November 13, 2015

Let's Slack

Have you noticed declining activity on siebel community on IT Toolbox? There is hardly any other community where you can get your answers quickly.

And as a wise man has said All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, I am starting a new Siebel-Developers community on slack. http://siebel-developers.slack.com
Slack is fastest growing community platform, there is no bullshit for email or waiting for approval. Simply talk to fellow team-mates straight away. Share ideas, make new connections and have fun with fellow siebelites.



Share files and get help in real time.

you can access community from mobile or desktop.




Only drawback of the platform is that invite has to go on email address, so please register to this blog to get invite. I have sent invite to all registered readers till date, hope to see you all there.

Let's Slack Siebel :)

November 10, 2015

What are the limitations of Siebel Workflows?

This question was asked by one of readers of this blog, and it quickly got me intrigued to research for answer. While doing research I compared the capabilities of Siebel workflow vs Siebel scripting, and got amazed with results.




I started of by listing things which I thought wont be possible in workflows however I got surprised with its capabilities as I dig deeper. I am classifying results as Myths, Facts and Limitations.

Myths

Myth 1: Run time events doesn't work from workflows.

Absolutely wrong, runtime events are tagged to bus comps and work the same in workflow as they work on UI.

Myth 2: Can't update read-only fields in workflows.

One might think that as it is not possible to set admin mode to true in workflow thus it wont be possible to update read only fields. But that is simply a myth.The fact is that there is no need to set admin mode to true in workflows, read only user properties are inactivated for workflows all the time!

Myth 3: There is no way to associate and disassociate records of MVG BusComp in workflows.

If Siebel operation is used on detail bus comp, delete operation acts like dis-associate and insert like an associate.

Myth 4: Workflow can not query based on calculated fields.

Not True. Siebel Operation search spec can be created using Calculated fields, however be cautious of performance impact in case you plan to use calculated fields in search spec.

Facts


Fact 1: Cannot query on child BC directly in Siebel workflows. Workflow always queries Primary bus comp first.

True, however I don't consider it as limitation as one can create workflow based on a different BO which has child bus comp as primary buscomp, and there are many business services available which can query data from another BO without creating another sub process.

Fact 2: There is no way to change primary record in MVG in workflows.

This one I am not too sure about, would like to know from the experts, how they have overcome this problem.

Limitations


Limitation 1: It is not possible to change view mode in Workflows?
Siebel Operation step always queries database with "All View" view mode there is no way to change this pragmatically.


Limitation 2: It is not possible to pass variable by reference in to a workflow.
This seems to be the minor limitation of the workflow, however it does not limit the capability or usage in anyway.


Limitation 3: There is no native way of executing Clib functions in workflows.
There are lot of functions available for execution in workflows however Clib is not one of them. Thus if there is a need to call Clib function through workflow you will have to call a custom business service.


Limitation 4: There no native way to execute methods on application or BC level.
Agreed as limitation unless someone suggests any way out. Some BusComps exposes some methods that can be executed only with scripting. For Example: 1. RepriceAll Method on Quote Item and Order Items. 2. GetFile Methods on Attachment Buscomp etc..

 

Limitation 5: It is not possible to set sort spec on Siebel operation?
This seems to be the only glaring Limitation of workflow/Siebel Operation that Siebel operation does not contain any way to query based in a sort spec. Arguably one can say sort spec can be specified on bus comp, however it wont be wise to clone buscomp just to change the sort order. Would like to know what readers think?



I don't believe that this list is complete in anyway, hoping to get some answers from community. Please feel free to contribute your thoughts on this topic, would be more than happy to be proved incorrect on the points above.

October 25, 2015

Download Siebel Interview Questions - PDF

I have published all the Siebel Interview Questions in a easy to read PDF e-book  format, it will be available for download freely.

To get the download link, register your email and leave a comment below.
Siebel Interview Question eBook


Siebel Interview Question 2015 PDF  Contains interview questions on :

Siebel Workflow
Siebel EAI
Siebel Configuration
Siebel Scripting
Siebel Open UI

Updates to PDF will only be sent to registered readers. After registering with email do not forget to leave comment below and plus one on google to receive the link.

Get Download link:



October 24, 2015

Links Demystified

I feel no shame in admitting that it took me years to fully understand the extensibility of Siebel links. I hope after reading this post you will start appreciating the Siebel even more as I did.

Let's look at the simpler links first.

1:M links
These links creates simple parent child relationship. One parent can have many children. And children records have parent id (foreign key field).


Order Entry - Orders : Order Entry - Line Items link

Order Entry - Orders and Order Entry - Line Items is perfect example. Source Field is "Id" of "Order Entry - Orders" BC and destination field is "Order Id"  of Order Entry - Line Items. Whenever system creates a line item under an order record, Siebel populates order id on order item record with ROW_ID of Order to create relationship.



M:M links
These are also comparatively simple links. Two entities (table) are related to each other using an intersection table. Intersection table helps to associate one child to other parents as well.

Account Contact link using S_PARTY_PER


For example Account and Contact link. This link allows to associate one contact to multiple accounts. In addition to the inter table Siebel stores id of primary record ( primary id field) to improve performance.

Now let's look at the interesting bits.

M:M links with source id field specified.

In standard M:M links these fields are blank and inter table stores the ID of both parent and child records. When parent id field is also specified with inter table Siebel uses field value instead of ROW_ID of parent to create intersection record.These types of links are not very common but are possible.

For Example:
M:M link with Source Field specified





Lets consider Action/FINCORP Account link, this link has Source Field specified as Primary Contact Id which means when child records are created using this link Siebel will populate Contact Id into Inter Parent Column instead of Action Id.

M:M link with both inter table and source and destination field specified.
Things now gets more interesting when both source and destination fields are specified and inter table is also specified.This way Siebel uses fields specified on the links instead of Id to create association.

Link with both Source Field and Destination Field along with inter table.
The link shown above specifies Campain Id and Destiation Field as Contact Id, thus while creating record in inter table Siebel will use Campaign Id fields instead of Id and Same applies for destination field. Interesting isn’t it???



