Category Archives : Technology


Salesforce Success Recipe

Many of us would be familiar with Microsoft Office products especially Microsoft Excel. Microsoft Excel boasts powerful features like Formula and Macros. The formula alone is worth as you could almost create a single page application with the help of formula and there are very few who used it to its full potential.

Then there is the Visual Studio IDE. If you have used Visual studio IDE, you know how easy it is to create aesthetically appealing User Interface using drag and drop features.

Imagine the Formula from Microsoft Excel, User Interface from Visual Studio, a coding language similar to Java, but easier – APEX, all put together in a cloud environment.

Move the above ingredients from the in-house cooking stove to the cloud (Cooking with just steam I guess 😊). Add more powerful ingredients like

  • Database that allows you to create objects and fields with point and click functionality. Not just Objects and Fields, but everything related to them like Object relationships (Master detail, lookup), Tabs to display Object details and their related Objects, Page Layout for each Object, ability to create formula fields, Validation rules.
  • Ability to create validation rules and Workflows using just point and click tools. You can create powerful logic using formula alone.
  • Visual process builder and flows. Imagine being able to implement code by way of drawing Visio diagrams.
  • Add ability to apply security at various levels (Organization wide defaults, profiles, role hierarchy, sharing rules etc)
  • Use setup console to write trigger and code. Triggers, just like in database are code that fire before or after a record is inserted/updated.
  • A Developer Console, if you indeed need to code (a powerful equivalent of IDE without the frills).
  • CRM solution, Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Service cloud, Community cloud (equivalent of a portal for collaboration) and many more coming in as the clock ticks…
  • A Platform to create your own applications and an App-Exchange market place to showcase and sell/buy solutions to meet your needs.
  • Artificial intelligence infused into it aptly named Einstein.
  • More and more ingredients for varied needs of the Business Community

Well that makes an awesome recipe to whet any business’s appetite. But a success story is not just the result of an excellent product alone. It goes far beyond that and Salesforce is proof of it.

What else is different about Salesforce? If you go to Youtube, you find a whole group of people from diverse (extremely diverse) background evangelising for Salesforce. A thriving Community not just developing but rooting for Salesforce (I am one of them…).

This was made possible by Salesforce’s inclusive policy whereby they took the Customers, Partners, administrators and developers into their fold and nurtured them sincerely. Their sincerity in in developing a class product is also reflected in their care for the community that travel with them in their journey.

Salesforce is a great inspiration to learn how to grow a thriving community.

Firstly, their support for Customers, Business Users, Administrators and Developers to learn their product in the form of Trail heads is amazing.

Then the Success Community, Mentorship Central and forums to address the needs of new Administrators, Developers and Business users to learn and utilize the platform to the fullest.

And there is the Dreamforce Conference, an amazing way to connect with anyone even remotely familiar with Salesforce.

Salesforce for sure have mastered the art of product development and customer engagement. This I believe is the secret of their success. And by the way they would emphasize it as ‘Our Success’ which is a key factor why you see so many passionate fans for Salesforce.

Their success story has many important lessons for any growing company to learn and imbibe. May the force be with you! (Now you know the kind of movies I watch… I am trying to see if I can type in the exclamation mark inverted, so it would look like a light-saber. If anyone knows the trick, you can let me know. Thanks)


Integrate JD Edwards with Content and Experience Cloud to drive digital business process improvements

JD Edwards announces their new out-of-the-box support for Oracle Content and Experience Cloud!

JD Edwards along with Oracle Content and Experience Cloud will help Facilitate in context transaction and internal operational collaboration, Simplify working with external customers, suppliers or partners, Drive digital business process improvements and Reduce storage costs

This solution provides the ability to attach documents to transactions and store them in the cloud using Oracle Content and Experience Cloud. This allows you to:

  • Quickly access Cloud documents versus traditional file systems
  • View documents without downloading
  • Drag-and-drop files effortlessly
  • Access business documents via JD Edwards, web, desktop or mobile devices
  • Search across all attachments
  • Analytics regarding document usage

Additionally, social collaboration features provide the ability to have in context conversations internally or externally regarding a transaction or a document attached to a transaction. The integration also supports operational collaboration within an organization outside of any transaction context.

Looking to learn more? Check out the integration in action.


