C4: Content, Context, Collaboration & Community

Subscribe to C4: Content, Context, Collaboration & Community feed C4: Content, Context, Collaboration & Community
Updated: 17 hours 22 min ago

Fishbowl Innovation: Controlled Document Management in the Cloud

Tue, 2017-05-02 12:12

Fishbowl Solutions has been delivering enterprise content management (ECM) solutions based on Oracle WebCenter for over 17 years. WebCenter is the only ECM solution we’ve built a consulting practice around and have software solutions for. Its comprehensive capabilities have satisfied numerous customer use cases including employee portals, contract management, and quality control. That being said, we understand customers have other use cases for storing and managing their high value content, and more recently that includes document storage in the cloud.

To satisfy use cases where companies manage the majority of their content with on-premise solutions like WebCenter but may need simple, cloud-bases solutions to manage specific documents that are part of a controlled process – contracts, policies and procedures, etc., Fishbowl developed a proof of concept (POC) for lightweight ECM in the cloud. This solution would provide a low barrier to entry for customers wanting content management capabilities through a simplified user interface that includes a dashboard, document list, and profile driven metadata fields. The other obvious benefit this solution would provide is a much lower overall cost due to a cloud-based subscription model, and less need for development resources and system administrators.

From a development and technology perspective, the team working on this POC discussed how workflow, revisioning, security/permissions, would all need be included to make this a viable solution. Here are some of the technologies they leveraged to develop the solution:

The following are some screenshots of the solution as it appears running on the Google Cloud Platform, but the flexibility of the technologies used to develop the solution means it could integrate with other cloud platforms like Oracle Content and Experience Cloud. Contact us today if you would like more information – info@fishbowlsolutions.com or 952-465-3400. If you are interested in learning more and discussing the technologies involved in the development, please leave a comment and we will get some dialogue going there.

 

The post Fishbowl Innovation: Controlled Document Management in the Cloud appeared first on Fishbowl Solutions.

Categories: Fusion Middleware, Other

Hackathon Weekend Recap: Oracle Chatbots, Cloud Content Migrations, and Controlled Document Management in the Cloud

Tue, 2017-05-02 12:07

Wow! It’s always amazing what can be accomplished in a weekend when you give people limitless supplies of calories and caffeine, as well as a hard deadline. Couple that with a lot of competitive fire and the drive to innovate, and you just might be able to produce THREE, new software solutions and spark new product ideas. That’s what transpired during the weekend of April 7th as Fishbowl Solutions held its annual hackathon event. Over 250 hours were spent across three teams as they architected, designed, and developed their solutions. Teams then had to present the business use case for the solution and show a demo to the Fishbowl employees that did not participate in the hackathon. The non-participants then voted for the winner. What follows is a recap of the solutions developed in order of where they placed after the voting.

Controlled Document Management in the Cloud

Team Members: Andy Weaver, Lauren Beatty, Nate Scharber, Brent Genereaux, Amy Mellinger
Solution Summary: The goal for this team was to develop a controlled document management solution in the cloud. Essentially, the team wanted to produce a lightweight, cloud-based version of Fishbowl’s flagship controlled document management solution called ControlCenter. Their demo showed how easy it would be to provision users for the cloud instance, and then the simple steps users would take to begin uploading, reviewing and managing documents in the cloud.

For more information on this solution including some business use cases and screenshots, read this blog post — Fishbowl Innovation: Controlled Document Management in the Cloud

Team Controlled Document Management in the Cloud

ATLAS – Intelligent Chatbot

Team Members: John Sim, Danny Lesage, Amanda Jovanovic, Matt Hornung, Sean Deal
Solution Summary: This team was all about bots. What’s a bot? Well, it’s software that can run automated tasks over an Internet connection. Fishbowl’s resident Oracle UX expert, John Sim, is from the United Kingdom and while John was visiting he shared how Dom the pizza bot enables customers to order pizzas from Domino’s using Facebook Messenger. Sadly, Dom can only facilitate such requests in the United Kingdom currently, but this provided a great example of a bot for personal use (and made everyone hungry for pizza). However, Fishbowl isn’t in the business of “chat commerce” for food, so the team set out to develop a chatbot that could help users find content stored in Oracle WebCenter.

For more information on this solution including some business use cases and screenshots, read this blog post — Fishbowl Innovation: ATLAS – Intelligent Chatbot and Virtual Assistant for Oracle Applications

Team ATLAS: Intelligent Chatbot

Cloud 2 Cloud Content Migrations

Team Members: Tim Gruidl, Jake Ferm, Dan Haugen, Tom Johnson
Solution Summary: The premise of this solution was based on the proliferation of cloud storage/file sync and share systems within an organization and how it would take many steps to migrate or copy content between them. For example, moving or copying content from Microsoft OneDrive to Oracle Documents Cloud Service.

For more information on this solution including some business use cases and screenshots, read this blog post — Fishbowl Innovation: Cloud to Cloud Content Migrations for Oracle Content and Experience Cloud (Oracle Documents Cloud Service) and Other Cloud Storage Providers

Team Cloud to Cloud Content Migrations

 

This was Fishbowl’s sixth annual hackathon event, and the bar raises every year with the innovative solutions that get created. Here are some more pictures from this year’s event.

 

The post Hackathon Weekend Recap: Oracle Chatbots, Cloud Content Migrations, and Controlled Document Management in the Cloud appeared first on Fishbowl Solutions.

Categories: Fusion Middleware, Other

Proactively Manage Contracts, Policies, Web Assets, and Sales Content stored in Oracle WebCenter with Fishbowl’s Subscription Notifier

Thu, 2017-04-20 16:19

Oracle WebCenter Content is a great tool for keeping your company’s content organized, but it can be difficult to proactively manage new, updated, and expiring content. For example:

  • Users check out content and forget to check it back in
  • Plans and policies require reviews at varying intervals
  • Managers change, and metadata needs to be changed for several content items

In 2005, Fishbowl launched the initial release of Subscription Notifier to help solve these problems and many more. It was also specifically designed to satisfy these content management use cases:

  • Web Content Management: Ensure proactive updates to web content for optimal SEO.
  • Contract Management: Enable contract management knowledge workers to get ahead of contract renewals with scheduled email notifications at 90, 60, and 30 days.
  • Policy and Procedure Management: Trigger a workflow process to alert users of content requiring review annually to ensure company policies and procedures are up to date.
  • Sales Enablement: Provide key stakeholders with better visibility into new or updated sales or marketing material.

Today, Subscription Notifier is sold as part of the Admin Suite and included in our controlled document management solution – ControlCenter. Due to its value-add content management capabilities, Subscription Notifier has become one of our most popular products. We continue to make enhancements to the product, and just last month, we released version 5.0, which brings some customer-requested capabilities.

Before I provide an overview of what’s new in version 5.0, I want to start with a brief introduction on what Subscription Notifier actually does. Subscription Notifier is a query-based email notification and scheduled job utility that enables proactive content management in WebCenter Content. With an easy-to-understand subscription builder, you can quickly create subscriptions based on any business rule in your content server – not just expiration. You can schedule the subscription to run on an hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis, or let it run without a schedule to notify users as soon as possible. It also enables you to specify users and/or aliases to be notified of content that matches the subscription query, either directly by username or by using a metadata field, email address, or Idocscript. Other options are available to further customize the subscription, but the core is that simple – specify a schedule, include the users to notify, build the query, and you’re done!

As I highlighted in the policy and procedure management use case above, subscriptions can be set up as periodic reviews, which will put content items into the specified user’s “Documents Under Review” queue as the item’s expiration date (or any other specified date) approaches. Content remains in the queue until one of three actions are taken: “No Change Necessary”, allowing the user to update the review date without updating the content item; “Check Out and Revise”, updating the content item and its review date; or “Approve Expiration”, which lets the content item become expired. The review queue appears in both the core WebCenter UI and ControlCenter. Periodic reviews are one of the most useful features of Subscription Notifier, enabling companies to stay on top of expiring content and ensure that content is always kept up to date.

