Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Simplify Complexity Global and Locally with Oracle E-Business Suite – Join Our Webcast

The growing complexity of doing business in the global economy forces today’s enterprises to meet a cascade of challenges.  Unless efforts are streamlined, wasted effort, time and unnecessary expense become serious risks.

Fortunately, Oracle E-Business Suite provides  today’s businesses with the perfect tool for meeting those challenges….

….OK, we know, we know, you’ve “Been hearing this long before your very first “Go Live.

Fair point.

But with Oracle R12.2’s arrival and the launch of Oracle R12.2.4 brings the E-Business Suite much closer to fulfilling the promise of ERP . To help companies like yours take full advantage of this opportunity, we’re inviting you to our webcast "Simplify Complexity Global and Locally with Oracle E-Business Suite" on Thursday September 4th, 2014 at 8:00 AM Pacific / 11:00 AM Eastern.
Get Specific Insights On…

Oracle EBS R12.2.4 delivers a number of functional and technical enhancements including:

•    On-line patching, R12.2’s cornerstone functionality, has been beefed up,
•    Mobile support is more robust,
•    Oracle has simplified EBS administration 

We’ll also discuss how Oracle EBS can support and simplify business complexities in Spanish speaking Latin America, Brazil and China.

Click here to register for our September 4th webcast “Simplify Complexity Global and Locally with Oracle E-Business Suite.”

Can’t Make and/or Missed the Webcast

In the event you can’t make it on the 4th and/or found this page too late, fear not! You have plenty of options open to you.

First you can click here to read over a dozen entries on Oracle R12.2. You can visit our Oracle consulting services pages for Spanish speaking Latin America in English and in Spanish as well as our Brazilian consulting services in English and Portuguese. And you can also check out our China Services page

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

UPK for Higher Education Webcast QA

Last week we had our webcast “Oracle User Productivity Kit for Higher Education Institutions.” Once again, we’d like to thank Tulane University’s Charlie McMahon for sharing his experience with Tulane’s UPK implementation. As usual, we’re happy to bring you a transcript of the Q&A session of the webcast.

How is the test script used by end-users to complete regression testing? Does the test group run the process or is it a roadmap for the user to complete the test?
It is more of a roadmap, where your test scripts are couple of avenues. If you are looking to send it to an end user, you have an option for creating traditional word documents with all the steps they need to follow, the expected results, and if it’s a Pass or Fail.

Another option for testing is the test deployer. This is a deployed package where the user will have the application open on their screen, will launch the test deployer, and can follow along with the player. There they can indicate patch, leave notes of challenges encountered during the testing process, etc. There’s a feature where in case they reach a hard stop, they can launch a separate window that will indicate every step the user took to get to that stop point. This is very useful as users sometimes can’t tell you what they did to get there, but the test deployer keeps it all documented in the background for you.

Can these test scripts integrate with PeopleTools testing framework?
No, unfortunately UPK test scripts will not integrate with PeopleTools, but will integrate with HP Quality Center, Oracle Application Testing Suite, and IBM Rational.

Do you need a separate license for Oracle UPK?
Yes, you do. It is a separate application you can purchase from Oracle. However, bear in mind that UPK is not exclusive to Oracle products, so you can use it for any of your enterprise applications.

When you purchase your license, you are purchasing two things: one is the license to the content developer (for the people who will actually be creating the content) and another is the end-user licenses (those who will be consuming the content that is created). Oracle does offer pre-built content, which will represent an additional fee on top of that.

Specifically for higher education, we use numbers that we report to the government as a proxy for how much of the product we are going to consume. So we report our student count, our faculty count and staff count, and that number is taken by Oracle to determine the price for the licensing.

