Bye Visio, Hello Draw.io

drawio

I was looking for an alternative diagram editor to Visio. I have been using Visio in the past but was looking for a better SaaS solution. I put my bet on draw.io, the alternative would be Lucidchart. It seems to have sufficient support for UML and plain ER diagrams. And it comes out of the box with Dropbox and Google Drive integration. Initial experiences are good. It responds appropriately. And I really like the Dropbox integration if offers! And no charges at all.

Siebel IP14 – Key Feature: Responsive Web Design

According to Wikipedia Responsive Web Design (RWD) is:

“…an approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience — easy reading and navigation with a minimum of re-sizing, panning, and scrolling — across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones)…”

gridchanges

Oracle’s main driver to make Siebel’s Open UI “responsive” most certainly has been to move to one single development and technology stack for desktop, tablet and other mobile use.

This strategy did require a complete re-factoring of the existing OpenUI themes which Oracle delivered in previous releases. The new (single) theme which comes along with IP14 is called “Aurora”.

Besides the fact that Aurora looks like a descent “flat” theme to start with, it also means that customers upgrading from Innovation Pack 13 or before, and deployed on OpenUI using the traditional themes have to go through a new cycle of change management for their end-users.

The pre-existing themes do no longer ship with Innovation Pack 2014

Well, it simply means all customers upgrading from Innovation Pack 2012 or 2013 will be affected 😦 Re-factoring the existing themes and make them responsive was simply not realistic for Oracle.

The good thing is – Aurora really is a better theme base theme. Elegant, modern, easier to modify and responsive.

Aurora comes with these options:

  1. Tab navigation
  2. Tree navigation
  3. Side bar navigation

The new “Side bar navigation” is ultimately meant for touch devices, though it would work just fine in a desktop scenario. But in a desktop scenario it would certainly work far less efficient. The Side bar navigation on a touch device obviously has the great benefit of using far less screen real-estate.

behavior

The traditional Tab navigation…

Theme1

The Tree navigation…

Theme2

The new Side bar navigation…

Theme3

The first thing that has changed is the introduction of the new “CSS Framework”. In previous OUI releases it would be still a cumbersome to change an existing (or create a new!) mainly theme because of scattered CSS classes, which were not really fit for re-use. The CSS Framework addresses this by standardizing CSS class names, re-use class names and have single method for modifying certain values shared by multiple CSS classes. For that cause Oracle moved to LESS-based CSS. LESS essentially is a pre-processer for CSS (like it’s competing sister SASS). This post explains the bare essentials about LESS. In a future post I will explain how LESS works in conjunction with OpenUI.

Further the CSS Framework implements responsiveness by having breakpoints for different view ports. To facilitate a responsive layout, each screen is divided into 12 equal columns. Developers can then use predefined “fluid grid classes” to specify the percentage of its parent’s width each element would occupy.

The predefined view ports are defined as:

viewports

This leads to these predefined classes:

viewportclasses

These “fluid classes” will be used in web templates. Below an example.

fluidclassesexample

The examples defines that “div1” and “div2” will be stacked for “small” screens and split 25/75 for “medium” screens,  33/66 for “large” screens and 50/50 for “large” screens. Since “extra small” is undefined, it would assume the default for “extra small” screens. This default should be found somewhere… (apologies, at this time I cannot answer this question…).

Further many icons have been changed to vector graphics so that they nicely re-size and render appropriately on other devices. That means you will find in the aurora.css a lot of base64 encoded SVG icons. Personally I’m not sure about potential performance implications having a huge CSS which in turn has many SVG images stored. In terms of CSS processing, would it have measurable impact compared to displaying just static content images? If you have an idea, let me know! I did some Googling but did not find supporting evidence pro or con.

Last but not least, traditional desktop features such as multivalue groups also apply to other form-factors than traditional desktops, hence are available on mobile devices too.

More will follow…!