Finally links which are overridden by MVL's
If you are following it correctly then you might think all these complicated links should be able to satisfy all possible scenarios. Just then Siebel steps up the game with multi value links. On these MVL's definition Siebel allows to override the parent id being used on the link.

So with help of primary id field override, potentially in action to contact mvl instead listing all the contacts of selected activity, Siebel can show all the contacts of parent account selected on activity. :) This over riding is allowed both on 1:M link and M:M link.


Cheat sheet for your desk:





If you have understood all of the above then I would recommend you to explore how links are used for access control and visibility of detail bus comps.

Hope it helps.

October 09, 2015

Using MVG aggregate functions

Originally posted on blog.notesonsiebel.com on April 5th, 2007 by stuandgravy

Karan asked a question the other day: how to prevent the Status of a Service Request changing until all child Activities have been completed? This type of business rule is exactly what State Models are designed for: set up a model on Service Request Status and restrict transitions to the target status unless a condition has been satisfied. The difficulty in this example is how to write a rule based on child records?

State Model Rule Expressions use the same format as calculated field values, so the same MVG aggregate functions are available. The functions Count, Sum and EXISTS all derive a single value from a Multi Value Group and are an underused way to reduce scripting.

In the example given, Service Request has an MVG Action linked to the child Activities, so we can add a Multi Value Field to point to Action.Status.

A rule expression Not EXISTS([Action Status]<>'Done') in the State Model transition gives the desired restriction.

There’s a good example of the EXISTS function in use in the vanilla Siebel 7 repository: see BC Contact field Exists New OutBound Email Activities.


Searching Calculated Fields and performance



 Originally posted on blog.notesonsiebel.com on April 3rd, 2007

The other day I was asked whether it’s possible to search calculated fields. The simple answer is yes – as can easily be tested. The complete answer’s a little more complex: query the wrong calculated field and the application will hang, CPU resources off the scale. So how can you predict what calculations are going to cause you problems?

When you execute any query, Siebel converts the user’s logical instructions to SQL. It doesn’t always do an optimal job, but you can usually be sure that most of the effort will be pushed to the database server. The problem with calculated fields is that certain functions don’t have standard cross-platform SQL equivalents.

The IIf function, for example, will never be translated to native SQL. When your field calculation contains an IIf statement, Siebel will write SQL to return a superset of data. The Siebel object manager is then left with the job of paging through the results, evaluating the calculation for each row. Needless to say, if the incomplete SQL returns a large dataset, this ain’t going to be fast.

In any particular example it’s worth eyeballing the SQL to confirm where the calculation is happening, but you can definitely expect problems with the following functions:

IIf
IfNull
ToChar
Right

Unfortunately, there’s no configuration way to prevent searching on an unpleasant field. If you’re running into problems then you’ll have to hit the PreQuery event with some scripting…

Changing the Local Database Password



 Orignally posteed on blog.notesonsiebel.com on March 29th, 2007 by stuandgravy

Users forget their passwords – that’s just the way it is. Without picking on anybody, certain users (cough sales guys cough) are particularly prone to this. And more often than not, they’re remote users who’ve not synchronised their local database for a week and desperately need their updates.
As with the server database, there’s no way to retrieve the current local database password. Password hashing algorithms are repeatable, but not reversible – sensibly enough. It is possible to change the password to something new though.

Connect to the local database, then run these SQL commands:

grant connect to USERNAME identified by PASSWORD
grant connect to SIEBEL identified by PASSWORD

Where USERNAME is the login for this database and PASSWORD is the new password (both in upper case). If for some reason you don’t know who the local database belongs to, the login can be retrieved with this command:

select name from SYSUSERAUTH
where name not in ('SYS','DBA','PUBLIC','SIEBEL','DBO','dbo','SSE_ROLE')

More often than not, you’ll also want to reset the server database password to match, so that you can sync up those outstanding changes. On Oracle, this is your usual:

alter user USERNAME identified by PASSWORD

There’s more info in SupportWeb TechNote 25, including scripts for different versions of SQL Anywhere to automate the process.

How to interview a Siebel Resource?


Originally posted on blog.notesonsiebel.com on March 26th, 2007 by stuandgravy
I’ve interviewed a bunch of Siebel techies and have evolved a few favourite questions, all based around the same theme: attempting to uncover technical breadth while avoiding obscure ‘gotcha’ questions. Things like this:

Q: How would you update a second field every time a first field is changed?

This is a great question: simple enough that a junior dev straight out of a tools course should come up with a few options and have some idea how they weigh up, but broad enough that a senior techie can lead you into detailed discussions about performance vs maintainability, good practices, upgrade issues, etc etc.
If the candidate’s running out of steam, leading questions can coax them toward more inventive answers.

For instance:
  • What if the second field is in a different business component?
  • What if there are multiple fields to be updated?
  • What if the second update needs confirmation?
  • What if the update still has to happen for batch (EAI/EIM) updates?

To the answer: I reckon the following is not a bad list to cover-off, but there’s still a few missing…
User Properties
+ minimal config
+ real time
+ robust (mostly!)
- limited
- require srf update

Runtime Events to Workflow Process
+ most things possible with native, compiled Siebel Operations
+ declarative, flexible, upgradable without srf update
+ long-running workflows for multiple consecutive events
+ real-time, optional asynchronous
- no loops (almost) without custom business services
- overhead of instantiating the workflow first time (then cached), which can have a big impact on mobile users

Server scripts
+ simple to write
+ low overhead
- not declarative, requires srf release
- higher level than vanilla C++ services (so slower, in theory)
- limited possibility to interact with the user


Browser scripts
+ opportunity for full manipulation of DOM, real-time interactivity
- maintenance headache (generating script, keeping versions current)
- interpreted at run-time (so slower, in theory)
- limited speed, memory space etc

Workflow Policy to Workflow Process
+ fully robust database-level trigger
+ fully asynchronous
- not real time, interactive
- not declarative, requires DBA maintenance

Locally unlocking a locked Project


Originally posted blog.notesonsiebel.com on March 22nd, 2007 by stuandgravy

With multiple developers building one application it’s inevitable that multiple developers will need to change the same project at the same time. There’s pros and cons and object-locking and change-control and build-control etc etc, but sometimes deadlines are too tight and you just have to fork.

