Oracle has released Siebel IP14.18/15.12 overnight. This means the final patchset for Innovation Pack 2014. After 18 months and the same number of monthly patchsets, following Oracle’s Siebel Error Correction Policy. Innovation Pack 2015 still has half a year of error correction support remaining.
Quite a number of fixes:
- A number of fixes related with out-of-the-box DISA-based attachment functionality such as previewing images;
- An important (performance) fix for the Calendar Gantt Chart, where it generates unnecessary and potentially many queries. Can quickly turn out to be major availability issue.
- Issue with daylight saving time (DST) calculations in eScript
- Number of OpenUI related defects
- Implicit Save AND Explicit Save is not working since applying 14.16 AND 15.10 (Doc ID 2133587.1) got resolved.
At the same time, new versions of DISA and the SODD have been published. For the latter, the release notes are yet not available.
- MS Outlook Plugin for Drag and Drop to Siebel 2.0.12 (Patch Number: 23305377)
- Desktop Integration Siebel Agent 2.0.12 (Patch Number:23305375)
Oracle’s Duncan Ford did it again! Driving force behind the PM, PR and PW boiler-plate code generators as well (not to forget the OracleSiebel Git) – he crafted a refreshing life-hacking solution for Siebel developers. For DISA extensibility this time. Given the extensibility options DISA provides, having a tool which makes life easier will be well-received by many. Preventing the nitty-gritty work, but instead have an accelerated start for your DISA-based endeavors…!
Duncan proudly presents…
Not only does it generate boiler-plate for the relevant physical renderer and presentation model, it also generates boiler-plate Java code along. Not to forget a build script, and relevant Java manifest. Check it out!
What kind of blog title is this?
Yes, Oracle’s Siebel Development is starting to use Github to promote collaboration with the Siebel eco-system. As primer, to provide some insights into the DISA Extensibility Framework which will be provided as part of Innovation Pack 2016.
Just browse to https://github.com/OracleSiebel/ConfiguringSiebel/tree/master/ExampleCode/DISA to get a primer. Be prepared for Innovation Pack 2016. It’s to be released shorty 😉
To top it, you will find an actual code example to practice it yourself – gathering some basic system info through DISA and expose in the Siebel client.
Desktop Integration Siebel Agent
Initially released with IP15.9/14.15 back in February, DISA served to replace like-for-like functionalities previously implemented using (insecure) Java Applets. One of the most visible: replacing the Java Applet based in-line attachment edit-and-save-back feature. Further: CTI Hoteling and Send Mail (F9) using Outlook instead of the Siebel email client will be added with IP16. Who knows what follows!
Truly exciting: with IP16 – Siebel will open-up and document the DISA API for customers. Meaning endless extensibility options. Advanced interactions between Siebel and the desktop (bi-directional) will be possible. Although DISA itself communicates in a secure way with Siebel, the developer has due to nearly unlimited access to the desktop its responsibilities.
Below a high-level architectural overview of the DISA framework.
DISA uses a message-based approach to communicate between Siebel and the ‘client’ through a (secure) WebSocket connection. The DISA ‘client’ is a Java ‘plug-in’ which will have full access to the desktop. That means as simple as it sounds, Siebel could run a command-line operation, start an application, have access to the local filesystem, … Multiple plug-ins can be made available. These should be separately deployed. Not difficult to imagine a DISA plug-in to ‘deploy’ at run-time a custom plug-ins from a certain location. Either brand new ones, or updated ones.
So yes, if you don’t own them yet – you need to get access to or learn Java 🙂 As a starter, Oracle will be providing some examples through Github. Going forward the ConfiguringSiebel repository on the OracleSiebel Git will serve for this purpose. Oracle’s Siebel development will further supervise the Git and motivates the Siebel developer eco-system to share, add & commit! So jump along the bandwagon!
On the leap day of February, IP15.9/14.15 has been released. Set aside a number of fixes, the long-awaited DISA (Desktop Integration Siebel Agent) framework has been released! And Outlook Drag-n-drop becomes reality, again.
Desktop Integration Siebel Agent
- Inline file attachment editing
- CTI Hoteling
But essentially, DISA will be a framework to support further future features, as well as allow custom-built desktop integrations. At some point.When at some point will be, is unknown at the time of writing.
