New Features in Oracle Visual Builder Studio

Here's an overview of new features and enhancements added recently to Oracle Visual Builder Studio (VB Studio).

Topics:

As soon as new and changed features become available, VB Studio instances are upgraded in the data centers where Oracle Cloud services are hosted. You don’t need to request an upgrade to be able to use the new features—they come to you automatically.

Release 21.04.1 - March/April 2021

Area Feature Description
Visual Applications Index a business object field You can now index a business object field to add a non-unique index to the field's database column and improve performance when you search for the field's value via REST requests or Groovy code. See Index a Field.
Identity/Access Control Automatic VB Studio access with some Oracle Cloud Applications roles Some Oracle Cloud Applications roles are now preconfigured to grant VB Studio IDCS roles to users. After a user is assigned a preconfigured role, there's no need to assign a VB Studio IDCS role manually. Oracle Cloud Applications automatically synchronize user updates with IDCS, but it may take up to 12 hours. As soon as the sync is complete, the Oracle Cloud Applications user can access VB Studio. See Set Up VB Studio Users.

Release 21.04 - February 2021

Some new Visual Builder Studio features can’t be used until you’ve upgraded your Visual Builder Runtime to 21.04. See Features Requiring Visual Builder Runtime 21.04 for more information.

Area Feature Description
DevOps Auto-create environment using single instance in a tenancy Creating a new project is now simpler when your tenancy includes only one Oracle Cloud Applications or Visual Builder instance. Instead of having to select your instance and specify other values, the New Project wizard automatically creates your environment using this instance and populates default values for the Git repository, workspace, and branch. See Create a Project for Application Extensions and Create a Project for Visual Applications.
Blank Trust certificates for your environment You can now add trust certificates to your environment's Visual Builder instance for external service connections. If your service or endpoint requires a special certificate, you can get it from the service you're trying to connect to and upload it from the Certificates tab on the Environments page. See Manage Trust Certificates in an Environment Definition.
Blank Guidelines for using large files and binaries Several recommendations are offered to help you understand the choices you need to make when storing large files and binaries in projects. See Best Practices for Storing Large Files and Binaries.
Blank Publish JS packages to NPM registry You can now manually upload JS packages to a project’s NPM registry from the NPM page, instead of using the command line. See Publish JS Packages to VB Studio's NPM Registry.
Blank More options for default reviewers In the New Merge Request wizard, users can now avoid populating Reviewers with all default reviewers. They can select default reviewers for protected branches individually, instead of en masse. See step 11 in Create a Merge Request.
Blank Project deletion More users would delete their projects when they are done with them if they could find the Delete button more easily, not just under Project Administration > Properties. Owners can now also delete projects from the Projects tab on the Organization page. See Delete a Project from the Organization Page.
Blank New look for usage metrics Usage statistics under Project Administration > Usage Metrics have a new easy-to-read card-based layout. See View Your Project’s Usage Metrics.
Blank Build VMs
  • Oracle Linux 8 support for VM templates

    Oracle Linux 8 and supported software packages are now available for VM templates.

  • Default Java version for VM templates

    By default, VB Studio now only provides Java SE 1.8.x in a VM template. If you want other Java versions, you must add them manually to the VM template.

  • Software for build VM templates

    New and updated software bundles are available. This includes Helm 3.4.0 support for Oracle Linux 6 and 7. Helm support for Oracle Linux 8 will be available in the next release.

See Software for Build VM Templates.

Blank Webhook build trigger based on directory filter In addition to build triggers based on branches and tag names, users can now trigger builds in a Jenkins pipeline when changes to files in directories are detected too. See step 10d in Configure a Webhook in VB Studio to Trigger a Jenkins Job on a Git Repository Update.
Blank Other updates
Visual Applications Service connection and backend enhancements
  • New navigation for service connections and backends

    The Services tab in the Navigator (previously the Service Connections tab) has been enhanced to show catalog backends as well. Within this tab, Service Connections now show under the Service Connections tab and backends show under the Backends tab. Previously, all backend settings were managed from the Services tab in the Settings editor. See Work with Services.

  • Support for custom backends

    In addition to the built-in Integration, Process, and Oracle Cloud Application backends, it's now possible to create backends that map to other types of custom servers. You can use any OpenAPI/Swagger service specification or point to an Oracle ADF Describe to create a custom backend. See Create a Custom Backend.

    Service connections for custom backends can be created by service specification or by endpoint URL.

  • New dynamic service connections

    You can now create a service connection to dynamically retrieve the service's OpenAPI definition, instead of copying the definition and storing it as part of your visual application's sources. A dynamic service connection creates a pointer to the service definition at a remote location. This keeps your application in sync with the latest service definition and enables you to re-use external definitions that aren't customized for your app. See Service Connections: Static Versus Dynamic.