In Siebel Tools, once one developer’s got a project locked the UI won’t let a second developer anywhere near it. To get around this you need to get into SQL Anywhere. Login to the second developer’s local database, then the following script will unlock the project locally:

UPDATE s_project
SET locked_flg = ‘N’
WHERE name = <Project Name>

The second developer can now log into Siebel Tools, manually lock the project as normal and do what she has to do. Of course, once build is done the two developers will need to go through a merge exercise to get their changes into the one repository, but that effort can be preferable to losing days of development time.

September 19, 2015

Siebel PropertySet Demistyfied [Infogrpahic]

This is my first post in response to analysis of Google Analytics search reports. In this series I will look at search terms searched by Siebel developers on Google and try to answer them with infographics.

Recently someone landed on How to Siebel? by searching keywords on Google: "Difference between GetValue() and GetProperty()"

There is ample information available on property set methods in bookshelf. Here is my answer using infograph.
Siebel Property Set Methods


GetValue() method returns the value of the property set, in example above  output will be : "My Value"

GetProperty() method returns the value of the specific property, in above example GetProperty("Weight") will return "1500"

If you looking for advanced property set concepts and traversing methods, then I will recommend going through How to traverse property set @ SiebelUnleashed

To receive more articles like this please subscribe via email by submitting form below.

September 18, 2015

Remove tiny X icon from MVG and Picklist fields in Internet Explorer


MVG and Picklist fields of Siebel IP2013 shows a tiny X icon on right end, on clicking this icon data in the field is cleared. Due to awkward positioning user end up clicking it unintentionally. This behaviour is only available for IE browser.
X in Account Field
X in Currency Field


This was added by oracle in hope to improve usability, but it has received lot angst from end users. Instead of improving user experience it risks of losing data in case of miss click.

Luckily there is simple css solution to remove this icon. Following line in your custom css can remove this unnecessary usability trick from entire application.

input:focus[type="text"]::-ms-clear{display:none;}

Input text fields with this css looks amazing just as in chrome and firefox.

CSS fix for Pick list fields

Currency Field in Siebel Open UI

Hope it helps.

September 15, 2015

Interview with Neel @ siebelunleashed.com

Last month Neel author of siebelunleashed.com announced the biggest change of his blog and change in his career.

For many it was predictable but for someone like me it was kind of a shock. It raised several questions regarding Siebel future. What is causing experts like him to leave Siebel? Is Siebel really dead? What is the future of Siebel?

I decided to understand the situation more in detail and managed to interview Neel on his decision, and was amazed with his answers.

Neel answers gave a really good insight of the Siebel market as whole and given signs of Siebel future I would like share the analysis in my next post along with more facts.

Have you been in similar situation as Neel? Then please share your thoughts with us in comments below.




Here is the interview :


Jim : Why did you choose to move away from technical role when you are distinguished Siebel developer in community? With growth of Open UI  you could have had ample playground to play on.
Neel : Jim I did not choose to move away from the technical role, I choose to move away from hands-on technical role and believe me that was not an easy decision. This role allowed me to be in touch with technology but now I was just not restricted to Siebel whole CRM and more became my playground.

After the challenge of initial learning and implementing Open UI life started getting comfortable and I couldn't see myself writing PM/PR's for next few years. I knew this role will take me away from my comfort zone and thus helping me grow by increasing my comfort zone. Now, creating a Solution roadmap for million dollar CRM Proposal is no big deal

Jim : What were the top three reasons that made you switch? Is you current employer pushing you is one of them? or this decision is voluntary as  Siebel future is uncertain?
Neel : When I switched this role I had no doubt about Siebel's future. I believed that with Open UI it is just a matter of time people are going to lineup to upgrade and implement Siebel. So, Siebel's uncertainty didn't have anything to do with my switch. Yes, my organization or specifically my manager was one of the reasons for me to switch as he wanted to me get out of day to day churn and act as CRM Subject Matter Expert (SME). It seemed a logical next step to move towards proper architect or solution role and that's why I changed.

Jim : How are you finding the new technologies as compared to Siebel? Would you say Salesforce and MS Dynamics are technologically advanced than Siebel?
Neel : Salesforce and MS Dynamics are interesting and they are evolving. There is far less functionality available in both as compared to Siebel and they are far more restricted in terms of customization. So, technically they are inferior to Siebel and when I first started working on them I thought no way an enterprise application can be hosted on them.

But people are making beeline for them. The cost difference is so big that they are ready adapt their business processes according to the available functionality and features. Salesforce is circumventing its limitation through their App Store know as AppExchange and MS dynamics is following suite.


Jim : What are the most annoying things in Siebel that you hate? like new siebel support agreement or boundaries of Siebel configuration?
Neel : When I look at Siebel now then I realize how vast and complex it is as compared to other products out there. The architecture that they created more than 10 years ago is still valid.  So, I don't hate anything about Siebel now but there are couple of things that they can add to make it awesome such as new IDE Siebel Tools, support of REST services.


Jim : If you were given opportunity to change the direction of Siebel as product what will you change?
Neel : I wouldn't want to change the direction of Siebel but I would like to make it faster. If OpenUI would have been delivered alongside salesforce then things might have been different. They are moving towards merging On Premise and their Cloud offerings. Eventually it will be something like MS Dynamics offering where you will get choice of deploying same product either OnPremise or Cloud. One thing I would make sure to include quickly is support for REST based services as they are important for Web Base development and integration.


Jim: What are the best features of Siebel that you like?
Neel : OpenUI has to the best feature by far that I like in Siebel with only regret that it was at least 3-5 years late in arriving.