Note: in the past it was communicated that the Siebel Outlook Drag-n-Drop feature (SODD) would also leverage the DISA framework. But after many considerations, the SODD feature (also part of IP15.9/14.15) will use a separate Outlook Add-in.
Reading the DISA release notes seem to imply that Incremental Repository Merge is required to take benefit of DISA. That is factually false.
Detailed instruction can be found is this fresh-from-the-press MOS Document:Oracle Support Document 2107511.1 (Install and Deploy Desktop Integration Siebel Agent (DISA)). There are just a few manual configuration steps required as the DocId mentions. More importantly, DISA does require a local client-side installation. Can be ran and provisioned as silent installer. Something to take note of, it can be obvious hurdle. There is a current limitation that the DISA installer is only available in English, but that does not affect the functionality in a multi-lingual implementation however.
Special set-up activities are required for both Firefox and Edge. The installer supports silent installation, using a response file. And DISA supports the needed security features, such as server/port white-listing and security certificates to allow secure communications.
Microsoft Outlook to Siebel Drag-and-Drop (SODD)
The SODD feature will rely on a specific Outlook add-in. Now I hear you think, that will be a challenge to get across within IT. Anyways, if SODD is a looked-for feature, options are limited especially due to the NPAPI deprecation. Still on IE11? In that case you could craft your own Java-applet based solution (it has been done before).
Well, what are the the use cases supported for SODD?
- Drag one email from Outlook and drop it on Siebel, the attachment will be saved accordingly, context sensitive.
- Drag multiple emails at one time from Outlook and drop them to Siebel. The emails will be saved as multiple attachments, context sensitive.
- Drag email attachment(s) from Outlook and drop them to Siebel. The email attachments will be saved as (multiple) attachment(s), context sensitive.
All together IP15.9/14.15 is not just a patch set 🙂
The 2016 SOD already mentioned a totally new Siebel acronym. Because running out of three-letter-acronyms, resorting to four-letter acronyms 😉
The SOD also mentioned backporting the DISA framework to IP14/15. And that seems to materialize. Although it definitely slipped the December 2015 Patchset (14.13/15.7) for which it was initially targeted – the odds are that it will quite likely make it into the January 2016 Patchset (14.14/15.8).
So again, what’s this Desktop Integration Siebel Agent all about? Well, first of all it’s the must-have feature closing the important Siebel client-side integration gap. Especially because Google started deprecating the NPAPI in Chrome, Mozilla will follow deprecating NPAPI in Firefox later in 2016 and Microsoft’s Edge never had and never will have the capability.
DISA will be all about bringing Siebel OpenUI on-par with the old ‘high interactivity’ days where the Web Client Automation Server was a strong asset, enabling relatively easy client-side integrations with desktop applications and a Siebel user session.
DISA will be a local client-side running executable, which means it will only be available for Windows clients. The DISA will act as a Websocket-server, and because today all of the relevant browsers will support the Websocket protocol, browsers running a Siebel OpenUI session can act as a Websocket-client. The framework will enable bi-directional, real-time communications between browsers.
Unsure whether at the time DISA will be released as backport from the under-development IP16 codeline is which of the features will be enabled alongside? I personally expect that initially the DISA framework as-is will be released, and that out-of-the-box enhancements such as listed below will be released gradually in subsequent patchsets.
DISA targeted features:
» Email (F9) Integration with Microsoft Outlook and IBM Lotus Notes
» Invoke external email clients with F9 on Siebel Open UI
» Populate email fields (To, CC, BCC) in external email clients
» Use HTML templates to provide pre-defined, formatted email content
» Send file attachments
» Read & write files in agent’s local machines
» CTI Hoteling feature
» Ability to retrieve client machine IP address in Siebel Open UI Client
» Outlook to Siebel Attachment Drag-and-Drop. Enables agents to drag an email from a Microsoft Outlook email client and drop it as a Siebel CRM file attachment
» Inline attachment editing. Provides the capability for a user to open a file stored in the Siebel File System, make changes to the document using a location application (such as Microsoft Word), and then save and close the application with the new version automatically replacing the previous version in the Siebel File System.
» Batch Fulfillment Printing
» Allows Fulfillment Center personnel to select a set of Correspondence Requests and send them to a printer.