How did you come to the decision to use UPK at Tulane?
At Tulane University we had not used UPK in the past. Before we made the major upgrade, the only thing we had done with Oracle was General Ledger. When we decided we would consolidate all our enterprise systems into Oracle E-Business Suite, and that it would represent new functionality to all our end-user community, we faced a pretty daunting knowledge transfer problem. As we discussed how to solve this problem with Oracle and IT Convergence, whose consultants we were using for the implementation, UPK came to the surface as the most effective and cost-effective way to train our power users and have the knowledge transfer for casual users who needed to learn simple things (such as changing their bank routing or selecting a different retirement plan). We needed to do it, do it well, and in an affordable way.

How is the UPK training team at Tulane staffed?
We have one person. We did get some help from ITC when we created the initial UPK content, because of the large volume of work. After we got the original UPK content produced, now our single trainer maintains all the content we have. Every patch that comes out, or configuration change we make is reflected on our UPK content, and we only have one person who handles that – a very talented and dedicated person, but only one.

What kind of advice would Tulane give to other higher education institutions who are considering UPK instead of other tools?
What I found the most valuable is the ability to embed your UPK content into the application. So that, let’s say, I go into Self Service and want to select a new benefit package. The UPK help that I need to remind me how to complete that function is embedded right into the application, so I don’t need to go searching for it. UPK can actually be embedded context-aware: it knows you’re on a screen that talks about benefits and offers you the help you may need.

How have you chunked up your training? How long is the average recording? Do you record an entire process or just individual pieces?
We tend to go for short content – a minute or two – and we try to encapsulate an activity in a training session: for example, anything you need to do to add a dependent to your benefits will be covered in a session. We try to make it short enough to remind people how to do it quickly and to the point.

How do you make UPK content available for people who are not in E-Business Suite?
You can go to a portal or webpage and see a list of all the UPK topics that are available – kind of like chapters in a book, and from there you can select the training you’re interested in taking. It doesn’t have to be embedded directly, the structure is fairly intuitive, and what I like the most is that it doesn’t force you to sit at your desk through yards of footage in order to get to those two or three minutes that contain the information you want. You navigate to it like you would in a text book.

Can UPK content be deployed into an LMS?
The published player package can be imported into most Learning Management Systems. If you have one in place, UPK can integrate with that, so any courses the users would take in the LMS would go on their official transcript.

Any final advice or lessons learned that Tulane would like to share with other institutions?
Well, we didn’t make any mistakes during the process. In part, it was because we had a knowledgeable person on point on our staff, and another part was engaging with ITC for the original big effort as we rolled out UPK for all EBS modules. So the combination of good internal resources and good advice and guidance from ITC made the difference. Not to say it was easy and simple, but it was straightforward: with some thought and planning, and a clear understanding of your objective, it’s not difficult to be successful.

Learn about Mexico’s New Financial Obligations
There’s a new Electronic Accounting requirement in town. Learn how to adapt your Oracle ERP system to keep up by joining our webcast: “How to Comply with Mexico Financial Changes” on Thursday August 28th. Register now

Join Us for our R12.2 and Fusion Webcast

There’s nothing like making an informed decision. Whether your organization is considering R12.1, R12.2 or Fusion Applications, our webcast: “Planning your future: Choosing your path to EBS R12.1, R12.2 or Fusion Apps” on Thursday September 4th will help you get started on your upgrade or implementation path. Reserve your spot today.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Oracle Announces General availability of Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.2.4 – What You Need to Know

Oracle Corporation has officially announced the general availability of Oracle E-Business Suite 12.2.4, effective August 8th, 2014. Here we provide you an overview of what is new, and what it means to you.

The official note in My Oracle Support can be found here: Oracle E-Business Suite 12.2.4 Readme (Note 1617458.1) .

This Release Update Pack (RUP) has error corrections that address stability, performance and security issues but, more importantly, it includes many new features on both technical and functional sides.

Oracle Continues to Transform the User Experience

In the previous release 12.2.3 (click here for Oracle EBS R12.2.3 Release Notes), Oracle introduced a new look-and-feel for all the Oracle Application Framework (OAF) based pages with the Skyros skin.

In this new release Oracle takes this improvement a step forward with many new enhancements that will enlighten end users.

