Tuesday Mar 29, 2016

Going Offline with MCS Mobile Data Offline & Sync

Smooth running mobile apps are heavily reliant on their connection and a strong signal.  But once the connection drops, or the signal goes "one-bar" all bets are typically off.  A slick mobile user experience can quickly turn into a frustrating one.

But what if you could make your mobile apps more resilient to disconnection and poor network connectivity so your users could happily continue their task?  What if you could also speed up the applications so your mobile users experience a fast and snappy response no matter if they are offline or online?  And what if you could do this without taking months to create a solution for every single app, but use a solution that can be scaled across apps with little programmer intervention?

The Oracle Mobile Cloud Service (MCS) Data Offline & Sync capabilities are designed to do just this, allow your mobile apps to cache data locally on the device for offline use and even snappy responses regardless if your app is offline or online.  And the best bit, with virtually no programming required, it's all taken care of for mobile developers (as I like to say) "automagically".

To help you explore these capabilities Oracle is happy to announce a new video playlist covering MCS data offline & sync features in detail on YouTube.  This includes a full end-to-end discussion on how it works, as well as discussing features that have become available in only recent MCS releases that you can make use of.

The overall YouTube channel of MCS videos can be found here, the specific playlist here, and then the full range of videos are as follows:
Android developers, you might notice there is no specific SDK video for you. Don't worry, it's coming, we just didn't want to hold off delivering content any longer. Check out the docs which cover Android & Data Offline & Sync in detail.

We hope you will find these videos useful, but more importantly we hope you'll be able to use the data offline & sync MCS features to build a killer app that works for your users whether they are online or offline.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Oracle MAF 2.3 Release

Oracle MAF 2.3 release is now available on OTN. This is a major update of MAF coming less than 6 months after the last major release. This release has several new & exciting features, below are some key capabilities available in this release. 

Windows Platform Support

On popular demand, MAF 2.3 introduces support for Universal Windows Platform(UWP). Keeping with our promise of single code base for multiple platforms, customers can now deploy their existing MAF apps to Windows 10 desktops and tablets in addition to iOS and Android. Install and setup instructions for Windows platform are available here. Key elements of Windows support:

  • MAF apps can be deployed to any Windows devices based on x86 chipset
  • Support for UWP native look & feel and UX design patterns
  • Support for deployment to Windows tablets through side loading 


Enterprise Mobile Management (EMM) Support

Apps built with MAF now work with Enterprise Mobile Management solutions from Airwatch and MobileIron by following the best practices and guidelines provided by the AppConfig community. Customers can take advantage of their existing investments in EMM solutions to secure, configure and manage MAF apps using native capabilities in iOS and Android. MAF framework supports all the key capabilities specified by AppConfig community:

  • App Tunnel
  • Security Policies and Access Control
  • Single Sign On

Please refer to the certification documentation for specific versions of Airwatch and MobileIron supported by Oracle

ListView Enhancements

Support for animation effects for ListView component. Animations are available for:

  • listItem row insert 
  • listItem row delete
  • listItem divider group disclosure change 
The default animations provided as part of the component can be customized by overriding the css style classes. 

Disclosure Insert/Delete

Mobile Cloud Service(MCS) Analytics Integration

This release provides built-in support for generating MCS analytics events. When an MCS backend is used, application developers can easily generate events for the application usage and upload them to MCS Analytics service. Key capabilities of this feature:

  • Ability to generate analytics events for standard application lifecycle events such as startup, user login etc. through simple configuration. No coding necessary. 
  • API to generate custom application events
  • Analytic events are persisted locally on the device. They can be captured even when the device is offline
  • Events are uploaded in bulk to minimize the number of roundtrips   
 Please refer to the dev guide here for more details about this feature.

Security Enhancements

This release provides support for 2-way SSL during authentication. This feature allows customers to use certificate or soft PKI based authentication for MAF apps to support advanced security requirements. Client certificates can be installed using a MDM vendors or using MAF support for installing client certificates. Please refer to the developer guide for more details about this feature.