Beyond notifications and reviews, Subscription Notifier can also empower data synchronization through Pre-query Actions and Side Effects. These are extra effects that are triggered either once before the query executes (Pre-query Actions) or once for every content item that matches the subscription query (Side Effects). Custom Pre-query Actions and Side Effects can be created, and Subscription Notifier comes packaged with some useful Side Effects. These include actions to update metadata, delete old revisions, check-out and check-in, update an external database, and resubmit a content item to Inbound Refinery for conversion. Subscriptions don’t need to send emails – you can set up subscriptions to only trigger these actions.

Now that I’ve gone over the core functionality of Subscription Notifier, I’d like to highlight our latest release, version 5.0, by discussing some of this release’s new features:

 

Simplified Subscriptions for End-Users

Simplified Subscription Builder Interface

By specifying a role in the component configuration, non-administrators can now create subscriptions in Subscription Notifier. Users with restricted access can create subscriptions in a restricted view, which both simplifies the view for the non-tech-savvy and ensures security so that end-users do not have access to more than they should. Administrators can still manage all subscriptions, but users with restricted access can only manage subscriptions they have created themselves. This has been a highly-requested feature, so we’re excited to finally bring the requests to fruition!

 

Type-ahead User Fields

Type-Ahead User Fields Screenshot

Taking a feature from ControlCenter, user and alias fields on the subscription creation page will now offer type-ahead suggestions based on both usernames and full names. No longer do you need to worry about the exact spelling of usernames – these validated fields will do the remembering for you! In addition to greatly improving the look and feel of the subscription creation page, these newly improved fields also enhance performance by cutting out the load time of populating option lists.

 

Job Run History Job Run History Report Screenshot

Administrators can view an audit history of subscription job executions, allowing them to view when subscriptions are evaluated. The table can be sorted and filtered to allow for detailed auditing of Subscription Notifier. By inspecting an individual job run, you can see which content items matched the query and who was notified. If a job run failed, you can easily view the error message without delving into the content server logs.

 

Resubmit for Conversion Side Effect

Sometimes Inbound Refinery hits a snag, and content items will fail conversion for no apparent reason. This new Side Effect will allow you to resubmit content items to Inbound Refinery to attempt conversion again. You can specify the maximum number of times to attempt the re-conversion, and the queue of items being added to the conversion queue is throttled, so you don’t need to worry about clogging up Inbound Refinery with conversion requests.

 

Enforce Security on a Per-Subscription Basis

Subscription Notifier has allowed you to specify whether to enforce content security when sending emails, making sure users only are notified on content they have permissions to read or letting users be notified of everything. Previously, this was a component configuration setting, but now this setting can be changed on each subscription individually.

That about wraps up this spotlight on Subscription Notifier. I hope I was able to share how a simple yet powerful notification and subscription solution for Oracle WebCenter supports multiple use cases for proactive content management. At its core, Subscription Notifier helps organizations keep their content up-to-date while providing visibility into the overall content creation process. Its powerful side-effects capabilities can be used to trigger workflows, update metadata, delete old revisions and more – providing more proactive methods for users to best manage high-value content in an organization. If you’re interested in purchasing Subscription Notifier or upgrading your existing copy, please contact us for more info.

The post Proactively Manage Contracts, Policies, Web Assets, and Sales Content stored in Oracle WebCenter with Fishbowl’s Subscription Notifier appeared first on Fishbowl Solutions.

Categories: Fusion Middleware, Other

Automate and expedite bulk loading into Windchill.

Fri, 2017-04-14 11:19

Data migration is the least attractive part of a PDM/PLM project.  Take a look at our latest infographic to learn how to speed up bulk loading data from Creo, Autodesk Inventor and AutoCAD, SolidWorks, Documents, WTParts and more into Windchill PDMLink and Pro/INTRALINK.

More information can also be found in our previous posts:

Approaches to Consider for Your Organization’s Windchill Consolidation Project

Consider Your Options for SolidWorks to Windchill Data Migrations

 

The post Automate and expedite bulk loading into Windchill. appeared first on Fishbowl Solutions.

Categories: Fusion Middleware, Other

Webinar Recording: Improve WebCenter Portal Performance by 30% and get out of Oracle ADF Development Hell

Tue, 2017-04-11 09:02

In this webinar Fishbowl’s Director of Solutions, Jerry Aber, shared how leveraging modern web development technologies like Oracle JET, instead of ADF taskflows, can dramatically improve the performance of a portal – including the overall time to load the home page, as well as making content or stylistic changes.

Jerry also shared how to architect a portal implementation to include a caching layer that further enhances performance. These topics were all be backed by real world customer metrics that Jerry and Fishbowl team have seen through numerous, successful customer deployments.

If you are a WebCenter Portal administrator and are frustrated with challenges of improving your ADF-centric portal, this webinar is for you. Watch to learn how to overhaul the ADF UI, which will lead to less development complexities and ensure more happy users.

 

The post Webinar Recording: Improve WebCenter Portal Performance by 30% and get out of Oracle ADF Development Hell appeared first on Fishbowl Solutions.

Categories: Fusion Middleware, Other

Hackathon Weekend at Fishbowl Solutions: Bots, Cloud Content Migrations, and Lightweight ECM Apps

Fri, 2017-04-07 18:48

Hackathon 2017 captains – from L to R: Andy Weaver, John Sim, and Jake Ferm.

It’s hackathon weeked at Fishbowl Solutions. This means our resident hackers (coders) will be working as teams to develop new solutions for Oracle WebCenter, enterprise search, and various cloud offerings. The theme overall this year is The Cloud, and each completed solution will integrate with a cloud offering from Oracle, Google, and perhaps even a few others if time allows.

This year three teams have formed, and they all began coding today at 1:00 PM. Teams have until 9:00 AM on Monday, April 10th to complete their innovative solutions. Each team will then present and demo their solution to everyone at Fishbowl Solutions during our quarterly meeting at 4 PM. The winning team will be decided by votes from employees that did NOT participate in the hackathon.

Here are the descriptions of the three solutions that will be developed over the weekend:

Team Captain: Andy Weaver
Team Name – for now: Cloud ECM Middleware
Overview: Lightweight ECM for The Cloud. Solution will provide content management capabilities (workflow, versioning, periodic review notifications, etc.) to Google’s cloud platform. Solution will also include a simple dashboard to notify users of documents awaiting their attention, and users will be able to use the solution on any device as well.

Team Captain: John Sim
Team Name: SkyNet – Rise of the Bots
Overview: This team has high aspirations as they will be working on a number of solutions. The first is a bot that they are calling Atlas that will essentially query Fishbowl’s Google Search Appliance and return documents, which are stored in Oracle WebCenter, based on what was asked. For example, “show me the standard work document on on ordering food for the hackathon”. The bot will use Facebook messenger as the input interface, and if time allows, a similar bot will be developed to support Siri, Slack, and Skype.

The next solution the team will try and code by Monday will be a self-service bot to query a human capital management/human resources system to return how many days of PTO the employee has.

The last solution will be a bot that integrates Alexa, which is the voice system that powers the Amazon Echo, with Oracle WebCenter. In this example, voice commands could be used to ask Alexa to tell the user the number of workflow items in their queue, or the last document checked in by their manager.

Team Captain: Jake Ferm
Team Name – for now: Cloud Content Migrator
Overview: Jake’s team will be working on an interface to enable users to select content to be migrated across Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, DropBox, and the Oracle Documents Cloud Service. The goal with this solution is to enable with as few clicks as possible the ability to, for example, migrate content from OneDrive to the Oracle Documents Cloud Service. They will also be working on ensuring that content with larger file sizes can be migrated in the background so that users can carry on with other computer tasks.

Please check back on Tuesday, April 11th for a recap of the event and details on the winning solution. Happy hacking!

Taco bar to fuel the hackers!

 

The post Hackathon Weekend at Fishbowl Solutions: Bots, Cloud Content Migrations, and Lightweight ECM Apps appeared first on Fishbowl Solutions.

