Oracle Chooses Flex (part 4 – Siebel CRM)

Yesterday at Oracle OpenWorld I co-presented a session with Dipock Das on Siebel CRM and Rich Internet Applications. Dipock and I talked about how Rich Internet Applications are transforming the user experience in Enterprise Software. We also presented a proof-of-concept I built with Flex in about two days. Dipock and I were able to move from his paper-based mock-up and Siebel data file to a working application with only two short conversations and two days of coding. The application, named “Contact Radar”, allows sales people to easily see how long it has been since they were in contact with their customers and potential customers. Ultimately we wanted to illustrate how my four axioms of Rich Internet Applications – Connected, Alive, Interactive, and Responsive – relate to Enterprise Software.

Connected – We demonstrated that the same application can run as a desktop application using Adobe AIR and as a web application using Flash Player. In the POC we showed that a Flex application can easily run offline and integrate with other offline concepts like native drag-and-drop to MS Office. The POC also connected to a Siebel web service to get its data.

Alive – Dipock and I wanted to build an application with an interface that felt alive. We integrated natural world experiences like movement, shadows, translucency, and vectors deeply into the interface.

Interactive – There are many ways that we interact in the natural world – voice, touch, sight, etc. One way we demonstrated this was to add Ribbit calling straight into the application.

Responsive – In the natural world humans usually respond in less than a second. Web applications however usually make us wait for much longer than a second. In the POC we wanted to show how RIAs can have a sub-second response time for data operations like loading, rendering, and filtering.

Dipock has given me permission to post the live POC here on my blog so that everyone can see what we were able to quickly build in just two days. In order to post the application I had to make a few small changes. First the Ribbit calling has been disabled. We are also using a much smaller dataset because we didn’t want to give out the real dataset with all those real contacts. Also since this version runs in the browser it doesn’t have the offline features that the AIR version has. Lastly remember that this was a POC built in two days – there are bugs. Here is the app (run it):

There are still more amazing Flex applications from Oracle. Stay tuned.

  • fred this is a great post

  • What is fred?

  • Pingback: Flex is everywhere… « Laurent’s Weblog()

  • James,

    I attended you and Dipock’s session. It was a great glimpse into not only the future of Oracle’s CRM products, but also what current Siebel users are capable of accomplishing with web services. It was a great session.

    Do you or Dipock plan on posting a whitepaper or sample code used in your example. I would love to have our team put together a demo on this.

  • Thanks George. I don’t know yet if we will be posting the code for the demo. We need to get permission. However we will be working on some follow-up articles / whitepapers.


  • Don

    The Flex-based POC app is very impressive! However, when I sliced the “last Purchased” function bar I saw bubbles showed up in the Prospects’ grid, which is odd (if they’ve already purchased product/service from you they’ve become customers, not prospects any more).

    And I second George, to see your code (without underlining real data) would be a quick start for developers considering to jump into the Flex world…


  • Tin

    James, Did you ever produce a whitepaper and sample code for this and is it published anywhere?

  • @Tin

    We haven’t yet. But we are still planning on it.

  • Niraj


    Wanted to find out if the white paper for the demo has been published