Sofbang Receives 2017 ODTUG Innovation Award Honorable Mention

Sofbang and Oracle joined forces to help Rogers Group (RGI) pave the way to more profitable highway construction by combining AuraPlayer and Oracle Mobile Cloud Service into a platform for mobile app development and also solving a longstanding EBS issue.  Our innovative, exceptional and ahead-of-the-curve application for Oracle development tools that “stood out as an example of the next big thing in Oracle technology” earned RGI an Honorable Mention from the ODTUG at this years Innovation Awards.

The ODTUG Innovation Award honors excellence in creative, effective, innovative use of Oracle development tools within ODTUG’s supported communities (ADF, APEX, BI, Database, and EPM). The goal of the award is to honor developers – individuals or teams – whose passion and creativity shines through in their application of Oracle technology to address real-world problems.

Read the full story here…

 

How the Cordova Plugin Simplifies Development in Oracle MAF

Simplify Development in Oracle MAF hero image

Java is one of the most commonly used programming languages. It has a lot of components that are specifically used by Cordova DatePicker, one such component allows you to select date and time in the mobile application.

Recently, I had the opportunity to work on Oracle MAF technology where I met a time-consuming task of having to select each date individually in the application. With the use of the Cordova DatePicker plugin, the task was completed in very little time.

 

What is Cordova?

Cordova is a platform which allows developers to add different native functionality to their applications such as camera, maps, email using HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript.

Apache Cordova allows wrapping up of CSS, HTML, and JavaScript code and extends the application across multiple platforms, avoiding each mobile platform native development language.

Cordova offers plugins to access the device functionalities such as email, calendar, camera etc.

 

The Use of Cordova Plugins in Oracle Mobile Application Framework

Oracle Mobile Application Framework (MAF) is a framework that allows developers to develop a single application which can run on different platforms such as Google Android, Apple iOS, and Microsoft Windows.

MAF enables the application to interact with the device on which you deploy the application. It offers default plugins knows as Core plugins and allow you to register other plugins to meet the requirements.

MAF includes the following versions of Apache Cordova for applications that use plugins:

  • Apache Cordova 3.6.3 for MAF applications on the Android platform
  • Apache Cordova 3.7.0 for MAF applications on the iOS platform

 

Implementing Cordova DatePicker Plugin:

You can also use the following to select time only by replacing the word mode to ‘time’.

To implement this, we need to install Cordova plugin from the following link:

  • Local development workflow using Cordova CLI
    Cordova plugin add Cordova-plugin-DatePicker
  • Local development workflow using Phone Gap CLI
    Phone gap local plugin add Cordova-plugin datepicker

The example of the Cordova DatePicker makes it more convenient in addressing the process of selecting the date and time within the application.

Including DatePicker, there are many other Cordova plugins that make application development easier such as:

  • Barcode Scanner allows extracting data from a QR code or barcode from a device.
    Cordova plugin add Cordova-plugin-barcode scanner
  • Beacon allows the app to displays the nearest ranged beacon and a list of region enter/exit events
    Cordova plugin add Cordova-plugin-beacon
  • Geolocation gives device location
    Cordova plugin add Cordova-plugin-geolocation
  • FingerPrint helps scan the fingerprint of your user with the TouchID sensor
    Cordova plugin add Cordova-plugin-android-fingerprint-auth

 

In my next post, I will discuss how these plugins make application development easier.

 

Simplify Building Content-Rich Portals – A “Knockout” Cloud Journey with Oracle PaaS

Oracle Content and Experience Cloud service

Transform the customer engagement and digital experience using Oracle Content and Experience Cloud service with content workflow, collaboration using Oracle Process Cloud and seamlessly surface the data from various enterprise applications including SaaS, On-Premise ERP.

Introduction

Heather, as a marketing team lead, works daily on creating lot of collateral and content for upcoming campaigns, workshops. She would start with a draft version of all digital assets like images, view-lets, teasers (quick two minute videos), branding, slide decks etc. Day-to-day she makes lots of changes (edits/revisions) to the collateral and would like to share/review with her supervisor before she finalizes them. Additionally, she wants to be able check how those assets appear on various devices like mobile, tablets and web browsers.

Laura an HR executive would like to announce and quickly get word out to all internal employees about upcoming Holiday Party. With some examples from last year (images, videos etc.). Also as part of recruitment process, she would like to post the current openings (with referral bonus) on an internal portal/website.

The question is, is there a comprehensive, enterprise-wide digital content and experience management platform which can help both Heather and Laura to manage their day-to-day activities efficiently, with easy configurations, controlled access, integrated, and, of course, zero-coding. Can that system be accessed from anywhere through any channel with no disruption? Can that system be available on a need-based subscription model which is flexible enough to turn on/off?

There is. With the Oracle Content and Experience Cloud service, which provides omni-channel digital content management and creating engagement portals with one click of a button right from web browsers.

In this whitepaper we will take you deep into Oracle Content and Experience Cloud features and how easily we can integrate other PaaS offerings like Process Cloud Service (PCS), Integration Cloud Service (ICS) to surface the data from back-end systems and SaaS applications.