Data Visualization Features

This release has several enhancements to the DVT components.

1.  Range Charts: Range area and range bar charts help visualize datasets with varying low/high values

Range Area Chart Range Bar Chart

2.  Ability to individually style the categorical axis labels allows for emphasizing specific groups, which is a lot more useful than styling the labels as a whole. Tooltips are now also supported for categorical axis labels.

3.  Hierarchical labels can now be used to display hierarchical data on the categorical axis charts

4.  A number of enhancements are now supported in Gauge components:

  • Status Meter Gauge: Ability to specify border and color for plot area, string title, corner radius and border, displaying indicator wider than the plot area
  • Circular Status Meter Gauge: Ability to control the radius, start angle and angle extent
  • Vertical orientation for Rating Gauge
Circular Gauge Vertical Rating Gauge

JDeveloper 12.2.1 Integration

MAF 2.3 extension works with JDeveloper version 12.2.1. This brings all the new capabilities introduced in the IDE as part of latest release of JDev to MAF developers. You can use a single IDE for both your web app and mobile app development. One nice side benefit of this is that you no longer need JDK 1.7 on your dev machine as both JDev and MAF support the latest JDK 1.8 update.

Webcast: Extending Oracle Forms to Mobile

With thousands of Oracle Form apps bound to desktop environments, the need for mobility is clear. Free your customers to be more productive - anywhere, anytime! Join this webinar to learn how Oracle Gold Partner, AuraPlayer, leverages the power of Oracle Mobile Cloud Service, to readily mobilize existing Oracle Forms Applications, without any code changes to their existing forms applications. 

Learn more by joining Suhas Uliyar, Oracle VP of Mobile Strategy and Mia Urman, CEO of AuraPlayer, at this live event, 1:30PM EST, March 31st. 

Follow @OracleMobile 

Thursday Mar 17, 2016

Mobilizing Oracle Forms - the Art of the Possible!

A couple of weeks ago I posted on LinkedIn about A New Interest in Oracle Forms which talked about the possibilities of building new mobile use cases on top of existing Oracle Forms business logic exposed through Oracle Mobile Cloud Serivce.

This really piqued interest because whilst Oracle Forms underpins so many business today, its not something that is viewed as modern or "dynamic". But the possibility to expose existing Forms logic out to new mobile clients really opens up limitless possibilities.

Because of the great response and to further explain the possibilities and the technology behind mobilizing Oracle Forms, I developed 4 videos on Forms Mobilization. which are published on our official Oracle Mobile Platform YouTube channel.

The videos I created are:

This should give you a better insight on the possibilities of mobilizing Oracle Forms, the architecture of the solution using Oracle MCS and the Auraplayer connector, how you expose Forms logic as web services without changing a single line of code, and a demo of the solution in action.

You can also check out our up and coming webinar on March 31st at 10:30 AM Pacific/1:30 PM Eastern

Co-hosted by Mia Urman, CEO Auraplayer and Suhas Uliyar, VP of Mobile Product Strategy, Oracle.

The technology is here, you just have to imagine the possibilities!

Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Monday Feb 29, 2016

New videos: Learn to build Xamarin apps the MCS way!

Xamarin platform logo

I have the pleasure to announce that we just published a new playlist on the Oracle Mobile Platform channel. The six episodes will tell all you need to know about the MCS Software Development Kit for Xamarin applications, including such topics as:

Some of you probably find this announcement surprising, given the recent news that Microsoft has bought Xamarin. However, this transaction does not change the fact that Oracle wants MCS to be truly client-agnostic. All mobile developers are first-class citizens on MCS. Wish to go native? We offer SDKs for Android, iOS and Windows. Want to use a cross-platform mobile JavaScript toolkit like Sencha Touch or Oracle’s own JavaScript Extension Toolkit? You’re covered. Using Oracle MAF? You can leverage the MAF MCS Utility.

