Sunday Feb 17, 2013

Oracle Fusion UX Design Patterns and Tools for the Cloud Crowd

The Oracle Fusion Applications User Experience Design Patterns and Guidelines are out-of-the-box, developer productivity enablers. As ready-made, yet flexible, usability solutions, the patterns are easily applied when building Fusion applications and UI integrations in the cloud with the Oracle toolkit.

Design patterns as reusable solutions to common problems when designing are all around us. Keen to tell this story in new ways, I was inspired by an Engine Yard “Cloud Out Loud | Ruby“ podcast mention of knitting patterns on GitHub.

I assigned my partner a proof of concept project for one such knitting pattern in the cloud. The pattern was quickly applied, and reflecting pattern ideas of content and skin neutrality, I soon took delivery of “HCM” and “CRM”, two little knitted aliens. Concept proven!

Knitted aliens. Proving the design pattern concept.

Knitted aliens brought to life from a pattern in the cloud. I used this story at a SAMBA UX outreach workshop in Amsterdam earlier this month.

Our UX design patterns have been proven in usability labs, in offices, and on the street, with real users, real tasks, and real apps. We’ve done the thinking and testing so that builders of Fusion apps cloud solutions don’t have to. To get your hands on UX design patterns for use across the Fusion apps suite (not just HCM and CRM), go to the Usable Apps website “For Developers” section.

UX design patterns are based on Oracle ADF, and ADF apps cloud deployment is emerging through the Oracle Java Cloud Service. Read up about what tools to use for cloud development and tailoring of Fusion apps, and when, on the Fusion Applications Developer Relations blog.

Tuesday Oct 30, 2012

Oracle Launches Mobile Applications User Experience Design Patterns

OK, you heard Joe Huang (@JoeHuang_Oracle) Product Manager for Oracle Application Development Framework (ADF) Mobile. If you're an ADF developer, or a Java (yeah, Java in iOS!) developer, well now you're a mobile developer as well. And, using the newly launched Applications User Experience (UX) team's Mobile UX Design Patterns, you're a UX developer rockstar too, offering users so much more than just cool functionality.


Mobile Design Pattern for Inline Actions

Mobile design requires a different way of thinking. Use Oracle’s mobile design patterns to design iPhone, Android, or browser-based smartphone apps. Oracle's sharing these cutting edge mobile design patterns and their baked-in, scientifically proven usability to enable Oracle customers and partners to build mobile apps quickly.

The design patterns are common solutions that developers can easily apply across all application suites. Crafted by the UX team's insight into Oracle Fusion Middleware, the patterns are designed to work with the mobile technology provided by the Oracle Application Development Framework.

Other great UX-related information on using ADF Mobile to design task flows and the development experience on offer are on the ADF EMG podcast series. Check out FXAer Brian 'Bex' Huff (@bex of Bezzotech talking about ADF Mobile in podcast number 6 and also number 8 which has great tips about getting going with Android and iOS mobile app development from Stephen Johnson (@sjintegretas).

Saturday Aug 18, 2012

Top 10 Things To Read If You’re a Fusion Applications Developer

By Tim Dubois, Applications User Experience Architect (Bio)

Tim Dubois, rallying and orienting apps developers everywhere towards that great apps user experience.

This is a guest post by senior Applications User Experience team member, Tim Dubois. Tim really knows how to rally Fusion Applications developers to productively build a great apps user experience. Here, he fast tracks your onboarding to success...

Oracle Fusion Middleware (FMW) represents a very powerful set of tools that enable you to build applications. Finding all of the relevant documentation, training material, or help can feel like a daunting task. Now, whether you are trying to find the latest Oracle JDeveloper to download, installation instructions, or the hottest Oracle Application Development Framework (ADF) tips, you can check out some of the most common and useful links below to get you started.


Oracle provides apps devs with design, technology, tools, and training to take a great apps user experience from blueprint to reality.


Oracle provide apps devs with design, technology, tools, and training to take apps user experiences from blueprint to reality.

1. One of the first things to check out is the ADF Collateral Tour. This recording will walk you though the sites and explain how to get started, where to find information, and recommended next steps.

2. A great link to bookmark as a top link is the Oracle Technology Network's (OTN) Documentation Portal at http://docs.oracle.com. From here you can get to many necessary links, such as:


For e-learning or tutorials, check out:


Looking for more information on Fusion Applications? Go here:


And, if you have further questions, there are also great community resources on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media available to assist you. Here are a few of the most relevant ones:

3. ADF Enterprise Methodology Group (ADF EMG). Covers best practices and methodologies for ADF enterprise apps development.

4. JDeveloper and ADF Community. Facebook, Twitter, Google Groups, and more channels and conversations.

5. ORA:FMW Fusion Middleware blog. Discusses SOA suite, ADF, Oracle Service Bus (OSB), Oracle WebCenter, and BPM issues.

6. ADF Code Corner Oracle JDeveloper OTN Harvest blog. Frank Nimphius blogs a selection of the best topics on Oracle JDeveloper OTN forum.

