C4: Content, Context, Collaboration & Community
Searching for a specific document out of millions can be a daunting task, particularly if you don’t know what you’re searching for. Often the title is on the tip of your tongue, and you would know it if you saw it. Wouldn’t it be nice if search tools accommodated for vague criteria just as easily as pinpoint queries? What if users could take a heap of guesses and whittle it down into a small set of relevant results?
We set about to solve this problem for WebCenter Content by leveraging a tool designed to handle massive amounts of data. Microsoft’s PivotViewer feeds off data sources and molds them into views for the end user to consume. The most popular example of this technology in action is the Netflix catalog at http://netflixpivot.cloudapp.net, where 1000 movies from Netflix Instant are pulled down and organized by year, cast, rating, and more. The applications for such powerful control over this data are clear for anyone who can’t remember the name of the movie that starred so-and-so and was released at the turn of the century. We immediately recognized the value of this within the domain of Digital Asset Management, and so we brought it to WebCenter.
PivotViewer is a control for Microsoft Silverlight, which is installed as a browser plugin much like Flash. Once it receives a collection of data that it can understand, PivotViewer organizes the data by common attributes called facets, allowing documents to be sorted and filtered on any metadata field. The thumbnail rendition is pulled in to represent the document in the canvas. Silverlight operates asynchronously, meaning that it doesn’t need to wait for every image to download before it can be used.
This control is made accessible on the main search result page. In practice, users can perform a quick search for latest documents or use existing search methods to gather a large set of documents, and drill down from those results using PivotViewer. All that it needs is a QueryText parameter in the URL.
For example, say I was looking for a Powerpoint presentation that held an important piece of information, but I could only reliably identify it by its red background. I would first use the full-text search for fragments of content, narrowing candidates down to 200 or so results. These would be piped into PivotViewer to show two-dozen red-colored documents. Using the metadata filters, I would select the Presentation document type and the date range of its release, yielding 2 documents. This process allows quick retrieval in spite of the vague search criteria, and is much more precise than wading through 10 pages of possibilities.
Selecting a document brings up a short list of content information; these fields can be customized for each distribution of the component. Each of these fields is a hyperlink that can quickly create a filter on its value. Say that a collection of documents was checked in together: by finding one document and filtering on its Release Date and Document Type, the entire collection is immediately available to me. I can also create a filter across all fields with a keyword search.
Complementing the default grid layout is a bar chart representation of results along any metadata field. This view is helpful for identifying patterns within data, allowing me to actively pivot on fields and drill down on interesting pockets of documents. Every action is recorded in a breadcrumb trail at the top of the control, so if I ever get lost, a few clicks will undo the filters I’ve added and get me back to where I was.
All of these features are packed into a content server component and ready to be installed in a few clicks. Contact our sales team at email@example.com to discuss your search needs and schedule a demo.
Senior Software Consultant, AJ LaVenture recaps the new Multi-Upload and Batch Metadata Editor just released from Fishbowl Solutions!
This software component allows you to upload and tag lots of content at once, saving time and frustration.
Hear about all the benefits now: http://bit.ly/17UG1rU
The post Video Recap: WebCenter Content (Oracle UCM) Multi-Upload and Batch Metadata Editor appeared first on C4 Blog by Fishbowl Solutions.
Fishbowl Solutions was recently featured on Oracle’s Blog during WebCenter Partners Week, showcasing our mobile application for iPhone/Android – FishbowlToGo. Mobility product manager, Kim Negaard authored a post detailing how our newest mobility venture helps WebCenter customers get the most from their investment.
Access Oracle WebCenter Content on your iPhone or Android with FishbowlToGo
Fishbowl Solutions has been working with Oracle WebCenter customers since 2010 to extend WebCenter Content to mobile devices. We started working with mobile sales force enablement and have since extended our offerings to meet expanding customer needs. We are excited to announce the release of our newest mobile app, FishbowlToGo.
Read the whole blog post here: http://bit.ly/ZHLDxX
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Today I would like to share something Fishbowl Solutions has been working on internally for a little while now and started to implement at customer sites – Fishbowl Multi-Upload and Batch Metadata Editor.