Oracle Content & Experience – Get The Free Brief

Oracle unveils its Content & Experience Cloud with features that allows organizations to

  1. Enhance customer engagement and improve employee efficiency with Oracle Content and Experience Cloud
  2. Integrate, share, collaborate and deliver content across multiple channels
  3. Deliver consistent, compliant and contextual experiences across channels with omni-channel content management

Learn More at Oracle.com : Get the free Brief

Oracle Content & Experience Cloud comes with several out of the box document management and collaboration features.

  • Enable Content Collaboration
  • Deliver Consistent Omni-Channel Experiences
  • Manage Content in One Central Hub
  • Enhance Enterprise Applications with Content

When combined with Oracle Process Cloud Services and Oracle Integration Cloud Services, it also offers unparalleled capabilities to build advanced workflow and integration features.

Stay tuned for more information on this topic to be published in our blog.


The four success factors of a WebCenter project

In our wide experience implementing Oracle WebCenter, we have seen that the following are the most common factors that determine the success of a WebCenter system integration or customization project:

1. Commitment & Clarity from Management – Right budget and clearly crafted Requirement Specification
2. The Technical Expertise of the WebCenter Architect
3. The Attitude of the Development Team
4. The Quality of the End User training

Just like how the success or failure of a commercial feature film is pinned on the Movie Director, a WebCenter projects outcome can be pinned to the Project Manager. The more motivated, organized and focused the Project Manager is, higher is the success rate of the project.

The first Architect who ties up the physical and logical architecture can either make or break the project. His/her mistakes can haunt the organization for a long time and can add unplanned costs at a later stage. In a WebCenter project where all three products (Sites,Portal and Content) are involved you may need more than one Architect involved.

The attitude of the Developers determines if the final product will be “World Class” or “Mediocre”. This is why we always have a grand meeting with the developers to explain about the opportunity that the team has in their hand to impact the lives of the client users. For me and my team, that meeting is equivalent to the locker room session before a super bowl game. Unless the team is convinced that they are doing a meaningful and high-impact work and believe that they have the support from the client’s management and the leadership members of the project, they are going to deliver only a mediocre system. The developers commitment and attitude can substantially improve the usability and the quality of feature set delivered.

Lastly, however great a system we build, if the end users are not properly educated about the system, even the coolest features of the system would be misunderstood, misused or ignored. Training end users is an art and is something that needs to be handled by someone who has the acumen for training. On our project engagements, we perform “Train the Trainer” sessions. We have seen that the person engaged from client side to go and train the user base plays a very critical role in the overall acceptance of the system. More than technical expertise, this trainer requires people skills and training experience.

To sum it up – Commitment, Technical Expertise, Attitude and Training = SUCCESS.


Grab your copy of WebCenter Reference Architecture Poster

Stop-by at our booth 1422 at the Collaborate17 Las Vegas event to grab your copy of WebCenter Reference Architecture POSTER. If you are starting a new WebCenter project involving any of the three WebCenter products – Sites, Content or Portal, the poster will give you an easy to understand architecture topology to layout your software components.



WebCenter Reference Architecture

Meet us at Collaborate 17

Meet us at Main Street booth 1422 at Collaborate 17 to learn about our recent exciting work in Oracle WebCenter Systems Integration. Also stop-by to grab your OnwarPath Discount Coupons and Special Offers for Collaborate Participants.


What are Profiles and Folders in WCC – A comparision

Profiles and Folders are two different features of Oracle WebCenter Content. Both features are useful for grouping and classifying documents.

Your Content Management system can use both Profiles and Folders to provide an effective classification of documents. Profiles – apart from providing usability benefits to your users, also provides effective administrative and customization capabilities to your Developers and Administrators (example, for mass metadata update, migration, creating search index etc..). Folders provide an easy and familiar interface to your users to browse and locate documents.

Profiles provide the ability to hide/show selected metadata fields and group them to present user friendly Check-In/Update and Search screens. The metadata of the content being checked-in can be verified and manipulated based on rules during check-in. Profiles allows organizations to customize the screens according to the needs of a subset of users (for example the Marketing Department). Please note that a single document can be assigned to only one profile.

Recommendation: Use limited Profiles. Group the Metadata in the Check-In/Update screens to further improve the usability.