7. Oracle ADF Tips and Techniques blog. Murali Papana discusses ADF tips and techniques.

8. Java/Oracle SOA Blog. Syndicated feed of Java, JDeveloper, Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse, and Oracle OSB/SOA suite information.

9. Beginning Java & SOA Development blog. Rommel Pino's blog about beginning Java and SOA development.

10. Activity, Gateway, Event. SOA/BPM on FMW blog. Niall Commiskey blog about SOA/BPM on Oracle Fusion Middleware.

Are you developing apps using FMW and ADF? Any additional bookmarked, favorited or Google+'d resources you think apps devs would find valuable? Find the comments to let us know about them...


About Tim Dubois
Tim Dubois is an Architect in the Oracle Applications User Experience group, focusing on extensibility and customization, development productivity, and next-generation user experience interactions. Previously, he worked as a Director in Fusion Functional Setup Manager and Business Intelligence. Tim has been with Oracle for over 13 years and has a strong understanding of both the functional and technical architecture of the application suite.

Tuesday Jul 31, 2012

Developer Community Outreach: Nuancing that Usability Design Pattern Message

When user experience (UX) professionals talk about design patterns, it's wise to nuance the term, and qualify it. These patterns are proven, usability best practices and solutions for common problems. When developers talk about design patterns, they're referring to software development architecture or coding patterns based on frameworks or languages, and implemented through their development environment.

I was reminded of this during our initial soft launch of the Oracle Fusion Applications design patterns, and in my own research on Stackoverflow and in the Irish software development community.

In the Oracle Application Development Framework (ADF) world, we have to contend with lots of patterns, starting with the underlying Model View Controller (or MVC) pattern, Java Enterprise Edition patterns for ADF Business Components, and lots of others that ADF developers use daily to make life easier. Check the ADF Enterprise Methodology Group (ADF EMG) Google Group forum and Oracle ADF Code Corner for some great insights into what code design patterns are used, how, and why.

And then, of course, we have that antipattern business to contend with, too!

So, dev outreach folks, know your audience and adopt terminology and messaging appropriately upfront. Otherwise, be prepared to spend some time in the translation business or answering questions about code.

Personally, I think usability best practices and guidelines for developers works well. However, when we do refer to design patterns in the UX sense, then we need to make sure the context is clear and qualify the term.

Friday Jun 22, 2012

Top Fusion Apps User Experience Functional UI Patterns & Guidelines Every Apps Dev Should Know

We've announced the availability of the Oracle Fusion Applications user experience design patterns. Developers can get going on these using the Design Filter Tool (or DeFT) to select the best pattern for the context of use.


Design Filter Tool (DeFT)

Design Filter Tool selects the best pattern for your user and task.

As you drill into the patterns you will discover more guidelines from the Applications User Experience team and some from the Rich Client User Interface team too that are also leveraged in Fusion Apps. All are based on the Oracle Application Development Framework components.

To accelerate your Fusion apps development and tailoring, here's some inside insight into the really important patterns and guidelines that every apps developer needs to know about. They start at a broad Fusion Apps information architecture level and then become more granular at the page and task levels.

Information Architecture: These guidelines explain how the basic construction of an Oracle Fusion application user interface, enabling you to understand where your new components and changes fit into the overall application's information architecture. So, begin with the UI Shell and Navigation guidelines, and then move on to page-level design using the Work Areas and Dashboards guidelines.

Page Content: These patterns and guidelines cover the most common interactions that are used to complete tasks productively, starting with core interactions that are generally common across all pages, and then moving onto the more task-specific ones.

Core Across All Pages

Task Dependent


Now, armed with all this great insider design information, get developing some great-looking, highly usable apps! Let me know in the comments how things go!

Oracle Fusion Apps Functional UI Design Patterns Available For Devs Worldwide

The Oracle Fusion Applications user experience design patterns are published! These new, reusable usability solutions and best-practices, which will join the Oracle dashboard patterns and guidelines that are already available online, are used by Oracle to artfully bring to life a new standard in the user experience, or UX, of enterprise applications. Now, the Oracle applications development community can benefit from the science behind the Oracle Fusion Applications user experience, too.


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The design patterns are based on Oracle ADF components and easily implemented in Oracle JDeveloper.

These Oracle Fusion Applications UX Design Patterns, or blueprints, enable Oracle applications developers and system implementers everywhere to leverage professional usability insight when:


  • tailoring an Oracle Fusion application,
  • creating coexistence solutions that existing users will be delighted with, thus enabling graceful user transitions to Oracle Fusion Applications down the road, or
  • designing exciting, new, highly usable applications in the cloud or on-premise.

Based on the Oracle Application Development Framework (ADF) components, the Oracle Fusion Applications patterns and guidelines are proven with real users and in the Applications UX usability labs, so you can get right to work coding productivity-enhancing designs that provide an advantage for your entire business.

What’s the best way to get started? We’ve made that easy, too. The Design Filter Tool (DeFT) selects the best pattern for your user type and task. Simply adapt your selection for your own task flow and content, and you’re on your way to a really great applications user experience.

More Oracle applications design patterns and training are coming your way in the future. To provide feedback on the sets that are currently available, let me know in the comments!.

