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Visual Builder Cloud Service

23 Posts authored by: Shay Shmeltzer-Oracle

With the release of the new Oracle Visual Builder Cloud Service - we are happy to announce our new blog - which you can find at:

https://blogs.oracle.com/vbcs

Join us there.

Over the weekend we rolled out a new cloud service — Oracle Visual Builder Cloud Service. Those who’ll check out the demo videos will see a lot of resemblance to Oracle Application Builder Cloud Service, which makes sense since VBCS is just a rename of ABCS.

 

The reason we renamed the service is that we believe the new name better reflects the unique features of this service in the landscape of application building in general and at Oracle specifically. Oracle has a lot of cloud services that deal with the application development space — but the unique thing to ABCS has always been the visual way you would go about creating your application, business services, and even your business logic.

This is why we chose to have VISUAL as part of the service name.

 

At this stage this is just a pure rename, and beyond the banner of the product you won’t see any changes in functionality. But we are planning to add many more features and capabilities in upcoming release to help make app development simpler and to further extend the types of apps you can build with the service.

We took the rename opportunity to update our getting started demos on our youtube channel to reflect the latest product UI which has changed quite a bit over the past year.

 

We are also moving our team to blog on the new Medium platform — and you should be able to follow us looking for the “VBCS” tag.

One thing that didn’t change is the fact that you can still get a free trial and experience the product on your own. So go ahead give the new Oracle Visual Builder Cloud Service a spin, and let us know if you have any questions on the VBCS community.

In the May 2017 release of Oracle Application Builder Cloud Service we introduced integration with Oracle Process Cloud Service as a key new capability for your applications.

This integration allows you to create processes that map to business objects you created in Oracle ABCS, start the processes from your user interface or from triggers on your business objects, and interact with process steps, to-do lists, and activities from your application's UI.

 

Process Cloud Service (PCS) gives you a visual way to define complex processes that involve interaction across multiple people in your organization, along with capabilities to do conditional and parallel steps. Learn more here.

 

Here is a quick video showing you the basic integration between Oracle ABCS and Oracle PCS:

 

 

Learn more about this integration in our documentation.

Do you need to provide access to the data in the business objects you created in Oracle Application Builder Cloud Service to outside systems?

Need to update data in a row from another interface? Need to upload data programmatically into an ABCS object?

All of these scenarios can be addressed using the REST interfaces exposed on the business objects you create in your application.

With these interfaces your business objects become reusable business services in ABCS that can be used by other applications even if they weren't built with ABCS.

 

If you'll look in your business object data designer window you'll see two new fields that provide the URLs for the REST interfaces for your objects.

One gives the URL to the object meta-data - hitting it in your browser will show you information about the object and the fields it exposes.

The second URL is the one used to actually access and manipulate the data.

Screen Shot 2017-05-26 at 12.15.53 PM.png

 

You can open a new tab in your browser and paste these URL into the browser to see the results returned from them.

Note that these URL are not accessible to outside users by default - for security reasons.

To allow access to these objects go to the application settings->Security and check the box marked: Enable basic authentication for business object REST APIs

 

Screen Shot 2017-05-26 at 12.17.18 PM.png

 

To access the data and manipulate it the apps accessing it will need to provide a user/pass combination. Then any security roles you defined on the objects will further restrict or allow them specific operation on the data.

 

One more thing to take into account is that ABCS also has CORS security in place - so you would want to add the URL of the server on which the apps that you run reside to your allowed services in the ABCS Administration.

 

Screen Shot 2017-05-26 at 12.12.15 PM.png

Now other systems can access and manipulate data in your application.

In the may 2017 release of Oracle Application Builder Cloud Service there are a set of new templates for creating Business Object Providers (BOPs).

BOPs allow you to extend ABCS to access data from other applications using REST interfaces.

While creating a full functioning BOP that supports the full set of CRUD operations and support sorting and pagination can requires some coding, creating a read-only BOP is quite trivial with the new template.

 

Here is a quick video showing you how to achieve this task

We are happy to announce the May 2017 edition of Oracle Application Builder Cloud Service!

This new version has many new features that you can start using today to build even more advanced applications.