Continue reading…

Sofbang Tech Team Tips Series: Data Extraction ETL – An effective method to manage data

ETL Article Header Image

What is ETL?

ETL stands for Extract, Transform and Load, a process used to collect data from various input sources, transform the data depending on business rules/needs and load the data into a destination source. The need for this process comes from the fact that in modern computing, business data lives in many distributed locations and in multiple formats. For example, data is saved by organizations in various formats such as a word doc, PDF, XLS, plain text, etc. or may be kept in any of the commercial database servers like MS SQL Server, Oracle, and MySQL. Managing this business information efficiently is a great challenge and ETL plays an important role in solving this problem.

The ETL process has three main steps, which are Extract, Transform, and Load

 

Extract – The first step in the ETL process is extracting the data from various sources. The data in each source can be in any of the formats like flat files or some database files.

Transform – Once the data has been extracted by various filters, validations, aggregate functions or some other business logic, it can be applied to the data to get the output in the desired format.

Load – This is the final step where the ‘transformed’ data is loaded in the target destination which may again be a flat file or some predefined RDBMS file.

 

Why and Where is ETL Required

Companies or organizations with years of history and/or a global presence will inevitably go through technological changes at some point; ranging from manual systems to simple in-house applications and data storages ranging from flat files to RDBMS. This can potentially create subprocesses within the big process (business) with completely different applications running on suitable hardware and architectural platforms.

In such scenarios, the organization’s unit in location “X” might be using mainframes and another unit at location “Y” would be using the SAP system to manage operations related data. In this type of setup, if an organization’s top management needs a consolidated report of all the assets of the company, it can be a challenge to gather all the data and reports. Collecting the right data for reports from disparate systems, then consolidate them manually can be a cumbersome process that could take days to deliver a final report to management.  A more efficient way would be to have a system that fetches data from these disparate sources, stores it in a data warehouse environment and generate a report whenever needed.

So how do you fetch the data from these different systems, make it coherent, and load it into a data warehouse?

To do this, we need a methodology or a tool that can extract the data, cleanse it and load it into a data warehouse application. In order to consolidate the historical information from all disparate sources, we set up an ETL system, which transforms the data from the smaller databases into the more meaningful long-term databases.

ETL is useful when

  • Companies need a way to analyze their data for critical business decisions.
  • The transactional database cannot always answer complex business queries.
  • You need to capture the flow of transactional data.
  • There is a need to adjust data from multiple sources to be used together.
  • To structure data to be used by the various Business Intelligence (BI) tools.
  • To enable subsequent business/analytical data processing.

 

ETL graphic

 

There are a variety of ETL tools available in the market. Some of the prominent ones are:

No. List of ETL Tools ETL Vendors
1 Informatica PowerCenter Informatica Corporation
2 InfoSphere DataStage IBM
3 Oracle Data Integrator Oracle
4 Decision Stream IBM Cognos
5 Data Integrator (BODI) SAP Business Objects
6 SAS Data Integration SAS
7 Talend Studio Talend
8 Pentaho Data Integration Pentaho
9 Pervasive Data Integrator Actian / Pervasive Software
10 Clover ETL Javlin

 

Advantages of the ETL tool

  • ETL tools normally provide for better performance even for large datasets.
  • They have built-in connectors for all the major RDBMS systems.
  • They help to reuse complex programs for validations etc.
  • They offer intuitive visual integrated development environment.
  • They also offer performance optimization options such as parallel processing, load balancing etc.

At, Sofbang I have worked with Talend Open Studio, an open source project for managing various facets of ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) process for BI and data warehousing. It is one of the most innovative data integration solution in the market today.

It’s open source, free to use, and community-supported. It summarizes every operation that loads, retrieves, transforms and shapes data,  and provides very easy to use ‘drag and drop’ UI components to enable intuitive and faster UI development a shown below:

Fig: Talend IDE Screen

For example, let’s try this with an ‘Excel Sheet’ as a raw input, which needs some validations, and filters to apply to data.  Based on that information we should get our desired data in the ‘output’ Excel.

Step 1: The sample input Excel is shown below which contains some invalid names and other details of employees.

Step 2: Drag and drop the respective components (in this case for processing Excel) from the components palette on the right-hand side, put them on the screen and draw the output connections as shown below:

Step 3: Now define the validations and filters to be applied to input data, by clicking on the ‘map’ component as shown below: In this case, we define our filters and validation as;

  • Names should be valid
  • Date of birth should be greater than ’01-JAN-2012’
  • All employees drawing salary greater than 20000 should be filtered and stored separately.

Step 4: Click on the ‘Run’ button to execute the job and get the results.

Step 5: When clicking ‘Run’ button we will get the following screen:

Step 6: The resulting ‘filtered’ and ‘validated’ Excel is shown below:

Fig: Excel with Valid names and Salary > 20000

 

Fig: Excel with Valid names and DOB > ’01-JAN-2012’