– Jeroen

Siebel IP14 – IRM Key Feature: Seed Data Comparison HTML Report

Update 25-Nov: Apparently there is an issue in 8.1.1.14.0 which will be fixed in PS1. See also this post by Oli. Apparently this issue should be non-blocking because these reports are complementary 😉

Related to a previous post on IRM improvements, IP14 provides also a new “Seed Data Comparison HTML Report”. The Seed Data Comparison report has been included in HTML format which provides details of modified and updated/created seed data records from previous releases.

This report can proof very valuable as finding the needle in the haystack where it concerns seed data can be a painstaking process.

The Seed Data Conflict report program will be executed once upgrade is complete which generates the HTML report comprising of summary of counts of all tables along with details of Violation in case if there is any.

The report is generated under “siebsrvr\log\upgphys_dev_xxx\output” folder if executed during upgphys or under “siebsrvr\log\verify_repository\output” folder.

Below two screenshots. Soon a comprehensive set of “transfers of information” will be made available by Oracle. It will discuss among other these enhancements. There will be a set of functional and technical TOI sessions. I keep you posted

IRMSeedata2

IRMSeedata

– Jeroen

Siebel IP14 – IRM Key Feature: Hierarchical Conflict HTML Report

Update 25-Nov: Apparently there is an issue in 8.1.1.14.0 which will be fixed in PS1. See also this post by Oli. Apparently this issue should be non-blocking because these reports are complementary 😉

Update 26-Nov: Issue has been addressed in PS1 per Bug 19946143. PS1 is available now!

THE MERGEREPORT.HTML FILE
DOES NOT GENERATE PROPERLY
19946143 Siebel Core – DB Deployment and Configuration

Oracle added as part of IP14 (8.1.1.14 / 8.2.2.14) a couple of useful features to the existing Incremental Repository Merge (IRM) process. Two enhancements which are strikingly interesting:

  • Upgrade Conflict HTML Report
  • Seed Data Upgrade Conflict HTML Report

The Hierarchical Conflict HTML Report basically is an improvement to the Hierarchical Conflict report introduced in IP13 (8.1.1.11 / 8.2.2.4). The previous reports is driven from Tools and allows for querying dependent objects for example. The HTML report more or less does the same, but searching through an HTML document can be more convenient than navigating the “traditional” report which works against tables.

Dependency Information is generated for Applications, Screens, Views, Business Components, Applets, Tables, Business Services, Business Objects and Workflow Processes.

The Hierarchical Conflict HTML Report is generated after the Tools merge process completes. It is generated once the srvrupgwiz continues. The report is called “MergeReport.html” and should be found under the “siebsrvr\log\upgrep_dev_xxx\” folder.

Below two screenshots. Soon a comprehensive set of “transfers of information” will be made available by Oracle. It will discuss among other these enhancements. There will be a set of functional and technical TOI sessions. I keep you posted.

IRMHierarchicalconflictreport

IRMHierarchicalconflictreport2

– Jeroen

On-time! Siebel Innovation Pack 2014 is available for download

RoadmapIP

Update Nov 19th: Product development confirmed that IP14 Patchset 1 will be highly recommended for production use.  But there is nothing withholding you to start and go through IRM – for which Patchset 1 isn’t a prerequisite!

Innovation Pack 2014 can be downloaded from eDelivery!

– Jeroen

Siebel Open UI Deployment Guide – IP14

My Oracle Support published the IP14 revision for the “it-should-be-well-known-by-Siebel-folks”  Siebel Open UI Deployment Guide.

Among others the guide provides a reference to a catch-all article related with Internet Explorer performance issues with Open UI.

Internet Explorer 10 and 11 performance limitations that impact Open UI functionality for complex customized views (Doc ID 1944035.1)

IEDilbertMicrosoft is being challenged by a number of Oracle (Siebel) customers to resolve the major performance bottlenecks. And… Microsoft apparently did pick up on this, and are working towards fixing the known performance limitations! No guarantees can be given, but an IE11 patch is to be expected in the coming months 🙂

– Jeroen