New Universal Global Header

Aligned with Fusion Applications, Oracle E-Business Suite introduces a new Global Header fully supported across  desktop, mobile and tables Platforms.

Oracle R12.2.4, Oracle EBS 12.2.4

 Simple Home Page. Following the design patterns of Fusion Applications, the new simple home page includes an announcement section and also a list of iconized functions with a custom role-based page with a fast and easy access to the favorites.

Other improvements include Rich Table interactions and HGrid Interactions allowing you to reorder, resize, and hide/show columns among other actions.

A big introduction taking into consideration new and expanded usages of E-Business Suite is the gesture support for mobile devices enhancing the user experience on touch devices with APIs for hold, swipe, swipe-up and swipe-down, check mark and X-mark that will improve the adoption of users in these new devices.

If you want a full description of the new features please check Oracle Application Framework Release Notes for Release 12.2.4 (Doc ID 1676223.1).

DBA and Technology Stack New Features

One new feature that Oracle is introducing in 12.2.4 that will get a lot of attention is the new “Online Patching Downtime Mode.” This is a new option within the adop that will apply patches directly into the “run edition” of the file system and database without having to run an online patching cycle.

EBS Admins will need to add this new option to the adop as “apply_mode=downtime”. Oracle makes it very clear that downtime mode is only supported for production use where it is explicitly documented or directed by Oracle.

While Oracle R12.2’s basic on-line patching  has been overwhelmingly popular, we’ve seen many organizations demanding this type of downtime patch, for multiple reasons and the only way to get the full benefit of on line patching will be to upgrade to 12.2.4.

There are two more additional features that are the Online Patch Log Analyzer and Standard Cleanup that will help to analyze and clean up.

Functional Changes Introduced in Release 12.2.4

In previous releases there was a “proxy users” functionality but in Release 12.2.4 Oracle completely revamped this functionality by leveraging the new global header to allow  Oracle EBS administrators to give one or more users access to functionality. It includes a wide range of system administrator capabilities to tailor what users can or cannot delegate as well as a set of seeded policies and a capability of building your own policies for proxy user delegation restrictions.

The new Order Management HTML User interface will allow users creating, updating and managing orders. The new HTML user interface is in addition to and co-exists with the existing sales order screens and Order Information Portal (OIP).

Also there are new features within Oracle Purchasing, such as Buyer Work Center Session Preferences and Spreadsheet based authoring of PO lines via Web ADI, which enhance productivity and provide a better user experience.

For more information and a detailed overview of these features and more, we recommend checking Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1 and 12.2 Transfer of Information (TOI) Online Training (Doc ID 807319.1).

Need More information?

IT Convergence is releasing a series of videos in our website demonstrating the new capabilities of E-Business Suite R12.2.4, so we encourage you visit at http://www.itconvergence.com and subscribe to get updates.

If you’ve got specific questions on Oracle R12.2 and/or Oracle R12.2.4 please feel free to contact us and/or tweet questions to @IT_Convergence

We those who are “Ready to Go” on Oracle R12 to check out our Oracle R12 Upgrade in a box and our Oracle R12 Reimplementation  services pages.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Dozen Things to Know about SOA 12c

Oracle Corporation recently made its long-anticipated SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) 12c release. Oracle SOA 12c promises to.

While SOA 12c is loaded with features here are a dozen things you need to know now:

1.    12c Provides a Unified Platform for Both Cloud and On-Premise Applications

The majority of the companies today  run their applications on some combination of on-premise, cloud or mobile and these organizations are seeking for a robust Integration platform solution from a single strategic point. Oracle unveiled just that with the introduction of Oracle SOA12c (12.1.3)  to meet this challenges with unified application integration solution to improve productivity and TCO.

