Monday, 15 October 2012

Siebel CRM - Open UI Post OOW Update

Well I promised I would report back after Oracle Openworld and here I am.

It has to be said that Siebel OpenUI was received with great applause (litterally!) at OOW.  It has to be the only session I've ever attended that had people applauding !!

So what was all the excitement about?  Well, for most it was the removal of the dependency on Internet Explorer for High Interactivity (HI) Mode.   This will make it accessible across browsers and devices and now finally on my Mac - (That will be my test number 1)!

After speaking to a number of Siebel customers, what comes next is the ability to switch on OpenUI and quickly provide a 'fresh' UI to the end user - though I would suggest it's not something you would do at 9am on a Monday morning to give your end-users a nice surprise to start their week!  It may be easier on the eye, but its not going to be life-changing...yet.

I see the OpenUI Framework more as a tool to make some dramatic changes to the way you can develop the UI that will have a major effect on how users interact with Siebel.

- Improving process flows
- removing clutter
- consolidating views
- CSS based views can be easily branded for customer/partner sites.

Though, what it also gives is carte-blanche for endless development cycles to get the colours right, the logo in the right place, the text in Helvetica 12, and probably the most dangerous...UI scripting !

Yep, so this now means that no need to write a new business rule in Siebel, update the srf and server - no, we can just write a bit of script put it in the HTML page and hey presto new business rule is in production!  That is going to be sooooooo tempting, and it is going to have to be resisted at all cost !

More OOW Info..

  • It's still planned to be in IP 2012, which my sources are telling me is likely to be December (Oh the problems of giving a release the name of a year!) 
  • Existing Task UI will work without changes, the SWE engine will render it correctly.
  • Siebel Configurator runs, without changes based on the existing product model meta data. - BUT a developer will not yet be able to change this UI through the same means (i.e HTML/CSS)

Siebel Open UI for Configurator (Screenshot above)
  • Siebel Order Management - Edit Promotions View - Hasn't been included.
  • The standard Open UI is not linked to a Licence, but OpenUI for Mobile will have a licence and fee attached. No details yet as to the cost/metrics, though credit will be give for customers with existing Siebel 'Mobile' licences.
  • OpenUI and HI UI can't run in the same OM. Maybe not a big issue but if there are non-standard UI templates that OpenUI may not be able to render then those will not be accessible to the user.
  • Any non-standard UI templates will need to be cleaned up, with the removal of 'structual' information as the server is no longer dictating the UI - This is now set by HTML/CSS.  That mean's replacing all "table' definitions with DIV elements.

Open UI for Mobile
  • Available sometime in 2013 and Version1 will only be available in connected mode
  • Comes with new web templates for a native app look and feel.
  • Built using ADF Mobile Framework
  • Task Based UI will also work, but no mobile templates provided OOTB for this.
  • It is Safari browser based, not a native app.
  • It will use another, new Object Manager (/salesm_enu iirc)
  • Views will be in Siebel tools, but it not clear yet how a developer would make use of the native functions and gestures.
  • And probably most important It's going to be a new licensable product from Oracle.

So where do Siebel customers go from here?   I've said it before in a previous post, but improving usability isn't just about a new veneer on top of Siebel - Careful consideration is needed to ensure the experience is a positive one for the end-user.   And every time I would recommend a Siebel Usage Analysis   to kick off any UI/UX project.

Get in touch if you have any further questions/comments/queries.


  1. Completely agree with the remark about the risks of OpenUI (browser scripting, over-focus on skinning etc and not actually wondering about usage)

  2. Hi OdEd, and thanks for your positive comment. I'm glad I'm not alone in worrying about the shift of focus with this type of UI project.!