 

Here are some of the key new capabilities

 

Oracle Process Cloud Service Integration

Create processes and associate them with business objects that can trigger the process execution. Built-in UI components for representing task lists and process activities make it easy to incorporate interaction with the processes into your application's pages.

 

Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 10.14.09 AM.png

 

Oracle JET Composite Components Architecture Support

Pick up UI components that conform to the Oracle JET Composite Components Architecture and add them to your UI designer's component palette. ABCS knows how to read the component meta-data to allow you to integrate it into both the design-time and run-time experience.

 

REST Access to ABCS Business Objects Data

Business object created in Oracle ABCS can be exposed through a REST interface allowing external systems to read, create, update and delete data.  Security settings restrict which objects are exposed and the required authentication.

 

Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 10.08.42 AM.png

 

Mobile Apps Access to Oracle SaaS Services

Create on-device mobile apps that present and update Oracle SaaS data.

 

New Business Object Provider Templates

New templates give you additional samples when creating reusable business services that connect to external systems through REST services.

Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 10.10.17 AM.png

Many Other Features

Other new features include redesigned UI table definition flow, customizable error messages, support for the modernized Oracle SaaS look and feel, and more.

 

Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 10.04.11 AM.png

 

For more on new features see the new features doc.

Check out the Oracle Documentation Page for more info, and let us know if you have any questions!

One of the key new features added in the February release of Oracle Application Builder Cloud Service is support for business rules.

These are business logic pieces that you can associate with your custom business objects.

ABCS now supports the ability to define:

  • Triggers that will execute on specific events related to your business components (for example when a value in a record is being updated) - you visually define the conditions and actions that will be executed in those events. As you'll see in the video demo below - you can define the whole logic in an easy visual way. For the more advanced developers - we also enable you to write groovy scripts that define more complex logic.
  • Validators - these are checks that can be associated to specific fields or to objects and can verify their validity. Using expressions you can check for example if a combination of values in fields in a record is valid, and notify the user if there is an error. (For example - only managers can have a salary bigger than 100).

 

Check out the video below for examples of how you can use these features:

 

By the way, currently this functionality is in controlled availability and won't show up by default in your trial accounts.

Contact your accounts team if you require this for your production instances.

One of the key new capabilities introduced in the latest release of Oracle Application Builder Cloud Service (ABCS) is on-device mobile application creation.

 

ABCS has been able to create responsive mobile apps that run through the browser and adjust to your phone size and orientation for a while. Now it has the ability to create an app that is invoked and runs directly on your phone – providing a native android or iOS look and feel and connecting to the data you store in the ABCS database.

 

Below you can see an 8 minute demo showing you the end-to-end process.

 

Here are the basic steps you'll need to follow:

 

First create a regular web application in ABCS - this is where you can create all your custom business objects.

 

Once you have those ready, go to your application settings and turn on resource sharing.

This enables other applications in the same instance to access your business objects (conforming to the security settings you have for your app).

Screen Shot 2017-02-08 at 4.40.18 PM.png

Next go to the Oracle ABCS main menu and create a new Mobile application.

Going through the wizards you'll be guided to select the name and template for your app, and then you'll select the layout of your first page.

Just like in the regular ABCS case, here you will also see a what-you-see-is-what-you-get view of your page in a mobile phone simulator.

Screen Shot 2017-02-08 at 4.42.02 PM.png

 

Next click to add data to your page, this will bring up a wizard that will let you choose the application that contains your business objects.

Once you select that, you can choose the specific object whose data you want to use - and continue to define the fields that will be shown on the page.

Screen Shot 2017-02-08 at 4.43.47 PM.png

Next you can click to add a ‘details’ page, as well as a ‘create’ page.

For each one of those you'll be able to specify the exact look and feel and the fields you'll want to show.

Once done, you can run your application in the phone emulator directly in your browser.

Screen Shot 2017-02-08 at 4.39.24 PM.png

Want to run the application on your phone?

Get the "Oracle Mobile Application Accelerator" application from the Google or iTunes stores, and then you'll be able to click the + sign in the MAX app to add your application to your phone.

 

ABCS will show you a barcode in your browser. When you scan it with your Oracle MAX app, the application automatically downloads to your phone.

