Sunday Aug 18, 2013

ADF Mobile & UX Design Patterns: Online or Offline, You're Never Too Remote For Great Mobile Field Service

Oracle customers and partners will love the Oracle University demonstration of the Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3 Mobile Field Service mobile app as much as the users! The app is a great example of how the baked-in, proven usability of the Oracle mobile application UX design patterns can be implemented using Oracle ADF Mobile to build a full-featured, easy-to-work-with, mobile app for mobile field technicians, one that’s integrated with the rest of the suite.


Mobile field service technicians want to use modern and compelling smartphone apps as much as the rest of us! Home Springboard shown. Mobile field service technicians want to use modern and compelling smartphone apps as much as the rest of us! Google Maps integration shown.

Mobile field service technicians want to use modern and compelling smartphone apps and features as much as the rest of us!

Watch the demo and you will see mobile UX design patterns such as Actions, Create, Forms, Lists, Navigation, and more, in action. Oracle ADF developers can use UX design patterns productively to build cutting-edge mobile apps, integrating them with different device capabilities such as cameras, barcode readers, GPS, and so on, using the Oracle ADF Mobile “code-once” approach.


Oracle ADF Mobile's hybrid architecture means the local storage capability enables offline and online working as one seamless task regardless of connectivity.

Oracle ADF Mobile's hybrid architecture means the local storage capability enables offline and online working as one seamless task regardless of connectivity.

This combination of UX and ADF implementation represents a continued return on investment for applications owners, moving a job role we would not normally consider demanding of modern and compelling experiences from Oracle Lite and Windows Mobile to a higher level of user satisfaction and productivity. The consumerization of IT in the enterprise and arrival of a younger workforce means we can no longer make assumptions about the UX requirements for any job role.




Actions menu on iOSActions menu on Android

Oracle ADF Mobile's code-once hybrid solution means a consistent UX across devices and device-level native interactions and features (Left to right: iOs and Android devices showing Actions menu)

Now, Oracle partners, customers, and Oracle ADF enterprise methodology developers can apply their Oracle toolkit know-how to go beyond functionality-only solutions for business to providing optimized mobile experiences that enterprise workers are familiar with from their personal technology world and can use with zero training.

The free UX design patterns, for desktop and mobile UIs, offer a productive way for licensers of all Oracle’s applications, not just Oracle Fusion Applications, to realize more return on their investment. And, as we simplify the message with further shared UX insight, the customer and partner roadmap for more business benefits and user satisfaction is extended further, so stay tuned!

Sunday May 12, 2013

Building Oracle Partner Fusion Apps UI Integrations in the Cloud with UX Patterns & Guidelines

Oracle has a powerful and rich partner ecosystem that offer many value-add solutions for users of our applications. To get the most of integrating these solutions with Fusion and other applications, ISV developers need to go beyond functionality and provide a great UX too. The basis of this UX is a consistent and streamlined navigation and a productivity-based task completion user interface (UI) between applications; one that is as seamless and transparent to the users as possible. This means much more than "look and feel".

By using the Oracle Fusion Applications User Experience Design Patterns and Guidelines developers can now easily provide the same elegant navigation 'touch points' that Fusion applications. No need to sweat over designing new usability solutions! Here is a quick overview of a couple of UI options when integrating Fusion applications and other applications.

Remember to read up on the best toolkit to apply these touchpoints and what your preferred deployment can support, but for Desktop UIs you can get going right away applying these integrations using the Application Composer. Check out the information on extensibility on the Fusion Applications Developer Relations blog.

So, let's assume our UI use case is to integrate a Fusion CRM opportunity with a quote or price configuration solution, and see how we might use the UX design patterns and guidelines when designing UI integrations.

The simplest integration point afford no context for users, so is really a quick solution or one used when there is no context needed, no requirement to exchange data, and there is no specified object being configured. To implement, add a link from the relevant functional area in the global Navigator to the solution concerned. In this case, we have added a link called Quotes under the Sales area.


Global Area Navigator


Fusion Application UI Global Area Navigator

Your key design resource here is the guidance we provide about the applications Navigation Model.

A much better, contextual and object-specific integration would be to leverage a task-based flow and exchange data between Fusion and the other application. You can do this using the tasks area in the UI Shell to create and manage tasks, a page-level button to inititate an action without navigating away, and a tab with an iFramed UI mashup of data showing the results of the data exchange with the other application. In the following screen mockups you can see the Create Quote and Manage Quotes links in the Tasks Pane, the Quote page-level action button and then a tab with Quotes illustrating this kind of UI.


Tasks Pane with Create and Manage Actions


Fusion Application UI Tasks Pane with Manage and Create Links


Page Actions Button and Tab


Fusion Application UI Page Actions Quote Button and Quotes Tab with UI Mashup of Table Data

The key design resources for this higher-level integration are the UX guidelines on the Navigation model, UI Shell template, Tasks Pane, Page Actions, and Work Areas information on tabs.

Typically with such integrations, you can then take this much further and also use saved search and collaboration guidelines too to provide a richer UX. You can find design information about those interactions, and more, on the Oracle Fusion Applications User Experience Design Patterns and Guidelines website.

The Applications UX team is working closely with our ADF and Platform Technology Solutions colleagues to enable partners and customers to build great-looking usable partner integrations for the Desktop and Simplified UIs on-premise and in the cloud, so stay tuned for news and coverage of our outreach workshops and more resources.

Tuesday Apr 02, 2013

UX Design Pattern Spotting with Fusion Mobile Expenses

One of the great things about demoing cool stuff for Oracle Applications User Experience is that you're entering a world of discovery of guess what? Even more cool stuff! I was showing off the Fusion Mobile Expenses app live recently and explaining how our UX Design Patterns make for developer productivity and satisfied users. A developer hand shot up in the audience and asked me to point out which patterns were being invoked as I stepped though the mobile tasks. What a super question and a great demo value-add to include in future!




Fusion Mobile Expenses video on the Usable Apps YouTube channel

You can see the patterns at work easily. Look at the rockin' Fusion Mobile Expenses video, for example, and within one minute you can see a bunch of the publicly available Mobile UX Design Patterns in action. There you have the Springboard Navigation pattern (that screen at about 19 seconds in), the Page Header and the Input Form patterns (at about 40 seconds), and so on.

Shown live, the Fusion Expenses mobile app reveals even more patterns, such as the List pattern, my favorite the Actions pattern, and others.


List and Actions Pattern


List and Actions patterns in use together in Fusion Mobile Expenses.


So, come along to my next UX outing on building great mobile apps with Oracle Applications User Experience reusable design solutions and see the patterns used and explained in context. Don't miss this opportunity by staying tuned to the events and outreach page on the Usable Apps website. I might even start giving out prizes to the audience if you can name the patterns when they come to life in the apps shown!

If you want to read more about using design patterns for mobile apps in business, then head on over to the Vennster blog.

Altogether now: "Taxi! 25 Dollars!

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.

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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