Categories: Fusion Middleware, Other

Mindbreeze Partnership Brings GSA Migration Path for Customers

Mon, 2017-04-03 12:42

This morning Fishbowl announced a new partnership with Mindbreeze bringing additional enterprise search options to our customers. As a leading provider of enterprise search software, Mindbreeze serves thousands of customers around the globe spanning governments, banks, healthcare, insurance, and educational institutions. Last Friday, Gartner released the 2017 Insight Engines Magic Quadrant; Mindbreeze has been positioned highest for Ability to Execute.

With the sunsetting of the Google Search Appliance announced last year, Fishbowl has been undergoing an evaluation of alternatives to serve both new and existing customers looking to improve information discovery. While Fishbowl will continue to partner with Google on cloud search initiatives, we feel Mindbreeze InSpire provides a superior solution to the problems faced by organizations with large volumes of on-premise content. In addition to on-premise appliances, Mindbreeze also provides cloud search services with federation options for creating a single, hybrid search experience. We’re excited about the opportunity this partnership brings to once again help customers get more value from the millions of unstructured documents buried in siloed systems across the enterprise—particualrly those stored in Oracle WebCenter and PTC Windchill.

In the coming months, we’ll be expanding our connector offerings to integrate Mindbreeze Inspire with Oracle WebCenter Content and PTC Windchill. Mindbreeze InSpire is offered as an on-premise search appliance uniting information from varied internal data sources into one semantic search index. As a full-service Mindbreeze partner, Fishbowl will provide connectors, appliance resale, implementation services, and support for our customers. To learn more about Mindbreeze, GSA migration options, or beta access to our Mindbreeze connectors, please contact us.

The post Mindbreeze Partnership Brings GSA Migration Path for Customers appeared first on Fishbowl Solutions.

Categories: Fusion Middleware, Other

Replacing the “V” in Oracle ADF’s MVC design pattern with Oracle JET or other front end framework

Thu, 2017-03-23 09:45

This post was written by Fishbowl’s own John Sim – our resident Oracle User Experience expert. From front-end design to user journeys and persona mapping; John has helped numerous customers over 14 years enhance their desktop and mobile experiences with Oracle WebCenter. John is also an Oracle ACE, which recognizes leaders for their technical expertise and community evangelism.

One of our goals at Fishbowl is to continuously enhance and evolve the capabilities of WebCenter for both developers and clients with new tooling capabilities and pre-built custom components that are essential and not available today as part of the OOTB Oracle solution.

We have taken all of our collective knowledge and IP over the years since WebCenter PS3 and created the “Portal Solution Accelerator” previously known as “Intranet In A Box” that takes WebCenter Portal and it’s capabilities to the next level for creating Digital Workplace Portals.

We have taken all of our collective knowledge and IP over the years since WebCenter PS3 and created the “Portal Solution Accelerator” previously known as “Intranet In A Box” that takes WebCenter Portal and it’s capabilities to the next level for creating Digital Workplace Portals.

Today I’m going to cover one of the benefits of using our Portal Solution Accelerator: Replacing the “V” in ADFs MVC design pattern. This enables third party developers, web design agencies, marketers (with basic web design skills) to use other libraries and front end frameworks of their choosing such as Oracle JET, Angular, React, Vue, and Bootstrap – to name a few. By using a different front end library such as JET, you will be able to create more modern and dynamic responsive portals, widgets, and portlets with little to no experience of developing with ADF. You will also be able to leverage the benefits of ADF Model Controller and WebCenter’s Personalisation, Security, Caching and Mashup integration capabilities with other solutions like Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) and Business Intelligence (BI) on the back end.

So, let’s take a closer look at the Portal Solution Accelerator in the following diagram. You can see it is made up of 2 core components – our back end PSA (Portal Solution Accelerator) component and our front end SPA (Single Page Application) component architecture. One of the things we decided early on is to separate the back end and front end architecture to allow for SPA front end components to be platform agnostic and allow them to work as a Progressive Web App and work on other platforms outside of Portal. This enables us to deploy SPA front end components directly onto BI to provide additional charting capabilities through their narrative components to EBS, SharePoint, and Liferay, as well as onto the cloud. This provides the potential for a hybrid on-premise Portal to Oracle Cloud (Site Cloud Service) Content Experience platform enabling reuse of our portal components and security on the Cloud.

To find out more about our Portal Solution Accelerator head over to our website – https://www.fishbowlsolutions.com/services/oracle-webcenter-portal-consulting/portal-solution-accelerator/

Lets go into a quick dive into WebCenter Portal Taskflows and our Single Page Application (SPA) architecture.

WebCenter Portal – allows you to create Widgets (ADF Taskflows) that can easily be dragged and dropped onto a page by a contributor and can work independently or alongside another taskflow. The interface View is currently generated at the back end with Java processes and can be easily optimised to enable support of adaptive applications. However, you should be aware that this model is very server process intensive.

  • Pros
    • If you know ADF development it makes it extremely fast to create connected web applications using the ADF UI.
    • The ADF generated HTML/JS/CSS UI supports Mobile and desktop browsers.
    • The UI is generated by the application allowing developers to create applications without the need for designers to be involved.
  • Cons
    • If you don’t know ADF or have a UI designed by a third party that does not align with ADFs UI capabilities , it can be very challenging to create complex UI’s using ADF tags, ADF Skins and ADFs Javascript framework.
    • It is a bad practice to combine mix and match open source libraries with ADF tags like jQuery or Bootstrap not supported by Oracle with ADF. This limits the reuse of the largely available open source to create dynamic interactive components and interfaces such as a Carousel etc.
    • It also can be very hard to brand, and is also very server process intensive.

Single Page Applications –  are essentially browser generated applications with Javascript that use AJAX to quickly and easily update and populate the user interface to create fluid and responsive web apps. Instead of the server processing and managing the DOM generated and sent to the client, the client’s browser processes and generates and caches the UI on the fly.

  • Pros
    • All modern front end frameworks allow you to create Single Page Applications and tie into lots of open source front end solutions and interfaces.
  • Cons
    • Can be hard to create Modular Isometric Universal JS applications.
    • You also need to test across browsers and devices your application is looking to support.
    • The front end application can get very large if not managed correctly.

The Portal Solution Accelerator.

What we have done with PSA is create a framework that provides the best of both worlds allowing you to create Modular Single Page Application taskflows that can be dragged and dropped onto a WebCenter Portal page. This allows your web design teams and agencies to manage and develop the front end quickly and effectively with any frameworks and standard HTML5, CSS, and Javascript. You can also use Groovy scripts or Javascript with (Oracle Nashorn) on the server side to create Isometric javascript taskflow applications.

Please note – you cannot create a taskflow that leverages both ADFs View model and our framework together. You can however create 1 taskflow that is pure ADF and drop it on the same page as a taskflow that has been created with a custom front end such as angular using our Portal Solution Accelerator View to replace ADF view. This enables you to use existing OOTB WebCenter Portal taskflows and have them work in conjunction with custom built components.

How Does it work?

Within WebCenter Portal in the composer panel where you can drag and drop in your taskflows onto a page there is a custom taskflow – Fishbowl Single Page Application.

Drop this onto the page and manage its parameters. Here is a quick screenshot of a sample taskflow component for loading in Recent News items.

The Template parameters points to a custom SPA frontend javascript component you would like to load in and inject into the taskflow. You can define custom parameters to pass to this component and these parameters can be dynamic ADF variables via the template parameter panel. The SPA component then handles the magic loading in the template, events, JS libraries CSS and images to be generated from within the taskflow.

Within the SPA API there are custom methods we have created that allow you to pass AJAX JSON calls to the ADF backend groovy or javascript code that enable the app to work and communicate with other services or databases.

ADF Lifecycle… Timeouts.

One of things that often comes up when we present our solution with others who have attempted to integrate JET applications with WebCenter portal is how do you manage the lifecycle and prevent ADF timeouts. For example, if you stay on the same WebCenter Portal page for some time working on a single page application you will get a popup saying you will be automatically logged out. Remember our Portal Solution Accelerator is a taskflow. We are using a similar ADF message queue to pass JSON updates to the ADF lifecycle when a user is working on a complex modular single page application so we don’t run into timeout issues.

Getting out of deployment hell (as well)!!!