It was a pleasure for me to get back to my C# roots in order to record those videos. Whatever lies ahead, you can expect Oracle to do what is necessary to make Xamarin and Microsoft mobile developers right at home on MCS.

Tuesday Feb 23, 2016

Oracle’s Mobile Ecosystem Helps Customers Innovate & Accelerate their Digital Transformations

Partners Embrace Open Agnostic Architecture of Oracle Mobile Cloud Service

Oracle today announced an expanded Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) member ecosystem for Oracle Mobile Cloud Service, part of Oracle Cloud Platform. Through co-development, joint go-to-market and other partner initiatives, Oracle and its mobile partner ecosystem provide customers with the choice, flexibility and complete solutions that enable faster delivery of better and more engaging mobile apps. The latest partners to collaborate with Oracle include AirWatch (VMware), AuraPlayer, MobileIron, RapidValue, Sencha, Sofbang, and Syniverse.

Today, mobile users expect increased productivity, efficiency, simplicity and excellent customer service. Yet, delivering enterprise mobility is complex, with more than 80 percent of an organization’s time being spent on development, integration, security and maintenance of mobile apps. In defining an enterprise mobile strategy, organizations are looking at best of breed technologies in these key areas. With Oracle and its mobile partner ecosystem, organizations can quickly deliver innovative new services and securely connect, analyze, and integrate real-time data, at scale, between connected devices and enterprise systems.

“Oracle has clearly moved to the forefront of enterprise mobile platform providers,” said Sri Ramanathan, group vice president Mobile, Oracle. “In this increasingly mobile only world, Oracle is focused on delivering both task-specific, out-of-the-box enterprise mobile apps and providing a complete and open platform that allows enterprises to quickly build and deliver better, smarter mobile apps. Our focus has been to simplify enterprise mobility and now together with our mobile partner ecosystem, we are simplifying how customers build and deploy innovative mobile solutions.”

Oracle has been delivering enterprise mobile applications for more than four years and continues to help customers and partners bring mobility to the enterprise with Oracle Mobile Cloud Service. Oracle Mobile Cloud Service is an open and agnostic cloud offering that simplifies and secures the process of connecting mobile applications to enterprise systems and other cloud services. It allows developers to use the application development framework of their choice, or existing investment in third-party solutions, and securely connect to backend data sources, enabling them to create engaging mobile experiences in a simple, intuitive manner.

“To transform business processes, enterprise mobile apps must be secure without sacrificing user experience,” said Noah Wasmer, senior vice president of mobile products, End-User Computing, VMware. “VMware AirWatch EMM combined with Oracle Mobile Cloud Service delivers just that – a streamlined development and deployment process that enables our customers to change the way employees work with intuitive and insightful apps, built on the AirWatch foundation of strong management and security.”

“We are delighted to work with Oracle as part of the marketplace for Oracle Mobile Cloud Service, enabling us to serve a broader enterprise customer segment,” said Dave Murashige, general manager, Enterprise and Intelligence Solutions, Syniverse. “Working together, Syniverse and Oracle are committed to simplifying enterprise mobility.”

Examples of mobile enterprise solutions that leverage Oracle Mobile Cloud Service will be on display at Mobile World Congress in Oracle’s Booth: 3B20 in Hall 3 and in Samsung’s Booth: 6A30 in Hall 6.

New Mobile Partner Collaborations

AirWatch (VMWare). Enterprise Mobility Management enables organizations to easily deploy, configure, secure, manage and support smartphones, tablets, laptops and other devices across multiple mobile platforms and operating systems. The VMware AirWatch platform includes industry-leading mobile device, email, identity, application, content and browser management solutions. Oracle’s collaboration with AirWatch helps customers ensure apps built and integrated using Oracle Mobile Cloud Service are automatically secured with AirWatch.

