Wednesday Dec 23, 2015

Oracle MAF 2.2.1 New Features

Happy Holidays! to everyone. We are glad to announce a new update to MAF in time for the holidays. 2.2.1 is a patch on top of 2.2 release. This release includes some key functionality for iOS platform that every one using MAF should pay attention to.

The primary focus of this release :

  • Support for using XCode 7 and iOS 9 SDK for building MAF applications : Even though earlier releases of MAF supported apps on iOS 9 devices at runtime, XCode 7 could not be used for building the apps. With this release developers can use XCode 7 and iOS 9 simulators.   
  • HTML based splash screen for iOS. MAF now uses a responsive HTML page to display a launch screen when your app is launched on an iOS device. 
  • Provide critical bug fixes

Setup details:

This release requires use of XCode 7.2 for building applications for iOS. Customers are required to update their existing XCode version to 7.2  from MAC AppStore as a pre-requisite to using 2.2.1. However, most customers would want to maintain 2.2.1 dev env along with 2.2 or a previous version. Please follow the instructions detailed here.

Important migration information:

  • As part of moving to XCode 7, Apple is enforcing Application Transport security(ATS) which requires use of HTTPS for all your server communications. Please refer to details here to turn-off ATS and the min requirements for accessing back end data services
  • MAF 2.2.1 has changed the way developers define a splash screens for apps deployed to iOS devices.  Static images are no longer supported, so if you previously used custom splash screen images in your app, you will need to create your own custom HTML launch screen for iOS when using MAF 2.2.1. Detailed information about creating HTML splash screen is available here. We will be publishing another blog with details about this shortly.
  • Customers who use custom URL schemes in their MAF applications to invoke other applications must register each custom URL scheme in the Allowed Schemes list in the maf-application.xml file. This change addresses iOS 9’s requirement that applications declare any URL schemes they use to invoke other applications. More information about this configuration step can be found here.


Monday Dec 21, 2015

Should brands build multiple mobile apps?

Author: Ian Wallis, Mobile Technical Director, Oracle EMEA

There is definitely a trend by brands towards multiple consumer mobile apps but mainly for very popular services that users use regularly in order to speed up their access to specific services. An example is Facebook breaking out Messenger into a separate app.

If we take Banking as an example, it is still early days in this shift, and I see near term potential for a maximum of one or two apps per brand. Barclays had great success with their PingIt mobile app, but HSBC recently withdrew their Fast Banking access app in the UK to try to get users onto their main Mobile Banking app. Interestingly, one of the banking industry’s biggest challenge is that millenials (18-30 year olds) are flocking to their mobile app channel but the banks only have a limited set of their products available on the mobile channel vs their online website channel. This is a big headache for their Product Managers.

In a perfect world, Digital focused brands would have one mobile app and know who the user is and what the user wants to do next rather than getting the user to do multiple downloads and have to choose which app to engage with. Most companies do not have this capability yet and should consider how to increase their contextual capability.

If a company is driving different branding for millenials versus other age groups or to a different segment of their market, then a separate dedicated more trendy or applicable app my apply.

There are a number of exceptions to the one app strategy:

1. Frequently used apps - where mobile apps are used multiple times a day and a separate branded app would help reduce navigation and reduce time for the user getting to value – this is more applicable to the likes of Google and Facebook or something like the Barclays PingIt example

2. Apps targeted at Millenials or other age groups and segments – usually with a different brand flavor to the main mobile application. See recent Oracle Mobile research on this here on millennial’s

3. Event apps - e.g. for specific events like sports, music festivals, elections etc…

4. Media companies – where they are looking to expand their presence and expand screen time for advertising and 'mobile moments'

5. Business to Employee scenarios - there is definitely a move to lots of micro apps for specific jobs and tasks done by employees

I am sure there are many other exceptions and would love to hear back on this @wallisi. Forbes published an interesting article on this last year here.

If you would like to read more about Oracle’s Mobile Cloud Services and how we can support brands with multiple apps and immersive mobile experiences take a look at our eBook here.

Follow @OracleMobile

Monday Nov 30, 2015

Gartner: Mobile Trends and Insights

Enterprise Mobile Trends and Insights Featuring Gartner
Mobile has quickly become a ubiquitous part of our everyday life. Today we expect the convenience and ease of use capabilities achieved from mobile devices to permeate into the workplace. How should enterprises embrace mobile technology as they embark on their mobile journey? What impacts will Cloud and Internet of Things have on Mobile? Get these answers and much more from Gartner Research Director, Richard Marshall in this short webcast.   (registration required) 

Follow @OracleMobile

Monday Nov 09, 2015

Mobile: The Heart of Your Digital Transformation


By 2020 over 80% of the world’s population will own a smartphone. As an enterprise, are you ready to embrace this digital revolution? Digital transformations are happening all around us; some are disrupting entire industries, others are impacting their enterprises and all are revolutionizing how we engage with customers, partners and employees.

