1 The Basics

Learn about Oracle Visual Builder Studio, its projects, components, roles, and how to access the service.

See Oracle Cloud Terminology in Getting Started with Oracle Cloud for definitions of terms found in this and other documents in the Oracle Cloud library.

What Is Oracle Visual Builder Studio?

Oracle Visual Builder Studio (VB Studio) is a robust application development platform that helps your team effectively plan and manage your work throughout all stages of the app dev lifecycle: design, build, test, and deploy.

In addition, VB Studio makes it easy for your entire team to develop the artifacts they need, including:

  • Oracle Cloud Applications developers, who need to extend their Apps with business-specific customizations;
  • Low-code developers, who want to create web or mobile apps using a visual designer;
  • Experienced programmers, who want to modify the source code for web and mobile apps created by others, or to develop bespoke apps using the web programming language of their choice.

With VB Studio you get:

  • Built-in repositories for hosting code in Git and for hosting binaries, such as Maven dependencies
  • A continuous integration service so you can automate your build and test systems
  • A continuous delivery service that tightly integrates with Oracle Cloud Applications
  • A rich visual designer integrated with source control (Git) so that developers can manage changes, apply version control best practices, and collaborate with their teammates to develop applications
  • The ability to build and display different flavors of the UI to meet the needs of discrete users of certain Oracle Cloud Applications (those built with VB Studio and Oracle Java Extension Toolkit (Oracle JET)), also within a Git framework
  • Agile boards and an issue tracking system for tracking sprints, tasks, defects, and features

VB Studio enables developers to easily deploy their applications to their preferred target, whether it’s a staging or production instance of Oracle Cloud Applications or an Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) service instance.

A Word About Oracle Cloud Infrastructure

The Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) or Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Classic (OCI Classic) administrator will create a VB Studio instance. These instances have no functional differences.

On OCI, VB Studio builds run on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Compute (OCI Compute) virtual machines (VMs). Project artifacts are stored in an Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Object Storage (OCI Object Storage) bucket.

On OCI Classic, VB Studio builds run on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Compute Classic (OCI Compute Classic) virtual machines (VMs). Project artifacts are stored in an Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Object Storage Classic (OCI Object Storage Classic) container.

Before VB Studio can be used on OCI, the OCI administrator needs to configure connections to the Compute and Object Storage instances. See Set Up the OCI Connection.

Before VB Studio can be used on OCI Classic, the OCI Classic administrator needs to configure connections to the OCI Compute Classic and OCI Object Storage Classic instances. See Set Up the OCI Classic Connection.

Manage Your Development Process

Though many users will rely on Visual Builder Studio to help them create visual applications or create application extensions for Oracle Cloud Applications, you can use VB Studio purely as a tool to maximize your team's productivity and help you manage and monitor every phase of your development process.

The VB Studio components shown in the diagram shows can be used to manage the development process for applications other than visual applications or application extensions:

Description of project-diagram-generic.png follows
Description of the illustration project-diagram-generic.png

This is how the VB Studio components work together in your development ecosystem:

  • Within a single Visual Builder Studio instance, you and your team members who use that instance are considered an organization. Within your organization, you will likely belong to one or more projects, each of which is devoted to a discrete software effort.

  • A project brings together all the tools you need to create those artifacts, such as a Git repository for storing your source code, a pipeline to provide continuous integration and delivery to the Oracle Cloud, an issue tracking system, team wikis, and more.

  • Although VB Studio provides a Git repository for you, you can choose to use external repos, such as GitHub and BitBucket.

Key Concepts, Components, and Terms

Before you use VB Studio, it helps to become familiar with these key concepts, components, and terms. (If you have general questions about Oracle Cloud features and services, see Oracle Cloud Terminology in Getting Started with Oracle Cloud.)

Term Description
Oracle Cloud Applications Oracle Cloud Applications are a set of modular Cloud-ready enterprise applications. To learn more, see https://www.oracle.com/applications/.
Application extension An artifact that allows you to extend certain Oracle Cloud Applications to meet your business needs.

You deploy an application extension to an Oracle Cloud Application's instance.

