My Oracle Support Blog

  • September 30, 2008

Flash vs. other interface technologies

Guest Author

Just FYI -- I'm going to try to get some posts up across the next few days to answer some of the questions that have been raised in the comments. We appreciate all the feedback, both positive and negative, believe me!

The topic for this post: why did we choose to use a Flash-based interface as opposed to some other technologies that are out there? Truth be told, there were a lot of factors that went into the decision, and several options that we chose between. The primary consideration, though, was identifying a UI framework that would allow us to most fully implement our vision of a next-generation support interface. That meant features like customized dashboards, reloading live data without a full page refresh, dynamic charting, drag-and-drop, ability to personalize settings, etc. Basically, the minimum that we'd expect out of any "modern" web-based interface.

Now, some other frameworks also would have allowed us to do some of this to varying extents: AJAX, ADF, other Oracle technologies, etc. But when it came down to it, Flash most closely matched what we were looking for. Not to mention the fact that while it required a bit of initial download overhead, subsequent data transfer was pretty minimal; and that what with the proliferation of sites like YouTube, embedded Flash content on ESPN.com and CNN.com, etc., it was a pretty widely-adopted and well understood technology.

That said, we do realize that just because the majority of people use Flash, we can't stop supporting those who don't or can't use it (obviously!) That's the rationale behind keeping the "Classic MetaLink" version of the interface -- it's meant to be a seamless transition from MetaLink to My Oracle Support for the no-Flash crowd. So basically if you can't use Flash, there's no regression; but if you can, you can either stay on Classic or move ahead to the next-generation interface.

Of course, as we continue to develop the support tools available to you, you'll likely see further interface tweaks and advancements, hopefully making it worth your while to use the new My Oracle Support. Stay tuned!

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