Oracle FMW Partner Community Forum 2015: The Oracle Applications Cloud UX Rapid Development Kit Goes to Hungary!
Vlad Babu (@vladbabu), Oracle Applications Cloud Pre-Sales UX Champ, files a report about his Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) while attending the recent Oracle Fusion Middleware Partner Community Forum 2015 in Budapest, Hungary.
Over 200 Oracle Partners from the Oracle Fusion Middleware (FMW) area stepped away from their projects in early March 2015 to take part in a groundbreaking event in Budapest, Hungary: the Oracle Fusion Middleware Partner Community Forum 2015. For some time, this two-day event had been just a glimmer in the eye of Jürgen Kress (@soacommunity), Senior Manager SOA/FMW Partner Programs EMEA. However, with the unprecedented success of the partner programs and community growth in recent years, he really felt compelled to make this event happen. And he did!
Andrew Sutherland, Senior Vice President Business Development - Technology License & Systems EMEA, and Amit Zavery (@azavery), Senior Vice President, Integration Products, were the keynote speakers. They inspired the audience when they spoke about Digital Disruption and how Oracle is soaring to success with Integration Cloud Services offerings, such as Oracle Cloud Platform (Platform as a Service [PaaS]).
Tweet from Debra Lilley: Pervasiveness of UX to Cloud successThe user experience (UX) presence at the event struck a chord with Debra Lilley (@debralilley), (Vice President of Certus Cloud Services), who remarked on how important the all-encompassing Oracle Applications User Experience Simplified User Experience Rapid Development Kit (RDK) is for enabling great partner development for the cloud experience. Yes, integration and PaaS4SaaS are key partner differentiators going forward!
Tweet from Vlad Babu: PTS Code Accelerator Kit and Oracle Applications UX design patterns eBook
So, how can partners truly leverage their investment in Oracle Fusion Middleware? Use the RDK. Oracle Partners were really excited by and empowered when they used the RDK for designing and coding a simplified UI for the Oracle Applications Cloud. The RDK contains all the information you’ll need before you even start coding, such as easy-to-use RDK wireframing stencils. The YouTube guidance offers great productivity features when creating new extensions in PaaS or developing from scratch a brand new, custom application using Oracle ADF technology.
Tweet from Debra Lilley: Integration is key to SaaS.
For example, Certus Solutions leveraged the RDK Simplified User Experience Design Patterns eBook that covers simplified UI design patterns and the ADF-based code templates in the RDK to develop a new extension for the Oracle HCM Cloud. The result? Certus Solutions received the FMW Community Cloud Award for outstanding work in validating PaaS4SaaS with the Usable Apps team!
Tweet from Debra Lilley: Announcing that Certus Solutions received the FMW Community Cloud Award
Experiencing the motivation and innovation from successful partners, this event proved to be a unique and rewarding chance to interact with key Oracle Partners. This event was truly a fantastic two-day event to remember. Here’s to the next opportunity to wear the OAUX colors with pride!
Tweet from Debra Lilley: Simplicity, Extensibility, Mobile worn with pride.
For more information, I encourage you to visit the Usable Apps website where you’ll find lots of essential information about designing and building new simplified UIs for the Oracle Applications Cloud.
Your reward is waiting.
Nobody wants their device to disrupt them from what they are doing or to have to move to another one to continue working. Keeping users in the moment of their tasks—independent of the devices they’re using—is central to any great user experience.
The ability to apply our Oracle Applications Cloud design philosophy to the smartwatch demonstrates an ideal realization of the “glance” method, keeping users in that moment: Making the complex simple, flexible, intuitive, and most of all, convenient. OAUX recognizes the need for smartwatch wearers to experience that “right here, right now” feeling, the one in which you have just what you need, just when you need it.
The wearable technology space is currently focused on smartwatches. We’re excited by Apple’s announcement about their smartwatch, and we’re even more thrilled to now show you our proof of concept glance designs for the Oracle Applications Cloud on the Apple Watch. We want to hear your reaction!
