It’s hackathon weekend at Fishbowl Solutions. Fishbowl’s consulting and development teams – the hackers – along with members of the sales and marketing teams join forces to collaborate on and develop new software applications. While the overall goal of the hackathon may be to produce usable software, the event also is a great learning opportunity for participants and results in a lot of fun.
This is Fishbowl’s 4th annual hackathon and previous events have produced “beta” software that eventually evolved into shippable software components that benefited customers. Here are recaps on the 2012 and 2014 events.
This year there were over 16 different ideas, and out of those 3 teams were formed to develop the following:
- Oracle WebCenter Portal and Slack integration – Slack is a popular collaboration tool for the enterprise that enables members to communicate across channels (specific topics), send direct messages, and drag and drop files for sharing. Integrating Slack with WebCenter Portal brings its popular features and ease of use directly in context of a user’s portal session, ensuring that collaboration is easy and reducing the amount of switching between applications to communicate with others – leaving the portal to send an email, for example.
WebCenter Portal and Slack Integration Team – Andy Weaver and Dan Haugen
- Oracle WebCenter Content and Google Vision integration – This integration would enable the tagging of images upon check-in. The Google Vision API enables applications to understand the content of images by encapsulating machine learning models in an easy to use REST API. Using this technology, images are auto-classified into thousands of categories (e.g., “sailboat”, “lion”, “Eiffel Tower”). For example, you might check in a picture of a knit hat and it would be tagged with xKeywords of “hat”, “knit hat”, and “fashion accessories” without any human tagging. To further automate image discovery, the GSA can be used to map related terms so that searches for “beanie”, “stocking cap”, or “winter hat”, could also return the image. This tagging automation would have great implications for Oracle WebCenter customers that are using it for Digital Asset Management.
WebCenter Content and Google Vision Integration Team – Kim Negaard and Greg Bollom
- Oracle WebCenter Content Email Check in - This integration would enable emails with attachments to be checked in to WebCenter Content automatically. Instead of the user having to check in the email itself, and then relating each attachment to the associated email, which results in additional check in steps, the emails and attachments would be parsed out and sent to a user workspaces in WebCenter. From there, users can tag and validate that the email should be checked in with the appropriate attachments – either from their desktops or mobile device.
WebCenter Content and Email Checkin Team Member – John Sim (fueling his hacking mind)
The hacking commenced at 3 PM today and will continue until 4 PM on Saturday, April 16th. Each team will then present their developed integration/component, and the other Fishbowl team members will vote on their favorite finished product. Check back on this blog next week to see who won.
Fishbowl Solutions Hackathon 2016 T-shirt
Fishbowl Solutions is looking forward to Collaborate 2016. We have another full list of activities planned, and we are always excited to meet with customers and discuss their initiatives around enterprise content management and portals, the cloud, as well as front-end user design and experience. With the release of Oracle WebCenter 12c back in October, customers are also eager to understand more of what the new version has to offer. Fortunately for WebCenter customers attending Collaborate, Fishbowl Solutions will be covering all these topics across the 5 presentations we will be giving, as well as one-on-discussions in our booth – #1028.
We are also privileged to be joined by two WebCenter customers who will give presentations on their WebCenter use cases. The first customer, ICON plc (www.iconplc.com/) based in Dublin, Ireland, will discuss the process of improving the front-end experience of the WebCenter-based portal they use to manage the clinical trials process.
The second customer is Rosendin Electric (www.rosendin.com) based in San Jose, CA, and they will share how they implemented Fishbowl’s ControlCenter solution to automate the contract management process within WebCenter.
The best part and biggest benefit of attending Collaborate is hearing stories from actual customers, like ICON and Rosendin. Collaborate is truly a user group conference, and hearing case studies on WebCenter deployments, enhancements, integrations, etc., are invaluable for other customers looking to do the same or similar. Less marketing speak and sales pitches, and more learning. As you plan your schedule for Collaborate, look for Session Types denoted as Case Studies.
Here is a preview of what Fishbowl currently has planned for Collaborate 2016.
Demos of our WebCenter Portal Solution Accelerator, User Experience (art of the possible) demos of portal and websites, and ControlCenter (controlled document management for WebCenter).
- Monday, April 11, 10:30-11:30 AM:
A Designer’s Introduction to the Oracle JET Framework
- Monday, April 11, 4:30-5:30 PM:
Integrating Oracle JET With ADF to Create a Modern and Engaging User Experience
In this session you will learn about the pros and cons of Oracle’s new JET framework and ADF and how you can combine them to create a modern development experience writing Modular Single Page Applications. Sim and Weaver will discuss how front-end designers can create modern, platform agnostic extendable interfaces with JET, and how developers can create ADF integrations and extendable services with the back-end to serve up small data snippets (JSON).
- Tuesday, April 12, 10:45-11:45 AM:
Developing Hybrid Solutions for the Oracle Documents Cloud Service (DoCS)
This session will provide an overview of Oracle’s Documents Cloud Service (DoCS), including its interface, security model, and how to embed the DoCS UI and integrate with the REST API and Applink Resource to create seamless hybrid off- and on-premise applications. As part of the lecture, Sim will provide live examples and code walkthroughs, as well as talk about hybrid application development and the best times to use the Applink Resource vs the REST API with Oracle’s new Oracle JET framework for developing cloud apps. The presentation will conclude with an overview of an integration that Fishbowl has created to support Oracle DoCs.
