Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Musing about Noetix Workbench

After viewing Paul Winterstein's presentation regarding Noetix Workbench, I have concluded that this is a "must have" for Noetix environments.  In many ways, this completes their product.  Specifically, without a tool like this, I think a lot of Noetix customers are left to make some enhancements in a less than ideal way.  Examples of this are new views without any true integration with the Noetix Views.  Without such a tool, one needs to perform heroics to add one's own views so that they are "integrated" with the Noetix Views (e.g. integrated security with the Noetix Views and metadata included in the Noetix Help/Noetix Search files). 

 One needs to perform many customizations to make their Noetix environment work well (well, at least this is what I have seen).

Specifics about the New Noetix Workbench:

-It greatly simplifies the view modification and view development process, while placing controls on how the modification is performed.

-It has its own script repository with version retention. 

-It provides a degree of uniformity in the scripts that might be much harder to perform without such a tool.  As time goes on in an IT department, possibly many people might be responsible for the enhancement and modification of views.  A tool like this encourages uniformity which is very valuable.

How would one make an argument to your business to buy this tool?

One would need to document the opportunity cost of either hand coding xu2 scripts that would build a Noetix View (so that one would be able to utilize Noetix Help or Noetix Search and rely on Noetix's security components) or not tightly integrating your new custom views with the Noetix Views (maintenance cost might be higher).  This cost would need to consider not only the initial development (e.g 2 to 3 days of creating scripts to generate a view), but also the maintenance of these views over their lifetime (or not integrating these views into the Noetix environment). 

For me, I have created some Java classes to translate a designed view (with standard Noetix security components) into xu2 scripts and so my development time for scripting a newly designed view takes only a couple of hours.  After one considers the rate of these new view requirements, one can start to come-up with reasonable argument for purchasing this tool.

New view creation is very common at my Oracle Application's shop. This week, I just released to production a new Demantra view and a custom advanced pricing view.  I am not surprised if I receive 4 or 5 new view requirements a year (minimum). 

Without such a tool, most Noetix customers find the lack of ability to create their own views and integrate them within the Noetix seeded views as discouraging and daunting.