SunGard Higher Education User Experience Strategy: Technical Bob Rullo; SunGard Higher Education GM User Experience
UI Technologies and Preparation
Create a consistent , streamlined , seamless and personalized user experience Provide rich interactions, information and input in a relevant context User Experience Strategy – Goals
Create a more efficient , more effective and more desirable user experience
User Experience Strategy – Key Concepts Apply to new products and enhancements Evolve existing User Interfaces Move from a transaction orientation to user-centric and process orientation Provide global representation of user responsibilities and activities Guide users through personalized processes, not just give them a big box of tools Simplify and provide more efficient navigation
Utilize current, state-of-the-art and emerging UI technologies
Banner Enrollment Management - 2008
Banner Travel and Expense Management - 2008
User Experience Transformation – State-of-the-Art and Emerging Technologies Use multiple UI technologies in “fit-for-purpose” approach Apply agile approach to assess value and implementation of current and emerging technologies Web 2.0 and Rich Internet Application (RIA) technologies including Adobe Flex
UI Technologies and Preparation
Improve HTML usage for more CSS and less table based design
Adobe Flex (Action Script and MXML)
Adobe Flex Deep Dive
Adobe Flex From Adobe: Highly productive , free open source framework for building and maintaining expressive web applications that deploy consistently on all major browsers, desktops, and operating systems Provides RAD like development experience through robust IDE Removes need for browser incompatibility hacks
Adobe Flash Player is ubiquitous
98.9% have Flash 9+ installed
Flex and SOA Adobe Flash Player Adobe Flex Application Application Server Database Client Side Server Side
Flex Data Access Flex provides a variety of interfaces for enabling Flex based applications Servers can be Java, .Net, PHP, Ruby, ColdFusion or any other server side technologies.
These interfaces differ primarily in terms of how the data is passed over HTTP.
Flex Data Access: Using Web Services The ‘HTTPService’ component is used to communicate with a server implementation that is expecting a HTTP POST or GET request. Easier way to access server resources without a more formalized API such as those provided by SOAP compliant web services. SOAP compliant web services
The ‘WebService’ component is used to communicate with the server implementation. Flex applications can interact with web services that define their interfaces in a Web Services Description Language ( WSDL ) document.
Flex Data Access: Using Remote Objects Remote object services allow access to business logic directly in its native format rather than formatting it as XML, as required with REST and SOAP web services. Flex’s ‘RemoteObject’ component
Data is passed between the Flex application and the server implementation in the binary Action Script Message Format ( AMF ).
Flex Data Access: Which method should I chose? REST/SOAP services having well established standards, can be written once and used from most of the systems, not just Flex applications. However, Can be heavy across the wire (especially SOAP is often very verbose), which can result in higher client-side memory requirements and processing time. Remote Objects use serialized COMPRESSED data With remote object services with data exchanges still happening over HTTP(S)
Remote object services offer automatic conversion between Action Script and the Java objects (or another language).
Flex Data Access: Recommendations? If you intend to support multiple clients, ensuring there are Web Service end points is desirable. If you are sharing large amounts of data Remote Objects make a lot of sense. BlazeDS – Open Source and Free Java Remoting
Enables developers to connect to back-end distributed data and push data in real-time to Adobe Flex and Adobe AIR applications for more responsive rich Internet application (RIA) experiences. http://opensource.adobe.com/wiki/display/blazeds/BlazeDS
Flex Data Access: Methods SunGard Higher Education Used Banner Enrollment Management Recruiting and Admissions Recruiting Banner Travel and Expense used Remote Objects. Banner Flexible Registration
Expect to have RESTful based applications in the future
Server Side Suggestions Most Flex Based SunGard Higher Education Applications are using Java on the server side using Spring ( http:// www.springsource.org / ) Spring BlazeDS Integration Home Makes it easier to build Spring-powered Rich Internet Applications using Adobe Flex as the front-end client.
Java experience helps, but not required
Developing Flex Applications: What version should I use? If you are building a solution right now, Flex 3.
3-6 months, start with Flex 4 Beta and prepare to upgrade to GA
How long should I plan on training people on Flex? SunGard Higher Education had predominantly PL/SQL and Oracle Forms developers. On average, it took approximately 2 months to come up to speed on Adobe Flex and be productive.
Note: Some made it, some didn’t
Are Flex applications accessible? Adobe ships 28 accessible components. All components provide ability to introduce ‘accessible’ classes. Tested with JAWS Screen Reader
Go to http://www.adobe.com/accessibility/products/flex/overview.html for more information.
Adobe Flex Information
Flex Blog Aggregator – Must see!
Adobe Flex Training You: Little or no experience with programming Goal: Learn to build and customize Flex applications You: Experience with object oriented programming Goal: Learn to build and architect Flex applications You: A program or product manager Goal: Familiarize yourself with Flex and Flex projects You: Familiar with many web technologies and platforms http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flex/learn
Goal: Evaluate Flex for your company needs