becoming a strategic issue. The way in which you interact with both your customers and you employees via their smart phone or tablet can have dramatic impact on the business. Much has been written about the importance of developing a Mobile Strategy unique to your organizations needs and aspirations, but what exactly does a mobile strategy look like?

Oracle has worked with many customers to help them maximize the benefits from deploying Enterprise Mobile solutions. Through this experience we have developed an 8 point domain model to ensure the customer’s mobile strategy covers the key subject areas: 

Alongside the Mobile Strategy it’s important to plan a roadmap that will take you from where you are now to a point where you are fully exploiting the benefits of enterprise mobility.  We divide the roadmap into three distinct phases, starting at “App Fast” getting the quickest possible returns from implementing the strategy, through being “Mobile Ready” to finally becoming a true “Connected Enterprise”.

Since developing this approach to Mobile Strategy we have worked with a number of customers to help them get started on their own mobile strategy using this model. We generally start the process with a half-day Mobile Strategy Workshop involving the key stakeholders from the customer’s IT, enterprise architects and lines of business management. Together we go through the elements of the strategy, facilitating discussion and capturing key points. We also present Oracle’s Mobile Strategy and look to align it to the customer’s requirements.   Feedback from customers who have been through the workshop has been very positive and all have found it a worthwhile and valuable experience. After the workshop we consolidate all the points captured into a report, which is provided to the customer.

If you are interested in learning more about how we can help you develop your own mobile strategy please get in touch through your usual Oracle sales contact.

Thursday Dec 12, 2013

Going Mobile?...ORACLE is!

If you didn’t hear about it at Oracle Open World, if you didn’t read our Press Releases … if you didn’t see our homepage banner, OR EVEN IF YOU DID .... you definitely need to register for our Oracle Mobile Strategy Update - to get the latest on what Oracle's Mobile Strategy. Mobile is hot and it is here to stay … but today the complexity is no longer just about how to develop mobile apps, it is also about how to integrate, secure, deploy and manage with the backend systems.

In this video webcast, Gartner, leading industry analyst, will provide an overview of the current mobile landscape, the challenges and opportunities for enterprises, then our top Oracle executives will discuss how Oracle is simplifying enterprise mobility and demonstrate how you can easily develop, integrate, secure, deploy and manage .

Let’s chat  or tweet #OracleMobile during the webcast at Dec. 12, 2014 at 10:00AM (PT) and be sure to visit:


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