Monday, November 17, 2008

Brace yourself for Siebel 8.1.1 [updated again]

Change

After giving good ol'
Free Download Manager (yes this is an official editor's choice recommendation for really cool freeware - see below for more kudos) a sleepless night, I was able to embark on a rather ritual ride of uninstalling the old version of my typical 3-pack of Siebel Developer Web Client, Sample Database and Tools (that is 8.1.0 - dot zero) and replacing it with the latest (8.1.1 - dot one) to have a first sniff.
There are some remarkable differences between those two versions which I would like to share with all you early adopters out there.

Given the fact that 8.1.0 was never released under general availability, only a few selected humans might ever had an eye on it. Another fact is that 8.1.0 was available under certain limitations for selected customers for example to prepare an upgrade to 8.1 or to evaluate the revamped Loyalty module (now the fourth pillar of Siebel CRM among Sales, Service and Marketing).

I also downloaded the fresh-from-the-oven 8.1.1 bookshelf and made my way through some very recommended literature, the "What's New in this Release" chapters of the guides that are relevant to you (e.g. Installation Guide).

These are the first details I am posting on 8.1.1 and I am quite sure that more posts will follow.

SIA (Siebel Industry Applications aka Verticals) and SBA (Siebel Business Applications aka Horizontals) released separately

The Network Image Creator, which you still need to launch after unpacking all those .jar files does not allow you to choose between SBA and SIA. The package you download from edelivery.oracle.com is limited to one of the two. 8.1.1 is a SIA release (containing the Loyalty pillar).

Oracle Universal Installer for Developer/Mobile Web Client and Siebel Tools

The first thing you will have to say "Hello" to is the oui.exe which launches Oracle Universal Installer. OUI now takes care of installing and configuring the Siebel Developer/Mobile Web Client and Siebel Tools. Not too weird as it prompts for the same parameters as the old Installshield wizard did. However oui leaves a mark of several directories in the client's and tools' installation folders.

Oracle Universal Installer busily installing Siebel Developer Web Client, the ad to the right is for Database 11g, not for the Client ;-)

The Siebel Sample database is still using the Installshield wizard to copy itself into the client (or tools) directory.

Actuate replaced by BI Publisher

When I browsed through the Installation Guide for Windows, I noticed a statement that left me somewhat worried:

"The Actuate products formerly provided as Siebel Reports Server are no longer shipped with or supported by Siebel CRM version 8.1 or later. Reporting functionality is now available using Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher."

This two-sentence statement means a lot of work ahead for all those customers who invested (sometimes heavily) in Actuate reports. Oracle announced its decision to say goodbye to Actuate quite early and version 8.1.0 actually supported both reporting tools side by side.

But this short-lived and rarely known coexistence is now over and I feel a little worried about the projects with hundreds of heavily scripted Actuate reports given the fact that an automated migration from an Actuate rol/rod/bas/rox mix to a BI Publisher template is highly impossible. If anyone has more positive news on migrating from Actuate to BI Publisher please share your knowledge in a comment.

[Update 2]: The Siebel CRM 8.1.1 Planned Features/SOD document (login required for metalink3) states the planned availability of an Actuate to BIP Migration Tool as part of the BI Publisher server. Stay tuned for updates on that.

[Update 3]: As Anonymous points out in his/her comment to this post, Actuate is still supported for existing Siebel customers. I hope there will be more official clarification on that as there might be the need for some extra patches for existing customers (as the installers from edelivery have no Actuate binaries with them - neither for the Mobile/Developer Web Client nor in form of the Siebel Report Server). As the Siebel CRM 8.1.1 Planned Features/SOD document (login required for metalink3) points out, there will be support for Actuate 8 until end of 2009. The document mentions "Post-2009", see below. Customers with earlier Actuate versions will need to upgrade to Actuate 8.

In version 8.1.0 it was possible to set the System Preference ReportEngineType to BOTH (which is still the default setting in the sample database for 8.1.1) but in 8.1.1 there are no Actuate binaries available, so BIP is the only thing left to create reports.

The already obsolete ReportEngineType System Preference is still set to BOTH in the sample db.

Siebel Update Server and CTI Connect no longer supported

Let me conclude this post with two more statements from bookshelf and join me in saying farewell to the Siebel Update Server and the CTI simulation.

"Siebel Update Server and Siebel Update Client are no longer shipped with or supported by Siebel CRM version 8.1 or later."

"Siebel CTI Connect is no longer supported as of the current release. CTI Simulation, which used the CTI Connect driver and configuration data, is also no longer supported."

Casey Cheng is no longer able to demonstrate CTI functionality, note the error message

[Update 1]: SmartAnswer is a dead parrot, too

As stated in the Siebel CRM 8.1.1 Planned Features document (download requires login to metalink3), SmartAnswer is no longer sold, albeit supported:

"Siebel SmartAnswer is no longer sold as part of the Siebel CRM suite of applications. The product is no longer shipped effective for all new and upgrading customers beginning with Siebel 8.1 / 8.1.1. Existing customers of Siebel SmartAnswer can continue to use their products, but will not be able to buy additional seats."