Jim : What will you suggest to a Siebel developer at this market state? If experience level of consultant is 5 , 8 or 10 years, would you suggest them to switch or stay put?
Neel : I believe the days where you could learn one skill and then use it for next 10 years are over. It doesn't matter at what experience level you are (5, 8, 10) you have make an habit of learning new skills.  Siebel jobs are going to be there for a long time but unfortunately I don't see many new implementation of Siebel. So, I assume that most of the jobs in future are going to be for maintenance projects something similar to Mainframe jobs. So, switching is person choice based on person's interest.

But if I have to recommend something apart of Siebel then I would recommend BigData instead of Salesforce as many might be expecting. BigData is an area that is evolving, exciting and challenging, it has great scope for at least next 5-10 years.


Jim: Have you closed all doors for Siebel? Or can there be a comeback in future?
Neel: I am trying to move towards an true architect role where you look at different technologies from 10000 feet and then try to put different pieces together to complete a jigsaw puzzle. So, Siebel as a technology is not out of picture but my hands-on days on Siebel are over for sure.


Jim :Finally, what do you think is the future of Siebel? I know you avoided this topic on your blog, would like to comment on it now? or share some of your thoughts or share any trend you have experienced on your blog?
Neel : Oracle's focus is more on  its Cloud Offerings. Oracle Sales people have been directed to sell On Premise solution only in certain cases such as where deal is of large size or a new customer account is being cracked otherwise they have been instructed to sell On Cloud CRM products. I came to know about this while dealing with Oracle Sales person for a Siebel Proposal (thanks to my new role). That makes me believe that they are trying to merge their Cloud & On Premise offerings. All the development in Siebel (Tools on web, New theme making the UI similar to Oracle Sales Cloud) seems to be also pointing to same.

If you look at market statistics customer are adopting cloud technology in masses. People are sticking to Siebel either because they are heavily invested or they believe other products don't offer what they need. Salesforce recently announced launch of their vertical clouds focused at industries such as Pharma, Media, Finance similar to Siebel Verticals. If they are successful in launching a quality product, that means customers concerns around functionality will be addressed and given the price difference it will be only matter of time before they move on.  Siebel was market leader because it came in ahead of its time but Oracle's cloud services are still playing catch-up. So, until and unless Oracle can expedite it's rollouts it will always be playing catch-up.

So, to conclude I believe Siebel as product might not exist in not so far future and Oracle will offer one CRM product with choice of On Premise and Cloud Deployment.
 


Please share your thoughts in comments below. And register your email to receive email updates.


- Jim

August 29, 2015

Top 10 most annoying features of Open UI!

I am back with another installment of #ShameOnOracle series. I have been doing talking with lot of Siebel users recently, Strange enough I got almost the same reactions when I asked user what they don't like about Open UI.


From the reactions I have created this list of Top 10 most annoying features of Siebel Open UI:

  1. No vertical scroll in list applets.
  2. No hour glass for system processing.
  3. No popup multi-line text areas.
  4. MVG lost shuttle applet.
  5. Attachment drag and drop doesn't work.
  6. On the fly attachment update is not supported.
  7. Product configurator is slower than HI product configurator
  8. Screen real estate is not utilized properly in 8.1.1.9 to 8.1.1.14, lot of blank spaces left on UI.
  9. Keyboard shortcuts doesn't work properly.
  10. Document title is not static.

Please be mindful that these list of issues faced by end user at my current customer only and does not represent all users of Siebel Open UI. Issues presented here might not look like an issue to you personally or your customer.

Did you receive same reactions anywhere? Please feel free to share your feedback or solutions in comments below.

#ShameOnOracle

August 27, 2015

HTML Attributes doesnt work in Siebel Open UI

HTML Attribute Property of applet controls is a standard interactivity application's property which allows to set HTML attributes so that javascript can directly refer that element using document.GetElementById() or GetElementByName()

From Tools help:
"
HTML Attributes (O) -  Specifies to add HTML tag attributes to the HTML tags that the Standard Interactivity client creates when it displays the control. For example, If you set the HTML Attributes property to size=30 for a text box, then the client creates the following tag: <input type = text size=30 . . .>
"

However this trick is not available in Open UI as Open UI is considered to be HI application. Enhancement request has been created by oracle to consider this in future releases.


Solution:

In absense of this attribute property, developers have to scan through the elements using syntax like :

To access control of applet use following in PR layer:

this.GetPM().GetControl ("First Name");

or following to access the applet's wrapper.

var appplet_wrapper = "#s_" + tihs.GetPM().Get("GetFullId") + "_div";

 After getting access to the applet wrapper one can use jquery find method to extract controls of the applet.

 Hope it helps.

August 26, 2015

Migrating Open UI Manifest data between environments

Siebel Open UI manifest records created in Administration - Application> Manifest Administration, and as per IP 2015 there is no way provided by siebel to migrate the data created to higher environments.  Manifest BusComp are not available in ADM export out of the box.

This limits the siebel automated deployments and introduces manual intervention step.

Searching on support web reveals that Oracle has accepted the system limitaion and created a BUG for it in 2014 however no update has been provided till yet.


From Oracle

"
The manifest is now stored in Repository tables and therefore would be migrated with the rest of the Repository.
With the way Open UI Manifest migration is implemented, there does not appear to be a SIF export; yet, it migrated with the Siebel repository. Thus, it seems there is no way to generate a SIF for the manifest data.  Siebel Tools Object Explorer Screen shot that lists the S_UI_* tables and shows project name: "Repository Table" that proves dev2prod will migrate these.

Customer requested an enhancement on being able to incrementally migrate Manifest information without doing a full repository migration, such as using a .SIF file.
"

Bug created :  BUG 19469254 - OPEN UI MANIFEST MIGRATION BETWEEN ENVIRONMENTS IN .SIF FILES




Solution : 

The only way available now is to manually keep track of the manifest changes and import them through UI with every release.

To make it a bit easier to identify the custom records one search with : [Record Source] = 'Customer'

This will return only the custom created manifest records.

#AnotherBug

August 25, 2015

Open UI just doesn't work!

I recently met a group of people who basically vented out their first reactions on Siebel Open UI. Group consisted of both technical staff and non technical end users, thus I was able to validate and confirm issues.

