Oracle Open World 2008: Oracle + Flex = Happy Users

This week I’ve been at Oracle OpenWorld checking out all of the new applications Oracle has been building with Flex. Some of these seem to be integrating Flex and ADF which is a great combination of technologies! I’ve recorded videos of some of these applications which I hope to edit and publish here soon. One of those videos will feature the new Oracle MetaLink, which is a fantastic Flex application (details on Edwin Biemond’s blog).

It’s great to see Oracle doing amazing things with Flex! And it’s also great to see the community getting excited about the combination of Oracle technologies and Flex. While walking around OpenWorld I noticed a random whiteboard:
Oracle + Flex = Happy Users

Three-tier client/server architectures using Oracle and Flex result in happy users! Wahoo!!!

Oracle Chooses Flex (part 7 – Sales Campaign)

At Oracle OpenWorld on Tuesday and then on Wednesday at Larry Ellison’s keynote the seventh Flex application announced at OpenWorld was demonstrated. Like Sales Prospector and Sales Library this application, Sales Campaign, is part of the larger Oracle CRM OnDemand suite that is scheduled to go live in the first half of 2008. The Sales Campaign application allows sales people to easily create and track the success of their campaigns. Like all the other Flex applications Oracle showed over the past few days the interface is simple, clean, and effective. Exactly what users want! Great job Oracle! Here is a photo of Sales Campaign from the Tuesday session (courtesy of Todd Ruhl – my personal photographer assistant – just kidding – Todd has been an instrumental part of educating Oracle about Flex and getting Flex adopted at Oracle):

That’s about it for this seven part series on all the new Flex projects Oracle announced at OpenWorld. Seems like maybe we should do a recap. Coming soon.

Oracle Chooses Flex (part 6 – Sales Library)

The second Flex application which Oracle demonstrated at Ed Abbo’s keynote on Tuesday was Sales Library. The Sales Library helps sales people organize and share their sales content. The interface is very clean and elegant. The transitions are smooth and useful. Very impressive stuff! Here is a photo of the Sales Library demo from Oracle OpenWorld (courtesy of Todd Ruhl):

Still one more Oracle Flex application left to announce. Stay tuned.

Oracle Chooses Flex (part 5 – Sales Prospector)

In Ed Abbo’s keynote at Oracle OpenWorld on Tuesday, Oracle announced two new products that are built with Flex. The first, Sales Prospector, will go live in the first half of 2008. The Sales Prospector helps companies make better sales forecasts and in the words of Larry Ellison the software will “help the salesperson sell” instead of just forecast. The demo looked great! I can’t wait to try it out! Here is a photo from the keynote (courtesy of Todd Ruhl):

Next up is the new Oracle Sales Library…

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.

Oracle Chooses Flex (part 3 – Enterprise Manager)

At Oracle OpenWorld yesterday the Oracle Enterprise Manager team introduced their new Flex based interface for doing database query reporting. I am very excited to see this new use of Flex within an Oracle product! The audience was very enthusistic about features like rich data grids with tree interfaces and custom chart item renderers. These types of interfaces make DBAs lives much easier when they need to quickly find where there are bottlenecks and problems with their Oracle database clusters. Here is a picture from the session (courtesy of Todd Ruhl):

Exciting stuff! And there is much more to come!

Oracle Chooses Flex (part 2 – BI Publisher)

At Oracle OpenWorld yesterday there were Flex applications EVERYWHERE! There are even more to come today but before that I need to show off a few others from yesterday that we were able to grab pictures of.

These days how can you do data visualization without Flex? With the number of BI companies now using Flex it seems you can’t. I’m glad to see Oracle’s BI team using Flex and I’m looking forward to seeing more sexy dashboard goodness from them soon. Here’s a rather blurry photo of the new Flex based BI Publisher Dashboard (courtesy of Todd Ruhl):

Keep up the great work Oracle!