Visual Builder A Visual Builder instance that provides the server for delivering pages in web applications, and services your web and mobile apps might use to access data, including the database used to store data and the proxy server for managing connections to REST services.
Visual application A responsive web or native mobile application developed using VB Studio's browser-based development environment.

You deploy a visual application to a Visual Builder instance.

Project A project is a collection of VB Studio features.

You can use a project to host source code files, track issues, collaborate on code, build, and deploy your applications. A project can host multiple Git repositories. Each Git repository can have multiple branches and hundreds of code files. You can create a merge request for each branch of the Git repository and ask reviewers to review the code. You can create and configure multiple build jobs to generate different project artifacts that you can deploy to Oracle Cloud or your on-premise web server.

Organization

The top-most entity in the project structure of VB Studio. Think of an organization as the umbrella for all the projects in a given identity domain.

VB Studio Designer VB Studio's browser-based development environment.

Git repository

A Source Code Management (SCM) and distributed version control tool to host source code files.

Maven repository

A hosted binary repository to store build artifacts, library files, and dependencies for Maven applications.

Issue tracker

A built-in issue management system to create and track tasks, defects, and features.

Environment

Defines the target Oracle Cloud Applications, Visual Builder, Oracle Cloud SaaS, or Oracle Cloud Infrastructure service instance as a single entity. You'll define an an environment to deploy an application to a service instance or to get information from a service instance.

Merge request and code review

A method to merge a Git repository branch with another branch. Before merging the branches, team members can review differences between files of both branches and provide their feedback.

Build system

A built-in system to define and automate builds of your applications.

Build VM

A Virtual Machine (VM) in OCI Compute, which runs project builds. Only one build can run on a Build VM at a time.

Build VM template

A template that defines the operating system and the software installed on the Build VM.

Job A configuration that defines your application's builds.

You can create a job to perform various actions, such as package artifacts, run shell commands, run unit test scripts, and deploy application artifacts.

Build The result from a job’s run.
Pipeline A path or a chain of builds. A pipeline helps you run continuous integration jobs and reduce network traffic.

Wiki

Built-in wiki system to help your team author and manage wiki pages.

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is a set of cloud services that enable you to build and run a wide range of applications and services in a highly available hosted environment. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure offers high-performance compute capabilities (as physical hardware instances) and storage capacity in a flexible overlay virtual network that is securely accessible from your on-premise network.

If you're new to OCI, see Key Concepts and Terminology to understand OCI concepts and terminologies.

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Compute (OCI Compute) and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Compute Classic (OCI Compute Classic)

Service that hosts virtual machines (VMs) on Oracle Cloud with all the necessary storage and networking resources. VB Studio uses the VMs to run project builds.

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Object Storage (OCI Object Storage) and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Object Storage Classic (OCI Object Storage Classic)

Oracle Cloud service that hosts containers on Oracle Cloud to store project data. VB Studio uses the containers to archive build artifacts and Maven artifacts, and export project data.

Oracle Java Cloud Service

Oracle Cloud service to deploy web applications to a public Oracle WebLogic Server domain on Oracle Cloud.

For more information about the service, see About Oracle Java Cloud Service in Administering Oracle Java Cloud Service.

Oracle Application Container Cloud Service

Oracle Cloud service to deploy Java SE, Node.js, PHP, Python, Ruby, Go, Java EE 7 (or later), and .NET applications to Oracle Cloud.

For more information about the service, see About Oracle Application Container Cloud Service in Using Oracle Application Container Cloud Service and About Your Application and Oracle Application Container Cloud Service in Developing for Oracle Application Container Cloud Service.

Access VB Studio

You can access VB Studio using the latest version of Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. Google Chrome is the only browser currently certified to work with the VB Studio Designer. Other browsers can be used with the Designer, but some features may not work correctly.

To access VB Studio, you need the service URL, plus your identity domain name, username, and password. If you’re a new user, you can sign in from the Oracle Cloud home page. If you’re a returning user, you can find the service URL from several of the emails you received, the ones with the subject Welcome to Oracle Visual Builder Studio or Verify your Oracle Visual Builder Studio.

