Siebel Patch Set 15.3 / 14.9 Has Been Released

Grumpy-Cat-Patching-Bugs-Developer-MemeBack from holidays, and happy to share that the 15.3/14.9 Patch Set nicely met the August deadline. Below the direct links to the patches. As explained these are technically identical. Although still separate downloads. Reason is that for example the IP15.1 Patch Set got packaged with (the large) dbsrvr files… And since Patch Sets are cumulative, this is something which drags along the release. Therefore the sheer size of the patch set for IP15 versus IP14.

IP2015 PatchSet3 15.1[23048]_PATCHSET3 = 21678618
IP2014 PatchSet9[23044]_PATCHSET9 = 21670495
IP2014 PatchSet9[23044]_PATCHSET9 = 1670510

And yes, unfortunately, tools keeps still crashing while editing eScripts as confirmed by Jason.

– Jeroen

Siebel Session Time-out – White-listing Your Message Bar

White-listing what?

In my recent post discussing the merits of Innovation Pack 15.2 / 14.8 I pointed out the new feature which would allow sessions to time-out regardless whether the message bar functionality is enabled or not. Traditionally when enabling the message bar in Siebel, a Siebel session would hardly time-out (depending whether the SessionTimeout value in the eapps.cfg would exceed the value of the object manager’s MessageBarUpdateInterval parameter. This latter scenario is typically the case.

Further, the High Interactivity client would gracefully close a Siebel session either if the user would explicitly log-out or use the infamous browser’s ‘X’ button. Important, because otherwise the message bar polling would keep the session alive.


However… with Open UI we have absolutely no means to capture the ‘X’ event. Period. That means, if you’d enable the message bar functionality (or rather “Notifications” as we call them in Open UI, because the message bar as such has gone) and a user would hit ‘X’ the Siebel session would remain a living thing. Killing those orphaned sessions would be an administrator job. Ugly.

So with patch set IP15.2/14.8 an important feature got introduced:

Siebel Session Time-Out Application Method White-listing

A feature with a generic nature, configurable through the eapps.cfg. White-listing as such that certain configured application methods would not reset the time-out counter.

Just add this parameter to your eapps.cfg in the [defaults] section, or override if you like on a specific virtual directory instead:

SessionTimeoutWLMethod = UpdatePrefMsg

The value could be a  comma-separated list, to allow other (future) methods as well to be white-listed. If you ask me, quite an important feature. Why? Because with the introduction of the appealing “Notifications” feature in Open UI, the inherent problem allows orphaned sessions on the Siebel Servers easily to start piling up ridiculously fast. Train the users to log-out? You can try. But when was the last time you logged-out of any web application…? User’s are simply not doing this, how hard you try to train & explain.

– Jeroen

PS: I’m on holidays starting today – so I will be offline :-)

Siebel Patch Set 15.2 / 14.8 Has Been Released

patchhumorFor those waiting, on the close of the month the Oracle Siebel development team released the combined patch set for Innovation Packs 2014 & 2015. Since code lines between IP14 and IP15 are in-sync and the applications primarily differ one and another from a repository and seed-data perspective, Oracle is able to deliver a combined patch set. Way more effective, way more efficient to develop, build, test and release. And with higher quality on top.

That said, customers coming from a prior release (IP13 or lower…) and considering to migrate should never (and I really mean never) think it’s alright migrating to anything less than Innovation Pack 2015. The traditional consideration we do not want to be the first to guinea pig a release and hence we stick with the n-1 approach is easily countered by the shared code line argument. Sure, if you uptake a new feature not available in Innovation Pack 2014 (e.g. adopting the Synergy theme for example) you could be the one spotting an early issue. But largely any framework related defects and fixes (e.g. within the object manager, industry specific features, the Open UI framework, you name it) will apply to both releases.


This link brings you to the right spot on MOS.

Patch number = 21510249.