This component was initially developed as part of Fishbowl’s Innovation Event. The combination of the first place and second place idea meshed very well together in delivering a seamless method for bulk contributing and editing metadata. This is now within production at a customer site with several modifications made to satisfy their requirements.
This was done using a combination of several API’s, PlupLoad (Oracle uses an older version of this for their Drag & Drop upload feature within WebCenter Spaces Document Explorer Taskflow), Handsontable, JQuery, (in addition to extensively utilizing my WebCenter Content and Jquery Framework for calling WebCenter Content services) and Fishbowl’s overall knowledge of WebCenter and web development techniques.
The most compelling feature that was added for this deployment is “Profile Awareness”. By this I mean all aspects of the profile and rules set up within content server are taken into consideration. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Metadata field state (hidden, edit, info only, required, excluded)
- Custom field labels
- Standard list and profile restricted lists for drop down lists
- Date selection
- Default values for profiles
- Metadata field ordering if rule is set as a group
Here are several screenshots of the features and use case it provides (click on any of them to see actual sizes):
- A user had several images to upload and know they will go within a certain profile. Navigate to the upload page and drag and drop the files into the drop area:
- All of the items are now checked into the content server into a private workspace for that user. Within the workspace you can filter by keywords uploaded and categorize content by profile. (Note: You can also tag content without profiles as well).
- As there are bound to be erroneous uploads of duplicates, or extra files, supporting a delete function was crucial.
- The user is now ready to check the boxes for the items they want to categories and tag with final metadata. Here we present the user with a spreadsheet within the browser. This is built using the Handsontable JQuery plugin which supports common Excel like features; copy / paste, undo, and cell dragging. UCM is integrated to provide a high level of context while editing this data; Dropdowns, date fields, required fields, and info only fields aid in user tagging.
- With column support for dropdowns and dates.
- Once the user is done editing, they can execute an update. The table will provide feedback in real time as each item is updated. The result of the update will be relayed to the user via row highlighting and an error / exception table informing them of the failure.
This expands upon the use case of updating content already in the system with the spreadsheet (Note: That use case is still supported, however, locked down to administrators only).
I hope you find this post compelling about the power that Fishbowl can provide by combining ideas from an innovation event with the years of experience Fishbowl has within the WebCenter Content (UCM) world to provide ease of contribution and bulk editing of content. For more information, feel free to reach out to us at 952-465-3400 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senior Software Consultant
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Collaborate brought Fishbowl Solutions to Denver, Colorado this year. Overall, it was another well-coordinated and well-attended event. Special kudos go to Al Hoof and Dave Chaffee of the WebCenter SIG for IOUG (Independent Oracle Users Group). They spend a lot of time scheduling the WebCenter sessions, scanning the attendees who go to those sessions, and providing a friendly face each morning. Thanks again guys.
Here are some themes and hot topics that I picked up on this year. Some of these were discussed last year as well, but based on session attendance and booth traffic this year, these topics seemed to stand out even more and attendees dug deeper into benefits and ROI.
User Experience – Portals and Intranets
Some customers that deployed the initial versions of WebCenter Portal 11g struggled to roll it out on a large scale. Additionally, user feedback was pretty negative. Overall performance was poor and usability was marginal. Since those initial versions or patch sets, specifically PS2 and PS3, WebCenter Portal has become much more stable and usable. Customers have seen this as well, and they are now looking to evolve their initial deployments and create that next-generation intranet or portal.
One of the key considerations moving forward though is user experience. They want their portals and intranets to provide the flash or sizzle that make them inviting, but they also want the navigation to be intuitive and the contribution capabilities to be open yet governed. They are also looking for the overall user experience to be personalized, so that users have similar yet different experiences that help them to keep coming back. Lastly, they want their portals and intranets to be that true, one-stop shot that has always been the goal but has been hard to achieve. This means that they want to integrate data from other business applications, such as customer purchase history from PeopleSoft or JDEdwards, or employee expenses from E-Business Suite. The customers we talked to really stressed not only getting internal or external users to visit the intranet or portal, but also stay to consume or share information, and keep coming back. Again, the goal that customers are trying to achieve is to provide one view into the business processes or information that users need daily from one site – instead of having to jump between or open multiple applications to complete tasks or connect with others.