One of the downsides with ADF development is having to build your ADF application and deploy stop and start the server to test and find there is a bug that needs to be fixed. And then go through the entire process again. Trust me – it is not quick!

Once you have our framework deployed you can easily deploy / upload standard Javascript Templates, CSS and groovy scripts to Apache or OHS that are automatically consumed by our ADF Taskflow. There is no stop start test. Just upload your updates and refresh the browser!!

I hear Oracle is working to integrate JET with ADF.

Yes, but it’s not there today.
Plus you’re not stuck to just JET with our framework. You can use React or any front end framework or library and you get the benefits of all the additional components, apps, tooling that the Portal Solution Accelerator provide.

Futures

Our next key release that we are working on is to fully support Progressive Web Application Taskflow Development. To find out more on what a progressive web app is head over to google – https://developers.google.com/web/progressive-web-apps/checklist

 

The post Replacing the “V” in Oracle ADF’s MVC design pattern with Oracle JET or other front end framework appeared first on Fishbowl Solutions.

Categories: Fusion Middleware, Other

PTC Windchill Success Story: The Benefits of Moving from PDM to PLM

Wed, 2017-03-22 13:44

PTC Windchill Success Story: The Benefits of Moving from PDM to PLM A Prominent Furniture Manufacturer deploys Fishbowl’s System Generated Drawing Automation to Increase Efficiencies with their Enterprise Part deployment within PTC Windchill

Our client has numerous global manufacturing facilities and is using PTC Windchill to streamline eBOM and mBOM processes. However, not all modifications to parts information propagates automatically/accurately at the drawing level. Updating plant specific drawings with enterprise part information was a time-consuming process that was manual, error prone, full of delays and diverted valuable engineering resources away from their value-added work.

The client desired a go-forward approach with their Windchill PLM implementation that would automatically update this critical enterprise part information. They became aware of our System Generated Drawing solution from a presentation at PTC LiveWorx. From the time of first contact the Fishbowl Solutions team worked to deliver a solution that helped them realize their vision.

BUSINESS PROBLEMS
  • Manufacturing waste due to ordering obsolete or incorrect parts
  • Manufacturing delays due to drawing updates needed for non-geometric changes – title block, lifecycle, BOM, as well as environmental/regulatory compliance markings, variant designs, etc.
  • Manually updating product drawings with plant specific parts information took away valuable engineering time
SOLUTION HIGHLIGHTS
  • Fishbowl’s System Generated Drawing Automation Systematically combines data from BOM, CAD, Drawing/Model, Part Attributes and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems
  • Creates complete, static views of drawings based on multiple event triggers
  • Creates a template-based PDF that is overlaid along with the CAD geometry to produce a final document that can be dynamically stamped along with applicable lifecycle and approval information
  • Real-time watermarking on published PDFs
RESULTS

Increased accuracy of enterprise parts information included on drawings reduced product manufacturing waste
Allowed design changes to move downstream quickly, allowing a increase in design to manufacturing operational efficiencies

 

“Fishbowl’s System Generated Drawing Automation solution is the linchpin to our enterprise processes. It provides us with an automated method to include, update and proliferate accurate parts information throughout the business. This automation has in turn led to better data integrity, less waste, and more process efficiencies.” -PTC Windchill Admin/Developer

 

For more information about Fishbowl’s solution for System Generated Drawing Automation Click Here

The post PTC Windchill Success Story: The Benefits of Moving from PDM to PLM appeared first on Fishbowl Solutions.

Categories: Fusion Middleware, Other

Webinar: Improve WebCenter Portal Performance by 30% and get out of Oracle ADF Development Hell

Wed, 2017-03-22 09:43

DATE: Thursday, March 30th
TIME: 12:00 PM CST, 1:00 PM EST

Jerry AberJoin Fishbowl’s Enterprise Architect, Jerry Aber, as he shares recommendations on performance improvements for WebCenter-based portals. Jerry has been delivering portal projects for over 15 years, and has been instrumental in developing a technology framework and methodology that provides repeatable and reusable development patterns for portal deployments and their ongoing administration and management. In this webinar, Jerry will share how leveraging modern web development technologies like Oracle JET, instead of ADF taskflows, can dramatically improve the performance of a portal – including the overall time to load the home page, as well as making content or stylistic changes.

Jerry will also share how to architect a portal implementation to include a caching layer that further enhances performance. These topics will all be backed by real world customer metrics Jerry and Fishbowl team have seen through numerous, successful customer deployments.

If you are a WebCenter Portal administrator and are frustrated with challenges of improving your ADF-centric portal, this webinar is for you. Come learn how to overhaul the ADF UI, which will lead to less development complexities and ensure more happy users.

Register today. 

New to Zoom? Go to zoom.us/test to ensure you can access the webinar.

The post Webinar: Improve WebCenter Portal Performance by 30% and get out of Oracle ADF Development Hell appeared first on Fishbowl Solutions.

Categories: Fusion Middleware, Other

Welcome to the new Fishbowl Solutions Blog

Fri, 2017-03-17 14:44

Out with the old and in with the new.  Welcome to the new home of the Fishbowl Solutions blog! Please enjoy upgraded functionality and integration with our website.  Check back often for new and exciting posts form our talented staff.  If you want automatic updates click the subscribe link to the right and be notified whenever a new post appears.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The post Welcome to the new Fishbowl Solutions Blog appeared first on Fishbowl Solutions.

Categories: Fusion Middleware, Other

Command Line and Vim Tips from a Java Programmer

Tue, 2016-12-13 16:05

I’m always interested in learning more about useful development tools. In college, most programmers get an intro to the Linux command line environment, but I wanted to share some commands I use daily that I’ve learned since graduation.

Being comfortable on the command line is a great skill to have when a customer is looking over your shoulder on a Webex. They could be watching a software demo or deployment to their environment. It can also be useful when learning a new code base or working with a product with a large, unfamiliar directory structure with lots of logs.

If you’re on Windows, you can use Cygwin to get a Unix-like CLI to make these commands available.

Useful Linux commands Find

The command find helps you find files by recursively searching subdirectories. Here are some examples:

find .
    Prints all files and directories under the current directory.

find . -name '*.log'
  Prints all files and directories that end in “.log”.

find /tmp -type f -name '*.log'
   Prints only files in the directory “/tmp” that end in “.log”.

find . -type d
   Prints only directories.

find . -maxdepth 2
     Prints all files and directories under the current directory, and subdirectories (but not sub-subdirectories).

find . -type f -exec ls -la {} \;
     The 
-exec
flag runs a command against each file instead of printing the name. In this example, it will run 
ls -la filename
  on each file under the current directory. The curly braces take the place of the filename.

Grep

The command grep lets you search text for lines that match a specific string. It can be helpful to add your initials to debug statements in your code and then grep for them to find them in the logs.

grep foo filename
  Prints each line in the file “filename” that matches the string “foo”.

grep foo\\\|bar filename
Grep supports regular expressions, so this prints each line in the file that matches “foo” or “bar”.

grep -i foo filename
  Add -i for case insensitive matching.

grep foo *
  Use the shell wildcard, an asterisk, to search all files in the current directory for the string “foo”.

grep -r foo *
  Recursively search all files and directories in the current directory for a string.

grep -rnH foo filename
  Add -n to print line numbers and -H to print the filename on each line.

find . -type f -name '*.log' -exec grep -nH foo {} \;
  Combining find and grep can let you easily search each file that matches a certain name for a string. This will print each line that matches “foo” along with the file name and line number in each file that ends in “.log” under the current directory.

ps -ef | grep processName
  The output of any command can be piped to grep, and the lines of STDOUT that match the expression will be printed. For example, you could use this to find the pid of a process with a known name.

cat file.txt | grep -v foo
  You can also use -v to print all lines that don’t match an expression.

Ln

The command ln lets you create links. I generally use this to create links in my home directory to quickly cd into long directory paths.

ln -s /some/really/long/path foo
  The -s is for symbolic, and the long path is the target. The output of
ls -la
 in this case would be
foo -> /some/really/long/path
 .