2.    Developer Productivity Enhancements are a Plenty

If there is one thing that developers will LOVE about SOA 12.1.3 is that it provides no shortage of development productivity enhancements. Here are six dozen
  • Major enhancements for developer productivity is providing one Single JDeveloper IDE for developing both OSB and BPEL/Mediator. Oracle has renamed Oracle Services Bus as Service Bus. Single Download for JDeveloper which includes (jdev, web logic server, JavaDB, EM FMW Control).
  • Code Templates is another key feature of 12c, majority of the companies does global SOA implementations and biggest challenge with governance, standards and reusability and this is great enhancement in 12c where SOA COE team create a template for a integration pattern it can be web service to JMS or JMS to File and ask developers to build composites based on the Enterprise code templates.
  • SOA 12c supports  Transformations XQuery and XSLT for BPEL – in earlier versions this was not supported.
  • Integration Debugger is another new feature added to debug in design time to avoid major code issues it can be local or remote debugging.
  • MDS is supported for Service Bus, but only limitation is you can retrieve artifacts from MDS for Service bus but you cannot publish to MDS.
  • Fault Policy Editor GUI to edit the fault policies defined, earlier versions were using XML files.
As everyone understands, time = money when it comes to integrating disparate systems and these enhancements go a long way to making your developers more productive.

3.    Twin Options for Mobile Integration

Oracle provides two different options for mobile integration. First you can use Oracle Servcie Busby exposing REST/JSON services. Or you can use  Oracle Mobile Application Framework (Oracle MAF) which is a hybrid-mobile framework that enables developers to rapidly develop single-source applications and deploy to both the Apple iOS and Google Android platforms. Oracle MAF provides a complete MVC development framework -that leverage Java, HTML5 and JavaScript -with declarative user interface definition, device services integration and built-in security. Oracle MAF maximizes code reuse and results in faster development of compelling mobile applications.

4.    Cloud Integration – Triple SaaS Challenge Met
SAAS (Software as Service) Integration presents 3 key challenges session management, Security, CRUD operations. With an eye toward meeting those needs,  Oracle released Salesforce Cloud Adapter to which is available in both SOA12c or 11g to integrate Oracle E-Business Suite with salesforce.com

5.    Oracle Enterprise Manager

Oracle Enterprise Manager Fusion middleware control (EM FMW Control) provides a comprehensive management solution for Oracle WebLogic Server, Oracle Fusion Middleware, and non-Oracle middleware technology. Oracle FMW Control Unified User Interface helps   performance monitoring, robust diagnostics, configuration management and lifecycle management across middleware software

-    One unified platform to see all the SOA composites end to end, it has multiple domains in the same console like (SOA Infra , Service Bus)
-    Optimize work managers
-    Error Hospital
-    Security management from EM console
-    Modularity by SOA_foundation profile Profiles arranged in decreasing order footprint to reduce the overall footprint of the SOA infrastructure. Reduce overall class loading and overall startup time of the server 
  • SOA CLASSIC ~ SOA Foundation with B2B + BPM Modules
  • SOA FOUNDATION WITH HEALTHCARE ~ SOA Foundation with B2B + Healthcare UI
  • SOA FOUNDATION WITH B2B ~ SOA Foundation Enterprise + B2B
  • SOA FOUNDATION ENTERPRISE ~ SOA Foundation + Full Adapter Set
  • SOA FOUNDATION ~ Orchestration + Mediator + Rules + Partial Adapter set
  • ORCHESTRATION ~ BPEL-Only + HWF + Partial Adapter set
  • BPEL-ONLY  ~ BPEL Components + SOA Common Infrastructure + Partial Adapter set

6.    MFT – Managed File Transfer

A new functionality for Secure File exchange and management with internal and external partners is key part of SOA12c release, although MFT does require additional licensing  and does require  WebLogic server. A key benefit is it supports PGP Encryption and compression functionality. SOA specialists will be pleased to know that they’ll be able to easily integrate MFT with Oracle B2B/ODI/IDM.