  • Smart URL and information banners

    Several updates were made to enhance the workflow when you create a service connection by specification or by endpoint, key among them:
    • A new + Service Connection button enables you to create a service connection from an existing backend.
    • The URL input field displays a drop-down list of existing backends and filters the list based on the text you enter. A new Detach button (Detach icon) lets you use the URL that the services resolves to, rather than the vb-catalog URL.
    • An information banner helps you more easily identify service connections that are "derived" from a backend.
Blank Key usability improvements
  • New Publish button

    The Publish Changes icon Publish Changes icon used in your workspace header in earlier versions is now replaced with Publish button, a new button that more easily distinguishes it from the Preview icon Preview icon.

  • Auto setting for screen size

    The screen size setting that determines how your canvas displays in the Page Designer toolbar now includes an Auto option, which resizes the canvas to take up all available space between the left and right panes.

Blank Extended Git functionality You now have additional options within a workspace to help you manage your application code branches in a Git repository:
  • Select the files you want to commit, instead of committing all changed files
  • Change the name of your local branch, then push the renamed branch to the remote repository
  • Delete a local branch that you no longer need

See Manage Your Visual Applications in Git.

Blank Declarative support to create custom types from code It's now much easier to use your own type, such as a type class written in JavaScript or a typescript class, with a variable in VB Studio. Using a new From Code option in the Types editor, you can import your type definition to declaratively plug in any Oracle JET type class or a custom type class and create an instance of that type class, then use it with a new category of variable known as an InstanceFactory variable. See Create a Custom Type From Code.
Blank New UI to manage resource imports It is now possible for you to add, update, or delete imported resources, such as custom CSS files, modules, and components. You can create references to these imports at the page, flow, and application level using the new Imports tab from the Settings editor. See Import Components, CSS, and Custom Modules for an Application.
Blank Enhanced support for JS functions It is now easier to call custom functions defined in JavaScript modules and imported module objects. These functions become available for selection in an action chain using the Call Function action and in a component's property (both in the Expression editor and the Variables picker). See Work with the JavaScript Editor.
Blank Code editor improvements The code editors in the Designer—HTML, JSON, JavaScript, and Code view in the Page Designer—are now based on Monaco, the same editor that provides extensive code-editing capabilities in Visual Studio Code.
The HTML and JSON editors leverage this update as follows:
  • The HTML editor provides code completion for Oracle JET snippets. For example, when you want to add a JET combo box, typing ojcb in the editor will present a list of component tags that match the text. You can then select the ojcbo tag in the code completion window to insert a combo box code snippet and add it to your HTML file.
  • The JSON editor provides insights based on the file's associated JSON schema to provide tooltips, hints, and key/value completion.

Note that code insight has changed—you now need to trigger it in an editor by typing Ctrl+Space or by typing a trigger character, such as the dot character (.) in JavaScript. See Work With Code Editors.

Blank Improvements to the Action Chain editor

When you define an action's properties in an action chain, its default ID is now regenerated to provide a more descriptive identifier. For example, a single Call REST Endpoint action added to a chain has an initial ID of callRest. If you configure the actions endpoint, say, to call the Petstore getPetById endpoint, the action ID is automatically updated to callRestGetPetById, making your code more readable and easier to maintain and debug.

IDs are regenerated for the following actions: Call Action Chain, Call Function, Call REST, Fire Event, Navigate, and Call Component.

Blank Improvements to the Variables and Types editors
  • Create a variable from the Types editor

    You can now use a shortcut to create a variable for a specific type: select a type in the Types tab, right-click, and select Create a variable.

  • Keep track of variable and type usages in the Variables and Types editors

    You can now view variable and type usage information under the Usages section in the Properties pane. You can also click a usage to navigate there easily.

Blank Business object relationship When your business object includes a reference type field, you can now view and edit the relationship directly from the referenced field's properties.
Blank New camera component You can now use the new camera component when you want your application to access the camera capabilities of the devices on which it is installed. The camera component offers more configuration options than the Take Photo action, and does not require you to add a separate action to trigger taking a photo. See Add Camera Component to a Page.
Application Extensions Enhanced support for objects in layouts You can now add one-to-many sub-object fields and polymorphic objects and their discriminators to layouts in rule sets, and modify the order that the object's fields are rendered in the component. See Create a Layout for a Dynamic Form or Table.
Blank Duplicating base app templates You can now duplicate templates defined in the base app and use them as the basis for a new template. When you duplicate a template, the event listeners and action chains used in the template are automatically copied to your app extension. Variables referenced in the template are also automatically modified to work in the extension app.
Blank Added listenable vbEnter event You can now create event listeners for the vbEnter lifecycle event in your dynamic component and use them to trigger action chains when the page is opened. See Create Event Listeners for Events.
Blank Improved support for adding and using resources It is now easier to create, import and edit resources such as JavaScript, CSS and image files in your extension application:
  • Create and import resources using tools in the resources folder in the Navigator's Source View. See Add Custom Resources.
  • Create custom JavaScript functions to use in dynamic UI artifact field properties. The Fields tab of dynamic UI artifacts has a JavaSript editor you access from the Properties pane. See Call Custom JavaScript Functions.
  • Add images to your resources from the Properties pane when the Image component is selected
  • Use the Variables picker and Expression editor in the Properties pane to help you select resources

Features Requiring Visual Builder Runtime 21.04

This release of Visual Builder Studio uses Oracle JET 9.2 libraries and components. We recommend that you upgrade your Visual Builder applications to this latest JET version, as well as to the 21.04 Visual Builder Runtime, to take advantage of the full spectrum of 21.04 features. For example, in JET 9.2, new slots (Action, Navigation, and Quarternary) have been added to the List Item Layout component, making it even easier to produce great-looking content for your ListViews. To see everything that's new in JET 9.2, see the Release Notes.