Glance for Oracle Applications Cloud for Apple Watch proof of concept designs
For the smartwatch specifically, VP Jeremy Ashley explained how our glance approach applies to smartwatch wearers, regardless of their choice of device:
“The most common wearable user interaction is to glance at something. The watch works as the wearer’s mini dialog box to the cloud, making microtransactions convenient on the wrist, and presenting the right information to the wearer at the right time. How quickly and easily someone can do something actually useful is the key activity."
Glance brings cloud interaction to wearers in a personal way, requesting and not demanding attention, while eliminating a need to switch to other devices to “dig in,” or to even have to pull a smartphone out of the pocket to respond.
“To continue the journey to completing a task using glance is as simple and natural as telling the time on your wrist”, says Jeremy.
Being able to glance down at your wrist at a stylish smartwatch experience—one that provides super-handy ways to engage with gems of information— enhances working in the cloud in powerful and productive ways, whether you’re a sales rep walking from your car to an opportunity engagement confidently glancing at the latest competitive news, or a field technician swiping across a watchface to securely record time on a remote job.
Glancing at a UI is the optimal wearable experience for the OAUX mobility strategy, where the cloud, not the device, is our platform. This means you can see our device-agnostic glance design at work not only on an Apple Watch, but on Android Wear, Pebble, and other devices, too.
Glance for Oracle Applications Cloud proof of concept apps on Android Wear Samsung Gear Live and Pebble
Designing a Glanceable Platform
The path to our glance designs began with OAUX research into every kind of smartwatch we could get on our wrists so that we could study their possibilities, experience how they felt, how they looked, and how they complemented everyday work and life activities. Then we combined ideas and experiences with Oracle Cloud technology to deliver a simplified design strategy that we can apply across devices. As a result, our UI designs are consistent and familiar to users as they work flexibly in the cloud, regardless of their device, type of operating system, or form factor.
This is not about designing for any one specific smartwatch. It’s a platform-agnostic approach to wearable technology that enables Oracle customers to get that awesome glanceable, cloud-enabled experience on their wearable of choice.
Smartwatches such as the Apple Watch, Pebble, and Android Wear devices have resonated strongly with innovators and consumers of wearable technology. The smartwatch succeeds because we’re already familiar and comfortable with using wristwatches, and they’re practical and easy to use.
From first relying on the sun to tell the time, to looking up at town hall clocks, to taking out pocket watches, and then being able to glance at our wrists to tell the time, we’ve seen an evolution in glanceable technology analogous to the miniaturization of computing from large mainframes to personal, mobile devices for consumers.
Just like enterprise apps, watches have already been designed for many specializations and roles, be they military, sport, medical, fashion, and so on. So the evolution of the smartwatch into an accepted workplace application is built on a firm foundation.
Again, OAUX is there, on trend, ready and offering a solution grounded in innovation and design expertise, one that responds to how we work today in the cloud.
In future articles, we’ll explore more examples that showcase how we’re applying the glance approach to wearable technology, and we’ll look at design considerations in more detail. You can read more about our Oracle Applications Cloud design philosophy and other trends and innovations that influence our thinking in our free eBook.
Check the Usable Apps website for events where you can experience our smartwatch and other innovations for real, read our Storify feature on wearable technology, and see our YouTube videos about our UX design philosophy and strategy.
Oracle’s Platform as a Service (PaaS) is a huge opportunity for Oracle partners. Using PaaS4SaaS for extending the Oracle Applications Cloud and building simplified UI solutions are powerful differentiators combined. Add in user experience (UX), and it's a competitive must-have move for business. The Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) communications and outreach team has been on the road enabling partners to make this competitive potential real.
An awesome range of UX and technology skills from OAUX and partners was brought to bear on realizing a Cloud solution with attendees self-organizing and working seamlessly together in small agile teams.
All the stakeholders. Certus Solutions, eProseed and OAUX developers and designers collaborate. (L-R) Caroline Moloney (Certus Solutions), Lancy Silveira (OAUX), Mascha van Oosterhout (eProseed), and Julian Orr (OAUX). In the background are Debra Lilley (Certus Solutions) and Amit Kumar Bhowmick (OAUX).