Friday May 25, 2012

Java+ADF+Apps-UX = Making Cool Stuff at the Maker Faire

I spoke at the Maker Faire Bay Area 2012, my first time at the event despite having lived for years in the Bay Area. And what an event! Hard to describe given such a sprawling mass of energy, ideas, creativity and construction, it was kinda JavaOne/OpenWorld on Haight meets Burning Man meets Kickstarter meets Fry's meets Steampunk meets Make magazine come to life. If you're into making stuff, crafts, hobbies, innovation, are creative, like fun, kids, and generally being inspired in a non-business suit environment while being surrounded and inspired by the potential of technology of all sorts--and are prone to wearing kilts--then it’s for you.

What I Got Up To

I had two commitments. Firstly, as part of a panel facilitated by Oracle Technology Network (OTN) and Developer Programs Director Justin Kestelyn (@oracletechnet) called Gamification, Robotics, Simulators: How to Get Started Using Java. This was geared towards how young folk (well, anyone really), could get going in Java programming, and why they should do it. See the OTN Java Programming Center for Young Developers resources to get started.

I talked about how Java was an internationalized programming language, and used globally. Is said that you could go anywhere in the world and be gainfully employed, using your Java skills to make cool stuff for a whole range of devices; everything from mobile apps to websites to games. I explained gamification in plain language for the audience. This tied in well with the contributions from the education and outreach folks with references to Minecraft, Oracle Academy, Greenfoot, Alice, and so on.

Maker Faire Oracle Panel

Oracle panel at Maker Faire: Left to right: Justin Kestelyn, Caron Newman, Daniel Green, Kevin Roebuck, and Ultan Ó Broin. Photograph: Martin Taylor

Tori Wieldt's Games, Robots, and Java, Oh my! over on the Java Source blog provides a good summary of the talking points. You can now view a video of our Centre Stage panel too.

My second input was a set of presentations at the Oracle Java zone. I told a story woven from model making about making applications, how personalization and customization took over from making stuff out of the box, and how Applications User Experience (UX) science and technology related to observing chimpanzees in the wild, the US space program, science fiction, comics, and to other interest points.

Ultan speaking at Maker Faire's Java Zone

Java zone preso: Chimpanzees, Superheroes, Comics, Games and Star Trek: Making cool apps from kits with Java, Oracle ADF, & User Experience Design Patterns. Photograph: Oracle Java. Shirt: Erik Peterson, Oracle Mexico Development Center

I explored the kit parts we used in making Oracle Fusion Applications (Application Developer Framework (ADF), based on Java Enterprise Edition and well-known blueprints and models) and how knowing a little more Java allowed you to go even further, limited only by your creativity tied to what users really wanted to do. Of course, our kit featured the science behind our own sets of instructions for makers: the Applications User Experience Design Patterns and Guidelines. I closed out with a superhero approach to users of apps, using the Avengers-style motif of remembering different users had different skills and jobs to do, so design appropriately.

Check out the Oracle Java Facebook page for a set of pictures of the Java zone activities.

Kids chilled out in front of me on bean bags and afterwards I was quizzed about ADF, Java, design patterns and usability, and asked for recommendations on books and other resources. All around me kids programmed 3D dragons and more in Alice (reminded me of Ireland's CoderDojo that my son attends) and leaped about in front of the Xbox360-controlled Greenfoot ball game.


Enjoying the Greenfoot ball game at Maker Faire. Photograph: Ultan O'Broin

What Does This Mean for User Experience in Oracle?


A number of business uses for game controllers, Oracle technology, and gesture-based interaction, and a wide range of web app technologies on different platforms and a range of non-traditional (in the enterprise apps sense) devices, came into my mind...

With tons of energy, ideation and creation going on at Maker Faires, Oracle Applications UX and Java will certainly be back and the inspiration behind such kind of anything goes, out of the box, creativity across all technologies can be harnessed and used to think about how we innovate internally in Oracle. Stay tuned.

Between deliveries I checked out the many exhibits, met old friends from my Oracle Applications Technology Group days, and chatted with other attendees. I was especially interested in Raspberry Pi (great combo with Java), 3D printers, the robots everywhere, the games, the remote control stuff and... just thinking about how we can use these in the UX space had me exhausted. Ideas are already in the minds of UX management.

Anyone up for knitting a UI Shell Pattern for ADF, and using Nintendo 3DS for expenses (oops, sorry Financials team and Misha!), or Raspberry Pi for SCM and DOO, ping me now.

Many thanks to Justin Kestelyn, Michelle Kovac (Director, Java Marketing and Operations), and the other Oracle people who made this all happen. Count me in for more of such events worldwide. Delighted to help. And next time, the Utilikilt might make an appearance.

About

Oracle applications user experience (UX) assistance. UX and development outreach of all sorts to the apps community, helping to design and deliver usable apps.

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Ultan Ó Broin. Director, Global Applications User Experience, Oracle Corporation. On Twitter: @ultan

See my other Oracle blog about product globalization too: Not Lost in Translation

Interests: User experience (UX), user centered design, design patterns, tailoring, BYOD, dev relations, language quality, mobile apps, Oracle FMW and ADF, and a lot more.

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