iSmart Apps

Driving Innovation in Oracle Cloud Apps Using Oracle Visual Builder and Studio

Nizam Mogal

Nizam Mogal

Enterprise Applications Architect

01. Introduction

For many of us familiar with the previous generation of on-premises ERP applications, the common practice was to extend seeded functionality, allowing us to address localisation and business-specific requirements. However, in the past decade, Oracle Cloud Apps have provided limited options for extensive extensions, with exceptions like simple personalisations through configurations and some advanced technical configurations in Sales and Service Cloud Apps, albeit with a less user-friendly interface.

This has now changed with the introduction of Oracle Visual Builder and Studio, ushering innovation. As tools native to Oracle Cloud Apps, they enable the extension of Oracle Cloud Apps and the creation of visually appealing, responsive add-on apps, offering flexibility and choice to enterprises for implementing the innovative functionality their business demands without leaving the Oracle Cloud Eco System.

02. Our Experience with Oracle Visual Builder and Studio

We've been utilising these tools for a significant time now, prior to their official release. During this period, we've applied them to diverse business use cases within Oracle Fusion HCM and CX Cloud Apps for our clients in the UK.

In this blog, I will share our experiences thus far, providing insights into the capabilities and limitations of Oracle Visual Builder and Studio. Additionally, I will delve into considerations for maintenance and highlight the business benefits inherent in these tools.

03. Possibilities: Extension Types and Use Cases

There are two main types of extensions you can create:
  • Extensions to seeded Oracle Cloud apps. 
  • Add-on apps developed from scratch, accessible through the Oracle Cloud App instance, matching the exact user interface as seeded Oracle Cloud Apps.
Here are a few examples of what we’ve worked on:
a) Examples of Extensions to Seeded Apps:
  • In a Help Desk app, capture additional information based on the request category. For example, this could involve handling flexible working requests or managing employee relations cases, significantly enhancing HR support operations.
  • Customising the visibility of specific sections on an employee info app for certain departmental administrators.
b) Examples of Add-On Apps:
  • Created an add-on app to integrate with third-party service provider apps to facilitate a seamless e-signature process for various user groups, thereby significantly enhancing user experience and the efficiency of business operations.
  • Implemented upfront validation for critical data entered by users in the Fusion Cloud App, cross-referencing it with data held in third-party apps. This enhancement improves business operations and user experience and prevents significant impacts on downstream processes, such as payroll.

04. Upgrade Safety: Maintenance Insights

Indeed, the extensions to seeded Oracle Cloud Apps and add-on apps have proven upgrade-safe, as we have observed over the past two years.
Nevertheless, some maintenance effort is required, especially with extensions to seeded apps when Oracle introduces new functionality. The new functionality must be manually applied to the extended apps during the upgrade process. 
While Oracle has offered alternative technical approaches to eliminate the need for manual intervention in some cases, these options are not available across all seeded apps within Oracle Cloud. Therefore, addressing maintenance requirements remains a case-by-case consideration.

05. Tool Comparison: Oracle Visual Builder Studio vs Visual Builder

When embarking on the journey of creating supplementary apps for your Oracle Cloud Apps, understanding the capabilities and limitations of Oracle Visual Builder and Oracle Visual Builder Studio is crucial. This knowledge allows you to choose the most appropriate tool based on the specific use case for your app. Here is a detailed comparison of these two tools, drawing from our experience and findings thus far.

a) Add-on Apps and Extensions Scope

While Oracle Visual Builder allows you to create add-on applications, Visual Builder Studio takes it a step further by enabling the creation of extensions specifically for seeded Oracle Fusion Cloud Apps. These add-on apps and extensions can seamlessly interact with data from various Oracle Cloud Apps or third-party applications. For example, extending a Help Desk app allows it to showcase additional information about an employee, enhance the management of employee relations cases, or effectively address HR-related queries. Similarly, it can provide comprehensive details about a supplier’s invoices and credit memos, enhancing the Help Desk app’s functionality and enabling it to handle supplier queries more efficiently.

b) Data Holding Units

Visual Builder Studio empowers users to add new Business Objects, storing data about business entities such as employees or suppliers. However, it has some limitations, which can be overcome by leveraging Oracle Visual Builder.

c) Licensing Considerations

Visual Builder Studio is part of Oracle Cloud Apps licensing at no additional cost. However, Oracle Visual Builder must be procured separately, either as a standalone solution or through Oracle Integration Cloud, as of the writing of this blog.

d) DevOps Power of Visual Builder Studio

The significant distinction between Visual Builder Studio and Visual Builder lies in the comprehensive DevOps platform Studio provides. Equipped with features such as CI/CD and Git, it fosters seamless collaboration within your team, allowing them to work on the same or different apps simultaneously. This platform enables the deployment of builds across various Oracle Fusion Cloud App Instances using packages, facilitating an efficient and accelerated development process.

06. Business Benefits

We believe your business can achieve similar benefits to those realised by our clients through the innovative apps we’ve developed using Oracle Visual Builder and Studio. Here are some of those:
  • Meeting Critical Business Needs: Enhance operational processes without being constrained by seeded functionality that may lack the specificity your business demands.
  • Seamless User Experience: Ensuring user interface consistency with seeded Oracle Cloud Apps, delivering a smooth and intuitive user experience without significant interaction alterations.
  • Efficient Development: Utilising reusable UI components for accelerated and efficient development, maintaining consistency in look and feel.

07. Wrap Up

In summary, these long-anticipated toolsets within Oracle Cloud Apps empower enterprises to innovate tailored solutions for their business needs, significantly enhancing efficiency and delivering substantial returns on investment. Ultimately, this translates into improved services for your stakeholders.
To explore the full spectrum of possibilities and gather detailed insights into the extensions and add-on apps we’ve developed, please connect with Nizam Mogal, via email at nizam.mogal@ismartapps.io or use our contact us form.

Nizam Mogal
Enterprise Applications Architect

Nizam Mogal
Enterprise Applications
Architect

Nizam Mogal

With 20 years of global experience as a solution architect and consultant, Nizam specialises in enhancing employee, student, and customer experiences while streamlining business operations through Oracle products. 

Nizam has expertise in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Tools, including Visual Builder and Studio. 

His deep expertise in Oracle technology brings invaluable insights and experience to ensure a seamless and successful implementation tailored to your organisation’s unique needs. 

 

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