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An Oracle blog about Application UX

Speed, Not Surprises, Is the Secret to SaaS Simplified UIs

Julian Orr (@orr_ux) of the Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) team explains how the OAUX Rapid Development Kit enables the fast and furious pace of PaaS4SaaS development and lets partners and customers confidently deliver stunning simplified UIs in the cloud.

For SaaS and PaaS developers, code is always “on.” They need to work like lightning. That’s because the cloud has changed SaaS customer expectations; if they don’t like their user experience (UX) or don’t get it in time, they’ll go elsewhere.

“PaaS has been a great catalyst for change,” agrees Basheer Khan (@bkhan) Principal at Oracle Partner Knex Technology. “It’s transformed how we develop applications.” Basheer knows that cloud customers will not wait months for application integration and hearing that “but-all-I-wanted-was” lament after a hastily delivered solution wins business only for his competitors.

Together in the Oracle Cloud: Joe Rovirosa, Financial Controller at Pacific Health Foundation Enterprises and Basheer Khan of Knex Technology sketch PaaS4SaaS UX ideas together.
Together in the Oracle Cloud: Joe Rovirosa, Financial Controller at Public Health Foundation Enterprises and Basheer Khan of Knex Technology sketch PaaS4SaaS UX ideas together.

SaaS and PaaS Accelerated Development for Real

The Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) team recently worked with Knex Technology to deliver a simplified UI SaaS solution for their customer Public Health Foundation Enterprises (PHFE). Using OAUX’s Simplified UI PaaS4SaaS Rapid Development Kit (RDK) an Oracle ERP SaaS solution was designed, developed, and deployed to the Oracle Cloud during an OAUX-facilitated hands-on workshop for partner and customer.

Simplified UI user experience design patterns: Part of the free Rapid Development Kit so that SaaS and PaaS developers don’t have to research the best usability practices.
Simplified UI user experience design patterns: Part of the free Rapid Development Kit so that SaaS and PaaS developers don’t have to research the best usability practices.

The free RDK contains Oracle ADF simplified UI page templates and components, an Oracle Alta UI look and feel, and the UX design patterns that enable partners to rapidly assess a business opportunity, develop it quickly using designs from the Oracle Applications Cloud, and then deploy a SaaS integration or PaaS custom app to the Oracle Cloud. OAUX enhances the RDK with online training and one-on-one workshops for partners and their customers.

Basheer explained the essence of the RDK for partners:

“The RDK’s best design practices are embedded into the development tools that make the end product, so developers don’t have to start from scratch figuring out a user experience. Those reusable software components of the kit make it efficient for partners to offer customers low cost solutions.”

Applying simplified UI design patterns during the software development process is a real PaaS4SaaS developer productivity win. Patterns are reusable solutions for developers (how a landing page or visualization should work, for example) that accelerate the development of a user experience that’s proven in advance. Developers can concentrate instead on enterprise-critical technical areas, such as performance and security.

Partners and Customers Together in the Oracle Cloud

Central to the success of PHFE’s solution was their direct involvement in the design process. Representatives from PHFE’s financial and human resource departments acted as typical PHFE users and helped to sketch out (or “wireframe”) an agreed user experience solution. From Leonardo Da Vinci to Walt Disney, this sketching of ideas before committing to an expensive production process allows for easy exploration of options, faster iterations, use of industry standard designs, and eliminates unpleasant surprises at the end. That’s a perfect accelerator for a partner growing an Oracle Cloud business with that killer UX differentiator.

From sketched idea to cloud deployment: Stakeholder agreed wireframes and patterns accelerated developer cloud productivity for an Oracle Cloud ERP solution.
From sketched idea to cloud deployment: Stakeholder agreed wireframes and patterns accelerated developer cloud productivity for an Oracle ERP Cloud solution. The latest version of the RDK resources contains a wireframe template that allows you to design simplified UI wireframes using Microsoft PowerPoint.

Basheer encourages this collaborative approach:

“When the customer is involved, solutions are delivered 5 to 10 times quicker to market. The UX tools and guidance make sure the customer requirements are not lost in translation. Customers get to understand what user experience is about and to take early ownership of “their” design that they take away.”

OAUX and Oracle Applications Development enables and guides Knex Technology to deliver a solution for PHFE at a workshop in Oracle HQ
Oracle Applications User Experience Group Vice President Jeremy Ashley (back, left) and PaaS4SaaS UX designer Julian Orr (back, right) let the design learning transfer as Basheer Khan (front, right) agrees an API-connected solution with Oracle Applications developer Suresh Punathilath.

PHFE’s Financial Controller Joe Rovirosa’s own experience of the OAUX enablement also echoes the power of customer involvement:

“We realized that we needed all stakeholders to be present in order to compliment key skill sets. Having Oracle, Knex, and PHFE in one room allowed business requirements and application capabilities to be immediately vetted, resulting in a very efficient process and a superior solution. Such interaction works best for any implementation.”

From UX Mystery to Cloud Magic

This partner-customer enablement based on the PaaS4SaaS RDK is now an OAUX-proven approach that has seen other Oracle partners such as Hitachi Consulting, Certus Solutions, and eProseed win awards and kudos from North America to Europe to Asia. And that means more Cloud business for the partner network.

Partners and customers availing of the PaaS4SaaS enablement have their designs reviewed by OAUX Group Vice President, Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley) who underlined Oracle’s commitment to growing the Oracle partner ecosystem with a must-have UX:

“Partners can have confidence in the whole RDK as a standalone, proven, consistent cloud developer productivity solution that in turn will give their customers real confidence in an SaaS user experience their users want.”

Developer speed, no nasty surprises, and a great simplified SaaS UI are all easily realized with the latest version of the PaaS4SaaS RDK. It’s now being downloaded for free by Oracle partners and developers who want to lead and win with the development of SaaS solutions using PaaS.

OAUX plans further enhancements to the RDK itself, exploring other frameworks, wearable technology integration, mobile application development, and more developer experience ideas all based on Oracle Cloud solutions and reflecting the simplicity, mobility, and extensibility UX strategy.

Information on how to get the RDK and on OAUX partner enablement events is available on the Oracle Usable Apps website.

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