Hands-On with Oracle's iPhone Apps
By Jim Van Heel on Jun 03, 2009
The last time Steven covered the iPhone was November 2008, which is roughly 1948 in Internet time. Heck, the App Store had less than 9,000 apps in it back then and it's now just around 40,000 apps. Oracle has been enabling our enterprise solutions for that platform and many of them impact EBS administrators, so we'll summarize them here.
E-Business Suite Specific Applications
Steven noted that Oracle Business Approvals for Managers is now Available for the iPhone. That really is a cool solution. Using Oracle Workflow for expense reports, purchase order requisitions, human resources vacancies, and HR job offers, Release 12 end-users can perform approvals on the fly in a native iPhone app, including drilling to detail on each notification.
Our SOA technologies allow us to add on new user experiences like the iPhone UI, but architecturally it's just like a Rich Internet Application. Because of this, we can use the same infrastructure to support Oracle Business Approvals for Sales Managers for the Siebel CRM platform with all the same advantages. The E-Business Suite version had been downloaded through the App Store over 12,000 times as of March 2009, so this must be old hat for some of you.
Also, integrated to Approvals or standalone, Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition users can now access reports and alerts through Oracle Business Indicators. Indicators will be increasingly useful to E-Business Suite shops as they take up the Oracle Business Intelligence Applications.
The BI Apps deliver ETL, integrated security, schema and metadata, reports, dashboards and more for E-Business Suite 11i10 and R12 instances, as well as the other Applications Unlimited stacks and even third-party applications. The Indicators app has seen over 43,000 downloads in its first 7 months!
A New App: Maintenance Workbench for Oracle Enterprise Asset Management
New with E-Business Suite Release 12.1 is the Maintenance Workbench application for Oracle Enterprise Asset Management. The Workbench app allows a field user to pull up nearby assets using the iPhone's GPS, integrating Google Maps information for navigation, and then allowing the execution of work orders on the phone. Manage your asset-intense operations? There's an app for that!
Accessing EBS Self-Service with Safari
You know -- because E-Business Suite has been an Internet-only solution since, well, since shortly after there was an Internet -- I forget sometimes to mention that all of the Self-service or Oracle Applications Framework/JTF user interfaces function pretty well on Mobile Safari.
Quick tip - remember to enable pop-up windows, which is off by default in Mobile Safari. We use them for LOV lookups.
In testing Managers, I created that expense report in iExpenses on the fly, and when I needed to turn off the Personalization profile option for OPERATIONS user, I did that right from the iPhone. You get a lot for free around here, huh? Here’s iSupplier because I thought it was more interesting…
Oracle CRM iPhone Apps
Oracle's Application Integration Architecture provides prebuilt integrations for the Apps Unlimited products, built on a standards-based Services Oriented Architecture (SOA) platform. One interesting product here is a Process Integration Pack that integrates Oracle's hosted multi-tenant Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform with Oracle E-Business Suite. Oracle CRM On Demand Integration Pack for Oracle E-Business Suite (Opportunity to Quote) allows E-Business Suite shops to adopt CRM for their field sales forces, and we're supporting that through several iPhone user interfaces.
I've had a chance to play with Oracle Mobile Sales Assistant against our test CRM On Demand instance, and it's great. The replication of data is near real-time. You can seamlessly switch between local iPhone contacts and CRM On Demand contact information. You can even update tasks offline when you should be sleeping on the airplane - all big wins.
The CRM On Demand apps are rounded out by a dedicated application for managing Sales Forecast information. You can get more info on that here.
And lest we forget, the CRM On Demand folks also support the BlackBerry - but that's a different blog entry.