Certus Solutions has partnered with eProseed to accelerate its PaaS offerings for extending the Oracle HCM Cloud and Oracle ERP Cloud, and participants from both companies were at the event*. Facilitated by the OAUX design and development chops, this powerhouse of a team wireframed a great business solution for the Oracle Applications Cloud, built it using the simplified UI RDK, and deployed the result using the Oracle Java Cloud Service SaaS-Extension (JCS-SX) PaaS offering.
Keepin' it simple. Julian Orr (OAUX) explains the essence of the simplified UI design.
The event was a learning experience for all. OAUX got to walk in partner shoes. Certus Solutions and eProseed found out how to identify PaaS4SaaS business opportunities. All experienced the technical side of Oracle ADF-based Oracle Applications Cloud development and PaaS deployment. Such an exchange of empathy meant everyone discovered how to work together.
Demonstrating the straightforward nature of JCS-SX deployment, Debra Lilley (@debralilley), Vice President of Certus Solutions Cloud Services and OAUX designated speaker, was in the thick of the development action, deploying a prototype to the cloud like a pro while declaring “I'm not technical®” (more details about this will be revealed at a future Oracle event)!
Learning while doing. Agile, activity based work, side-by-side. (L-R) Bruno Neves Alves (eProseed), Amit Kumar Bhowmick (OAUX), Debra Lilley (Certus Solutions), Lancy Silveira (OAUX), and Lonneke Dikmans (eProseed).
The inimitable Debra closed the event, saying how the event moved Certus Solution’s Cloud business to a new high on the capability scale, and provided further vindication of Certus Solutions' business directions, including their strategic partnering with eProseed. You can read more from Debra about the event in her article "Partner Column: Extending Your SaaS Applications with PaaS" on the Oracle Fusion Middleware community blog.
Reflecting on the event, OAUX felt that the PaaS4SaaS partner enablement strategy based on the simplified UI RDK and Oracle Cloud technology skills is hitting the right mark in the Oracle partner ecosystem. It was validation all around.
If you are a Gold or Platinum Oracle Applications Cloud partner that wants in on our ongoing PaaS and SaaS journey and seeking to validate that decision to take your business to the Cloud and to demonstrate confidence to customers, then reach out to us through the usual channels.
* You can read about the OAUX eProceed PaaS and Oracle Alta UI enablement event in the Netherlands here.
By Sarahi Mireles and Kathy Miedema, Oracle Applications User Experience Communications and Outreach
In keeping with a new emphasis and investment from Oracle on exploring emerging technology for ways to encourage the evolution of the Oracle user experience, the UX Innovation Events (@InnovateOracle) team held a design jam for Oracle employees in early February.
Since embracing their charter in Fall 2014, the team -- a branch of the Oracle Applications User Experience (UX) team -- has organized and held a rapid succession of design jams. The design jam focused on the future of information design.
Verbal Karate Chop, the team: (L-R) Tony Orciuoli, Sarahi Mireles, Sasha Boyko, Rob Hernandez, and Kathy Miedema (not pictured)
It’s worth pointing out how exciting it is to be part of an organization that encourages a free flow of thinking and creativity by supporting events like these. Our team met a few times before the event to kick-start our brainstorming, and then took off an entire day to participate in this event.
We were well-supported during the event too – we had room to collaborate, materials to help us develop ideas, mentors to help guide us, food to keep us fueled.
Our team, Verbal Karate Chop, designed a product that builds on the technology behind Oracle Voice, pulling in information around a particular keyword or phrase to create meetings, help prepare for meetings, and even start a meeting hands-free if you happen to be driving in your car, for example.
Sarahi can better describe what it’s like to participate as a developer and build an idea like this on a tight deadline. Before turning it over to her, I’m happy to announce that our idea won both the People’s Choice award and the Best Use of Audio/Video award. This was my first time participating in such an event – what a thrill it was!
Innovate and diversify. Getting the message out: Kathy Miedema and Sarahi Mireles
... and from Sarahi
As a developer, I find it really fun going to a design jam. The best part after the brain-storming is starting to build your prototype. This can be something really simple or something quite complex, and that actually depends on the time you have and how fast are you able to play with whatever tool you are using.
Time was actually the key factor for this design jam. Having only a couple of hours to build your entire idea is what really makes your adrenaline surge.
