Discussion Forums for Siebel

A new Siebel web resource… The Oracle Technical Network have recently added Community Discussion Forums for Siebel (you’ll need to sign up for free membership of TechNet).

Early days on the discussion pages, but in time I’d expect this to replace ITToolbox as the default destination for Siebel queries. I’ll be keeping an eye on the Siebel Technology thread and hoping to learn a few things.

(via both Andy and Graham)

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October 4, 2007 at 9:41 am 3 comments

Siebel User Group Australia

Things have been quiet around here while I’ve been on vacation, but a little side project I’ve been involved with has been barrelling along: I’m very pleased to be able to say that Siebel User Group Australia is up-and-running.

I’ve mentioned before my feeling that Siebel is severely lacking in good community support, at least in Sydney, and compared with other similar technology specialisations. Turns out that I’m not the only one with that sentiment. Driven largely by the enthusiasm of David Wong, a small group of us have been meeting for a couple of months to try and get a ‘grassroots’ movement happening. Sounds like some kind of revolution!

The outcome is SUGA, a new organisation that will hopefully become a catalyst for ongoing Siebel community events, networking and knowledge sharing. To kick things off, we’ve planned two evening events for the upcoming months. This coming Thursday’s “Siebel Upgrade Strategies” panel is already oversubscribed – a promising sign! – so register early for November’s “Siebel 8.0 Upgrade Case Study”.

For those in Sydney, hope to see you Thursday. I’ll be the skinny bloke at the front kicking off the whole shebang, then disappearing into the background while the real experts do their thing…

September 24, 2007 at 9:16 am 3 comments

Synchronous Wait Steps

This one caught me out just recently while I was building a business process to poll a service every couple of seconds. Seemed simple enough: add a Wait Step to my flow, set MeasureUnit to Seconds and duration to 1, then call my service and loop back to the Wait under certain conditions. In my example I want the flow to fail if the service doesn’t complete after half a dozen attempts, so I set the Maximum Iterations property on the service step to 6 and handled the error that occurs on the 7th attempt. The workflow should run synchronously in the Application Object Manager, with the UI waiting for a response.

According to all documentation this should have worked, but instead the workflow was immediately returning a response to the UI the first time it hit the Wait Step. The workflow was continuing on exactly as expected in the background, but it appeared that Siebel was automatically persisting the workflow, making the flow asynchronous.

Took a bit of digging around, but the solution was to change the Mode of the business process. In Interactive Flow or Service Flow mode the Wait step causes the flow to move out of the UI context, but in good old 7.0 Flow compatibility mode it works as expected, blocking the UI until the workflow completes.

Doesn’t fit in very well with Siebel’s mandate of not creating new 7.0 Flows, but what can you do when there are bugs..?

August 17, 2007 at 11:22 am

Dynamically Show/hide a Control

The browser script Control method ‘SetProperty’ is fairly limited: it only works at all with CheckBox, ComboBox, TextBox and TextAreas, and even with these controls I’ve found behaviour to be flaky. In my experience it’s more reliable to grab a handle to the control and access the DOM properties directly.

For instance, to conditionally show or hide a control using browser script, the code looks like this:

var ctrl = thisApplet.FindActiveXControl("My Control");

if( ctrl != null )

{

  if( myFlag )

    ctrl.style.visibility="visible";// show control

  else

     ctrl.style.visibility="hidden";// hide control

}

This approach can also be used to set other display properties – like the font and colors – but you have to be a bit more careful with interactive properties: the standard HTML property disabled does not work the same as Siebel’s Enabled control property, for instance.

The best reference I’ve found to the complete set of DOM properties is on MSDN, with the advantage that everything here should be available to Siebel’s IE-only environment.

July 30, 2007 at 12:51 pm 1 comment

Order of Events

A quick list, for reference:

  • Runtime Applet.PreInvokeMethod
  • Browser Applet_PreInvokeMethod
  • Server WebApplet_PreInvokeMethod
  • Runtime BusComp.PreInvokeMethod
  • Server BusComp_PreInvokeMethod
  • Runtime BusComp.InvokeMethod
  • Server BusComp_InvokeMethod
  • Runtime Applet.InvokeMethod
  • Server WebApplet_InvokeMethod
  • Browser Applet_InvokeMethod

Essentially, the Runtime Event occurs before the equivalent server script event for the same object, plus the Applet browser script events ‘wrap’ all server side events.All of which makes perfect logical sense, but it’s sometimes handy to see it written down in a list.

July 19, 2007 at 10:04 am

Siebel Meetup

Sydneysiders: Andy Simon of Cubic Resources has organised another Siebel-focused drinks tomorrow night, at the Senate BarGPO Sydney. That’s Thursday 18th from 6pm. The short notice means I won’t be able to attend, but hopefully it’s a good turnout. The last evening had a pretty good response and was a great opportunity to meet a few new faces.

Drop Andy a line on ASimon at cubicresources.com.au if you plan on heading down.

July 18, 2007 at 2:08 pm

Custom Popup Applets

Obviously, with every implementation we do we aim to rollout a ‘vanilla’ solution. By now, everyone has fully ‘bought in’ to that mantra and understands the ongoing benefits of not over-customising. Having said that, there are still situations that justify slight, er, tweaks to the Siebel application…

A recent one for me included giving the user a list of options on completing an action. Now, I could get the result I needed by navigating to a new view, but the UI was pretty unfriendly. What I really wanted was a modal popup dialog.

In Siebel 7+ it’s possible to launch a pop-up applet from a normal applet by using the ShowPopup method. Details are in Bookshelf -> Configuring Siebel eBusiness Applications -> Configuring Special Purpose Applets -> Configuring Pop-Up Applets Launched from Applets. To summarise the instructions:

  1. Add a control to your applet
  2. Set the control Method Invoked to ShowPopup
  3. Set the control User Property Popup to the name of your popup applet

The popup applet specified in the user property must use a class derived from CSSSWEFramePopup. To see all possible classes select ‘Class’ in Tools Object Explorer and query for ‘Super Class’ = CSSSWEFramePopup: the standard class for a popup list applet is CSSSWEFrameListPopup. (What if you can’t see Class in the object explorer?) If you’re creating a new applet for your popup and you don’t expect edits in the popup, it’s simplest to configure your layout in ‘Base’ mode.

The popup applet can be based on any business component in currently active business object, and will appear in context. So you could launch a popup from the Orders applet, for instance, and list all child Order Line Items. Alternatively, you can base your popup on a VBC and display any random list of choices you desire. Because it’s all in context, capturing the user action and invoking a change on the launching business component is trivial.

So that’s all good and easy; not even too much customisation. Click a button, up pops our applet. Now, the challenge for any bored configurators out there is this: how do we automagically popup this applet on a new record when it’s written for the first time? Suggestions welcomed in the comments…

July 12, 2007 at 9:19 am 7 comments

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