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Is Siebel Open UI developer friendly CRM application?

You know:

Siebel Open UI is browser and device independent Siebel client. It has better user friendly and flexible interface than traditional Siebel application.

Even you can modify existing Open UI theme/s or add custom theme/s as per business need.

But…

Is it developer friendly CRM application too?

Thanks to John for asking this question on our Facebook page ‘TechOneStop‘.

It’s quite interesting question. Isn’t it!!

We always talk about user friendliness of an application – be it Siebel Open UI or any other application. But hardly we discuss about developer friendliness of an application.

In this article, we will discuss about developer friendliness features of Siebel Open UI.

First, let me tell you what I want to see in a developer friendly application.

There are lots of criteria to measure developer friendliness of an application.

But here, I will consider only three characteristics

  • Easy to learn
  • Easy to customize
  • Easy to debug

Let’s see how Siebel Open UI meets above three criteria.

Easy to learn:

This can be controversy…

But, I believe, Siebel is fairly easy to learn but not Siebel Open UI.

Why so?

Siebel is huge but Siebel Tools is a great help for application configuration.

Besides Oracle’s training materials, you will find lots of Siebel configuration related articles on web. There are many forums as well where you can post your problems and Siebel experts share their experiences.

Overall, if you spend some time, you can achieve mastery skill in various aspects of Siebel.

But…

To do Siebel Open UI related changes, Oracle does not give you any tool like Siebel Tools. Plus you will not find enough materials on web about Siebel Open UI as it is relatively new.

However, learning HTML or CSS or JavaScript is not difficult. Also training materials are easily available.

Best place I could suggest to learn HTML or CSS or JS is W3schools.

Though Open UI specific script is bit different from normal JavaScript but it is quite easy to learn.

You can go through our Siebel Open UI training articles as well. Oracle also conducts training on Siebel Open UI at a regular interval.

No doubt, it is tough for any Siebel developer to learn web design on Open UI platform. But over the time, it can be learnt.

Next…

Easy to customize:

Is it an easy task to do all Siebel Open UI related changes?

Answer is definitely NO but why?

Very first reason is that there is no tool like Siebel tools to do Open UI related changes. You have to use notepad or similar kind of application to write script for Open UI. So chances of doing syntax or logical error are quite high.

If there is any error in script, there is no way to catch it without registering the file in the application. You have to remember all web design related syntaxes and Siebel Open UI methods without any help of tool. Also once script is ready and file is registered, you have to test it in all browsers one by one manually.

But, here is the best part…

You can use our PM/PR generator tool to build Presentation Model or Physical Render for applets or views. This will definitely help you to minimize syntax and logical errors.

You know,

From Siebel Open UI 8.1.1.11 onward, we do not modify manifest file any more. Instead we register all files under Manifest Administration within application.

No doubt, it has minimized scripting.

But still you have two files to maintain – Presentation Model and Physical Renderer.

Presentation Model is for building logic and Physical Renderer is for rendering user interface. To know more, read our article on Presentation Model customization and Physical Renderer customization.

But if Oracle can make it a single file, it will definitely reduce scripting as well as maintenance overhead.

Recently Oracle has released web based Siebel tools – Siebel Composer. Though it is not ready for production environment right now. But when it will be available, application configuration will be faster and easier.

Last…

Easy to debug:

Do you think debugging Siebel Open UI script is easy?

Can Siebel developers understand and modify Open UI script easily?

Well,

I think, debugging is not difficult task because of browser developer tool.

Almost all modern browsers have built in browser developer tool. It gives an inspector to verify JS or CSS files have been downloaded properly or not. It allows inline modification of HTML / CSS to verify look and feel of webpage elements. Also it has debugger to set breakpoints in JavaScript and verify variables values.

To open developer tool, you just need to right click on browser and then choose ‘Inspect Element’.

To know more about debugging, you could read our article on Siebel Open UI Debugging.

If the script is well structured and as per best practices, it is not difficult for Siebel developers to understand and debug.

Finally,

After analyzing all 3 criteria, I could say, though Siebel Open UI is not highly developer friendly CRM application for a Siebel developer but not difficult to learn.

However, Oracle should plan to build Siebel Open UI customization tool like Siebel Tools.

For the time being, use our PM/PR generator tool to build PM and PR files 🙂

Now it’s your turn…

What do you think – Siebel Open UI is developer friendly application? Is it easy to learn or customize or debug Siebel Open UI?

Please leave your comment below!

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