Update: There is a new version of this app, Oracle People2. It supports iOS 4 and 3.x. See the details here. As before, drop a comment here or on the newer post to get the details from me.
I’ve been teasing this app for nearly two week, and it’s finally approved and ready for general consumption. If you’re interested (and work for Oracle), drop a comment with your oracle.com email address, or email me for the download location.
So, what does it do, and why is it a big deal?
The app came from a really basic use case. Employees need the ability to search for other employees while on the go to contact them. Easy stuff, right?
Not so much actually due to the requirements for VPN and the mobile browser limitations. Sure, we have ways to get inside the Oracle firewall, but they’re not very mobile-friendly.
Clayton began with this in mind, and his implementation of VPN and OSSO is very user-friendly, at least compared to doing the same tasks in Safari. By the way, if you get annoyed at entering your credentials, that’s a security requirement, not a part of the app.
So, you can find people, and when you do, the app uses Connect API goodness to show you the person’s profile and Connect activity. The profile actually combines the person’s Connect and corporate directory profiles into a single view. Tapping the person’s phone number/s open the Phone app; tapping the person’s email address opens the Email app.
Pretty sweet, but wait, there’s more.
You can add the person to your iPhone’s address box or update an existing contact. This is a huge time saver because it populates the fields that you’d normally have to type in yourself. Brilliant. And, you’ll get a profile picture too, if the person has one.
In addition, you can invite the person to join your Connect network and send an OraTweet if you like.
Many people have IM IDs entered too; I haven’t tested this, but at some point, I can see the addition of tap-to-chat. Rich found a way to add his geocode, and we’re already pondering ways to update that from the iPhone. There are loads of geo features we could add, which would open a huge amount of cool features to road warriors. Stay tuned.
Beyond all the contact stuff, the app also surfaces a lot of Connect’s functionality to your iPhone. You can view your network (Connections) and various activity logs, and you can reply and comment on items in your activity logs, by email and by OraTweet.
There’s a lot in there.
As I mentioned, this app is a joint effort. It’s also a great example of harnessing the talent of hackers for a really useful result. Clayton worked on this app in his free time, as did everyone else involved. The data flow between several systems inside the firewall via open APIs and RSS.
We’re seeing a lot more demand for this type of functionality internally, and Rich and Anthony have formalized API specs for Connect data to help people develop their own special side projects. Noel has an API for OraTweet as well.
So, if you have a project or want to scratch an itch, let us know.
Hit up the comments if you want the information about the Oracle People iPhone app. Remember to use your oracle.com email address.