Folders are used to organize documents in a structured fashion. Folders are created in the context of a library, and like libraries, they can be shared, followed, copied, moved, and secured. By using folders to organize content, you can:

  • Find content quickly by browsing the folder structure.
  • Create a query folder to organize content associated by search criteria.
  • Share groups of content easily with co-workers.

The folders feature can be used when the organization wants to group documents under a specific folder structure and hide/show the folder and documents under it based on Security Group.

A single document can be linked with multiple folders.

Recommendation: Enable folders and formulate a folder structure based on your organizations classification needs.

Both Profiles and Folders might provide the common features of grouping and classifying documents, but they provide different approaches when it comes to maintaining the content management system. For administrative tasks – Profiles are most commonly used than Folders. The following are comparison of Profiles and Folders with respect to other WebCenter Content features:

Security:

  • Profile: Rules can assign a default Security Group or Account to a document at check-in/update time.
  • Folder: Folder level security (fSecurityGroup ) can override document security permissions.
  • Folder: Documents can be forced to inherit folder security using the Force Folder Security and Information Field Inherit Configuration setting.

Workflow:

  • Profile: Profile (xIdcProfile) can be used as a Criteria Definition to trigger a workflow.
  • Folder: Parent Folder (fParentGUID) can be used as a Criteria Definition to trigger a workflow.

Retention:

  • Profile: Can be used to as a trigger field to apply a specific Retention Policy during Check-In.
  • Folder: Can perform basic content retention scheduling by creating a retention query folder, assigning retention attributes to the folder, and then configuring the retention schedule. The schedule can be applied to all content under the query folder. The folder query can be modified dynamically to apply retention for documents matching a new criteria.

Metadata:

  • Profile: Rules can hide/show Metadata and group them in Check-In & Search screens. Values can be set based on rules.
  • Profile: Archiver can use Profiles to bulk update metadata values to a set of documents. This can be achieved by Export & Import with Value Mappings.
  • Folders: Documents can inherit Metadata values assigned to Parent Folders.
  • Folders: Propagate feature can be used to bulk update metadata values to all documents under a folder. Archiver can use fParentGUID to bulk update metadata values to a set of documents. This can be achieved by Export & Import with Value Mappings.
Pros/Con Profile Folder
Pros
  • Customization of Check-In/Update and Search screens
  • Suitable to change the core behavior of Content Server extensively during check-in/update.
  • Profile metadata (xIdcProfile) can be used to perform administrative actions on documents such as bulk update of metadata.
  • Provides a easy and familiar User Interface to view documents in a hierarchical structure
  • Folder metadata can be used to perform administrative actions
  • Folder Propagate can be used to perform bulk update of metadata
  • Documents can be moved, copied, shared (linked) to other folders
  • Can access Folders from Desktop Integration Suite (DIS)
Con
  • User Interface benefit is limited to Check-in/Update/Search interface only.
  • Limited capabilities to change the core behavior of Content Server
  • User Interface benefit is limited to viewing of documents only

 

Recommendation: Use both Profiles and Folders to provide balanced, effective usability and management capabilities in Oracle WebCenter Content

Profiles should be used if you have user groups that have defined custom metadata that are specific to their group only and will use the web interface to check-in and search for documents. Profiles are most commonly used in customizing the Content Server behavior via Custom Components that are built to extend the capabilities of Content Server.

Folders should be used to provide a user friendly hierarchical view of the documents.

A combination of Profiles and Folders based on your requirements will allow you to build an efficient Content Management system for your organization.


Creating DataSource in Weblogic Console – for applications to access Database server

Developers building applications to be deployed in WebCenter Spaces / Portal, WebCenter Sites will need access to the database server.  There are two options to achieve this.

Option A: Create a user/password in the database and pass it to the developer team.

This option has the following dis-advantages.

  1. The username/password is hardcoded in the Application. So in future if there is a change in username/password, the change has to be made in the Application.
  2. Giving direct access to the database is not a secure option, and will compromise Database Security.

To overcome this an alternate method generally used is,

Option B: Create a Data Source in the Weblogic Server and grant access to this data source to the applications deployed to the WebCenter Spaces/Portal servers.

This option has the following advantages.

  1. The application only references the data source name. All applications running on the server can use the same Data Source to securely access the database.
  2. Any change in permissions, passwords etc., can be done centrally at the Weblogic Server Console by modifying the Data Source configuration, and the applications can remain unaffected.
  3. This also ensures that a secure access to the Database is provided.
  4. Moving WAR files from Development Environment to UAT and then to Production Environment can be done seamlessly without changing any application code. (To achieve this, a Data Source with the “same name” should be created in all (DEV, UAT, Production) environments.

