Thursday Oct 11, 2012

Oracle Social Network Developer Challenge: Fishbowl Solutions

Originally posted by Jake Kuramoto on The Apps Lab blog.

Today, I give you the final entry in the Oracle Social Network Developer Challenge, held last week during OpenWorld.

This one comes from Friend of the ‘Lab and Fishbowl Solutions (@fishbowle20) hacker, John Sim (@jrsim_uix), whom you might remember from his XBox Kinect demo at COLLABORATE 12 (presentation slides and abstract) hacks and other exploits with WebCenter.

We put this challenge together specifically for developers like John, who like to experiment with new tools and push the envelope of what’s possible and build cool things, and as you can see from his entry John did just that, mashing together Google Maps and Oracle Social Network into a mobile app built with PhoneGap that uses the device’s camera and GPS to keep teams on the move in touch.

He calls it a Mobile GeoTagging Solution, but I think Avengers Assemble! would have equally descriptive, given that was obviously his inspiration. Here’s his description of the mobile app:

My proposed solution was to design and simplify GeoLocation mapping, and automate updates for users and teams on the move; who don’t have access to a laptop or want to take their ipads out – but allow them to make quick updates to OSN and upload photos taken from their mobile device – there and then.

As part of this; the plan was to include a rules engine that could be configured by the user to allow the device to automatically update and post messages when they arrived at a set location(s). Inspiration for this came from on{x} – automate your life.

Unfortunately, John didn’t make it to the conference to show off his hard work in person, but luckily, he had a colleague from Fishbowl and a video to showcase his work.

  

Here are some shots of John’s mobile app for your viewing pleasure:

John’s thinking is sound. Geolocation is usually relegated to consumer use cases, thanks to services like foursquare, but distributed teams working on projects out in the world definitely need a way to stay in contact.

Consider a construction job. Different contractors all converge on a single location, and time is money. Rather than calling or texting each other and risking a distracted driving accident, an app like John’s allows everyone on the job to see exactly where the other contractors are. Using his GPS rules, they could easily be notified about how close each is to the site, definitely useful when you have a flooring contractor sitting idle, waiting for an electrician to finish the wiring.

The best part is that the project manager or general contractor could stay updated on all the action (or inaction) using Oracle Social Network, either sitting at a desk using the browser app or desktop client or on the go, using one of the native mobile apps built for Oracle Social Network.

I can see this being used by insurance adjusters too, and really any team that, erm, assembles at a given spot. Of course, it’s also useful for meeting at the pub after the day’s work is done.

Beyond people, this solution could also be implemented for physical objects that are in route to a destination.

Say you’re a customer waiting on rail shipment or a package delivery. You could track your valuable’s whereabouts easily as they report their progress via checkins. If they deviated from the GPS rules, you’d be notified. You might even be able to get a picture into Oracle Social Network with some light hacking.

Thanks to John and his colleagues at Fishbowl for participating in our challenge. We hope everyone had a good experience.

Make sure to check out John’s blog post on his work and the experience using Oracle Social Network.

Although this is the final, official entry we had, tomorrow, I’ll show you the work of someone who finished code, but wasn’t able to make the judging event.

Stay tuned.

Oracle Social Network Developer Challenge: TEAM Informatics

Originally posted by Jake Kuramoto on The Apps Lab blog.

Here comes another Oracle Social Network Developer Challenge entry, this one courtesy of TEAM Informatics (@teaminformatics).

As their name suggests, their entry was a true team effort, featuring the work of Jon Chartrand, Deepthi Sanikommu, Dmitry Shtulman, Raghavendra Joshi, and Daniel Stitely with Wayne Boerger doing the presentation honors.

Speaking of the presentation, Wayne’s laptop wouldn’t project onto the plasma we had in the OTN Lounge, but luckily, Noel (@noelportugal) had his iPad and VGA dongle in his backpack of goodies, so they were able to improvise by using the iPad camera to capture Wayne’s demo and project the video to the plasma.

Code will find a way.

Anyway, TEAM built Do Over, an integration with Atlassian’s JIRA, coincidentally something I’ve chatted with Rich (@rmanalan) about in the past. The basic idea is simple; integrate JIRA issues with Oracle Social Network to expand and centralize the conversation around issue resolution. In Dmitry’s words:

We were able to put together a team on fairly short notice and, after batting a few ideas around, decided to pursue an integration with JIRA, an issue and project tracking tool used in-house at TEAM.  After getting to know WebCenter Social, we saw immediate benefits that a JIRA integration could bring, primarily due to the fact that JIRA only allows assignment of an issue to one person at a time.  Integrating Social would allow collaboration and issue resolution to happen right from the JIRA Issue interface.

TEAM tackled a very common pain point among developers, i.e. including everyone who needs to be involved in issue resolution into a single thread. If you’ve ever fixed bugs or participated in that process, you’ll know that not everyone has access to the issue resolution system, which makes consolidating discussion time-consuming and fragmented.

Why? Because we typically use email as the tool for collaboration. Oracle Social Network allows for all parties involved to work in a single, private and secure conversation, and through its RESTful Public API, information from external systems like JIRA can be brought in for context.

TEAM only had time to address half the solution, but given more time, I’m sure they would have made the integration bidirectional, allowing for relevant commentary to be pushed back to JIRA, closing the loop.

Here are some screenshot of their integration.

When Oracle Social Network is released, TEAM will have something they use internally to work on issues, and maybe they’ll even productize their work and add it to the Atlassian Marketplace so that other JIRA users can benefit from the combination of Oracle Social Network and JIRA.

Thanks to everyone at TEAM for participating in our challenge. We hope they had a good experience.

Look for the details of the other entries this week.

Be sure to check out a full recap from Dmitry over on the TEAM blog.

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