Oracle Transportation Management (OTM): A guide to implementing UI enhancements


During an Oracle Transportation Management (OTM) implementation, environment upgrade or improvement project, the user acceptance landmark is often passed early in the process. You bring your solution to the table and then task end users with confirming the operational workflow. Defects are identified. Users confirm that the solution allows for them to get the job done.

But is this enough? User acceptance is often not the same as user preference. Most users don’t know that their OTM experience can be enhanced and their performance improved with a detailed UI configuration plan. To attain these higher levels of user performance, a simple, focused, and powerful plan is required. Here are the critical steps:

Identify pain points

A great place to begin a UI enhancement project is by identifying pain points. For example, the abundance of fields that are within each OTM screenset can be overwhelming. Unused fields take up valuable screen space and can delay a user in identifying the proper field. Ensure each field on the screen has a purpose and place them in a sequence that makes sense to the eye of the user.

Another very common pain point is the number of navigational clicks it takes to move between objects. This can be alleviated through proper configuration, which can often make moving back and forth between object screens unnecessary. Workbenches, a new tool in OTM version 6.4.2, is the best way to properly reconfigure things. It allows for multiple related objects to be seen on the same screen and streamlines their related navigational aspects. Many times, users know that they need to make a screen change to improve their performance but it is a challenge to do so.

A third common pain point deals with the balance between allowing users to make screen changes and relying on a technical resource. There are many ways to achieve the same goal and everyone likes to work differently. A preferred screen change for user A will not necessarily be preferred by user B. Knowing the users and the resources available, there are solutions that will satisfy all parties. Enhanced knowledge of each configuration tool in OTM will help application users understand how to layer them and use them jointly to create a simple, focused, and powerful solution.

Choose the right tools and know the limits

The better you understand the tools available in OTM, the easier it will be to design a streamlined configuration. Each tool has value and each tool has limitations. The tools for this discussion include screen sets, manager layouts, field screen sets, business monitors, advanced layouts, and workbenches. Let’s talk about the values and restrictions for each:

  • Screen Sets support queries and the viewing of results, and define the object actions, but can only export data for single object results only.
  • Manager Layouts control how object fields are edited and viewed but several elements are not editable.
  • Field Screen Sets define what opens via hyperlink between objects and pose a security risk if not configured properly.
  • Business Monitors can be used to view a quick status for your operation, but poorly written queries can slow system performance.
  • Advanced Layouts was the first tool available that allowed users to view multiple objects in the same screen, but it has largely been made obsolete with the emergence of Workbenches.
  • Workbench is a powerful new tool for interacting with multiple objects and we are still in the discovery period for identifying limitations.

Take a deep dive into the Workbench tool

As the newest OTM tool, Workbench needs to be explored in detail. There is a lot of potential here and the tool will almost certainly have a significant impact on the user experience. It offers an extremely efficient way for users to work in task-oriented screens driven by exceptions. Screens Sets and queries combine to show detail-specific data that require customer interaction. Operations teams can spend an entire day in a workbench and know exactly where they stand for their duties. Less navigation, less clicks, and less screens — now that is efficiency.

On Tuesday, August 7 at 4:25 pm, check out DXC Technology’s presentation Layouts and Tables and Benches Oh My in Commonwealth D at the 2018 OTM User Conference. DXC will be sponsoring events throughout the conference and hosting a networking event. Stop by the DXC booth for information on OTM implementation and enhancement.

Michael Costello is an Oracle Transportation Analyst at DXC.

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