At the end of discussion I was left with long list of things that doesn't work in Open UI. On researching support web, picture became more appalling.

Following is the list of very basic things that just don't work in Open UI, and sad part is that Oracle is not acting on them at all.

Please share your views in the comments below.

  1. Scrolling through list applet does not work with keyboard shortcut.

    When you get a list applet displayed in Open UI and before you click on any data row you navigate with the keys <CTRL>+<ARROW-DOWN> the focus will jump to the next record.But the previous record is still highlighted.
    Oracle raised couple of bugs for it, but didn't provided any fix for IP2013

  2. Drag and Drop of attachment does not work in IE9 and IE11 in IP2013 however it works in other browsers.


    Open UI Product Management recommends :
    ..."Drag and drop will not work in any IE version in Siebel 8.1.1.10 release and below. The biggest issue here is that IE8 and IE9 simply don’t support standards based drag and drop in HTML5. For IE10 there is a defect in a third party being used to provide this functionality. The third party has resolved the issue and it will be included in a future Siebel release. We would not encourage customers to upgrade the third party themselves, but rather they should wait for the next Siebel release when a fix will be made available"....
    In one of the SR oracle has gone one step further and recommended to change the browser.

  3. Open UI doesn't show hour glass while running query.

    This has been reported to oracle by many customers and since earliest open UI release, still oracle hasn't provided any fix yet.
    Steps to replicate:
    1) Log Into Open UI enabled siebel application
    2) Navigate to Accounts > All Accounts View
    3) Select the field to be searched using In Line Search(dropdown on top of list applet)
    4) Query for a field which can take some time to return records
    5) hourglass not shown and user doesn't know whether the system is querying or not!

  4. Vertical scroll is not present in open ui list applets.


    Siebel HI List Applet
    This one is the annoying thing of open UI. I don't understand why oracle has gone ahead picked up jqgrid for designing list applets. Grid is not capable enough to handle the large amount of data thus vertical scrolling is difficult to implement. This is also the reason of bad performance of Open UI client.

  5. Text area fields in open UI does not pops up.

    This is the second most annoying thing for an experienced HI user. Suddenly after upgrade Siebel losses it's popout text areas and no solution was provided till date. I have seen long time wasted to resolve this thing by many developers.
We all know list of issues with Open UI doesn't end here. I will create another list of Top 10 annoying things of Open UI to share it with you.

Till the time if you any problem that was just rejected by oracle to fix and think that should get slot in top 10 the please share it in comments below.

#ShameOnOracle

July 18, 2015

How to pass arguments by reference in Siebel?

Yes! it is possible to pass arguments by reference to Siebel functions. This technique is not documented in bookshelf and most of developer use this unknowingly while passing true or false to CanInvoke property in WebApplet_PreCanInvokeMethod Event of applets to make controls active or inactive.

Lets see how it works.

Nothing special needs to be done by calling function, only change made is in callee function in declaration of arguments by prefixing & ampersand just like &CanInvoke in PreCanInvokeMethod.


 Lets see an example :

function Service_PreInvokeMethod (MethodName, Inputs, Outputs)
{
if(MethodName == "PassByReferenceTest")
{
var privatePS = TheApplication().NewPropertySet();
privatePS.SetProperty("test","something");
subFunction(privatePS);
TheApplication().RaiseErrorText(privatePS.GetProperty("test"));
return(CancelOperation);
}
return (ContinueOperation);
}

function subFunction (&parameter)
{
parameter.SetProperty("test","TestSuccesful");
}


Above script declares a new property set and sets value of a process property to a string("something"), which is over written("TestSucccesful") by subFunction by directly accessing it through the memory pointer.  When business service is executed RaiseErrorText whill print "TestSuccesful" instead of "something".

 
This trick will potentially save you memory allocation and speed up you code a bit. Please be mindful that this code is just an experiment and should not be used in production environment without proper testing.


Happy coding :)

July 02, 2015

Not all control paths lead to a return statement. (SBL-SCR-00128)

Not all control paths lead to a return statement. (SBL-SCR-00128)

  This issue was fixed in version 8.1.1.7, but has been reported re-occurring in IP2014 patchset 3, it is caused due to product defect. This can cause interruptions in full compile of srf.

While compiling srf, if any script which has try catch block which has return statement in try block and does not have return statement outside catch, then this error will interrupt the srf compilation. 


To resolve this disable the "Deduce Types" scripting option in Siebel Tools as shown below.

June 30, 2015

How to change color of screen tab in Open UI?

I think this configuration should available out of the box in Siebel. Never the less I am happy that it is possible to customize the View PR layer in Open UI to change the colors of view bar of specific views.

In this example we will see how can we change the view bar background conditionally using Open UI View level PR customization.

This is how grey tab theme looks out of the box for Manifest File view :
 
Open UI Manifest File View

And this is how Manifest Administration view looks with Open UI PR Customization:

Open UI Manifest Administration View

May be savvy developers would like to have pale yellow for read only views or red for administration screens???


Part 1 : Create CSS class
This customization requires extending the theme in theme.js and creating new class to add different color. New Class should look something like :
custom-theme.css
When this class is associated with any control, it will change the background of the element to transparent and change the background color to blue.

Part 2: Create View PR Customization 
Now the task left is to find the view bar element in the DOM and assigning the class, this can be done with these two commands:

            $("#s_sctrl_tabView").addClass("custom_viewbar");
            $("#s_sctrl_tabScreen").find("li.ui-tabs-active[role='tab']").find("a").addClass("custom_viewbar");

Additionally we need to handle the browser resize event and reassign the class on change of size of browser. Sadly resize event is not passed on the View level PR as described in bookshelf and it has to be done with help of jQuery bind function. Code handling resize event looks like :

        $(window).bind("resize", OnPRResize);

At last we need to handle the cleaanup in the EndLife event of jQuery bind and the class allocation.

