A Summary of Our Siebel IP 2014 Upgrade Findings - Part 1

We recently wrapped up an upgrade to IP 2014 and wanted to take a moment to share a brief summary of our observations.  We'll dive into some of these with more detail in future blog posts but we hope that this summarized list of findings will be helpful to anyone that is considering a move to Oracle's latest Innovation Pack for Siebel.  Here's the list of findings in no particular order:


Applet Buttons Moved from Left to Right

In IP 2014, standard applet buttons such as New, Delete, Query, etc. have moved locations from the top left of form and list applets to the top right.  This can be confusing for users that were used to working with prior versions of Siebel.  We'll be publishing a post soon that will show you how to restore these buttons to appear in their previous locations. 


Aurora Font Size is Larger

If you've had a chance to play with IP 2014 or seen screen shots, you might have noticed that the font size has increased from 10.8px in IP 2013 (0.9em of 12px) to 13px.  We found that within our team, everyone had their own opinion on if this improved or hurt the look and feel of the new Siebel UI.  However, we did find one negative effect of the larger font.  On custom form applets where a lot of real estate had been used (i.e. the applet had many labels and controls), we found that the labels began to wrap because there simply wasn't the same amount of space available as their used to be.  In our case, this label wrapping was undesired so it took some effort on our part to re-format the appearance of these applets.   If you're moving to IP 2014 and have form applets crowded with many labels and controls, plan for the extra time that will be needed to re-format them.


Button Icons have Changed

This has been covered in various posts across the web but it is an important update that deserves attention.  Virtually all of the button icons have changed!  Is this confusing?  Yes!  I've been working with IP 2014 for months and still accidentally hit the iHelp button instead of the Site Map on occasion.  Alexander Hansal gives us some great insights on the benefits of these new icons and what can be done to change them back to what users are used to seeing in previous versions of Siebel.  His blog post can be found on the Siebel Hub here.  If you're moving to IP 2014, it will be helpful to communicate this change to your Q/A teams prior to releasing your first build to Test.  Otherwise, expect to get defects that claim buttons are missing.


Custom Buttons Now Appear on a New Line Below the Applet Title, Standard Buttons and Buttons for Record Navigation

During our IP 2014 implementation, we received negative feedback from users on the fact that all custom applet buttons are now displayed on a new line below the applet title, standard applet buttons and record navigation buttons.  In previous versions of Siebel, they were all displayed inline.  The location of these buttons can be moved to appear inline via a Siebel Web Template file change and custom CSS but it isn't straightforward.  We'll tackle this in a future blog post.


Applet Toggle Controls Appear on a New Line Below Custom Buttons

Users also reacted negatively to the fact that applet toggle controls appear on yet another new line below any custom applet buttons.  Again, this is instead of everything being inline in prior versions of Siebel.  More CSS customization is necessary to bring it back inline if desired.


New Business Service Script Validation Rules During Compile

After our IP 2014 upgrade finished and we tried to full compile our SRF, we noticed a new validation check had been added to the eScript compiler.  On several occasions, our compile stopped with the following message:

Script compilation failed at line 45 in procedure '<<procedure name>>':

Semantic Error around line 536:Not all control paths lead to a return statement.


This is helpful and annoying at the same time.  The message is correct...  if a procedure has been designed to return something, it's probably best to make sure that all control paths do lead to a return statement.  However, the compiler only reports these errors one a time, as it encounters them.  So we had to resolve each one then attempt the compile again.  The compile was successful only after all of these errors had been addressed.

Another option to bypass these errors is to uncheck the Deduce Types flag in Siebel Tools before trying the full compile.  This is located under the View > Options > Scripting tab.  This feels more like a hack than a fix, so we decided to edit our scripts so they could compile with the flag set to true.


The eScript Editor in Siebel Tools Now Displays Line Numbers

This is a welcome change and is particularly beneficial when you need to reference one or more specific statements within a script.


That's it for now but we hope that this has been helpful.  We will post a Part 2 follow up shortly.