Home > Oracle, Siebel > Back to School: What Open UI Does for You – And What Not(GOOD BYE SIEBEL, AT LEAST FOR ME)re-blogged from siebel-essentials

Back to School: What Open UI Does for You – And What Not(GOOD BYE SIEBEL, AT LEAST FOR ME)re-blogged from siebel-essentials

With the upcoming Siebel Innovation Pack 2014, the Siebel community is rightfully excited about Siebel Open UI. IP 2014 will be the fourth release (after 8.1.1.9 two years ago, 8.1.1.10 and IP 2013) and once it is generally available, there will be a lot of exciting things to write about.

Siebel Open UI – now in 3D. Coming to a browser near you soon 😉

But here we are, still with IP 2013 and many customers contemplating if they should do ‘the switch’ from traditional Siebel web clients to the new Redeemer UI. In our ‘back to school’ series we also contemplate today and nurse some deep thoughts about what Open UI could do for us and what we should better not expect.

What Open UI does for you

There are many non-arguable points for Open UI such as:

Open UI gives you browser independency: Un-chain your project from IE8 and ActiveX lock-in. The prospect of accessing all your Siebel data in any browser on any device is a truly compelling argument.

It makes your applications rich: Well, if we don’t get rich with Siebel, our applications do with Open UI. Siebel Open UI is built on modern web standards like HTML5, JavaScript and CSS3. So if your browser can do it, you can do it.

Open UI provides an extensible browser-side framework: You no longer have to feel bad for writing browser script. Siebel Open UI provides a JavaScript API and multi-tier architecture that guarantees goosebumps 😉

Open UI can rejuvenate your project: Siebel Open UI has a rejuvenating effect on the Siebel family. Instead of desperately ‘hanging on’ you can now stay on the scene as a project lead or developer. End users (mostly) will love Open UI, if you manage their expectations right from day one (see below).

…and if I forgot anything, here’s Oracle’s official data sheet. And of course, your comments are welcome as always.

What Open UI does NOT do for you

Open UI does NOT teach you good manners: That you have to do yourself. What I have seen often is that when Open UI is introduced in a project, everyone gets so excited that all ‘good manners’ are thrown overboard. Business process analysis? Requirements mapping? Design? Source control? Forget it, we’ve got Open UI, so we do all the fancy stuff because we can do it. That of course is a recipe for disaster.

It does NOT make you a web developer overnight: With Open UI, the typical Siebel developer can be easily overwhelmed with all the web technologies such as JavaScript, HTML and CSS. Oh, you wrote eScript for the last ten years? Jolly good but sorry, that does not make you a web developer even if you argue that JavaScript is based on the same standard (ECMA) as eScript. Most of us will have to start learning, not only the Open UI API but also web standards. And it’s better to start learning today than tomorrow.

It does NOT grant you the ‘license to code’: While Open UI provides us with a three-tier browser-side architecture and a JavaScript API, you should still think twice before you code. Any line of code that you add to your project is likely to make your life harder during troubleshooting, debugging, maintenance, monitoring and upgrades. That does not change just because you now write code in a friggin cool JavaScript IDE.

Open UI will NOT pardon you for things you did in the past: If you hacked your way through browser scripting and ActiveX in the old world of High or Standard Interactivity, you’re gonna have a bad time in Open UI. But even if you obeyed the rules, expect some things to break (see next points).

It will NOT manage your expectations (nor your customer’s): You still have to be realistic. Open UI relies heavily on JavaScript, so choose your browser wisely and do not expect your heavily customized Open UI client to perform equally fast on every device and browser combination. Do not expect that you just ‘turn the key’ and your Siebel application that you customized over the past 10 years will ‘magically’ become a modern web application. Migrating all your customizations (especially browser script) to Open UI can be hard work. The more you stayed on the standard path and away from (browser) scripting, the faster your migration will be.

Siebel Open UI will NOT be 100% compliant with the old world: The HI and SI clients have had their time. Personally, I still consider the HI client (from 7.7 onwards) to be one of the best enterprise app UIs in existence (I have used plenty of other ‘enterprise apps’, believe me). But times are a’changin’ and we have to leave some dear acquaintances behind (right mouse click, anyone?). Oracle does a great job to migrate most of the HI goodies (iHelp is planned for IP 2014 for example) to Open UI but you will fare better if you do not expect a 100% transition.

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