7.    ESS – Enterprise Scheduler Service

Oracle Enterprise Scheduler (ESS) provides the ability to run different job types, including: Java, PL/SQL, and binary scripts, distributed across the nodes in an Oracle WebLogic Server cluster. Oracle Enterprise Scheduler runs these jobs securely, with high availability and scalability, with load balancing and provides monitoring and management through Fusion Middleware Control. It supports for job dependencies like sequential and parallel execution of jobs and serialized execution of incompatible jobs. ESS also requires additonial separate license.

8.    Oracle Event Processing (OEP)

Thanks to big data, spatial implementations are growing and enterprises are looking for more in-memory grid and connectivity tools with Big Data tools. OEP provides an open architecture for sourcing, processing, and publishing complex events through the enterprise.
9.    Oracle Coherence Adapter

It allows seamless integration with local/remote coherence cache and also allows to support of different operations like (put, get, remove, list, list keys, and remove all)

10.    Oracle LDAP Adapter

New technology adapter added to the stack. Supports Bidi with LDAPv3 and it is quick and easy to integrate with SOA Suite 12c. It also support Microsoft Active directory 2008.

11.    Oracle MSMQ

Integration with Microsoft Message Queueing (MSMQ) is a message infrastructure and a development platform for creating distributed, loosely-coupled messaging applications for the Microsoft Windows operating system

12.    Enhanced UMS Adapter

Oracle SOA 12c offers full sport for  for Email, SMS, IM.

Oracle SOA Suite 12c enables you Simplify IT by unifying the disparate requirements of mobile, cloud and IOT integration into one unified and standards-based platform and reduce time to market for new project integration.

If you’re interested in more on Oracle SOA 12c, then join our webcast Simplify Multi Channel Integration with SOA 12c on August 22. If you happen to find this after the 22nd, fear not. You can either click here to view or Oracle Fusion Middleware solutions or click here to read all SOA-related articles on this thread.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Go Tapeless with EMC BaaS Q&A

Last week we had the last webinar of our Next Generation Backups with EMC webcast series: “Go Tapeless - Make Simple, Easy Backups to the Cloud with ITC BaaS.” Once again, we’d like to thank Bruce Hansen for his support and excellent presentation. As usual, we’re happy to bring you a transcript of the Q&A session of the webcast.

EMC, EMC Avamar, BaaS, Backup as a service
Does this also dedup virtual machines?  If I have 200 virtual machines and they all have the same OS, will this solution dedup the OS and not send the same data over and over?

Yes, absolutely. Chunks are chunks. If you’re backing up the image, you’ll do the same thing from there, but you can also do the OS as well. So yes, it’s only going to do the smallest amount of duty data and you get that benefit across the board, whether you’re actually doing the full image or not. From the image side, you can do some block base backup if you don’t like to do the full image restore, and that kind of thing, but the dedup is global, it works across all of it.

We already use Networker.  How does that apply to this solution?

Networker integrates very well with DataDomain and Avamar. They can be controlled from the same console. All the Avamar software will control and manage all the existing Networker jobs you have in place and viceversa, and they integrate perfectly with DataDomain.

For the on premise appliances, do we buy those or are those a part of the BaaS service?

They can be both. Typically it’s part of the cost of the Back Up as a Service offering, and in this case, it is owned by IT Convergence. So you will have a utility cost and a contractual cost – when the contract is gone, the hardware is gone.

When talking about backup to the cloud, or anything to the cloud, you cannot escape the variable of network bandwidth and its impact on the WAN/VPN.  Is there a best practice in order to minimize impact and backup timing?

Yes, this is why when we make the analysis we take a look at your RPOs (Recovery Point Objectives) and RTOs (Recovery Time Objectives), how much data you’re backing up, how much is going over the wire. From there we decide if you need to have a virtual appliance onsite, where we have mission critical data that is replicated there. So you may have 5 Terabytes of data that is backed up onsite and can be restored onsite, and most of the data is outside that RTO, up in the Cloud and available, let’s say in 24 Hs. But within 4 Hs you have a copy onsite and can restore from there.

