We have a 500 page application that uses Topaz, theme 4. A faction in our office wants to convert the application to the Universal Theme. Please, someone, give us the benefit of your experience to justify the considerable expense of time and resources to undertake this project.
I have an application of over 300 pages which is now 9 years old. Plan to upgrade it later this coming year but see it as opportunity to change the navigation, look and feel. The current application uses Secondary Tabs and Lists as a third navigation set. I would guess that 10% of the application are pages that people no longer use or care about.
See it as opportunity to embellish your users experience and improve their use of their data.
it also strongly depends on complexity of your screens. I'm not sure what benefits bring the theme 42 but it follows the current UI design pattern.
While old themes were reasonably sized for complex business-oriented screens, theme 42 can run on myriad of devices, will properly resize and do all that fancy stuff, but to create a moderately complex screen is usually painful. Just a little comparison here How to make things in theme 42 smaller so very likely you'll have to redesign some parts of your UI.
So let's say estimated time for one page conversion is 30 minutes (probably more), then with a simple calculation we're getting something like 32 man-days. Now add (at least) 25% because nothing ever goes as expected and you are at 2 man-months. If anybody is willing to pay for that, then why not to do it - it could be fun. Otherwise I would let it go.
In my opinion Topaz is a nice theme...and do not fix it if it's not broken.
I will most likely create a baseline application via Blueprint and then shovel over subsystems and their pages individually while tweaking.
Dimitri Gielis has a good video on what Blueprint is and how it can be used:
Thanks Pierre. However, what I'm looking for are opinions unadulterated by a vested interest. Oracle itself doesn't quite fit that requirement. But I do appreciate the pros and cons of the article. See the comment below from Pavel. I agree with Pavel. The UT pages may look clean, but I could do with a lot less air (white space) between rows and items. One of our most used pages has 36 items grouped in 4 nested regions that identify their purpose, an H2 header, and 3 buttons at the top of the parent region. This all takes a width of 790 pixels and a height of about 80 percent of the width. The page is well organized and defined and can be viewed without scrolling. I don't believe UT permits such compactness. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
Thanks Jeff. I will give Blueprint a look-see. Good luck with your future conversion efforts.
I do not really have experience with Apex 4.2. I have use Apex 4.2 just for 3 Months. I have a lot of experience With Apex 5.0. The UT is based on HTML5. You can do everything you want with the UT.
Pierre, forgive my ignorance, but what exactly do you mean by "if you only use the declarative element, you really can not use the power of the UT"? Declarative element?
Thanks Jeff. I will definitely look into slim padding.
From our perspective the more modern themes like Universal There or something like Vincent Morneau's https://materialapex.com/ provide opportunity for much better user experience because the template options are so much more rich. Having native methods for manipulating controls and controlling focus and navigation allows for a more rich experience at very little cost once you are moved into these themes.
Also, It is hard to quantify but usually apparent when users start to consider an application to be less capable or reliable based on how stale the user interface is perceived.
This is a rather interesting question, Doug.
We have applications that share authentication that span UT and a customised Theme 24 (some apps more than others).
We haven't hesitated with the aim of bringing all applications to UT, which will involve some redesign of menus and workflow (for the better, since we now have declarative modals out of the box), but we haven't converted all the apps yet because, well, if it ain't broke...
The smaller apps were an easy upgrade. A reporting app with hundreds of pages was also very smooth.
But the transactional app with some pages that have been designed almost to the pixel for 10" tablets, has not.
New apps I would build with UT without hesitation. Older apps, as always: "it depends".
To migrate an existing application to universal theme is a huge pain. But it is neccessary. Most of the newer features (JET charts, IG, responsive grid, etc.) are tested using the Universal Theme. Some of them might work in older themes, but you have no easy way to know if a problem arises where the problem is coming from.
In general the pages especially the form pages in UT take up more screen space than before. This is something that the users need to get used to. But after some initial hesitations, most like the new slightly changed design.