It was good timing for Fishbowl Solutions to be able to talk about portal and intranet use cases, and how those use cases could be further enabled or extended using our Intranet In A Box solution. WebCenter Customers are no different than other enterprise application customers – they all would like a starting point and “accelerator” to begin using the system. Fishbowl’s Intranet In A Box, as detailed in American Axle’s Collaborate presentation and white paper, helps them do just that. It also incorporates and enables user experience capabilities and application integrations, providing that portal or intranet jumpstart to build an enterprise system.
Mobile Content Management
No surprise that, once again, mobility and mobile content management were popular topics at Collaborate. In fact, they have been popular topics for many years now. I remember back to Collaborate 2010, which took place around the same time that the Apple iPad was released. Fishbowl Solutions announced its mobile strategy – extending WebCenter Content to smartphones – at this event as well, and it seems the excitement for mobile ECM has been building ever since.
2013 finds Oracle, and more specifically WebCenter, customers thinking about or planning their mobile strategy as it applies to content management. This seems to be the next evolutionary step for most organizations, which is being driven in party by the rise of the tablet and other mobile devices in the workplace. See our recent Mobile Tablet Application webinar for more details on tablet usage in the workplace. What used to be more of a pull from employees – I have a tablet, where are my business-enabled mobile applications and content? – is turning into a push from the business with governance and use case policies being put into place for mobile technologies. The reality is the mobile-enabled employee is the more productive employee, so organizations are providing this enablement but doing so with proper control and oversight.
This applies to extending high-value sales and marketing collateral, stored in Oracle WebCenter Content, to mobile devices as well. Customers that we talked to at Collaborate were aware of Oracle’s Application Developer Framework (ADF) Mobile, which Oracle announced in October of last year. We received questions on what the differences are between that solution and our Mobile ECM offerings, including our tablet and phone apps. The easy answer is that while Oracle ADF Mobile can be used to create feature-rich, powerful mobile applications, if WebCenter customers want to consume, share and interact with WebCenter assets from their mobile devices, they would have to build such an application themselves – pretty much fro scratch. Fishbowl offers packaged mobile offerings for iOS and Android, and we have customers in production with Applie iPads and Android tablets – including Banner Engineering (Collaborate preso and white paper).
Document Imaging – ROI
The last topic I would like to mention is document imaging. I’m not sure how many document imaging sessions there were at Collaborate, but I know the two I attended were packed. Document imaging and capture technologies continue to represent sure-fire ways to reduce business process costs. The most popular process where these technologies have been applied is invoice processing. Fishbowl Solutions was fortunate to partner with Land O’ Lakes for a presentation – here is their white paper as well – on their document imaging use case, and what really resonated in their presentation was the amount of manual invoice steps they were able to eliminate with document capture and imaging.
What stood out to me most from conversations at Collaborate was how hungry WebCenter customers were to realize ROI. Having made significant investments in the WebCenter stack over the years, they were looking for projects that would produce hard-dollar, measurable ROI. That isn’t to discredit how WebCenter is being used for websites, portals, or records management, but many times these use cases represent overhead that are much harder to measure. Document Imaging, and specifically Oracle’s end-to-end invoice processing system, helps organizations reduce invoice processing costs by reducing labor costs and late fees, while also making it possible for organizations to realize early pay discounts. For these reasons, I expect to see more WebCenter customers ramp up imaging projects over the next few years.
Collaborate returns to Las Vegas next year and will be held at the Venetian. Until then, good luck with your WebCenter projects, and feel free to contact Fishbowl if you need any assistance.
Learn how to extend the content management capabilities of Oracle WebCenter Content to Apple iPads and Android tablets. Plan to attend this webinar to see how Fishbowl’s Mobile Library Tablet Application enables users to find, store, view, organize and share content from tablets while away from their desks. We will discuss the underlying technologies that make this app possible, as well as how these applications are able to securely deliver targeted content for sales reps and other field workers.