During the onboarding process, you'll receive a series of emails, including some optional ones:

  1. After adding a user, the OCI administrator can choose to send an email to the new user:

    Description of oci-reset-password-signin-email.png follows
    Description of the illustration oci-reset-password-signin-email.png

    This email serves two purposes: to send the password reset URL and to provide the OCI sign-in url. The Oracle Cloud account name in the email is in double quotes (myaccount). If you bookmark the second URL in this email, the sign-in URL, you won't need the account name for signing in.

  2. After the OCI administrator assigns the VB Studio IDCS role to the new user, the user receives this email:

    Description of oci-access-granted-email.png follows
    Description of the illustration oci-access-granted-email.png

    This email shows the Oracle Cloud account name (myaccount), the sign-in URL for Oracle Cloud, and the username (don.developer).

  3. After the VB Studio organization administrator adds a new user to a VB Studio project, the new user receives a verification email:

    Description of vbstudio-verification-email.png follows
    Description of the illustration vbstudio-verification-email.png

    The user needs to click on the verification link in this email to verify their email address to the service.

  4. After signing in to VB Studio for the first time, a new user will receive this Welcome email, with the VB Studio sign-in URL:

    Description of vbstudio-welcome-new-user-email.png follows
    Description of the illustration vbstudio-welcome-new-user-email.png

    After an existing user is added to a project, the user receives this email:

    Description of vbstudio-welcome-existing-user-email.png follows
    Description of the illustration vbstudio-welcome-existing-user-email.png

    The email contains project information such as the organization name (My Org), the project name (VisualApp), the project's privacy setting (private), the name of the project owner Alex Admin), a list of the project's members (on Developer), and the date and time that the member was added to the project.

Access VB Studio from the Oracle Cloud Home Page

You can sign in to and open VB Studio from the Oracle Cloud home page:

  1. In a web browser, go to https://cloud.oracle.com/sign-in.
  2. On the Sign-In page, in Account, enter your Oracle Cloud account or tenancy name and click Next.
  3. On the Oracle Cloud Account sign-in page, enter your Oracle Cloud account credentials and click Sign In.
    The Oracle Cloud Console, also called the OCI console, opens.
  4. In the upper-left corner, click Navigation Menu the Menu icon.
  5. Under More Oracle Cloud Services, select Platform Services and then select VB Studio.
  6. On the Instances tab, click Manage this instance the Action menu icon and select Access service instance.

If you’re signing in to VB Studio for the first time, you should have received an email with the subject Verify your Oracle Visual Builder Studio email. Open the email and click the URL link in the email body to verify your email. This is required to receive email notifications from the service.

After your email address is verified, you’ll receive another email with the subject Welcome to Oracle Visual Builder Studio. This email contains the VB Studio URL that you can bookmark.

After you sign in to VB Studio, you'll see the Organization page that displays all the projects you're a member of, as well as your favorite projects, the projects you own, and all the shared projects in your organization.

What Are My Identity Roles?

IDCS roles (also called identity roles) define who can sign in to VB Studio. You may be wondering which type(s) of VB Studio IDCS roles you've been assigned and what your privileges are.

Are you an organization administrator who can manage the VMs and update the organization details (DEVELOPER_ADMINISTRATOR role) or are you a non-admin user who can only create and access VB Studio projects (DEVELOPER_USER role)?

Can you connect to Visual Builder instances (ServiceAdministrator, ServiceDeveloper, ServiceUser role), Oracle Integration/Visual Builder standalone PSM instances (PaasS Administrator role), or Oracle Java Cloud Service (JaaS Administrator role) and deploy build artifacts?

To find out what identity roles you've been assigned:

  1. In a web browser, go to https://cloud.oracle.com, and click Sign In.

  2. On the Sign-In page, in Account, enter your account or tenant name, and click Next.

  3. On the Oracle Cloud Account sign-in page, enter your Oracle Cloud account credentials, and click Sign In.
  4. If you land on the My Oracle Services page, click Infrastructure Dashboard.
  5. On the OCI Console, click the Menu icon in the top-left corner.
  6. Under Governance and Administration, select Identity, and then select Federation.
  7. Select the identity service provider.
  8. In the IDCS Username column, click your name.
  9. Click Manage Service Roles.
  10. In the Service column, find the Developer service.
  11. Click the three vertical dots on the right, and select Manage instance access.
  12. In the Instance Role column, note your roles.
  13. Click Cancel to return to the last page.