The whole idea behind the Private and Public Clouds, and the Hybrid Cloud we’re looking at, is right-sizing: to have some infrastructure onsite, but as little as possible – for the mission critical data – and still take full advantage of the deduplication. The other option is deciding to go only for mission critical data within the time frame and have an SLA with IT Convergence and restore to their infrastructure and bring that up in a virtual environment. Many companies are doing that now: physical-virtual or virtual-virtual, and they have it up and running on their site in a fairly short amount of time.

Do EMC’s BaaS Solutions work with an IBM AS400?

Yes, Data Domain does support AS400.  There is a fiber channel card that can be installed into a Data Domain to emulate a VTL (virtual tape library).  From that point, the AS400 just writes to the Data Domain as if it was a tape library. We then replicate the Data Domain from the client site to an IT Convergence data center.

I have backup software that requires an agent on each server.  Do I still need to pay and keep that or is your solution end to end? 

No, you don’t need to keep it, you can go agentless. IT Convergence has invested in both solutions: if you want, you can keep your current backup software and just backup to Data Domain’s clients and have it replicated or backup to their Data Domain hosted appliance. Otherwise, you can switch and be agentless.

Some people use the agent, others don’t –it’s about volume and the amount of disks you’re using. So you have the option to switch and use the Avamar software client that will allow you to use source-based deduplication with or without an onsite appliance; or use the Data Domain solution with an appliance onsite and use your software to do dedup. It’s an either-or.

I noticed a slide on Replication. How is deduplication being used for site to site replication and how it is more efficient than cross datacenter replication?

When you are doing replication you use more disks on both sites, and even if you can crash the bandwidth down and do dedup, you’d literally restore the last few seconds, where typically a backup is a real point in time.

We have people who do just nightly backups; others do it a few times a day. At that point the dedup is among all the clients on that site, so you have new bits coming in, but if you have those bits already on the other site, it’s highly efficient, because you have the appliance on one site and another on the other site, and they are going to compare what’s different. You are only keeping 10 days at the initial site and 60, 90, 120 days at the cloud site – so even though you may not have those bits you perched out over time, they are still at the other site, and it’s not going to send that data, but only mark in the database: “we’ve got that data.” It’s much more efficient than standard replication

Join us for our SOA 12c Webcast

Learn all about the new features of Oracle’s Service Oriented Architecture 12c by joining our webcast: "Simplify Multi Channel Integration with SOA 12c" on Friday August 22nd. Register today. 

Learn about Mexico’s New Financial Obligations
There’s a new Electronic Accounting requirement in town. Learn how to adapt your Oracle ERP system to keep up by joining our webcast: “How to Comply with Mexico Financial Changes” on Thursday August 28th. Register now!

Get More Info on BaaS

And of course, if you’re arging to go on EMC’s BaaS solutions, click here to visit our Mini-Site.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Oracle Technology Network Tour 2014 Roadmap

IT Convergence's CTO Gustavo González has been traveling around Southern Latin America to present in the Oracle Technology Network Tour 2014. Here are some snapshots of his journey.
  • Brasil, São Paulo – August 2nd
  • Chile, Santiago – August 4th and 5th
  • Perú, Lima – August 7th
  • Argentina, Buenos Aires – August 11th and 12th
  • Uruguay, Montevideo – August 14th and 15th
    Oracle Technology Network Tour 2014 Roadmap

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

What is Oracle UPK Q&A

UPK, Oracle UPK
We’d like to thank everyone for their interest and participation in last week’s webcast: “What is Oracle User Productivity Kit?” The webcast included an overview of the features and value of Oracle UPK, as well as a lively Q&A session at the end. As usual, we are happy to provide a transcript of the questions.

Is there UPK pre-built content for Oracle Financials?
The simple answer is yes, you can purchase pre-built content for UPK, not only for Oracle Financials but also for other modules

With the pre-built modules, can they then be modified to document your specific processes?Yes, the pre-built content gives you that stable environment for you to start with, and as you move forward, you can customize them as much as you want.