$(".custom_viewbar").removeClass("custom_viewbar");
$(window).unbind("resize", OnPRResize);

The final code of PR looks like:


if (typeof(SiebelAppFacade.testPR) === "undefined") {
    SiebelJS.Namespace("SiebelAppFacade.testPR");
    define("siebel/custom/testPR", ["siebel/viewpr"],function () {
    SiebelAppFacade.testPR = (function () {

    function testPR(pm) {
                SiebelAppFacade.testPR.superclass.constructor.apply(this, arguments);
    }
    SiebelJS.Extend(testPR, SiebelAppFacade.ViewPR);

    testPR.prototype.Init = function () {
        $(window).bind("resize", OnPRResize);
        SiebelAppFacade.testPR.superclass.Init.apply(this, arguments);
    }

    testPR.prototype.ShowUI = function () {
        SiebelAppFacade.testPR.superclass.ShowUI.apply(this, arguments);
    }

    testPR.prototype.BindData = function (bRefresh) {
            SiebelAppFacade.testPR.superclass.BindData.apply(this, arguments);
    }
    var OnPRResize = function OnResize(){
            $("#s_sctrl_tabView").addClass("custom_viewbar");
            $("#s_sctrl_tabScreen").find("li.ui-tabs-active[role='tab']").find("a").addClass("custom_viewbar");
    };
    testPR.prototype.BindEvents = function () {
            SiebelAppFacade.testPR.superclass.BindEvents.apply(this, arguments);
    }
    testPR.prototype.EndLife = function () {
        $(".custom_viewbar").removeClass("custom_viewbar");
        $(window).unbind("resize", OnPRResize);
        SiebelAppFacade.testPR.superclass.EndLife.apply(this, arguments);
    }

    testPR.prototype.Setup = function () {};

    testPR.prototype.SetRenderer = function () {
                $("#s_sctrl_tabView").addClass("custom_viewbar");
                $("#s_sctrl_tabScreen").find("li.ui-tabs-active[role='tab']").find("a").addClass("custom_viewbar");
    };

    return testPR;
    }()
    );
    return "SiebelAppFacade.testPR";
    })
}

Part3: Configure Manifest
Now when this PR script is associated to any view in Open UI Manifest, view bar color and screen tab color of that view will change to blue.


Hope it helps, if you like this article and would like to see more articles like this please leave a comment or +1

June 28, 2015

How to make Open UI textarea fields flexible in IE?

As you would know that IE doesn't have flexible textarea even in version 11. When rest of all modern browser allow to open drag one corner of the text area to change its size, IE doesn't let user to change size of elements because of Trident layout engine???


Fixed size multiline fields in IE
Because of this limitation Siebel Open UI users suffer big time. All the multiline textarea fields in open UI are fixed size and there is no way to pop them up as in HI or expand them. read more. 

Flexible multiline fields in chrome
There are many jquery based plugins available for this problem however all of them needs to maintained and lacks in one thing or the other, probably you will end up using one of those plugins at the end. However If someone looking for simple straightforward stop gap solution, then you can use jQueryUI Resizable function to make the textareas flexible just like chrome or firefox.

To implement in simply add following one line in postload.js file on the web server.

 $("textarea").resizable(); 

This will make all the textarea controls which are used for multiline field flexible and show tiny blue cue to expand or decrease the size of element and mimic chrome or firefox textarea elements.


Hope it helps.


June 27, 2015

How to build Siebel Workflow Expression?

I remember my days when i started with Siebel, I just couldn't get the syntax of workflow expression correct. I still see newbies of siebel struggling to get it right the first time. In this post I would try to make the basic rules of workflow expressions as simple as possible.

Basic Rules of Siebel Workflow Expression are :

  1. Siebel Workflow takes String as input.
  2. + (plus) is the concatenation operator.
  3.  Process properties can be referred using & operator like this > [&Object Id] 
  4.  Don't worry about spaces in process property names, they are allowed.

Let's take an simple example where we want to build the expression to search for records with Contact Id specified in Object Id the search spec would be:



if Object id contains : 1-12345 then expression will be evaluated as :


Did I say its a H.U.G ?

See what is the difference between Expression Business Component and Filter Business Component


Hope it helps.

June 15, 2015

How to Invoke Siebel Business Service using URL?

SWEAPI is no doubt is one of the most neglected yet powerful feature of Siebel. It allows applications to integrate with Siebel as RESTful HTTP requests. SWEAPI is well documented and is powerful enough perform most of business operations similar to navigating around views and invoke methods of business services.

URL can be invoked from any HTTP client (likes of cURL) and is independent of User Agents. Output of business service can be transformed using XSLT style-sheets.

Following URL is an example for invoking business service through single URL. It is capable of logging into application and execute a business service(did I say workflows as well?).

http://host_name/fins_enu/start.swe?SWEDataOnly=1&SWESetMarkup=XML&SWECmd=ExecuteLogin&SWEUserName=SADMIN&SWEPassword=Password&SWEAC=SWECmd=InvokeMethod&SWEMethod=RunProcess&SWEService=Workflow%20Process%20Manager
This URL can give following output:


SWEDataOnly : Removes unnecessary navigational information from output
SWESetMarkup : Forces the output format to XML
SWEUserName : Application login user name
SWEPassword : Application password
SWEAC : Secondary command that is executed after login
SWEMethod : Method of business service to invoke
SWEService : Business service name

June 14, 2015

Siebel Open UI Interview Questions

Read Latest Open UI Interview Questions here.

What is Siebel Open UI?

Answer: Siebel Open UI is HTML 5 based Siebel High interactive client which is released by Oracle to replace older Active X based HI client. It is available in Siebel CRM from version 8.1.1.9 onwards. The name derived from Open source JavaScript libraries which it is based on.
Siebel Open UI Logo
Siebel Open UI

It is fully HTML 5 compliant user interface, which is based on jQuery and jQueryUI frameworks. It does not uses any active x component thus it can be accessed using any HTML 5 compliant browser like chrome, safari and Firefox along with latest Internet explorer.


Question : How to enable Open UI in Siebel?

Answer : To enable Open UI create new application object manager and set following parameters

Enable Open UI = true
HighInteractivity =true

Siebel Open UI exists parallel to existing Siebel clients. It references same srf and database and shares the same object definition with High Interactive application. 