Now you can test its functionality on your own device.

Screen Shot 2017-02-08 at 4.38.08 PM.png

 

As you can see in the video above - this makes it dead simple to create an on-device app - within 7 minutes you complete the full process without writing a single line of code manually.

We are happy to announce that Oracle Application Builder Cloud Service has been updated with a major new version.

You’ll notice all these features in your instance (whether you are using a production or a trial account) starting today.

In this blog entry we are going to focus on the 3 “big-ones” in this entry. But you should also read the full list of new features see the documentation.

 

On-device Mobile Application Creation

When you choose to create a new application in ABCS you’ll have a choice of creating a web app – which take you through the experience you are already familiar with - or create a mobile application.

The Mobile option will take you to the Oracle Mobile Application Accelerator (Oracle MAX) – which creates mobile optimized applications that are deployed on the mobile device.

MAX is tuned for the unique aspects of mobile apps helping you create applications that are native looking with design patterns and templates optimized for mobile interaction.

MAX apps can access custom business objects that you created in “regular” ABCS application – all you need to do is turn on the regular app's resource sharing.

Want to learn more about MAX? Since MAX has been, and still is, included in Oracle Mobile Cloud Service – you can find several videos about it here.

 

max_newapp.png

 

Business Object Providers (BOP)

Ever wanted to incorporate external data (not from Oracle SaaS) into your ABCS app? Well now you can!

Adding to ABCS's extensibility features you can now add custom Business Object Providers – or BOPs for short.

A BOP defines a mapping to an external REST exposed object through a set of javascript files.

Once a BOP has been created, you can import it into your application, and it will appear as a service you can access in your service catalog.

You can then use it like you would use any other business object.

 

extensions-bop-list-sm.png

 

Declarative Business Rules

This feature is in control availability status and won't show up in your environment automatically.

When enabled you’ll see that your custom business object can now be enhanced with triggers, validators and business function.

All of these allow you to incorporate more complex business logic around your data objects providing logic that will be executed on the server.

Using this feature you can define for example an action that will take place on one object every time that you add a record to another object.

 

data-designer-rule-newfield-sm.png

 

There are several other new feature in this release, so make sure to read the full doc, and let us know what you think.

As we've shown in a previous blog entry that Oracle Application Builder Cloud Service is able to add REST services that were created using Oracle ADF as a source of data.

In the video below you'll see how you can use this approach to get data from Oracle HCM and build an Oracle ABCS application with ease.

Oracle HCM publishes a set of REST interfaces - which are built on Oracle ADF - so integration is straight forward.

 

Once you add the service to ABCS, you can use it as a base for pages, including leveraging the built-in support for advanced query capabilities.

In the demo below we are building a simple application that let us track the cars of the various employees - something that can be used by the guards at our facility for example.

We use a REST service to get a list of the employees, and then create a custom ABCS business object that tracks the details of a car associated with a specific employees.

 

Check it out:

For some more complex tasks in Oracle ABCS you might need to resort to coding.

 

In the example video below you'll see such an example.

In the application we want to check if an event that a person wants to register for has open spaces.

If there are open spaces we just need to process the registration and save the details.

If however there isn't open space we want to notify the person that they are on a wait list and perform a bit of a different processing adding an indicator to our data that the person is on the wait list for the event.

 

To achieve this, we are going to need to:

  • Traverse a relation ship between to related custom object
  • Execute a query on a custom object with a specific condition
  • Analyze the values in the row that was returned
  • Conditionally navigate to one of two recipes flows

 

Here is a quick demo showing you how we did this:

And here is the code used in the sample:

 

require([

    'operation/js/api/Conditions',

    'operation/js/api/Operator'

], function (Conditions, Operator) {

    var lab = Abcs.Entities().findById('Lab');

    var id = lab.getProperty('id');

    //condition is to find a lab with the id that is in the page's drop down box

    var condition = Conditions.SIMPLE(id, Operator.EQUALS, $Person.getValue('ref2Combo_Box'));

    var operation = Abcs.Operations().read({

        entity: lab,

        condition: condition

    });