Tablets for Sales Enablement
Mobile Content Management can increase the effectiveness of customer, prospect and partner meetings by enabling sales professionals to access and share information directly from their iPads or Android tablets with clients during sales meetings. Sharing high-value collateral from mobile devices, as opposed to PowerPoint presentations or paper brochures, can increase the engagement level for such meetings, eliminate the need for paper catalogs, and make the sales professional more efficient.
Tablets for Field Workers & Procedure Management
The Fishbowl Mobile Library can provide field workers such as contractors, maintenance crews and construction teams with offline access to project plans, standard procedures, or installation instructions. This means your team is never without the information they need to resolve issues, keep projects moving, and respond appropriately to disasters.
Thursday May 2, 2013
1pm EST, 12pm CST
The post Join us for a Webinar on Fishbowl’s Mobile Library Tablet Application appeared first on C4 Blog by Fishbowl Solutions.
I have been using the analogy that sometimes getting WebCenter projects started, progressed or completed is like climbing a mountain. Customers aren’t always sure where to begin, how to stay on path, or what obstacles may lie ahead. Most customers seem to want to evolve their WebCenter use cases, say from standard content management to an enterprise portal, but not knowing such things as the amount of effort required, technical complexities, and deployment options tends to keep such projects at the base of the proverbial WebCenter mountain.
What better place to start your trek up that mountain than Denver, Colorado – site of Collaborate 13. Fishbowl Solutions will be there, and we would enjoy discussing your WebCenter projects and how we might assist in helping those projects get started, progressed and completed – avoiding the cliffs and jagged rocks along the way. We would also like to share with you some new and exciting ways that your trek can be made easier through our value-add WebCenter solutions. Here is a quick description of the solutions we will highlight at Collaborate 13:
- Mobile Applications: Access WebCenter Content on Apple and Android mobile devices
- Google Search Appliance Connector: Improve the relevancy of search results across your WebCenter-based systems
- Intranet In A Box: Framework to Build a Next-Generation Intranet in 60 Days
- WebCenter Upgrade Package: Comprehensive plan to move to 11g
These solutions will be demonstrated in our booth – #1277 – and will be discussed across our six presentations. Be sure to check out our Collaborate 13 page for all the details on our Collaborate activities. We look forward to helping you start your WebCenter ascent at Collaborate 13.
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Last year back in Feb we had PS5 and now with PS6 the WebCenter Suite released yesterday I can say its all just getting better and better!..
A rundown of the new Jdev 184.108.40.206.0 Enhancements can be seen here
Here are some of the items that catch my eye and you may have seen it on the twitter stream with a couple early tweets before the official release.
Firstly the new Skyros Skin (I’m presuming after the Greek Island)
Very clean and great looking skin; uses a lot of CSS3 properties instead of hundred of images to structure components – tabs degrades nicely for older browsers IE8 and below ie rounded corners become square.
Also a few new skin selector properties that tidy up the structure for better skinning development – I’ll try to post some updates later on to give you a rundown of some of the new enhancements with skinning.
You can see it in action in the new PS6ADF Faces Rich Client here
There are a few DVT extras like Sunburst; although I’m sorry to say I’ve never been too impressed with DVTs you get out of the box.
PanelGridLayout makes it across from R2 into R1PS6 looks promising
Follows the CSS3 specs for grid layout so it can be optimized for layout performance and is also the recommended UI layout component for most pages.
Runtime code editor Finally colour coded goodness!
I believe it’s using codeMirror great job.
File Uploader also looks interesting haven’t tried it out yet – drag drop support is interesting with java support for older browsers looking forward to seeing it in action.
Upgrading to Oracle WebCenter Content 11g: Use Upgrade Assistant or Migrate Content to a New Instance?
We held a webinar recently to introduce our 11g Upgrade Package. One good question was asked a couple times and really merits a better answer than could be delivered in the Q&A session so I thought we could elaborate a bit more here. The question is: Is it better to use the 11g Upgrade Assistant to upgrade in place or to migrate everything to a fresh new 11g instance. The short answer is – It depends:) Another good answer is – Neither.