We started putting together all our ideas, and then we began to draw the general design of the whole idea (I’m glad we had two designers on our team!), and after that, we built it.
From a non-designer point of view, I have to say that we designed some cool UIs after a couple of hours of pushing our brains to the maximum. And it was awesome to build out those ideas.
If you have the opportunity to join a design jam, do it! It’s also the best way to learn from other developers and non-developers, and to explore all kinds of crazy ideas for innovation in the enterprise.
Verbal Karate Chop, the user experience: People’s Choice and Best Use of Audio/Video awards
The overall results of the design jam are here.
Empathy, ideation, and enterprise: three principles we keep at the heart of our partner PaaS and SaaS enablement. All three aligned at the Oracle Applications Cloud User Experience PaaS event with eProseed in the Netherlands.
By finding the pulse of real people and the requirement to work flexibly, by exchanging ideas about new ways of working using the cloud, digital technology and autonomous organization, and by agreeing on a design solution that resonated with all; one that could be built in a secure and scalable way using Oracle technology, and making business sense.
The result was the delivery of a powerful experience that Erik Veldhoen (@erikveldhoen), architect of activity-based working, saw as a milestone progression towards innovative business models and how people get things done.
Erik Veldhoen goes into the cloud with the design philosophy of glance, scan, commit; seamlessly melding with his vision of using technology as a powerful instrument for people to organize their lives and work in a better, virtual space.
The cloud has changed everything, and user experience is no exception. Make no mistake; it's “Game Over” for traditional ways of selling software and for people accepting less than compelling user experiences in work. User experience is a competitive must-have, and a capability to deliver a rockin’ UX using PaaS is the partner differentiator.
Julian Orr of Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) and eProseed UX consultant Mascha van Oosterhout work together on applying design patterns to wireframes for maximum productivity and reusability.
OAUX's goal was to enable eProseed to deliver on a business proposition using UX and PaaS. Exact use case details and images of screens cannot be disclosed. But, if you were at this innovative event, held in Oracle Nederland in Utrecht, you’d have witnessed:
- The awesome eProseed UX design and wireframing enablement; a best practice to communicate design amongst stakeholders, get their agreement, and eliminate surprises later when coding starts.
- The bringing together of key stakeholders around the use case: partner UX and development teams, customer, customer advocacy, Oracle Nederland technology sales, and the OAUX team.
- The rapid building of a simplified user experience that realizes activity-based working, based on glance, scan, commit design philosophy. This enables people to organize, act, and report on their work autonomously and easily.
The vision of Erik Veldhoen’s new way of working virtually using technology and the cloud melding magically with the OAUX design philosophy and strategies of simplicity, mobility, and extensibility.
- The building of the PaaS user experience using a toolkit of the OAUX Simplified UI RDK based on Oracle ADF and using Oracle JDeveloper, the Oracle SOA Suite, and styled with the Oracle Alta UI design system; a first for our hands-on workshops.
eProseed Managing Partner, Luc Bors (@lucb_) with UX Developer Lancy Silveira (@LancyS), showing off Luc’s Oracle Mobile Application Framework Developer Guide (Oracle Press), available now.
- The application of user experience design patterns to the wireframes created by eProseed. The patterns leverage Oracle ADF components and eProseed now has reusable, common solutions at hand, ready for the next business opportunity.
- The deployment of the solution using PaaS. The designing, building and deploying of non-English language UIs is another workshop first.
- A display of agile-style development, design iterations, and flexible working over three days. We adopted our own “new way of working", one of minimal management and supervision. Everyone at the event worked together, as one team, self-organizing and staying focused on the end result.
eProseed Managing Partner, Lonneke Dikmans, tweeted as the event concluded:
UX and PaaS is the new cool!
The workshop is part of an ongoing story as eProseed iterates the design and development and takes things to the next stage in the business cycle.
Stay tuned for more insights from this event but also for coverage of the other recent partner PaaS4SaaS enablement events in the UK and in the U.S.
Are you a Gold or Platinum level partner in the Oracle Applications Cloud business, seeking that UX and PaaS differentiator? Do ideas of empathy, ideation, and enterprise resonate with your organization?