    //if query returned value we loop over the data and check the capacity and registration

    operation.perform().then(function (operationResult) {

        if (operationResult.isSuccess()) {

            operationResult.getData().forEach(function (oneRecord) {

                if ((oneRecord.Capacity - oneRecord.Registered) < 1) {

                    $Person.setValue('Waitlisted', true);

                    reject("error");

                } else

                {

                    resolve("ok");

                }

            });

        }

    }).catch(function (operationResult) {

        if (operationResult.isFailure()) {

            // Insert code you want to perform if fetching of records failed

            alert('didnt worked');

            reject("error");

        }

    });

});

Oracle Application Builder Cloud Service makes it very easy to create a parent/child relationship between two objects - in fact it can create this relationship for you automatically when you drop a new table on the edit or details page of another object.

However, when such a relationship is created the child object "belongs" to the parent object - and is not accessible as a "stand-alone" object.

 

If you want to have the ability to create pages that directly access the child object on its own, then you should create the relationship between the two objects with a reference field.

The video below shows you how to do this and the difference between the solutions:

 

Oracle ADF is a popular development framework for building Java based applications, it especially excels in building applications that work with databases.

Oracle Application Builder Cloud Service has a special features that enables you to quickly incorporate REST services exposed by the Oracle ADF Business Components layer as objects in ABCS.

In the video/blog below you can see the full process of doing this.

This is a great easy way to get access to data from external databases into and Oracle ABCS application.

 

Shay

On his blog Oracle JET expert Geertjan Wielenga shows you how to leverage Oracle JET to extend Oracle Application Builder Cloud Service.

From adding a custom components to creating a reusable component - learn cool techniques with these examples.

 

UI Component Extensions for ABCS (Part 1: Custom Components)

https://blogs.oracle.com/geertjan/entry/ui_component_extensions_for_abcs

 

UI Component Extensions for ABCS (Part 2: Reusable Components)

https://blogs.oracle.com/geertjan/entry/ui_component_extensions_for_abcs1

 

UI Component Extensions for ABCS (Part 3: Property Inspectors)

https://blogs.oracle.com/geertjan/entry/ui_component_extensions_for_abcs2

 

UI Component Extensions for ABCS (Part 4: Drop Dialogs)

https://blogs.oracle.com/geertjan/entry/ui_component_extensions_for_abcs3

 

abcs-pi-2.png

Over this weekend we released an update to Oracle Application Builder Cloud Service (version 16.3.5).

This version is available to all our customers and adds several big-ticket items and many small enhancements.

 

In this blog entry we'll focus on the big changes and new features you’ll see.

 

Security

 

You can now define a more refined security layer for your application. You can define roles and then indicate what each role is allowed to do.

Security can be defined at the page, custom object, and item level.

For example, you can define that only a specific role can access specific pages in your app, or that only managers can update a specific data object, or that a field in a page is only visible if a user has the proper role.

GUID-8B5AAE59-1D56-4500-ACE4-A149E3A276DD-default.png

 

Application Export/Import

 

You can now package an application you created to be shared with other ABCS instances. This allows you to build an application and then share it with another ABCS customer even if they work outside of your company.

In addition you can import an application someone else created.

This is the first step in the direction of creating an ecosystem of reusable apps that people create and others can enjoy.

GUID-3D01BDE8-95A0-45F8-B321-A5363BB89384-default.png

Application Templates

 

You can now create and use new templates for your application creating custom look and feel for your own application as well as providing specific pages out of the box.

 

Reusable components

 

JavaScript developers can now create reusable components that can be imported and integrated into your ABCS applications.

Components include UI components, Javascript libraries, and user interface themes.

This is the first step toward the creation of an ecosystem for resource sharing among ABCS users.

 

GUID-2C2C3767-8CAB-42FA-BF3A-427618A50D2D-default.png

 

Support for Multiple Developer

Now it is even easier and safer for developers to collaborate when developing an Oracle ABCS application. When more than one developer work on the same app, changes made by one developer will trigger notifications for the other developer if he’ll try and update a component.

 

There are many other enhancement in every area of Oracle Application Builder Cloud Service.

More details in our What's New Documentation Page.

(By the way our new documentation landing page is one more new feature :-) )