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Introduction to Siebel OpenUI

In my 14+ Siebel CRM projects, the one question that I’ve heard most is “Does it work on Chrome (or Firefox, or Safari)?”  I’ve always been a disappointed to have to say, “No, it only works on IE.”

In the days of the old bandwidth-limited web, Siebel’s web architecture was great. Considering the standard experience with internet speeds measured in kbps, Siebel was ahead of the curve on UI functionality and web performance.  However, the web progressed while Siebel remained tied to ActiveX controls and Internet Explorer, which was a hard bite to chew.

This is part of why I jumped at the chance for ownership of Perficient’s OpenUI initiative.  Oracle has finally released a new, standards based, UI for Siebel that they call OpenUI.  This new user interface sits on top of all of the same Siebel server architecture, but uses AJAX calls, HTML5(ish) code, standard CSS3 styling and JavaScript in the web presentation layer.

Finally, a Siebel UI that is based on the latest open standards for web development, yet with all of the server-side business logic, development, and configuration tools that makes Siebel CRM so flexible.

At last, we have the tools to fulfill those requests that we haven’t been able to handle, such as:

  • Can we make _____ records bright red and bold?
    • Getting close to an SLA time?  Sales forecasts past due?  We can now change the font or background colors.
  • Does it work on ______?
    • Siebel OpenUI works in Chrome, Safari, Firefox, iOS – any browser! Windows, OSX, Android, iOS… any operating system!
  • Does it work on my iPad?
    • ‘Real’ mobile web app functionality – using Siebel Tools and standard web development tools, we can build, brand, and customize a mobile UI that has the same functionality that the full application has.
  • Can I brand Siebel to look like the rest of my intranet?
    • We can engage our creative teams to not just change Siebel’s colors, but truly make Siebel match the customer’s web brand
  • I don’t like the Standard Interactivity UI – how to I integrate Siebel into my partner or customer portals?
    • We don’t have to integrate it behind the scenes, we can use Siebel natively in the customer portal without the customer even knowing that some of the web parts on the page are Siebel.

The projects are starting to line up and I’m excited to see what we can do with OpenUI.  Engaging the creatives and the user experience designers along with our Siebel experts will allow us to take our clients to new levels of efficiency.  And I can finally answer the question “Does it work in Chrome?” with “Yep, it sure does!”

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