AuraPlayer's unique solution “wraps” existing Oracle Forms / Oracle E-Business Suite systems as Web Services within hours, without writing a single line of code, while production systems remain untouched. The inclusion of AuraPlayer in the mobile ecosystem allows customers to leverage their existing investments through API's that directly plugin to Oracle Mobile Cloud Service, without the need to migrate or redevelop back-office applications. This provides a quick, low-risk way to kick start a legacy to mobile strategy.

MobileIron provides a secure foundation for enterprises to transform into mobile first organizations. The MobileIron platform secures data at rest in mobile operating systems and applications, as well as data-in-motion as it moves between corporate networks, endpoints and data repositories. Oracle’s collaboration with MobileIron enables customers to easily deploy applications built in Oracle Mobile Cloud Service, and helps ensure endpoints accessing Oracle Applications are compliant and that the data used by Oracle mobile apps is kept secure.

RapidValue enables digital transformation for enterprises. eQuipMe is an Enterprise Mobility Suite comprising 200+ pre-built modules, built-in connectors and 30+ pre-built fully-customizable mobile solutions. These solutions are developed using Oracle Mobile Application Framework. The platform leverages Oracle Mobile Cloud Service for quicker integration, offline capabilities, and storage, and helps improve staff productivity, streamlines workflow, fastens decision making, and reduces cost for enterprises, by automating the process and providing data access to users in real time.

Sencha provides a leading MVC/MVVM-based JavaScript framework and testing solution, Sencha Ext JS and Sencha Test, for designing, developing and testing cross-platform mobile web applications. Sencha Ext JS leverages hardware acceleration techniques to provide high-performance UI components for mobile devices. Sencha Test enables developers and test automation engineers to create unit and end-to-end functional tests and execute them on multiple browsers simultaneously, which helps improve product quality and developer efficiency. The collaboration with Sencha provides developers the choice of using Sencha frameworks and tools for building and testing cross platform HTML5 mobile apps and consuming enterprise services from Oracle Mobile Cloud Service.

Sofbang is focused on Business Process Application Extensions, Enterprise Mobility Solutions and cloud-simplified, hybrid, private, PaaS & SaaS solutions. Key Oracle integrated cloud solutions include License & Subscription and Contracts Management, Mobile On-boarding (EE, Contractor, Customer), Mobile Service Request Management, Mobile Workforce Management, Funds Mgmt, Project Mgmt and WO Asset Mgmt. Sofbang was the proud recipient of an Oracle Excellence Award for Specialized Partner of the Year for Mobility.

Syniverse makes mobile work by developing solutions to help brands enhance and enrich user experiences while enabling business processes that increase engagement and build greater brand loyalty.

As an ecosystem partner, Syniverse helps brands with innovative messaging solutions integrated with Oracle Mobile Cloud Service, enabling these brands to reach mobile users in real time through mobile messaging, anytime, anywhere.

Get the latest information on Oracle Mobile at: www.oracle.com/mobile

About Oracle PartnerNetwork Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) is Oracle's partner program that provides partners with a differentiated advantage to develop, sell and implement Oracle solutions. OPN offers resources to train and support specialized knowledge of Oracle’s products and solutions and has evolved to recognize Oracle’s growing product portfolio, partner base and business opportunity. Key to the latest enhancements to OPN is the ability for partners to be recognized and rewarded for their investment in Oracle Cloud. Partners engaging with Oracle will be able to differentiate their Oracle Cloud expertise and success with customers through the OPN Cloud program – an innovative program that complements existing OPN program levels with tiers of recognition and progressive benefits for partners working with Oracle Cloud. To find out more about Oracle Partner Network visit: http://www.oracle.com/partners.

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This blog is is dedicated to announcements,tips and tricks and other items related to developing, integrating, securing, and managing mobile applications using Oracle's Mobile Platform. It is created and maintained by the Oracle Mobile product development team.

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