Hear Rimi Bewtra, Senior Director of Mobile, IoT and Digital Product Marketing at Oracle discuss in detail how:
  • Companies are leveraging mobile technology and making their own digital transformation
  • You can develop a complete, end-to-end enterprise mobile strategy
  • To increase your mobile ROI and drive improved personal engagements

Register now

Follow@OracleMobile 

Thursday Oct 15, 2015

Mobile @ OOW: Mobilize Enterprise Applications using Oracle Mobile Cloud Service

Enterprise mobility can transform businesses by providing new channels for end user interaction, leading to dramatic process improvements and faster decision-making. But most enterprise services are built for content-heavy, bandwidth-rich web applications, not mobile ones. Wiring up services to mobile apps and managing the accompanying infrastructure (notifications and storage) is cumbersome.

In addition, enterprises building a portfolio of mobile apps face significant challenges: integrating with myriad back-end systems both on premises and with software-as-a-service (SaaS), dealing with multiple security policies across B2E and B2C apps, and increasing the velocity of mobile app delivery.

The cloud is a perfect match for mobile application needs. Oracle Mobile Cloud Service goes beyond simple mobile-first mobile-backend-as-a-service (MBaaS) solutions to provide a robust, enterprise-grade cloud infrastructure to achieve all this and more.

Attend these three sessions to hear more about how you can use Oracle Mobile Cloud Service to mobilize enterprise applications.

  • Mobilize Oracle E-Business Suite Using Oracle Mobile Cloud Service: Monday, Oct 26, 2:45 p.m. | Moscone South—270
  • Extend SaaS Applications to Mobile Using Mobile Cloud Service: Monday, Oct 26, 4:00 p.m. | Moscone West—3020
  • Go Mobile with JD Edwards EnterpriseOne: Tuesday, Oct 27, 12:15 p.m. | Moscone West—3024

There's also a  hands-on workshop (Wednesday, Oct 28, 8:45 a.m. | Hotel Nikko—Mendocino I/II) to learn how to build the next generation of enterprise mobile apps. Discover how back-end developers can easily collect and format information from their vast enterprise infrastructure -- on-premises packaged applications, cloud data, or custom applications -- and present it to mobile developers. 

For more information on other Mobile sessions at Open World 2015, refer to Mobile Central.

Follow@OracleMobile 

Wednesday Oct 14, 2015

Oracle MAF 2.2 New Features

V2.2 is the new release of Oracle Mobile Application Framework (Oracle MAF). This blog provides an overview of several new features added in this release.

 1. UI Components

This release introduces several new components and enhancements to help developers support latest mobile patterns

Swipe To Reveal :

Allows user to swipe on a row in a list to reveal contextual actions. This functionality can be added to an AMX page using <amx:accessoryLayout/> component.

Example usage:

Swipe To Reveal Sample


Pull To Refresh :

Allows developers to swipe down and refresh the contents of a page. This capability can be added to a page using <amx:refreshContainer/> component.  

Example usage:

Pull to refresh

New Layout Components 

Allow developers to easily build flexible Dashboard and Grid layouts.  

MasonaryLayout :  Typically used for building Dashboard style pages involving tiles laid out in the form of a grid. The size of each tile can be adjusted using css. It provides the following key capabilities

  1. Adjusts layout based on the available width
  2. Allows drag and drop of tiles in the layout 

Example usage:

Pull to refresh

FlexLayout: A layout component that displays its children in a group. It supports horizontal and vertical orientations, with automatic changes based on the device orientation. By default, the layout creates even space for each child, and stretches these children within its boundaries.

Example usage: 

Data Visualization Enhancements :

  • Stock Charts : Stock charts are useful for displaying stock data across time. A unique feature of stock charts is the ability to render series data as 'candlesticks' representing open, close, high, and low stock price data.
  • Chart Drill Events : Allows users to tap on series or group or data items to raise drill events to drill in to the chart data
  • Support for overview and vertical orientation for Timeline component

Alta Mobile V1.4 :  

New skin with support for Google Material design for Android L

2. Data binding Enhancements

Support For Nested DataControl Context:

  • Allows developers to build recursive navigation flows using Task Flows
  • Isolate state at the Taskflow level
  • Manage the number of Taskflow/DC instances maintained in the stack 
  • Example: Opportunity List -> Opportunity Detail -> Account Detail (from the account associated with the Opportunity) -> Related Opportunity List -> Opportunity Detail (with a different Opportunity than previous)

3. Navigation Enhancements

  •  Full support for Android back button
    • Support for overriding the default behaviour using <amx:systemActionBehavior> tag or JS API
    • “__back” navigation rule is used by default
  • Support for limiting pageFlowScope variables to TaskFlow boundaries

4. Performance Improvements

  •  30% overall performance improvement compared to previous release
  • Major Performance improvements in the following areas
    • JSON Parsing : New parser based on JSONP
    • New Optimized JVM : 30-40% performance improvement in Java processing
    • UI performance improvements to improve the page rendering time 

Summary  

Oracle MAF 2.2 has many exciting features and we encourage everyone to upgrade and give it a try. Several of the features listed above are used in the sample applications shipped with the release. Please refer to the samples for sample code. Component Gallery, Layout Demo and WorkBetter sample Apps cover most of the features listed above.

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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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