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How We Won the Oracle Social Network Developer’s Challenge

“Oracle Social Network allows employees to communicate with each other the way they currently do with friends and family via a modern platform that is quicker and more efficient than traditional email.”

by Martin D'Souza,Oracle ACE Director July 2013

Last year at Oracle Open World (OOW), Dimitri Gielis and I participated in and won the Oracle Social Network (OSN) developer’s challenge. We were given access to the OSN’s application programming interface (API) and allowed to integrate it with any application or technology that we wanted to. Being Oracle ACE Directors for Oracle Application Express (APEX), we naturally chose to integrate OSN with APEX.

OSN is a secure Facebook/Twitter-like platform for your organization. It is currently hosted on the Oracle Cloud and can easily integrate with other applications. Oracle APEX is Oracle’s rapid application development tool for web-based applications. APEX is a no-cost option and is available on the Oracle Cloud or as a local installation in an Oracle database.

Our entry into the contest consisted of leveraging Oracle APEX’s built-in feedback mechanism with a twist. Instead of just providing simple text feedback, users were able to take a web-based screen shot of their current page and mark it up with notes. Once their feedback was submitted, their comments, along with an annotated screenshot, were sent to the OSN for developers and account managers to see right away.

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Martin Giffy D'Souza (right) and Dimitri Gielis present at the OSN Developer's Challenge


The big difference between our approach and a normal ticket system with email integration is that the support team could see the issue right away in the OSN stream and start a discussion on it. By doing so, team members could easily prioritize and act on any feedback or issues a client, or another member of their team, submitted. A video of the example can be found here.

After having the opportunity to use OSN during the competition, we think that there are a lot of great things that it can do. It can help teams work more efficiently, increase communication between individuals and across teams, and reduce steps in processes within an organization. The biggest advantage that we see is that OSN allows employees to communicate with each other the way they currently do with friends and family via a modern platform that is quicker and more efficient than traditional email.

OSN comes with built-in tools that integrate with other standard applications such as Microsoft Outlook. Since the OSN has a great set of APIs, you aren’t limited to these tools. Developers can easily integrate OSN with any custom or third-party applications to meet your business needs. Though our developer’s challenge entry highlighted a single business case for OSN, we think that there are many ways in which OSN can help businesses run more effectively.

Martin D’Souza (@martindsouza) is an Oracle Ace Director.

 
 
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