By Sandra Lee (@sandralee0415)
What happens when co-workers try out wearable technology? Misha Vaughan (@mishavaughan), Director of Oracle Applications Communications and Outreach, explored just that.
“Instead of a general perspective, I wanted the team to have a personal experience of wearable technology”, said Misha. So, she gave each member of her team a Fitbit Flex activity tracker to use. The exercise proved insightful, with team members providing useful personal and enterprise-related feedback on device usage.
Your Fitbit Flex awaits [Photo: Sandra Lee]
Team Dynamic and Initial Reactions
It was a free choice for team members to wear the Fitbit device or not. Those that did were inspired and enjoyed comparing activities and goals. Shannon Whiteman, Communication Operations and Online Training Manager, loved the competitive aspect. “If I saw someone had 100 more steps than I did, I’d take the stairs and walk an extra 101 steps to beat them.” Kathy Miedema, Senior Market Research Analyst, noted that the Fitbit “really motivated and validated my personal fitness activity”.
Example of recorded activity: Ultan O’Broin’s (@usableapps) Fitbit dashboard
The exercise also provided observations on team dynamics in the workplace. Some chose not to wear the device whether for personal reasons, set-up issues, or lack of time; a reminder that although fun to try, such devices are not for everyone, and that’s OK.
The Fashion Perspective
Sarahi Mireles, User Experience Developer in Mexico, tried the Fitbit, but it didn’t fit her lifestyle, saying that “the interest is there [for wearables in general], but the design attraction is lacking.” Sarahi feels the ideal fitness tracker for her world is one with interchangeable looks, so she can wear it to work and to dinner. This typical user need is where fashion designers like Tory Burch offer value to technology developers, in this case partnering with Fitbit to make devices look more like beautiful bracelets and necklaces.
The Enterprise Employee Investment
Fitness plays a role in work/life balance, and health, happiness, and productivity are intrinsically linked. Overall, wellness contributes to the bottom line in a big way. Oracle is focused on such solutions too, researching user experiences that best engage, promote and support employee wellness.
Externally, at HCM World for example, Oracle's interest in this space offered analysts and customers complimentary Fitbit Zip devices for a voluntary wellness competition; the winner receiving a donation to the American Cancer Society.
Karen Scipi (@karenscipi), Senior Usability Engineer, reflected that companies like Oracle, in facilitating the use of the fitness device, are placing importance on employee health and fitness as an “employee investment.” Healthier individuals are happier and therefore more productive employees.
Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley), Vice President of Applications User Experience, already leads his team in embracing wellness within the workplace, participating in the American Heart Association Bay Walk, for example. He explained how encouraging and measuring activity during the working day, whether through walking meetings or using activity trackers, is a meaningful way to identify with the Oracle Applications Cloud User Experience strategy too.
Jeremy described how sensors in activity trackers—along with smart watches, heads-up displays, smart phones, and beacons—are part of the Internet of Things: that ubiquitous connectivity of technology and the Cloud that realize daily experiences for today's enterprise users to empathize with.
Your Data and the Enterprise Bottom Line
From the business perspective, employee activity data gathered from corporate wellness programs could lead to negotiated discounts and rewards for users from health care companies, for example; one possible incentive to enterprise adoption. Gamification, the encouraging of team members to engage and interact in collaborative and productive ways in work using challenges and competitions, is another strategy for workplace wellness programs uptake.
Ultan O’Broin, Director of User Experience, who travels globally out of Ireland, noted that although he personally hasn’t experienced any negative reactions to wearable technology, the issue of privacy of the data gathered, especially in Europe, is a huge concern.
Data accuracy, permitting employees to voluntarily opt in or out of fitness and wellness programs, privacy issues, and what to do with that data once its collected, all need to reassure users and customers alike. Having HR involved in tracking, storing and using employee activity data is an enterprise dimension being explored.
User Experience Trends
Smart watch usage is on the rise, combining ability to unobtrusively track activity with other glanceable UI capabilities. Analysts now predict a shift in usage patterns as smart watches begin to replace fitness bands, but time will tell in this fast-moving space.