Bashrc

The Bashrc is a shell script that gets executed whenever Bash is started in an interactive terminal. It is located in your home directory,

~/.bashrc
 . It provides a place to edit your $PATH, $PS1, or add aliases and functions to simplify commonly used tasks.

Aliases are a way you can define your own command line commands. Here are a couple useful aliases I’ve added to my .bashrc that have saved a lot of keystrokes on a server where I’ve installed Oracle WebCenter:

WC_DOMAIN=/u01/oracle/fmw/user_projects/domains/wc_domain
alias assets="cd /var/www/html"
alias portalLogs="cd $WC_DOMAIN/servers/WC_Spaces/logs"
alias domain="cd $WC_DOMAIN"
alias components="cd $WC_DOMAIN/ucm/cs/custom"
alias rpl="portalLogs; vim -R WC_Spaces.out"

After making changes to your .bashrc, you can load them with

source ~/.bashrc
 . Now I can type
rpl
 , short for Read Portal Logs, from anywhere to quickly jump into the WebCenter portal log file.

alias grep=”grep --color”

This grep alias adds the –color option to all of my grep commands.  All of the above grep commands still work, but now all of the matches will be highlighted.

Vim

Knowing Vim key bindings can be convenient and efficient if you’re already working on the command line. Vim has many built-in shortcuts to make editing files quick and easy.

Run 

vim filename.txt
  to open a file in Vim. Vim starts in Normal Mode, where most characters have a special meeting, and typing a colon,
:
 , lets you run Vim commands. For example, typing 
Shift-G
  will jump to the end of the file, and typing
:q
 while in normal mode will quit Vim. Here is a list of useful commands:

:q
  Quits Vim

:w
  Write the file (save)

:wq
  Write and quit

:q!
  Quit and ignore warnings that you didn’t write the file

:wq!
  Write and quit, ignoring permission warnings

i
  Enter Insert Mode where you can edit the file like a normal text editor

a
  Enter Insert Mode and place the cursor after the current character

o
  Insert a blank line after the current line and enter Insert Mode

[escape]
  The escape button exits insert mode

:150
  Jump to line 150

shift-G
  Jump to the last line

gg
  Jump to the first line

/foo
  Search for the next occurrence of “foo”. Regex patterns work in the search.

?foo
  Search for the previous occurrence of “foo”

n
  Go to the next match

N
Go to the previous match

*
  Search for the next occurrence of the searched word under the cursor

#
  Search for the previous occurrence of the searched word under the cursor

w
  Jump to the next word

b
  Jump to the previous word

``
  Jump to the last action

dw
  Delete the word starting at the cursor

cw
  Delete the word starting at the cursor and enter insert mode

c$
  Delete everything from the cursor to the end of the line and enter insert mode

dd
  Delete the current line

D
  Delete everything from the cursor to the end of the line

u
  Undo the last action

ctrl-r
 
ctrl-r
  Redo the last action

d[up]
  Delete the current line and the line above it. “[up]” is for the up arrow.

d[down]
  Delete the current line and the line below it

d3[down]
  Delete the current line and the three lines below it

r[any character]
  Replace the character under the cursor with another character

~
  Toggle the case (upper or lower) of the character under the cursor

v
  Enter Visual Mode. Use the arrow keys to highlight text.

shift-V
  Enter Visual Mode and highlight whole lines at a time.

ctrl-v
  Enter Visual Mode but highlight blocks of characters.

=
  While in Visual Mode, = will auto format highlighted text.

c
  While in Visual Mode, c will cut the highlighted text.

y
  While in Visual Mode, y will yank (copy) the highlighted text.

p
  In Normal Mode, p will paste the text in the buffer (that’s been yanked or cut).

yw
  Yank the text from the cursor to the end of the current word.

:sort
  Highlight lines in Visual Mode, then use this command to sort them alphabetically.

:s/foo/bar/g
  Highlight lines in Visual Mode, then use search and replace to replace all instances of “foo” with “bar”.

:s/^/#/
  Highlight lines in Visual Mode, then add # at the start of each line. This is useful to comment out blocks of code.

:s/$/;/
Highlight lines in Visual Mode, then add a semicolon at the end of each line.

:set paste
  This will turn off auto indenting. Use it before pasting into Vim from outside the terminal (you’ll want to be in insert mode before you paste).

:set nopaste
  Make auto indenting return to normal.

:set nu
  Turn on line numbers.

:set nonu
  Turn off line numbers.

:r!pwd
  Read the output of a command into Vim. In this example, we’ll read in the current directory.

:r!sed -n 5,10p /path/to/file
  Read lines 5 through 10 from another file in Vim. This can be a good way to copy and paste between files in the terminal.

:[up|down]
  Type a colon and then use the arrow keys to browse through your command history. If you type letters after the colon, it will only go through commands that matched that. (i.e., :se  and then up would help find to “:set paste” quickly).

Vimrc

The Vimrc is a configuration file that Vim loads whenever it starts up, similar to the Bashrc. It is in your home directory.

Here is a basic Vimrc I’d recommend for getting started if you don’t have one already. Run

vim ~/.vimrc
and paste in the following:

set backspace=2         " backspace in insert mode works like normal editor
syntax on               " syntax highlighting
filetype indent on      " activates indenting for files
set autoindent          " auto indenting
set number              " line numbers
colorscheme desert      " colorscheme desert
set listchars=tab:>-,trail:.,extends:>,precedes:<
set list                " Set up whitespace characters
set ic                  " Ignore case by default in searches
set statusline+=%F      " Show the full path to the file
set laststatus=2        " Make the status line always visible

 

Perl

Perl comes installed by default on Linux, so it is worth mentioning that it has some extensive command line capabilities. If you have ever tried to grep for a string that matches a line in a minified Javascript file, you can probably see the benefit of being able to filter out lines longer than 500 characters.

grep -r foo * | perl -nle'print if 500 > length'

Conclusion

I love learning the tools that are available in my development environment, and it is exciting to see how they can help customers as well.

Recently, I was working with a customer and we were running into SSL issues. Java processes can be run with the option 

-Djavax.net.ssl.trustStore=/path/to/trustStore.jks
  to specify which keystore to use for SSL certificates. It was really easy to run
ps -ef | grep trustStore
to quickly identify which keystore we needed to import certificates into.

I’ve also been able to use various find and grep commands to search through unfamiliar directories after exporting metadata from Oracle’s MDS Repository.

Even if you aren’t on the command line, I’d encourage everyone to learn something new about their development environment. Feel free to share your favorite Vim and command line tips in the comments!

Further reading

http://www.vim.org/docs.php

https://www.gnu.org/software/bash/manual/bash.html

http://perldoc.perl.org/perlrun.html

The post Command Line and Vim Tips from a Java Programmer appeared first on Fishbowl Solutions' C4 Blog.

Categories: Fusion Middleware, Other

Webinar Recording: Ryan Companies Leverages Fishbowl’s ControlCenter for Oracle WebCenter to Enhance Document Control Leading to Improved Knowledge Management

Fri, 2016-12-09 15:59

On Thursday, December 8th, Fishbowl had the privilege of presenting a webinar with Mike Ernst – VP of Contruction Operations – at Ryan Companies regarding their use case for Fishbowl’s ControlCenter product for controlled document management. Mike was joined by Fishbowl’s ControlCenter product manager, Kim Negaard, who provided an overview of how the solution was implemented and how it is being used at Ryan.

Ryan Companies had been using Oracle WebCenter for many years, but they were looking for some additional document management functionality and a more intuitive interface to help improve knowledge management at the company. Their main initiative was to make it easier for users to access and manage their corporate knowledge documents (policies and procedures), manuals (safety), and real estate documents (leases) throughout each document’s life cycle.

Mike provided some interesting stats that factored into their decision to implement ControlCenter for WebCenter:

  • $16k – the average cost of “reinventing” procedures per project (ex. checklists and templates)
  • $25k – the average cost of estimating incorrect labor rates
  • 3x – salary to onboard someone new when an employee leaves the company

To hear more about how Ryan found knowledge management success with ControlCenter for WebCenter, watch the webinar recording: https://youtu.be/_NNFRV1LPaY

The post Webinar Recording: Ryan Companies Leverages Fishbowl’s ControlCenter for Oracle WebCenter to Enhance Document Control Leading to Improved Knowledge Management appeared first on Fishbowl Solutions' C4 Blog.