 

Question: What are major customizable components of Siebel Open UI ?

Answer: Open UI can be customized extensively with help of jquery classes(known as presentation mode and physical renderer), which can override the default behviour of controls and can mash up with other HTML widgets.


 

 Question: What is the difference between presentation model and physical renderer?

Answer : Physical renderer is JavaScript layer in Open UI stack that is responsible for building the UI and showing the data. It communicates with presentation model to fetch data.

Presentation model is second layer which maintains the data state in Client. All the events and methods(such as delete record, write record or update record) are managed by PM layer. It communicates with proxy layer to get and set data on server.

 

Question: What is the difference between the PM of List applet and Form Applet?

Answer: Class of PM Layer is of list applet is different from Form applets and is extended as : 
SiebelJS.Extend(CustomClassName, SiebelAppFacade.PresentationModel); for form applet
and List applet uses SiebelJS.Extend(CustomClassName, SiebelAppFacade.ListPresentationModel)

Recommended way to customize PM and PR layer is use code creators
Duncan ford template generator 


 

Question : How to access Applet's Client User properties in Presentation Model?

Answer: Client user properties specified in siebel tools can be retrieved in Siebel Presentation Model JS by accessing the constants in the Setup method. Example:


CustomPM.prototype.Setup = function (propSet){
var consts = SiebelJS.Dependency("SiebelApp.Constants");
var apm = propSet.GetChildByType(consts.get("SWE_APPLET_PM_PS"));
var value = apm.GetProperty("User Property1");



Question: Does open UI support browser script events defined in tools?

Answer: Yes open UI supports browser scripts specified in tools. All the browser script events are supported. In addition to those events Open UI supports presentation model and physical renderer js class files to leverage HTML 5 capabilities.


Recommended Reading from Bookshelf:
Deploying Open UI
Configuring Open UI





Read for More Open UI Interview Questions - New



March 18, 2015

Siebel Interview Questions : Scripting

See collection of Date functions in Siebel eScript

Siebel Scripting is one the most interesting areas of Siebel, if it is done properly it can do wonders for business, otherwise it can lead to ever increasing technical debt.

Siebel Tools Scripting IDE

Before jumping to questions let us look at some lessor known facts of Siebel Scripting:
  1. Siebel support two scripting languages: eScript and VBScript
  2. Full name of eScript is ECMA script which developed further to become javascript. 
  3. Garbage collection of Siebel scripts in not automatic
  4. Siebel eScript does support prototype overriding and classes
  5. Siebel eScript can pass arguments by value and pass by reference

Question: Which Siebel objects supports scripting?

Answer: Script can be written on following objects in Siebel:
  1. Business Services
  2. Client Side Business Services
  3. Business Components
  4. Applets
  5. Application
  6. Product Configurator Events
  7. Smart Scripts
  8. Workflows (via business services)
  9. Open UI js class files
  10. Browser scripts on Applets, BusComps, Application, Business Services
  11. Siebel Webtemplates SWTs
  12. ?????

Question : How to change primary record of MVG using scripting?

Answer: Primary record of MVG can be changed by setting the SSA Primary Field of the associated record. 

Script could look like:  
        bcOpty.ClearToQuery();
        bcOpty.ExecuteQuery();
        if(bcOpty.FirstRecord())
        {
            var bcMVG = bcOpty.GetMVGBusComp("MVF Name");
           bcMVG.ActivateField("SSA Primary Field");
            bcMVG.ClearToQuery();
            bcMVG.SetViewMode(AllView);
            bcMVG.SetSearchSpec("Id", "1-12345");
            bcMVG.ExecuteQuery();
             if(bcMVG.FirstRecord())
            {
               bcMVG.SetFieldValue("SSA Primary Field", "Y");
               bcOpty.WriteRecord();
            }
        }

Question : How to set pick list field using script?

Answer:  GetPicklistBusComp() Pick() methods are available in eScript by which system can search on pick list buscomp and pick desired record.

Syntax for pick method can look like:
oPickBusComp = buscomp.GetPickListBusComp("FieldName");
oPickBusComp.ClearToQuery();
oPickBusComp.SetSearchSpec("Id","12345");
oPickBusComp.ExecuteQuery();
oPickBusComp.Pick();
buscomp.WriteRecord();

Question : How to show a confirmation(Ok/Cancel) dialogue box in Siebel?

Answer: Confirmation Dialog box should be implemented through browser script using javascript confirm method. This method prompts users with option to proceed or cancel the process.



Click here for example.



Question : How to call batch file through scripting?

Answer: Siebel provides C libraries to access the host of Siebel server.
Clib.system() is one of those functions which allows script to pass some instructions to command processor of server host.
Using this method, a batch file can be invoked from Siebel which can do OS level changes.
Following instruction can execute Siebel.bat file on the server:

Clib.system("C:\\Scripts\\Batch\\Siebel.bat");

Question : How to update read only fields in Siebel?

Answer: Fields in Siebel are configured as read-only using "Field Read Only Field" and "BC Read Only Field" user properties. These user properties does not work on views where admin mode flag is set to Y.

BusComp.InvokeMethod("SetAdminMode", flag)

Question: What is the difference between SetAdminMode and SetViewMode(AllView)?

Answer :
  • SetAdminMode mimics the behaviour of Admin Views, and is used to update read only fields
  • SetViewMode instruction changes the default view mode of the business component, it used to access records which are not visible with default view mode.


Question : Is it possible to invoke workflow through browser script?

Answer: Workflow can be invoked through browser script if "Workflow Process Manager" declared as Client side business service in Application's User Property. 


Question : What type of error handling is available in Siebel eScript?

Answer: try catch finally instructions helps to handle run time errors in e-script.

  • try block marks the code which needs to handled
  • catch block declares commands which should be executed in case of error,
  • finally block is executed after try and catch has completed executing.

try
{
   statement_block
}
catch
{
   exception_handling_block
   [throw exception]
}
finally
{
   statement_block_2
}

Finally block is always executed no matter if there was error encountered or not.