Regardless of your wearable device of choice, and the fashion, personal privacy, employee data, and corporate deployment considerations we’ve explored, wearable technology and wellness programs are enterprise happenings that are here to stay. It’s time to get on board and think about how your business can benefit.
Perhaps your team could follow Misha’s great initiative and explore wearable technology user experience for yourselves? Let us know in the comments!
You can read more about Oracle Applications User Experience team’s innovation and exploration of wearable technology on the Usable Apps Storify social story.
By Joe Dumas, Oracle Applications User Experience
When you blog, are you reaching the right audience? Is blogging an effective way to spread your message? These are some of the questions that the Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) Communications and Outreach team asked me to help answer.
The team made the Simplified User Experience Design Patterns for the Oracle Applications Cloud Service eBook available for free on the web. They announced its availability on the Usable Apps blog.
Simplified User Experience Design Patterns for the Oracle Applications Cloud Service eBook in use.
The eBook contains user experience design guidance and examples for building the Oracle Applications Cloud simplified UI. The target audience was developers building applications with Oracle ADF in the Oracle Java Cloud Service. To download the eBook (in a tablet-friendly format of choice), developers registered their name and email address on the eBook landing page.
To gather the information for analysis, I created a short online survey of questions and, using that database of thousands of email addresses, invited those registered users to complete the survey, without either obligation or incentive.
However, when I tabulated the survey results, more than half of the respondents had found out about the eBook from the blog.
Furthermore, I found that of those who used the book extensively, some 70% said they had first heard about it from the blog.
I also found that the survey respondents were mostly the very people for whom the book was intended. 70% of respondents made user interface design decisions for applications development teams, and all either worked for Oracle Partners or were applications development consultants for Oracle products.
I’ll explore in a further blog article about what parts of the eBook developers found most useful and other insights. But, as a taster, I can let you know now about receiving positive comments again and again about developers being “thrilled” with the content.
In these days of pervasive social media and other communications channels and a debate about the effectiveness of different online platforms, these findings show that blogs are indeed an effective way to reach out to a target audience, especially one committed to finding ways to work faster and smarter.
Do you communicate with developers or other information technology professionals using a blog? How often do you blog, and why? Share your experience in the comments.
Desarrollador de Experiencias de Usuario (User Experience Developer), Sarahi Mireles escribe:
El pasado 4 y 5 de Noviembre, tuve la oportunidad de participar en el Shape and ShipIt Design Jam interno que se llevo a cabo en Oracle HQ. Ahí, diferentes miembros del equipo de User Experience nos reunimos para investigar e innovar soluciones móviles empresariales.
¿El objetivo de todo esto? Conocer más sobre el concepto de desarrollo enfocado al contexto, lo que da como resultado una interacción más natural e intuitiva entre el usuario y las soluciones empresariales que utiliza día con día.
Participantes Cindy Fong, Sarahi Mireles, Tony Orciuoli, y Thao Nguyen [foto: Karen Scipi]
Estuvimos trabajando en equipos durante dos días, y debo decir que fue muy divertido (¿quién dice que el trabajo no puede ser divertido?). En ese tiempo hicimos lluvia de ideas, las afinamos, hicimos nuestros propios wireframes basados en casos de uso y finalmente comenzamos a codificar.
Participantes Luis Galeana, Julian Orr, Raymond Xie, Thao Nguyen, y Anthony Lai [foto: Karen Scipi]
¿El resultado? Soluciones empresariales fáciles de entender, de usar y relevantes, brindando al usuario la información necesaria en el momento más oportuno, lo que se ve reflejado en una experiencia de usuario simplemente increíble.
Equipo ASCII_kerz! presentando su solución a los jueces (jueces (sentados) Jeremy Ashley y Bill Kraus; participantes (de pie) Cindy Fong, Sarahi Mireles, y Tony Orciuoli) [foto: Karen Scipi]
Si quieres conocer más acerca de Oracle Applications User Experience visita el sitio de Usable Apps, y el blog theappslab.com para conocer más acerca de lo que el equipo de Jake Kuramoto (@jkuramot) está haciendo. Y por supuesto, sí quieres conocer más acerca del Oracle MDC (México Development Center) echa un vistazo a nuestra página de Facebook.