Categories: Fusion Middleware, Other

Webinar: Quality, Safety, Knowledge Management with Oracle WebCenter Content and ControlCenter

Tue, 2016-11-22 16:34

DATE: THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2016
TIME: 10:00 A.M. PST / 1:00 P.M. EST

Join Ryan Companies Vice President of Construction Operations, Mike Ernst, and Fishbowl Solutions Product Manager, Kim Negaard, to learn how Ryan Companies, a leading national construction firm, found knowledge management success with ControlCenter for Oracle WebCenter Content.

In this webinar, you’ll hear first-hand how ControlCenter has been implemented as part of Ryan’s Integrated Project Delivery Process helping them create a robust knowledge management system to promote consistent and effective operations across multiple regional offices. You’ll also learn how ControlCenter’s intuitive, modern user experience enabled Ryan to easily find documents across devices, implement reoccurring review cycles, and control both company-wide and project-specific documents throughout their lifecycle.

Register today.

Register

 

 

The post Webinar: Quality, Safety, Knowledge Management with Oracle WebCenter Content and ControlCenter appeared first on Fishbowl Solutions' C4 Blog.

Categories: Fusion Middleware, Other

Approaches to Consider for Your Organization’s Windchill Consolidation Project

Tue, 2016-11-01 14:28

This post comes from Fishbowl Solutions’ Senior Solutions Architect, Seth Richter.

More and more organizations need to merge multiple Windchill instances into a single Windchill instance after either acquiring another company or maybe had separate Windchill implementations based on old divisional borders. Whatever the situation, these organizations want to merge into a single Windchill instance to gain efficiencies and/or other benefits.

The first task for a company in this situation is to assemble the right team and develop the right plan. The team will need to understand the budget and begin to document key requirements and its implications. Will they hire an experienced partner like Fishbowl Solutions? If so, we recommend involving the partner early on in the process so they can help navigate the key decisions, avoid pitfalls and develop the best approach for success.

Once you start evaluating the technical process and tools to merge the Windchill instances, the most likely options are:

1. Manual Method

Moving data from one Windchill system to another manually is always an option. This method might be viable if there are small pockets of data to move in an ad-hoc manner. However, this method is extremely time consuming so proceed with caution…if you get halfway through and then move to a following method then you might have hurt the process rather than help it.

2. Third Party Tools (Fishbowl Solutions LinkExtract & LinkLoader tools)

This process can be a cost effective alternative, but it is not as robust as the Windchill Bulk Migrator so your requirements might dictate if this is viable or not.

3. PTC Windchill Bulk Migrator (WBM) tool

This is a powerful, complex tool that works great if you have an experienced team running it. Fishbowl prefers the PTC Windchill Bulk Migrator in many situations because it can complete large merge projects over a weekend and historical versions are also included in the process.

A recent Fishbowl project involved a billion-dollar manufacturing company who had acquired another business and needed to consolidate CAD data from one Windchill system into their own. The project had an aggressive timeline because it needed to be completed before the company’s seasonal rush (and also be prepared for an ERP integration). During the three-month project window, we kicked off the project, executed all of the test migrations and validations, scheduled a ‘go live’ date, and then completed the final production migration over a weekend. Users at the acquired company checked their data into their “old” Windchill system on a Friday and were able check their data out of the main corporate instance on Monday with zero engineer downtime.

Fishbowl Solutions’ PTC/PLM team has completed many Windchill merge projects such as this one. The unique advantage of working with Fishbowl is that we are  PTC Software Partners and Windchill programming experts. Often times, when other reseller/consulting partners get stuck waiting on PTC technical support, Fishbowl has been able to problem solve and keep projects on time and on budget.

If your organization is seeking to find an effective and efficient way to bulk load data from one Windchill system to another, our experts at Fishbowl Solutions are able to accomplish this on time and on budget. Urgency is a priority in these circumstances, and we want to ensure you’re able to make this transition process as hassle-free as possible with no downtime. Not sure which tool is the best fit for your Windchill migration project? Check out our website, click the “Contact Us” tab, or reach out to Rick Passolt in our business development department for more information or to request a demo.

Contact Us

Rick Passolt
Senior Account Executive
952.456.3418
mcadsales@fishbowlsolutions.com

Seth Richter is a Senior Solutions Architect at Fishbowl Solutions. Fishbowl Solutions was founded in 1999. Their areas of expertise include Oracle WebCenter, PTC’s Product Development System (PDS), and enterprise search solutions using the Google Search Appliance. Check out our website to learn more about what we do.

The post Approaches to Consider for Your Organization’s Windchill Consolidation Project appeared first on Fishbowl Solutions' C4 Blog.

Categories: Fusion Middleware, Other

Consider Your Options for SolidWorks to Windchill Data Migrations

Tue, 2016-10-25 09:45

This post comes from Fishbowl Solutions’ Associate MCAD Consultant, Ben Sawyer.

CAD data migrations are most often seen as a huge burden. They can be lengthy, costly, messy, and a general road block to a successful project. Organizations planning on migrating SolidWorks data to PTC Windchill should consider their options when it comes to the process and tools they utilize to perform the bulk loading.

At Fishbowl Solutions, our belief is that the faster you can load all your data accurately into Windchill, the faster your company can implement critical PLM business processes and realize the results of such initiatives like a Faster NPI, Streamline Change & Configuration Management, Improved Quality, Etc.

There are two typical project scenarios we encounter with these kinds of data migration projects. SolidWorks data resides on a Network File System (NFS) or resides in either PDMWorks or EPDM.

The options for this process and the tools used will be dependent on other factors as well. The most common guiding factors to influence decisions are the quantity of data and the project completion date requirements. Here are typical project scenarios.

Scenario One: Files on a Network File System

Manual Migration

There is always an option to manually migrate SolidWorks data into Windchill. However, if an organization has thousands of files from multiple products that need to be imported, this process can be extremely daunting. When loading manually, this process involves bringing files into the Windchill workspace, carefully resolving any missing dependents, errors, duplicates, setting destination folders, revisions, lifecycles and fixing bad metadata. (Those who have tried this approach with large data quantities in the past know the pain of which we are talking about!)

Automated Solution

Years ago, Fishbowl developed its LinkLoader tool for SolidWorks as a viable solution to complete a Windchill bulk loading project with speed and accuracy.

Fishbowl’s LinkLoader solution follows a simple workflow to help identify data to be cleansed and mass loaded with accurate metadata. The steps are as follows:

1. Discovery
In this initial stage, the user chooses the mass of SolidWorks data to be loaded into Windchill. Since Windchill doesn’t allow duplicate named CAD files in the system, the software quickly identifies these duplicate files. It is up to the user to resolve the duplicate files or remove them from the data loading set.

2. Validation
The validation stage will ensure files are retrievable, attributes/parameters are extracted (for use in later stages), and relationships with other SolidWorks files are examined. LinkLoader captures all actions. The end user will need to resolve any errors or remove the data from the loading set.

3. Mapping
Moving toward the bulk loading stage, it is necessary to confirm and/or modify the attribute-mapping file as desired. The only required fields for mapping are lifecycle, revision/version, and the Windchill folder location. End users are able to leverage the attributes/parameter information from the validation as desired, or create their own ‘Instance Based Attribute’ list to map with the files.

4. Bulk Load
Once the mapping stage is completed, the loading process is ready. There is a progress indicator that displays the number of files completed and the percentage done. If there are errors with any files during the upload, it will document these in an ‘Error List Report’ and LinkLoader will simply move on to the next file.

Scenario Two: Files reside in PDMWorks or EPDM

Manual Migration

There is also an option to do a manual data migration from one system to another if files reside in PDMWorks or EPDM. However, this process can also be tedious and drawn out as much, or perhaps even more than when the files are on a NFS.