To sum up some of the release fixes:

  1. Performance fix which reduces logon time (taking out redundancies, nice)
  2. Support for MS SQL Server 2014 has been introduced
  3. Quite a number of test automation attribute fixes (the RN/RT/UN attributes which are included in the DOM once you append SWECmd=AutoOn to the URL)
  4. Fix for the Cancel Query Timeout popup
  5. Fixing GetProfileAttr() calls from traditional browser script (which anyways should better be migrated to OUI API scripts…)
  6. “Tripple Click” issue in list applets for check boxes (yes, this definitely is a nice one and many users will love it)
  7. Using “Shift” + Arrow keys to select records
  8. Message Broadcasting not to reset time-out counter while polling the server (this is an interesting one, since traditionally in HI the Message Broadcasting feature would prevent a session time-out. This can be a pain in the neck, and now this issue has after many years been addressed and hence ceases to exists. Something to beware of)

– Jeroen


Siebel Open UI – First Encounter With Edge

Windows 10, exciting enough? The atmosphere around Windows 10 is quite positive if you read the many articles which have been written. So, yesterday I took up the glove and downloaded the Windows 10 .iso file and today I created my first Windows 10 Virtual Box image. Without any pain, smoother than you can imagine. Click, click, click, done!

After having played around a bit, I decided to copy my Demo Quick Start environment across. That is the local dedicated client environment I often use, when I do not need a beefed-up server virtual machine.

Of course, there was one major reason for doing this: taking Edge to the test. My Demo Quick Start environment was functional without any pain. Well, that means for Internet Explorer it was working immediately! Since Edge is the default browser, I reckoned removing the /b (browser) switch should be enough to launch Siebel using the Edge browser. Wrong.

Luckily Richard from the SiebelHub faced the same issue. And the simple workaround would be to open Siebel in either Internet Explorer (or Chrome), then launch Edge and copy/paste the Siebel URL in that browser. Et voilá, works like a charm (as workaround then). Do not close the other browser, otherwise the Siebel client will be closed too.


Next I installed Chrome as well on the virtual machine, and was ready to run my usual performance benchmark test. Expectations are high, because while browsing with Edge some web sites it seems to behave pretty well. Added to this those recent positive benchmarks for Edge.

My joy changed into disappointment quickly. In this test Edge did not outperform even its neighbor. Really, it just behaving very similar to Internet Explorer. That means sluggish. Alright, back to Chrome. Immediately you get that feel of ‘souplesse’ back. Could it be Edge is so sluggish because it has Internet Explorer running in the background? Or does Virtual Box has a dramatic influence? Definitely it requires some more testing, but initial signs are not favoring Edge. Unfortunately.


– Jeroen

Siebel OUI: Windows 10 + Edge – Ultimate Replacement For IE?

The team at have produced a nice & updated comparison between the Edge browser which comes with Windows 10 and the usual suspects, Internet Explorer, Chrome and Firefox. Using the most common benchmarks. While I personally have little trust in Sunspider for obvious reasons from the past, apparently Edge performs particularly well according to Octane 2.0 too.


It will definitely take a while before enterprise customers will move to Windows 10. The good thing is that Windows 10 will ship with Internet Explorer as well as the Edge browser.

Although Edge is brand-new, according to the HTML5Test it is still quite a bit behind on the competition. So less innovation than expected? This requires digging into a bit deeper at a later moment.

Anyways, eager to upgrade my Windows 8.1 laptop to 10 in the coming days :-)

– Jeroen

Siebel Innovation Pack 2016 – Statement of Direction Has Arrived!

Oracle has been delivering Siebel Innovation Packs at a steady pace over the past years. At the same pace future directions are being published. Today a milestone date, July 27th. Statement of Direction for Innovation Pack 2016 has arrived at My Oracle Support!


What are the key ingredients to make Innovation Pack the perfect meal?

Before that, remember that this information is intended to outline the general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle’s products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle.