Now, Let’s see how to create a “Data Source” in the Weblogic server.

Login to WeblogicServer Console and select“DataSources” from the menu on the left (under “Domain Structure” tab “Services” menu). The screen on the right displays the list of Data Sources created. Click on the NEW button at the top (as shown in the below screen), to create a new Data Source.

GJ_WLDS-1

After clicking new button, select “GenericDatasource” from ListPopup then Specify the name for Data source,JNDI Nameand Database type. In the screenshot below, we have used the following details.

Name of Data Source: Sample

JNDI Name: jdbc/testDS              >> ADF Expects ALL JNDI names used by it to end with the string DS.

Database type: Oracle (We have chosen “Oracle” here. But you could choose the name of the respective database used in your setup).

GJ_WLDS-2

then click NEXT to continue…….

GJ_WLDS-3

This screen prompts us to enter the details for the Database connection (Oracle) chosen in the previous screen.

Database Name:  The Database name given here is OWCSDB. You can replace it with the name of  your database.

HostName: – <IP-address> or hostname

Port: -The default port for Oracle is 1521. This might be different for other databases.


Click on “NEXT” button. The next screen has an option to test the configuration details entered for the Database Connection.

GJ_WLDS-4

Click on “Test Configuration” button to test the Database connection. If the Connection details entered in the previous screen are valid, and connection to database is established successfully, a success message “Connection test Succeeded” is displayed.

If there are errors, an error message is displayed. Click on “Back” button to go to the previous screen and re-enter the Database Connection Configuration details.

Once Connection test is successful, click on NEXT button to proceed.

GJ_WLDS-5The next screen, as shown above, lists all servers running in Weblogic. In this screen, select the target servers to which the Data Source needs to be deployed.

For e.g., if the server “WC_Spaces” is selected, the Data Source is deployed to this server and all applications running on this server can access the database using the “Data Source” created. Multiple servers can be selected as target servers.

The application developers need only know the Data Source Name to be included in their application, thus providing a secure access to the database.

 

 


Bilingual Portal in WebCenter Portal & Content Internationalization

bilingual

If you are working with a customer who has a global presence and needs to present information in more than one language in their public facing portal or website, you can rely on Internationalization capabilities of Oracle WebCenter.

Oracle WebCenter Portal supports internationalization for portal assets. However, if you integrate content from WebCenter Content, you need to implement your own solution to support more than one language. This post provides a simple approach to accomplish this goal. The solution described here uses out-of-the-box features of WebCenter Portal and Content, does not require any customization and supports bi-lingual content.

This solution will accomplish two goals:

  1. Present portal page content from WebCenter Content
  2. Switch to selected language content automatically when user switches to a different language (in the Portal)

The sample code referred here uses a portal named PortalLab and a WebCenter Content connection named WCC. It switches content between English (en) and Tamil (ta)

We are using WebCenter WIKI pages to surface content in Portal pages. WIKI pages can be edited in a Rich Text editor and stored in WebCenter Content and hence its life-cycle (workflow, revision and archiving) can be controlled from WebCenter Content. We use WebCenter Expression Language (EL) to select language specific content.

Let us assume that your Portal has several pages including an “About Us” page and “Contact Us” page.

1. Create a portal page named Content Administrator and set the page permissions to allow only Administrators to view the page. Edit the page and add a Document Viewer taskflow Save and view the page and add folders matching the name of each portal pages (for example: AboutUs, ContactUs etc…)

Create WIKI pages under each folder as below:

>AboutUs
 - content_en
 - content_ta
 >ContactUs
 - content_en
 - content_ta

View the info tab for the each of the WIKI page and note down the Identifier

Example:
 WCC#dDocName: 37001
 WCC#dDocName: 37002

2. Edit the About Us portal page (Not the Folder we created, but the Portal Page) and add a Content Presenter. Edit the Content Presenter (the white wrench icon) and enter the following properties:

Data Source: #{facesContext.externalContext.requestLocale == 'en' ? 'WCC#dDocName: 37001' : 'WCC#dDocName: 37002'}

Save the portal page.

Test by visiting the page and switching the language.