Automated Solution

Having files within PDMWorks or EPDM can make the migration process more straightforward and faster than the NFS projects. Fishbowl has created an automated solution tool that extracts the latest versions of each file from the legacy system and immediately prepares it for loading into Windchill. The steps are as follows:

1. Extraction (LinkExtract)
In this initial stage, Fishbowl uses its LinkExtract tool to pull the latest version of all SolidWorks files , determine references, and extract all the attributes for the files as defined in PDMWorks or EPDM.

2. Mapping
Before loading the files, it is necessary to confirm and or modify the attribute mapping file as desired. Admins can fully leverage the attributes/parameter information from the Extraction step, or can start from scratch if they find it to be easier. Often the destination Windchill system will have different terminology or states and it is easy to remap those as needed in this step.

3. Bulk Load
Once the mapping stage is completed, the loading process is ready. There is a progress indicator that displays the number of files completed and the percentage done. If there are errors with any files during the upload, it will document these in the Error List Report and LinkLoader will move on to the next file.

Proven Successes with LinkLoader

Many of Fishbowl’s customers have purchased and successfully ran LinkLoader themselves with little to no assistance from Fishbowl. Other customers of ours have utilized our consulting services to complete the migration project on their behalf.

With Fishbowl’s methodology centered on “Customer First”, our focus and support continuously keeps our customers satisfied. This is the same commitment and expertise we will bring to any and every data migration project.

If your organization is looking to consolidate SolidWorks CAD data to Windchill in a timely and effective manner, regardless of the size and scale of the project, our experts at Fishbowl Solutions can get it done.

For example, Fishbowl partnered with a multi-billion dollar medical device company with a short time frame to migrate over 30,000 SolidWorks files from a legacy system into Windchill. Fishbowl’s expert team took initiative and planned the process to meet their tight industry regulations and finish on time and on budget. After the Fishbowl team executed test migrations, the actual production migration process only took a few hours, thus eliminating engineering downtime.

If your organization is seeking the right team and tools to complete a SolidWorks data migration to Windchill, reach out to us at Fishbowl Solutions.

If you’d like more information about Fishbowl’s LinkLoader tool or our other products and services for PTC Windchill and Creo, check out our website, click the “Contact Us” tab, or reach out to Rick Passolt in our business development department.

Contact Us

Rick Passolt
Senior Account Executive
952.465.3418
mcadsales@fishbowlsolutions.com

Ben Sawyer is an Associate MCAD Consultant at Fishbowl Solutions. Fishbowl Solutions was founded in 1999. Their areas of expertise include Oracle WebCenter, PTC’s Product Development System (PDS), and enterprise search solutions using the Google Search Appliance. Check out our website to learn more about what we do. 

The post Consider Your Options for SolidWorks to Windchill Data Migrations appeared first on Fishbowl Solutions' C4 Blog.

Categories: Fusion Middleware, Other

What I Have Learned as an Oracle WebCenter Consultant in My First Three Months at Fishbowl Solutions

Mon, 2016-10-10 11:57

This post comes from Fishbowl Solutions’ Associate Software Consultant, Jake Jehlicka.

Finishing college can be an intimidating experience for many. We leave what we know behind to open the gates to brand new experiences. Those of us fortunate enough to gain immediate employment often find ourselves leaving school and plunging headfirst into an entirely new culture a mere few weeks after turning in our last exam. It is exciting, yet frightening, and what can make-or-break the whole experience is the new environment in which you find yourself if. I consider myself one of the lucky ones.

Intern shirt-back

I have been with Fishbowl Solutions for just over three months, and the experience is unlike any that I had encountered in my previous internships, work, or schooling in Duluth. I moved to the Twin Cities within a week of accepting the position. I was terrified, but my fears were very soon laid to rest. Fishbowl welcomed me with open arms, and I have learned an incredible amount in the short time that I have spent here. Here are just a few of the many aspects of Fishbowl and the skills I’ve gained since working here as an associate software consultant.

Culture

One of the things that really jumped out at me right away is how a company’s culture is a critical component to making work enjoyable and sustainable. Right from the outset, I was invited and even encouraged to take part in Fishbowl’s company activities like their summer softball team and happy hours celebrating new employees joining the team. I have seen first-hand how much these activities bring the workplace together in a way that not only makes employees happy, but makes them very approachable when it comes to questions or assistance. The culture here seems to bring everyone together in a way that is unique to Fishbowl, and the work itself sees benefits because of it.

Teamwork

Over the past three months, one thing that I have also learned is the importance of working together. I joined Fishbowl a few weeks after the other trainees in my group, and they were a bit ahead of me in the training program when I started. Not only were they ready and willing to answer any questions that I had, but they also shared their knowledge that they had acquired in such a way that I was able to catch up before our training had completed. Of course the other trainees weren’t the only ones willing to lend their assistance. The team leads have always been there whenever I needed a technical question answered, or even if I just wanted advice in regard to where my own career may be heading.

People Skills

The team leads also taught me that not every skill is something that can be measured. Through my training, we were exposed to other elements outside of the expected technical skills. We were given guidance when it comes to oft-neglected soft skills such as public speaking and client interactions. These sorts of skills are utterly necessary to learn, regardless of which industry you are in. It is thanks to these that I have already had positive experiences working with our clients.

Technical Skills

As a new software consultant at Fishbowl, I have gained a plethora of knowledge about various technologies and applications, especially with Oracle technologies. The training that I received has prepared me for working with technologies like Oracle WebCenter in such a way that I have been able to dive right into projects as soon as I finished. Working with actual systems was nearly a foreign concept after working with small individual projects in college, but I learned enough from my team members to be able to proceed with confidence. The training program at Fishbowl has a very well-defined structure, with an agenda laid out of what I should be working on in any given time period. A large portion of this was working directly with my own installation of the WebCenter content server. I was responsible for setting up, configuring, and creating a custom code for the servers both in a Windows and Linux environment. The training program was very well documented and I always had the tools, information, and assistance that was needed to complete every task.

Once the formal training ended, I was immediately assigned a customer project involving web development using Oracle’s Site Studio Designer. The training had actually covered this application and I was sufficiently prepared to tackle the new endeavor! With that said, every single day at Fishbowl is another day of education; no two projects are identical and there is always something to be learned. For example, I am currently learning Ext JS with Sencha Architect in preparation for a new project!

Although we may never know with absolute certainty what the future has in store for us, I can confidently say that the experiences, skills, knowledge that I have gained while working at Fishbowl Solutions will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Thank you to the entire Fishbowl team for everything they have done for me, and I look forward to growing alongside them!

j_jehlicka

Jake Jehlicka is an Associate Software Consultant at Fishbowl Solutions. Fishbowl Solutions was founded in 1999. Their areas of expertise include Oracle WebCenter, PTC’s Product Development System (PDS), and enterprise search solutions using the Google Search Appliance. Check out our website to learn more about what we do. 

The post What I Have Learned as an Oracle WebCenter Consultant in My First Three Months at Fishbowl Solutions appeared first on Fishbowl Solutions' C4 Blog.

Categories: Fusion Middleware, Other

Fishbowl’s Agile (like) Approach to Oracle WebCenter Portal Projects

Thu, 2016-07-28 10:38

In this video blog, Fishbowl Solutions’ Technical Project Manager, Justin Ames, and Marketing Team Lead, Jason Lamon, discuss Fishbowl’s Agile (like) approach to managing Oracle WebCenter portal projects. Justin shares an overview of what Agile and Scrum mean, how it is applied to portal development, and the customer benefits of applying Agile to an overall portal project.

Customer Testimonial:

“This is my first large project being managed with an Agile-like approach, and it has made a believer out of me. The Sprints and Scrum meetings led by the Fishbowl Solutions team enable us to focus on producing working portal features that can be quickly validated. And because it is an iterative build process, we can quickly make changes. This has lead to the desired functionality we are looking for within our new employee portal based on Oracle WebCenter.”

Michael Berry

Staff VP, Compensation and HRIS

Large Health Insurance Provider

The post Fishbowl’s Agile (like) Approach to Oracle WebCenter Portal Projects appeared first on Fishbowl Solutions' C4 Blog.