Where are UPK recordings located so that end users can access the content?UPK is really flexible when it comes to deployment. Whether it’s on a website or through a LMS, there are many options to deploy – where it resides is really up to the client. We’ve seen it on websites, on portal, on SharePoint, or if the company has a centralized Learning Management System, it can also be deployed there. A separate component of the UPK product is the Knowledge Center: it comes with UPK, and it allows you to deploy content from UPK directly to the Knowledge Center, which works as a repository that can track and host content.

Is it possible to link multiple topics into a single one?Yes. There are a couple of different things you can do. With UPK, both at the concept and frame level, when you are recording a topic you can embed a URL. So you could have a topic embedded into another one as a URL, to link those two together. Another thing you can do is use the feature “See Also”, which means that if there’s a topic that’s relevant to another one, you can have that topic tied to the other. So, let’s say you’re executing a process in AP, and you want users to see invoicing or purchasing, you can link those topics to the AP process by using the See Also button.

What's your specific experience with Oracle Lease and Finance Management modules? As a business, we’ve done about a hundred R12 Financials upgrade projects. As related to UPK, we’ve done another hundred or so. We could say it’s the core of our business, since we have in-depth experience in Financials Apps, but we also get involved with many other applications because UPK is, above all, agnostic.

Is it possible to disable UPK's Know It mode in the Knowledge Center? 
Yes, it is. In the Knowledge Center you can do assessments (true or false, multiple choice, fill in the blanks, etc) as well as the Know It mode. It’s basically a preference, so you can disable it if you don’t want it on the Transactional mode. As far as best practices when creating an assessment on the Knowledge Center, we recommend having a couple of questions and then the Know It mode as a navigational piece and a few questions afterwards as a follow up. In this way UPK scores it as one assessment and not just a knowledge check. So the answer is yes, but you might want to keep it coupled with some conceptual questions to test the learner from a navigational perspective and the business understanding.

How do we update UPK topics? Can we update recorded topics or do we always need to record a new one?If you’re referring to updating the UPK topics, you would go to your existing topic within UPK and double click on it. This will open the UPK Editor, and depending on what you want to accomplish, there are a few things you can do. If you want to change a screenshot, you can go to Edit Screenshot, and do it with the action areas, or you can directly re-record the screenshot. If your process has changed after, for instance, the fifth frame, you can go to that frame and select “re-record”, which will allow you to re-record from that fifth frame onwards.

Does UPK work as a test tool? If not, can it be integrated with other test tools? We should define Test tools before we can answer: if you mean a test tool that will manage your test scripts and execution, then no. What UPK gives you the ability to do is create test scripts – with one recording you can create both an Excel document (Test Case) and a Word doc. This means there will be a 60% reduction in the time used for manually creating those, since you are actually recording the process, so it’s quicker.

So if you own an automated testing suite, you can take that Excel sheet and upload it in to a testing suite (the ones we mainly see being used are HP Quality Center – now called ALM – OATS (Oracle Application Testing Suite), an Oracle product for application quality management, and IBM Rational Test Manager.  So UPK has the ability to create test scripts and integrate them with a testing suite, but you are not going to be able to manage the test execution within UPK.

What you get from UPK are 4 ROI value points: first, reduction of time necessary to create test scripts; second, the ability to drive standardization (as UPK creates that template text, a navigational glossary of terms); third, the ability to eliminate human error in the creation of test scripts (done manually even in the testing suite) and finally, the ability to streamline your testing and training efforts (since when preparing training you don’t have to start over, you can go back to the UPK test scripts and transform them into training by adding learning objectives, images, graphics and other user enhancements.

Join Our UPK Webcast on Higher Education
Register today for our webcast “UPK for Higher Education Institutions”, to take place on August 21st at 9:00 AM PST/ 12:00 PM EST, and learn about the challenges education institutions face and how Oracle UPK can help overcome them. The webcast will feature the case study of Tulane University , whose CTO will be sharing his experience partnering with IT Convergence. Reserve your spot here.