Question: How to get language of Object Manager?

var lang = TheApplication().InvokeMethod("LANGUAGE");

Question :  What is difference between ActiveBusObject() and GetBusObject() methods?

Answer: ActiveBusObject is mostly used in UI based scripting requirements, this method can only return the handle of current BO instance.

For example: In Accounts screen ActiveBusObject will return Account BO and subsequent .GetBusComp().GetFieldValue will return the information from the record selected by user.

Same script in Contact Screen will return the Contact BO.

Important Points about ActiveBusObject: 
- It is not recomended to use ClearToQuery and ExecuteQuery on BC of ActiveBusObject as UI context for user will get lost.
- ActiveBusObject is the only way to get BO in browser script.

GetBusObject method should be used when current BO instance does not have the BC of interest. We can get handle of any BO in application using GetBusObject This is mostly used in background processes and workflows.

 



March 12, 2015

100 Siebel Interview Questions : Workflows : Part 2

On readers interest, creating Part 2 for the post on Siebel Workflow Interview Question, feel free to leave a comment for any specific question that you faced difficulty in answering or would like to know more about any specific area in Siebel.



Question: Is it mandatory to specify Business Object on a Workflow?

Answer: No, Business Object needs to specified only when there is need to use Siebel Operation in Workflow.

Question: What is the difference between Expression business component and Filter business component in Siebel Operation?

Answer: These business components fields are used in Siebel Operation when search spec is built by referencing another business component field.

For Example: To find Account records where Account Id is specified in Contact's Account Id field, expression will be created like :
"[Id] = [Account Id]"
And Filter Business Component will be set as : Account and Expression Business will be set as Contact. Thus it will be evaluated as :

"[Account.Id] = [Contact.Account Id]"

read more on :
How to create Siebel Operation Expression 
Bookshelf: Defining Siebel Operation Search Spec


Question : How to compare two properties in Siebel Workflow?

Answer: Expression on Siebel Conditional branch can be used to compare two properties.  To see how to create expression in siebel workflow please see.



March 10, 2015

How to invoke siebel workflow through Command Line?

Siebel provides very simple way of handling this situation via server manager. Server manager is command line interface of Siebel which primarily designed to perform system administration activities like starting and stopping components, it can also be used create requests for the server components.

To execute a siebel workfow through command line first we need to connect to the server manager through this command:

srvrmgr /g gateway1 /e enterprise1 /s server1 /u sadmin /p pwd

 And then execute following command

run task for component WfProcMgr with processname='Test Workflow'

You additionally pass SearchSpec and use workflow process batch manager to execute workflow for multiple records.

run task for component WfProcBatchMgr with processname='Test Workflow', SearchSpec ='[Date]=Today()-1'  

This solution has only two limitations,  

First, we can not pass values for process properties of the workflow. This has to be done by querying the values first and then calling the actual workflow.

Second, if the batch size is huge it might take few hours to serveral hours to process depending upon the workflow process. This happens because Workflow Process Batch Manager executes the workflow in sequence. That means it will only start the workflow for second record when first is finished.

Please share your experiences with Batch processes designed through command line.  

February 15, 2015

Responsive UI Demo of Siebel Open UI IP2014

With IP2014 Siebel has adopted responsive UI design which adapts the UI in real time to the screen size and HTML5 capabilities available on the device. Following video is the best Siebel demo we have ever seen so far.

Please watch and Share!!  

Demo showcases :
- Differences between desktop and tablet devices(ipad)
- HTML 5 Compatibility test
- Application menu adapts to screen size (hides context menu on iPad)
- Icons are larger on tablet device for easy navigation.
- Calendar changes the layout for easier navigation in iPad
- Fluid Grid adapts to the resolution of desktop application into a tablet mode and further to mobile resolutions 
- Checkbox adapts to slider using plugin wrapper on iPAD
- MVG shows both shuttle applet and list applet.
- MVG on iPAD shows as pre IP2014 application.
- iPAD enables multi-select checkboxes.
- Scrolling in remains the same in desktop as in IP2013
- Infinite Scrolling is available in iPAD with progress bar!!! No need of IP2013 Solution  







February 13, 2015

How to get current timestamp in JavaScript?

Following Javascript code returns current date and timestamp of client. This is quite handy for Open UI development, one can call following code from console.log() method to record the invocation sequence which is otherwise very difficult.

function displayTime(str2) {  
    var str = "";
    var currentTime = new Date()
    var hours = currentTime.getHours()
    var minutes = currentTime.getMinutes()
    var seconds = currentTime.getSeconds()
    var milliseconds = currentTime.getMilliseconds()
    if (minutes < 10) {
        minutes = "0" + minutes
    }
    if (seconds < 10) {
        seconds = "0" + seconds
    }
    str += hours + ":" + minutes + ":" + seconds + ":" + milliseconds;
    return str2 + ": " + str;
    }

Siebel Open UI Example:

 console.log("PR Invoked" + displayTime("@"));

Hope it helps. 

February 10, 2015

How to traverse javascript object?

For in loop is one of my favourite commands of JavaScript and it just one step behind the modest alert() ;) 

It is a very powerful command and helps you to loop through any JavaScript object without knowing what object is all about. You don't need to know the types that exists in the object or number of child objects that object has. You just need have the handle of the object and you can loop through all its properties.

It is quite handy if you cant get your head around Siebel Open UI and you want to know what else is available in that object and how the functions are implemented in an object.

Examples:
MyPM.prototype.Setup = function (propSet) {       
    for(var x in propSet){console.log(x + "" + propSet[x]);
    }
        SiebelAppFacade.MyPM.superclass.Setup.call(this, propSet);
}

In this example I am trying to find what else is passed through the property set by Siebel to the Setup function of Presentation Model. and the following I am trying to all the methods that are available by theApplication() object.

for(var x in theApplication()){
console.log(x + " " + theApplication[x]);
}


For those who don't know, For in loop is just plain old JavaScript and is not some thing the jQuery offers.

Happy Hacking :)