The Statement of Direction is written around three themes:

  1. Business Agility
  2. Customer Experience
  3. Industry Innovation

Business Agility

Next Generation Installer

With Siebel we saw the introduction of the Oracle Universal Installer for Siebel. The Oracle Universal Installer – which shares its TLA with another favorite feature of Siebel – has with the arrival of Siebel Innovation Pack 2015 Patchset 1 replaced the oPatch installer for patch sets. I personally always found it a bit awkward having to install a patch with such a low-level tool as oPatch. Anyways, OUI is Oracle’s default tool for software installation across platforms, and is a product on its own. With IP16 an improved OUI release will ship with Siebel. It should make life again a bit easier on different fronts such as silent installation, consistency checks after installation, rollbacks scenarios and such.

WebSocket-based framework

Well, this is a truly important feature! As you should be aware by now, the NPAPI (Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface) will be history soon. Google will for Chrome sunset the NPAPI in September 2015 already. Mozilla will not wait much longer. The default browser for Windows 10 was never developed to support NPAPI support. And maybe after the hack of this century, things will further accelerate…

Why is this NPAPI so important? Well – it has been the vehicle for Java applets which are used here and there in Siebel. For example inline-editing relies on Java and so does CTI hotelling. With IP16 a WebSocket-based integration framework will be released to close this gap under the name Desktop Integration Siebel Agent (DISA). Websocket has been designed to allow low-latency communications between a browser and server instead of the traditional chatty http protocol. Typically you’d interact with a server, but DISA will actually be a WebSocket server application, implemented as a local application running at the desktop.

It will enable a number of features, to name some…

  1. Outlook Drag n Drop (yeah!)
  2. Inline attachment editing (yeah!)
  3. Read & Write files on the local machine (wow! but… is that not a huge vulnerability…?)
  4. CTI Hotelling
  5. Email integration (F9 – Send Email) with external mail agents such as Outlook and Lotus Notes

For now, let’s assume that DISA will be an open and documented framework for customers to leverage too ;-)

Siebel Application Usage Pattern Capture

The SOD states “This feature provides more tools to the IT department to track and analyze the usage patterns of their production systems“. Hey, you might say. That feature has been in Siebel for ages, although since Siebel 8.1 it has not been documented anymore (hence, de-supported). It has been know as Siebel Usage Collection. But then, Usage Collection was just not more that collecting view navigations, and writing it to a file. Nothing special about that at all. You’d customize it yourself in less than a day (and probable more feature-rich). Well, that is what I’ve done in the past to gather usage statistics, fed to a data warehouse to get extremely useful insights such as what are the patterns my most efficient call center reps exhibit?

Still, my strong belief is that for true usage collection one should evaluate Real User Experience Insight. Given, not a free tool. But it provides amazing capabilities. Non-intrusive, allowing for session-replay to support help desk staff and much, much more.

Siebel Composer Developer Preview

Apparently, Innovation Pack 2016 is an Innovation Pack too early. Siebel Composer is still titled as preview. Understandably, the move from Siebel Tools to Siebel Composer is a huge undertaking, which cannot be taken lightly. One of the enhancements for the Innovation Pack 2016 release of the Siebel Composer says it all:

Ease of configuration via a WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) visual interface, which is eventually expected to completely replace Siebel Tools

But then, looking at the list of features for CRM Composer, it moves towards enterprise-ready. Important aspects (and probable a real improvement from today’s parallel development capabilities provided by Siebel Tools Object Tagging):

Multi-user development model for Siebel CRM metadata, with support for collaborative and parallel development. Changes are maintained on a user-by-user basis, ensuring that users can make simultaneous configuration changes to the application even if they are modifying the same set of metadata objects.

And since with Siebel Composer we no longer work with the traditional Siebel Developer Web Client, the principle of sandboxing will be introduced so that developers can test their own changes in an isolated fashion. They might get their own Object Manager instance?

Standards-Based REST Interface

Another topic, where Oracle needed to provide an alternative after it de-supported the SAI (Siebel Application Integration) framework. Siebel will natively support REST API services. Isn’t that great? So building an application on top of Siebel will become far less complicated. In the API-economy of today, REST services provided by Siebel are an important step forward.

