In the following post, I intend to sort out the various pieces of information which are available on the web today. Please note that the article focuses on applications available in online (browser or app) mode, so leaves out offerings like Siebel CRM Desktop which are installed locally.
1. Standard Interactivity Client
Opposed to High Interactivity, the SI option (commonly used for customer or partner facing applications) doesn't use ActiveX, hence it lacks a lot of the usability of the HI client option but therefore also supports browsers other than Microsoft's IE. Besides that, the look and feel is totally 19hundredsomething, so many developers and end users are reluctant to use it. However, it is easy to achieve and suitable for fast deployments of CRM data to browsers external of your corporate network.
Neel from siebel unleashed has recently blogged about how to enable SI for any modern browser.
For your convenience, here is a screenshot of a classic Siebel SI application, namely Siebel Partner Portal in Mozilla Firefox.
2. Siebel Wireless
Another out-of-the-box mechanism to provide Siebel CRM data and the ability to update it in smaller browsers such as Safari on the iPhone or Blackberry, Android or other devices is the option to (license and) fire up the wireless applications on your Servers.
The UI is far from modern and sexy but nonetheless functional (and it loads really fast because it's plain HTML). I have described Siebel Wireless some time ago in this post. Fellow blogger Wentari has gone great lengths and provides a Youtube video of a Siebel Wireless application with a more modern skinning.
|See Wentari's video for more.|
With the release of version 8.1.1, Oracle co-released a family of applications built using its very own ADF product. The applications go by the name of Siebel E-Commerce and E-Support and are the next generation of Siebel eSales and eService respectively.
The ADF based applications use the Siebel inbound web services to fetch and manipulate data from the Siebel business layer. Using this approach, customers can also develop their own rich enterprise applications (Anyone remembering rea.oracle.com?).
Given the fact that Oracle pursues an "all ADF" strategy for new products and releases (Oracle BI and Fusion Applications being the more prominent ADF implementations), creating custom ADF applications seems to have some impact in future design decisions.
Update: As Jan points out in his comment, Oracle no longer offers the E-Commerce and E-Support solutions to new customers.
I was able to locate an older tutorial which demonstrates how to create a web application using ADF and Siebel web services.
4. There's (almost) an app for that
When you google for Siebel iPad, you will find that Oracle has an official product offering named Siebel REST API. An extensive white paper has been published, which describes the REST architecture and a POC for an online shop iPad app.
The REST API allows app developers to access Siebel CRM data via a (secure) middleware server which manages the session connectivity to the Siebel inbound web services. Developers can therefore focus on creating the app and don't have to deal with the complexity of web services and security. The technology is not limited to Apple's iPhone/iPad apps. Blackberry, Android and other smartphone OSs can be targeted as well.
The online shop iPad app can be marveled at in this Youtube video.
|Screenshot from the Siebel iPad POC video.|
Update: Did I say "almost"? Well, have a look at this then.
Be it out-of-the-box, back-to-the-future SI or wireless applications or sophisticated custom developed ADF or native apps, there are plenty of options to deliver Siebel CRM data to end users and customers. Of course we are all waiting for Open UI which - to my personal opinion - will be an interesting additional option to say the least.
Did I miss something? Please use the comments as usual.
have a nice day