You may now understand why I wanted to expand on the short answers given at the end of the webinar. I’ll describe the two approaches below as well as a potentially better 3rd way. Whichever approach is selected, the process needs to be well thought out, clearly defined, and tested before doing anything in production.
Migrating to New Instances
Migrating to new instances isn’t really an upgrade, but it is very common. For a long time, this was the standard recommended way that we’d execute upgrades. In this scenario, wholly new instances of Content Server are installed and all configuration, status information, and content is migrated to the new instances. This is necessary if you are planning to change the variety of hardware or database to be used going forward.
Care must be taken to get all configuration migrated. The Configuration Migration Utility (CMU) is used to migrate the bulk of the configuration, but archiver is used to migrate custom table data. Also, many add-ons or optional components require special steps to migrate other relevant information.
The migration of content is typically performed with the Archiver applet. This process is error prone and needs to be monitored carefully. Migrating content in a workflow lies somewhere between difficult to not supported. If a lot of content needs to be migrated, a custom process is likely to be recommended. If the instance manages a lot of content, a migration can take a long time and this needs to be accounted for in the planning. Fishbowl has created the Content Migrator to support the migration of content from one instance to another without needing to use Archiver.
It’s all doable, but migrations are usually more complicated than the other options.
Use of the Upgrade Assistant allows for ‘in place’ upgrades. The high level process involves:
- Installing WebLogic Server (or the supported container of your choice)
- Installing the WCC installation files
- Then running the Upgrade Assistant pointing to the existing instance of Content Server.
The Upgrade Assistant will take over the existing instance and upgrade the file system and database schema to support 11g. It will disable any older patch components and enable the 11g versions of any standard components. It will also disable any custom components and give you the list of these. For this reason, it is very important to do this in a quality dev environment 1st as it will take time to enable, test, and likely fix any custom components in use in your system. Once the dev instance is upgraded and tested, the production instance is upgraded in exactly the same way, but after the Upgrade Assistant finishes, you can install the upgraded components from the dev instance, restart and do your final system testing before turning it back over to your users.
The benefit of leveraging the Upgrade Assistant is that you don’t have to migrate the configuration and content to the new instance. If you aren’t changing your search index (Verity is no longer supported in any way), you don’t have to immediately rebuild your search index either though it is highly recommended that a rebuild be completed after the upgrade.
The downside of this approach is that you are directly working in the production instance. There is no way around significant downtime and if something goes wrong you’re under the gun to rectify it immediately or you have to restore everything from tape and try again later.
Copy & Upgrade in Place
The 3rd options is to make a copy of the production instance and upgrade it in place. As long as you’re not changing the variety of operating system or the type of database, this has worked well for us. If there’s a lot of content, the copying itself can take a fair amount of time, but then the upgrade can be executed on new and refreshed hardware and the production system need only be down while the copy is being made. After the copy, the old Content Server can be restarted in read only mode until you can switch over to the new system. Sometimes this is only done to make a new dev or stage instance if the old instances were out of sync. After having run the upgrade in those two environments, customers may be comfortable running the production upgrade in place.
If you’d like us to assist you with an upgrade to WCC 11g we’ll ask that you complete an upgrade questionnaire. We put this together to most efficiently estimate the level of effort for an upgrade. Some of the questions included on the questionnaire help us determine which of these approaches might best fit your needs.
If you’d like to see what we think, please email any of us here or email@example.com and request a copy of the upgrade questionnaire.
Oracle Universal Content Management 10gR3 was released in May 2007. Since that time, Oracle WebCenter Content 11g has been released, and Oracle WebCenter 12c is on the horizon. For 10gR3 customers, the next step down the WebCenter path is to upgrade to 11g. However, some customers don’t know where to begin in terms of an upgrade – not when their current version is supporting numerous business processes, contains thousand of high-value content items, and has been customized numerous time to meet business requirements.