Categories: Fusion Middleware, Other

Oracle JET and RequireJS

Tue, 2016-07-12 20:50

What is RequireJS and why is it important?

RequireJS is a JavaScript file and module loader. Oracle JET uses Require to load only the libraries and modules/components that are needed for a particular part of an Oracle JET application.

As the JavaScript world has taken off, web applications have grown large, and monolithic client.js files have become the norm. This type of code “organization” is difficult to maintain, read and test. In addition, more and more libraries, frameworks, plugins, etc. are being included in applications, making the loading of those resources complicated and slow. Truly, it is a waste to load every script file for each page of an application if it is not needed to run that particular page.

Require was born out of the need to reduce this code complexity. As such, it improves the speed and quality of our code. At its heart, RequireJS was designed to encourage and support modular development.

What is modular development?

Modular development separates out code into distinct functional units. This kind of organization is easy to maintain, easy to read (when coming into an existing project, for example), easy to test, and increases code re-usability. RequireJS supports the Asynchronous Module Definition (AMD) API for JavaScript modules. AMD has a particular way of encapsulating a module and embraces asynchronous loading of a module and its dependencies:

Factory Function

In this module, we call define with an array of the dependencies needed. The dependencies are passed into the factory function as arguments. Importantly, the function is only executed once the required dependencies are loaded.

What does Require look like in Oracle JET

In an Oracle JET application, RequireJS is set up in the main.js (aka “bootstrap”) file. First we need to configure the paths to the various scripts/libraries needed for the app. Here is an example of the RequireJS configuration in the main.js file of the Oracle JET QuickStart template. It establishes the names and paths to all of the various libraries necessary to run the application:

RequireJS configuration

 

Next we have the top-level “require” call which “starts”our application. It follows the AMD API method of encapsulating the module with the require, and passing in dependencies as an array of string values, then executing the callback function once the dependencies have loaded.

Top Level Require

Here we are requiring any scripts and modules needed to load the application, and subsequently calling the function that creates the initial view. Any other code which is used in the initial view of the application is also written here (routing, for example). Note, we only pass in the dependencies that we need to load the initial application, saving valuable resources.

Using RequireJS in other modules/viewModels

RequireJS is also used in the other JavaScript files of a JET application to define viewModels. The syntax used, however, is slightly different, and can be confusing. Let’s take a look:

View Model RequireJS Syntax

Here we are passing in an array of dependencies, but we’re using “define”, and not “require.” In short, “define” is used to facilitate module definition, while “require” is used to handle dependency loading. In a module definition, for example, we can utilize “require” WITHIN a module to fetch other dependencies dynamically. “Require” is typically used to load code in the top-level JavaScript file, and “define” is used to define a module, or distinct functional portion of the application.

Oracle JET makes use of RequireJS to support modular development. Require manages the many JavaScript files and module dependencies needed in an Oracle JET application. It simplifies and organizes the development process, and makes reading, writing and testing code much more straightforward.

The post Oracle JET and RequireJS appeared first on Fishbowl Solutions' C4 Blog.

Categories: Fusion Middleware, Other

Taxonomy is a Sleeper. The reasons from A to ZZZs that taxonomy hasn’t been a part of your most important projects—but should be!

Tue, 2016-05-24 11:00

I’m a taxonomy practitioner at Fishbowl Solutions who has worked with many companies to implement simple to sophisticated document management systems. I’ve noticed over the years the large number of obstacles that have prevented companies from establishing taxonomy frameworks to support effective document management. I won’t review an exhaustive alphabetic list of obstacles, in fact, there are probably far more than 26, but I’ll highlight the top culprits that have turned even the best, most sophisticated companies away from taxonomy.  Don’t fall asleep.  Don’t hit snooze.  Make sure you don’t miss one of the most important parts of a document management software project–taxonomy. Taxonomy is a necessity to deliver effective document management solutions in Oracle WebCenter Content, SharePoint, or any other enterprise content management solution.  You’ll get the most out of the software and your users.

Authority. Who owns taxonomy? Does IT own the taxonomy or a Quality Management Department or all departments own a piece?   Determining decision-makers and authority to sign off on taxonomy frameworks can be difficult.  After all, taxonomies are best when they are enterprise-wide solutions.  Then, users have a familiar context when working with documents for all business purposes.  Don’t let challenges with authority prevent you from establishing taxonomy for your project.  Plan on establishing a governance team to own the taxonomy practice for the current project and in the future.

Bright. Shiny. Object. Taxonomy is not a bright shiny object.  It’s not as fancy as the user interface of the new software.  It doesn’t have the “bells and whistles” that hardware and devices have either.  So, too often document management projects end up focusing on the software and not the necessary taxonomy that makes that software a rock star.  Don’t be blinded.  If you want users to have a great experience, work with documents effectively, and generally adopt your new document management software, you must ensure you define a taxonomy.   Otherwise, your bright shiny object may easily be replaced by the next one as it loses appeal.

Complicated. I often hear from customers that a business taxonomy is complicated.  It can seem insurmountable to sift through existing taxonomy frameworks (or identify new ones), synthesize frameworks, identify new requirements, and really come up with something comprehensive.  Regardless, it’s necessary.  If a taxonomy effort is complicated, think of how complicated managing and searching documents is for your users. Help your users by including taxonomy in your next project to simplify their experience.  It’s the foundation for browsing, searching, contribution, workflows, interface design, and more.

Glamour. Unfortunately, taxonomy is not glamorous.  It’s hard, investigative work.  It entails identifying stakeholders; meeting with stakeholders to really understand documentation, process, and users; generating consensus; and documenting, documenting, documenting.  On top of that, it’s invisible.  Users often don’t even notice taxonomies, especially if they’re good.  But if a taxonomy is non-existent or poorly designed, your users will notice the taxonomy for all the wrong reasons—unintuitive naming, missing categories, illogical hierarchies, and more.  Even though taxonomy is not glamorous, it demands an investment to ensure your project is successful, at launch and thereafter.

Time. It’s common to hear in projects that there is just not enough time.  Customers may say “We need to complete X with the project by date Y.”  Or, “The management team really needs to see something.”  Frequently, the most important milestones for projects are software-related, causing taxonomy to lose focus.  The good thing about taxonomy is that projects can work concurrently on the software build out as they work on taxonomy frameworks.  You can do both and do them well.  Resist the urge to scope out taxonomy in your next project and consider creative ways to plan in taxonomy.

What? Yes, taxonomy has been around for a long time, but still often in projects I see that it’s just something that people are not aware of.  It’s existed for years in the biological and library sciences fields and has had application in IT and many other fields, but often it is just not understood for document management projects.  If you’re not familiar with taxonomy, see my previous blog post “Taxonomy isn’t just for frogs anymore.” and consider hiring a reputable company that can guide you through the practice for your next project.

ZZZs. It’s often perceived as a boring practice with tasks that are in the weeds, but some of us do love it.  Actually, we even find it rewarding to solve the puzzle of the perfect categorization that works for the project and the customer.  If you’re new to taxonomy, you may find that you like it too.  If not, find a resource for your project who has a passion for taxonomy because a good taxonomy is so important to successful document management projects.

smileyeyesIt’s time to have your eyes wide open. If you’re considering a document management software or improvement project, consider how important the underlying taxonomy is for your project and plan taxonomy analysis and development as a required effort.  Your users will appreciate it and your business will see increased software utilization.  Remember the old adage, “Technology cannot solve your business problems?”  It can’t.  But technology + taxonomy can.

 

 

This blog is one in a series discussing taxonomy topics.  Watch for the next blog coming soon.

 

Carrie McCollor is a Business Solutions Architect at Fishbowl Solutions. Fishbowl Solutions was founded in 1999. Their areas of expertise include Oracle WebCenter, PTC’s Product Development System (PDS), and enterprise search solutions using the Google Search Appliance. Check out our site to learn more about what we do.

 

The post Taxonomy is a Sleeper. The reasons from A to ZZZs that taxonomy hasn’t been a part of your most important projects—but should be! appeared first on Fishbowl Solutions' C4 Blog.

Categories: Fusion Middleware, Other

Pages