OPA 12 – November 2016 Release New Feature Review #1
The latest release of Oracle Policy Automation (OPA 12 – November 2016 ) is upon us, and there are some cracking new features. In this series of posts we will review them and give you a first taste of their functionality. In this first post, we focus on the improvements made to the User Experience of the Interviews and how you design them. Remember that you can always reach the most up-to-date page at this link in the official documentation.
The first thing that is noticeable is the cleanliness of the interview template :
The Debugger shows it off as well, with the smart screen markers at the top of the page, and the pencil showing our current incomplete screen. The overall impression is that not only is it cleaner, but the underlying page structure would be easier to style using CSS.
The second way the user experience has been optimized is still in the Oracle Policy Modeler – and it concerns the Styles dialog, used to customize the default styling of elements without resorting to CSS (which can be generated / accessed using the Custom … button). This dialog has been streamlined and improved – compare these two. August 2016 on the left, November 2016 on the right:
Notice the “Version” drop-down in the November 2016 dialog (top left) – allowing us to switch between the two layouts. In the “Advanced Options” checkbox if you are in November 2016 “mode” you get all the otherwise hidden choices in a long scrolling list. Although I like the concept much more than the standard dialog, I think the scrolling effect is not very intuitive – and it feels rather untidy. But that is of course very subjective. And this drop-down has a pretty big impact outside of the cosmetic, as you will see in part two of this review.
User, User Where Are You?
Another significant enhancement, for the interview again, is the introduction of the Location control. Assuming we have created a couple of numeric attributes to store the data:
Then we can also use it in our interview, through the new location option in the Interview Ribbon:
And the same idea, naturally, runs through to the Debugger:
Deploying the Rule Project that contains the new Location control will also prompt the user to confirm the access to the Location features of the browser being used. The dialog is different depending on platforms and browser, but it usually looks something like the example shown below.
These are excellent changes that improve readability and extensibility, and do away with the need for custom solutions for geolocation. Good job OPA!
Until next time! You can find the second part of this series here.