- Tuesday, April 12, 4:45-5:45 PM
ICON Enhances Its WebCenter Portal Design by Keeping the User in Mind
ICON Clinical Research Limited is a global provider of outsourced development services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries. They specialize in the development, management, and analysis of programs that support clinical development. ICON implemented Oracle WebCenter as the platform for its ICONIK portal, which will be used by the clinical trials team to manage, maintain, and share content created during the trials process. Come to this session to hear how ICON and Fishbowl Solutions leveraged next generation, best practice portal design concepts and technologies to provide a high-end and rich user experience to end users. Learn how ICON leverages WebCenter Portal and Content to surface personalized study documents, quickly manage content, and collaborate with other team members, whether on a desktop or on the go through a mobile device. We will also discuss how ICON has streamlined their business to solve problems that contributed to delays in the clinical trials process, impeding ICON’s customers from bringing products to market.
- Wednesday, April 13, 9:15-10:15 AM:
Rosendin Electric Pairs a Modern User Experience with WebCenter Content to Automate Contract Management
Rosendin Electric is the top-ranked private electrical contractor in the nation whose work spans preconstruction, prefabrication, building information modeling, and renewable energy. Join us to hear Rosendin describe how they leveraged Oracle WebCenter and Fishbowl Solutions’ ControlCenter to automate and improve their contract management process. Rosendin’s new contract management system provides an intuitive, mobile-enabled interface and dashboard view for their contracts team that shows working, pending, and executed contracts. This dashboard is specific for each user, enabling them to quickly take action not only on contracts, but also on associated documents such as non-disclosure agreements and corporate governance documentation. Come see how WebCenter Content has streamlined Rosendin’s contract management process, making it much more efficient while ensuring the lifecycle of contracts and related documents can be easily tracked, viewed, and archived within one enterprise repository.
We hope to see you at Collaborate 2016!
Everyone likes lists. They are easy to follow, easy to cross off, and easy to add to. And since it is the holiday season, and you are (hopefully) putting the finishing touches on your gift giving or meal preparation lists, I thought what better way to summarize what we learned from Oracle OpenWorld 2015 in a Top 10 list. However, one caveat to that is these are not listed in any particular order, and they represent Fishbowl’s perspective on what was shared at the event regarding Oracle WebCenter Content and Portal 12, The Oracle Cloud, and front-end user experience. You can get more information on the items in this top 10 list by listening to the recording of our webinar that we delivered on December 10th.
- Oracle is definitely in the enterprise sync and share space. You’ve probably used Dropbox, Box, or Google Drive, and if you have you would probably agree that they were easy to use. Oracle Documents Cloud Service (ODCS) couples this ease of use with more manageability – especially for Oracle WebCenter Content customers. Content customers can maintain their content repositories on site, and easily and securely share and sync content with ODCS. New in WebCenter 12c is the ability to collaborate on content in the cloud, capture content in the cloud (emails or scanned documents), and mirror content between your on premise WebCenter instance and ODCS.
- Oracle’s clouds offerings help usher in new ways to engage with content and facilitate business processes. For example, you could use Oracle’s Mobile Cloud Service to build a mobile app for human resources to help with employee on boarding. We all have been through the on boarding process before, and in most cases the tasks to complete are contained within archaic HR systems and must be viewed on a desktop. With Mobile Cloud Service, coupled with Oracle’s Process Cloud Service, new employees could go through training videos, ethic courses, etc., on a mobile device – even downloading the videos for watching offline. Then, Process Cloud Service could be used to build a simple form where the user could check off their on boarding list, and any checked off items would trigger a workflow update to managers and HR. Dashboards could also be created for users to see their overall on boarding process status, and gamification elements could be incorporated rewarding employees for prompt training/on boarding.
- Oracle WebCenter has a new interface and it is really cool. Oracle released the ADF-based user interface with 188.8.131.52, but in 12c the new interface is present out of the box and does need to be enabled/turned on. This new UI, based on the Oracle Alta UI is modern, allows for more visual content, and was designed with mobile in mind.
- You can now annotate (mark up) images within WebCenter Content. This feature makes it even easier to collaborate on documents in WebCenter. Annotations include highlighting or redacting text and adding notes or watermarks. This feature should help speed up document-centric workflow processes.
- The Document Imaging Server from Oracle WebCenter Imaging has been consolidated with the Oracle Content Server. No more having to maintain separate repositories for transactional content (invoices) and business content (legal documents).
- WebCenter Portal has made major improvements with contribution, publishing, and mobile responsive. Again, the interface improvements alone will help contributors and developers build, launch and maintain a portal site in less time.
- Hybrid Content Management and Portal deployments may be the most logical progression. Fishbowl’s sees scenarios where WebCenter customers deploy their dev, test and staging environments on premise, and then deploy a production portal or content repository to the cloud using Oracle’s Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Java Cloud Service.