Join Jason Lamon, Senior Marketing Associate, and Alan Mackenthun, Technical Program Manager at Fishbowl Solutions as they discuss Fishbowl’s path, package and promise for WebCenter Content 11g upgrades. They are also privileged to be joined by Mike Kohorst – IT Application Manager at Ryan Companies, who will discuss their recent 11g upgrade success, as well as their future plans for the system. We hope you will be able to join us!
Date: Thursday, March 21st
Time: 1 pm EST, Noon CST
The post Fishbowl Webinar – A Path, Package, and Promise for WebCenter Content 11g Upgrades appeared first on C4 Blog by Fishbowl Solutions.
Free Application Showcases WebCenter Mobile Access Capabilities for Sales Enablement and Offline Content Access
Fishbowl Solutions is excited to announce the release of our Fishbowl Mobile Library Android application on the Google Play Store. This free version of Fishbowl’s Mobile Tablet Application for Oracle WebCenter Content allows customers to experience mobile WebCenter functionality first hand. By enabling mobile access to Oracle WebCenter Content, users can find, store, view, and organize content from the Oracle WebCenter repository directly on their tablets.
Features of the Fishbowl Mobile Library app include access to Oracle WebCenter Content with the ability to view content including PDFs, HTML, images, and video, as well as the option to keep local copies of content items for offline use. These copies are synced with WebCenter when reconnected. Customized Folder View options enable the user to organize local content into a personalized folder structure and the Content Sharing feature provides the option to add items to an email cart which emails links to download items from a secure temporary download site.
The Android application is built on Fishbowl’s Mobility API and serves as a reference for mobile applications integrated with Oracle WebCenter Content. This mobile content library application framework is currently in production on both Android Tablets and the Apple iPad.
The app is also available for iPad from the iTunes Store download the free Fishbowl ECM Mobile App Download on iTunes.
The post “Fishbowl Mobile Library” Android Tablet App Now Available on Google Play appeared first on C4 Blog by Fishbowl Solutions.
The following blog post comes from Fishbowl Senior Software Consultant Alan Mackenthun. Alan is Fishbowl’s resident records management expert and has been architecting such systems for over nine years. In working with a WebCenter customer, Alan was able to propose a solution that will enable the customer to configure WebCenter so that a group of users can be dynamically assigned to review dispositions. This isn’t a well-documented feature so we wanted to share it with the rest of the WebCenter community.
At its core records management is the management of the destruction of content when it’s no longer needed. Usually, business processes dictate that someone review the content and approve destruction before the content is permanently deleted. Out of the box, you can either assign a specific user as a reviewer on a retention step or you could allow the default system reviewer alias to review dispositions, but there was no way to assign a group of users or to dynamically assign users.
Assigning a specific user may work in smaller organizations but even then, if a specific user is assigned and then they go on vacation or leave the company, all related disposition rules would have to be found and updated. It was very difficult to make this work in a larger organization where document owners could be spread among separate business units or departments.
With the enhancement documented in the TKB referenced below, you can easily reference an alias in disposition rules. To do so simply enter:
as the reviewer where “<my alias>” is the name of the alias you’d like to reference. The real benefit here is that if you have Departmental Record Coordinators (DRCs) who review content in certain categories scheduled for destruction (disposition), you can assign the alias rather than named users. Then if the DRC changes, the client only needs to update the alias, rather than all categories where that DRC was referenced.
Additionally, leveraging the ability to reference a script function gives you much more power. Some categories of content, such as correspondence or memos, span all business units and departments. On the other hand, there isn’t one person or group in an organization who should be approving the destruction of this content. Instead, this feature allows you to reference a script function that can take the value of a business unit and/or department metadata field and map the value of this organizational unit to a user or alias who would be assigned as the reviewer. To do so simply enter:
as the reviewer where “<myscript>” is the name of the custom IdocScript function you’d like to reference (of course we at Fishbowl would be happy to help implement such a function if needed).
Oracle Support Document 1470906.1 (How to Request Approval Notification for a Group of People for a Disposition Action) can be found at: https://support.oracle.com/epmos/faces/DocumentDisplay?id=1470906.1
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