Unified Cache Manager

Ever heard of Coherence? It’s one of these other Oracle Technology flagship products. Very much a tech product. It’s reason for existence is offloading traffic to the application or database tier, if requests can be fulfilled from a coherent and consistent cache. What the exact use cases are for the Unified Cache Manager? Requires some more time to digest this subject and discuss it. One this is quite sure, Coherence will be optional and separately licensed.

But what will you “cache” in Coherence? A typical use-case would be support for type-ahead (auto-completion) of certain data. Think of accounts, addresses, products, …

Moving to the next theme…

Customer Experience

High Interactivity / Standard Interactivity De-Support

Nothing really new, but the fact that the Open UI client will be the remaining client Oracle will support for Siebel. HI, SI and SI+ will be de-supported. Whether they will be technically redrawn from the product is not said.

Expose Siebel Calendar as CalDAV Server

Yet another highly interesting topic. Oracle Siebel development has taken up the glove to make the Siebel Calendar behave from a functional perspective like any other calendering system. Be it Outlook, Lotus Notes, GMail, Thunderbird or what have you more. The Siebel calendar has never been very feature-rich. Limitations such as recurrence support (e.g. bi-weekly on a Thursday for 20 occurrences to come or until 1st of December 2015) and the ability to support accept/reject/tentative for invitees to name a few. You can safely call this a major overhaul of the Siebel calendar. But with the great benefit that at the same time: the Siebel Calendar can be exposed as a full CalDAV compliant server! That means that you can expose the Siebel Calendar in a another client-application, but it also opens the door for a standards-based synchronization between Siebel and Exchange, Notes or other Collaboration suites out there. As long as they support CalDAV too. Important improvement, if you ask me!

Siebel Mobile 2.0

The App stores will provide a 2.0 version of the Siebel Mobile application. SOD talks about an assisting tool to convert Siebel server-side side eScript to Siebel OUI API scripts for mobile offline use. Well, honestly I have no strong belief in such tools. But let’s first see, before judge.

What is important, is that Siebel Mobile will be available for the Android platform too, with the same functional footprint as the iOS app. Basically this means that the Mobile App, which really is nothing more than an Oracle Mobile Application Framework (MAF) container running Siebel against an Oracle SQLite database. The MAF has access to device-native features such as GPS and camera, as well as using the local file system on the device.

And, important too. Siebel Sales will be delivered too for offline use. Today, Disconnected Mobile supports only the Service and Pharma application. Technically the disconnected platform could support any application if you ask me. But disconnected mobile applications come standard with pre-seeded extraction filters, and offline process automation & device integration.

Siebel Remote

And this will be an eye-opener. Siebel Remote will continue to be available, regardless of what has been previously announced. Siebel Remote will use the Oracle Database XE instead of the traditional SQL Anywhere database. And as you might understand, this is a strategic choice for Oracle, since with the acquisition of Sybase by SAP in the past… Well… you understand who Oracle has to pay in order to allow use of SQL Anywhere ;-)

Simplified Search

First of all the Siebel Search will have an improved UI presentation with a dockable search applet, like we knew it in IP13. An other interesting feature would be “Autocomplete suggestions” (Google-style), which if you ask me would be supported under the hood by the Unified Coherence Caching feature… Also other search engines than Oracle’s Secure Enterprise Search will be allowed through an improved API. Or would the Unified Coherence Cache be the new search engine…?

I will close with the third and final topic of the SOD…

Industry Innovations

Which I will just list here…

  • Mobile Promotion Enhancements
  • In-Memory Promotion Upgrade UI
  • Accelerated Decision Making via Enhanced Productivity
  • Subject Transfer
  • Satellite Site
  • Enhancements Driven by Life Sciences Audit and Compliance
  • Product Offer Enhancements
  • Siebel Public Sector eService integration with Oracle Policy Automation (OPA)
  • Messaging Plan Personalization and Call Planning
  • Content follow-up for eDetailing
  • Application capture with OPA integration
  • Siebel CRM – OPA Integration Enhancements
  • Self-Service Scheduling
  • PDF / Excel Template Support for Siebel Business Intelligence Publisher Reports

Enjoy the further reading!

– Jeroen