- Customers are talking cloud but don’t necessary have a strategy to get there. Most organizations are using cloud-based solutions (Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.), but some of these may not be approved for use. With Oracle’s comprehensive offerings across content, portal, mobile, workflow, and the cloud, organizations do not need to look outside the Oracle stack to fulfill business requirements. When you consider integrations, interoperability, and scalability, Oracle customers look to benefit from a total cost of ownership perspective.
- The event is growing! Estimated attendance this year was 60,000 people. 5 years ago, my first OpenWorld, it was around 40,000 if I remember correctly. Oracle is investing heavily in The Cloud, business process automation, and user experience, and if OpenWorld attendance is any indication their customer list is growing. Oracle has a great ecosystem of developers, thought leaders, and users. This growing community will only help strengthen the products further.
Again, for more information on any of the items in the list above, check out the recording of our webinar on YouTube.
Fishbowl Solutions has been attending and sponsoring Oracle OpenWorld for many years, and every year we get questions from customers asking why they should attend, how is Oracle OpenWorld different from Collaborate, and if they do attend what sessions should they go to? Although there is no single answer to these questions, our general response is OpenWorld provides so many continuous learning, networking, and fun events that going isn’t hard to justify. However, as the old saying goes “you get out of it what you put into it” definitely applies to OpenWorld. The event is so big (60,000+ attendees), so busy (1,000+ sessions), and so much fun (Elton John concert), that first-time attendees and even alumni need to build out their schedules before the event. This can help ensure they are going to the sessions that will teach them something new that they can apply within their work, or they learn about the road map for the product areas they manage so that they can understand and plan for upgrades, new technology, or integrations.
Even with this proactive planning, attending OpenWorld just isn’t an option for all WebCenter customers, so my colleagues and I at Fishbowl will be hosting a webinar on December 10th that will give you a recap of what you missed as it applies to Oracle WebCenter 12c; The Cloud – Sites Cloud Service, Documents Cloud Service, Mobility Cloud Service, and Process Cloud Service; and new front-end development technologies that can be used for WebCenter-based websites and portals. The webinar will include a Q & A session, so even if we don’t cover a topic that you are interested in or have a question about, our WebCenter and Cloud experts will be available to fill you in. The webinar details are included below, and we hope you will be able to join us.
Date: December 10, 2015
Time: 1:00 – 2:00 PM EST, 12 – 1:00 PM CST
Oracle OpenWorld 2015 wrapped 2 weeks ago. For those of you unable to attend, it was sunny all week with temperatures in the 70s, yet clouds were everywhere. My apologies for the pun, but you could have easily not noticed the blue skies and bright sun as The Cloud was really everywhere. Attendees even had the chance to immerse themselves in the cloud with an interactive display consisting of a few thousand plastic balls you could jump into and roll around in.
Sadly I wasn’t able to partake in this fun, but I was able to attend most of the keynotes, so I got pretty well immersed myself. The Cloud was the theme of the keynotes, with Oracle making it very clear that the future of their applications, middleware, and database technologies are in the cloud – as part of their software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) offerings. In fact, the future is really now as Oracle announced they have over 1,300 customers already using their Oracle ERP Cloud.
All of this is very exciting from an IT and technology perspective, as the cloud makes it easier to innovate and deploy home-grown or 3rd-party applications across business functions. But what about Oracle WebCenter? Can that innovation and deployment flexibility be extended to Oracle WebCenter in the cloud? Not yet, or not entirely. WebCenter is currently in a hybrid mode when it comes to the cloud. WebCenter customers will continue to manage their content on premise, but use Oracle Documents Cloud Service for file syncing and sharing in the cloud. Despite this, Oracle did have some exciting announcements regarding Oracle WebCenter 12c, which was released on October 26th. Here are some highlights:
- User Experience (UX) is a major priority for Oracle WebCenter. UX has been a problem area for WebCenter for many years, but a lot of enhancements have been made that customers should be excited about. I saw a lot of these demonstrated during the WebCenter Portal Strategy and Vision session, and I came away impressed with the improvements they have made with contribution, publishing, and mobility.
Specific examples include a new inline editor (WYSIWYG) entirely written in Oracle’s Application Development Framework (ADF), which will make it easier for contributors to add content to the portal in-context of the page. Overall, the page composer is just more intuitive, and the click stream to add, edit, and publish content on the portal was easy to follow during the demonstration. Lastly, the page templates are now mobile responsive meaning they will adjust for the form factor of the device (desktops, tablets, and smartphones) being used to view the portal.
- WebCenter Content also received some user interface improvements. This includes a new image viewer featuring annotations so users can mark up images. And speaking of images, the imaging server has been merged with the content server.
Fishbowl Solutions will be sharing more about what we learned regarding Oracle WebCenter 12c, Oracle’s cloud offerings, and Oracle’s front-end design and development technologies during a webinar in early December. Check back to this blog or the Fishbowl website for more details soon.
More information on Oracle WebCenter 12c can be found on the Oracle WebCenter blog and within this press release.
For more information on Oracle’s cloud offerings, see this Forbe’s article.