About
Free Download Manager

Ideal for large downloads (from edelivery.oracle.com) as it
  • integrates in your browser
  • allows pre-selection of zip file content (skip all the stuff you never need and have faster downloads)
  • is capable of downloading flash video and converting it to portable video formats

Have a nice day

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Actuate is still supported under Siebel 8.1.1. So customers that have current investments in Actuate who upgrade will still be able to leverage their investments.

However, new customers who purchase Siebel 8.1.1 will not receive Actuate as part of the Siebel Report module. They will receive BI Publisher.

@lex said...

Hi Anonymous,

thanks for the clarification. If possible, could you clarify this in a technical way. Because when you install the Siebel 8.1.1 Developer/Mobile Web Client, there are no Actuate binaries in the installation folder, so how are customers able to still use Actuate?

I understand that the Siebel Report Server (aka Actuate iServer) will still function and existing customers are given support.

@lex

siebel user said...

As i understand, we will need to use a siebel actuate reports adapter in order to continue with actuate.

@lex said...

Hi siebel user,

yes, if a customer wishes to use Actuate after 2009, they will have to license Actuate separately and use the adapter for Siebel provided by Actuate.

Vankayalapati said...

Hi ,
What would be the alternative of Smart Answers or Replacement of Smart Answers in Siebel 8.1.x?

@lex said...

Hi Vankayalapati,

as Oracle does not tell by now (at least in the official information that is available to me), we yet have to wait.

have a nice day

@lex

Anonymous said...

FYI! everyone, CCHENG still supported to demonstrate CTI functionality.....please make a correction...

@lex said...

Hi Anonymous,

I have not been able to run a successful CTI simulation with 8.1.1 SIA [21111]. If possible, please share more information on how to accomplish this and I would be more than glad to update the post.

have a nice day

@lex

Anonymous said...

Alex

In the Call Center Program Shorcut properties, under Target field value, if you include the values like the way we did in older version, it still works....please see below:

C:\Siebel\8.1\Client_1\BIN\siebel.exe /c C:\Siebel\8.1\Client_1\bin\ENU\uagent.cfg /d sample /u CCHENG /p CCHENG /ctsim


and even if you don't use CCHENG, but by logging as SADMIN also it works....

@lex said...

Hi Anonymous, are you sure you are running 8.1.1 ?

Anonymous said...

Hi I'm trying to instal Siebel 8.1.1.0 but as you mention on your post there is no way to select the SBA (Horizontal), do you know how can we achieve to do the installation of it?.

Because on the edelivery the only version that is posible to download is 8.1.1.0 and not the 8.0

Regards,

@lex said...

Hi Anonymous,

Oracle has announced SBA 8.1.1 to be available in the first half of 2009. Please check also the post from Jan 9th "the cat is out of the bag" for more info on SBA vs. SIA.

@lex

Anonymous said...

looks like there are multiple Anonymous folks are around.....

Anyways, @lex, for your posting, Yes I am using 8.1.1 with build version[21111]...probably others may be using different build version ...you may be right also...I am just sharing what I have experienced.

Thanks

Anonymous said...

Did anyone figure out how to get SBA in 8.1.1 ?

@lex said...

Hi Anonymous,

please see my post "The cat is out of the bag"
http://siebel-essentials.blogspot.com/2009/01/cat-is-out-of-bag.html

for details. SBA is scheduled to be released early this year.

have fun

@lex

Anonymous said...

In the bookshelf , informations about cti exist no where ? So siebel 8.1 does not support cti integration with a third party like genesys or cisco ????

Why siebel cti connect is no more support by siebel ?

@lex said...

Hi Anonymous,

I can not answer your question after the "why". However, the Communication Server Guide states that CTI Connect is no longer support (replaced by Oracle Contact Center Anywhere).
http://download.oracle.com/docs/cd/E14004_01/books/CommSrvAdm/CommSrvAdm_WhatsNew.html

The connection to Genesys, Avaya and the like is accomplished through the Oracle Contact Center Anywhere product.

have a nice day

@lex

Anonymous said...

We verified Siebel 8.1.1 with CiC 3.0 (Interactive Int.) using Siebel CTI and Inin driver for Siebel. No CCA is required.
Regards

Kamelia said...

Hi guys,

Is there any way to reproduce CTI simulation (simulate an inbound call) in Siebel 8.1.1 SIA [21111]?

Thanks,
Kamelia

Anonymous said...

Hi Kamelia,
>Is there any way to reproduce CTI ...?
Technically it's possible.

Kamelia said...

Hi Anonymous,

Thanks for your answer. Do you know a way we can do this and if yes - can you please share this info??

Thanks a lot,
Kamelia

Alexander Rumyankov said...

Hi @lex,

Siebel Communication Server is no longer supported, but still included.
For example I simply installed Cisco Driver for Siebel 7 and after configuration the driver works perfect. But in case of any problems, you will be not able create a ticket to Oracle Support for Siebel Communication Server product.