Here are the features that require the 21.04 VB Runtime:

Feature Description
New dynamic service connections You can now create a service connection to dynamically retrieve the service's OpenAPI definition, instead of copying the definition and storing it as part of your visual application's sources. A dynamic service connection creates a pointer to the service definition at a remote location. This keeps your application in sync with the latest service definition and enables you to re-use external definitions that aren't customized for your app. See Service Connections: Static Versus Dynamic.
Declarative support to create custom types from code It's now much easier to use your own type, such as a type class written in JavaScript or a typescript class, with a variable in VB Studio. Using a new From Code option in the Types editor, you can import your type definition to declaratively plug in any Oracle JET type class or a custom type class and create an instance of that type class, then use it with a new category of variable known as an InstanceFactory variable. See Create a Custom Type From Code.

You can upgrade to the latest JET and Visual Builder Runtime versions from your visual application's Settings editor. See Manage Runtime Dependencies for Visual Applications.

Release 21.01 - November 2020

Area Feature Description
DevOps Oracle Redwood Design Language The Redwood look and feel that we introduced for the Designer in the last release now extends to VB Studio pages that let you plan and manage your development processes. Redwood is the new Oracle design language standard, which provides a refreshing color palette and a more streamlined user experience.
Blank Built-in free VM In some OCI regions, VB Studio offers a built-in free VM to run builds. The built-in free VM offers 50 GB (decimal) storage space for build artifacts. You can't increase the storage space. See VB Studio's Built-in Free Account.
Blank Customization set migration You can now configure jobs and a pipeline to package and deploy an app extension to the Oracle Cloud Application's production sandbox (which was created when you imported CSM data to the production instance). See Create and Configure Jobs to Migrate Your Oracle Cloud Application’s Customizations.
Blank Support for provisioning failures If a provisioning failure occurs after a Visual Builder or FA service instance is added to an environment, the status icon in the Environments page now reflects one of the following states: failed provisioning, provisioning, or timed out. You can then take steps to retry provisioning. See Manage an Environment.
Blank Personal Access Tokens You no longer require a personal access token to add an Oracle Cloud Applications instance or a Visual Builder instance to an environment, or to authorize a job to deploy to the instance. All you need are credentials of a user who can access the instance. Information about using personal access tokens with environments was removed from Using Visual Builder Studio and Administering Visual Builder Studio.
Blank Workspace in a new browser tab You can now open a workspace in a new tab by right-clicking the workspace link on the Project Home page and selecting Open in New Tab. On the Workspaces page, you can get to the same option by right-clicking the workspace link or by using the action menu. Right-clicking a workspace link opens a custom context menu that displays all of the same options as the action menu. This new menu replaces the native browser menu. See What Is a Workspace? and Manage Workspaces.
Blank Document reorganization Managing Your Development Process with Visual Builder Studio has been restructured to better meet the needs of developers and project owners who aren't working with visual applications or applications that extend Oracle Cloud Applications. The guide is retitled to Using Visual Builder Studio to more clearly differentiate it from the administration guide.
Visual Applications Recovery mode When a visual application fails to upgrade because of syntax errors, the Designer now goes into recovery mode. In this mode, you can use tools such as Code View to fix syntax errors and then upgrade your visual application. See Resolve Issues that Prevent Upgrade of Visual Application.
Blank Sitemap for a web application You can now add a sitemap to a web application's resources to provide search engines information about your application's pages for intelligent crawling and search indexing. See Add a Sitemap to a Web Application's Resources.
Application Extensions Form templates for dynamic forms You can now create and apply form templates to dynamic form layouts. You can use form layouts to control how fields in a layout are rendered, as well as the fields the layout contains.

The Templates tab now lists the field templates and form templates that can be used in the dynamic UI artifact's layouts, and you can now create field and form templates from the tab. The new form template designer allows you to add components from the Components palette to your form templates. See Control How a Form Layout is Rendered on the Page.

Blank New Help Hint properties for fields When editing properties for fields, the Property Inspector now contains property fields for Help Hint Definitions and Help Hint URLs.
Blank Column Span property for field groups When editing the properties for groups in the dynamic UI layout editor, you can now specify the group's Column Span property in the Property Inspector.

Release 20.10 - September 2020

Area Feature Description
DevOps Build VMs
  • Build VM templates

    VB Studio now offers three Build VM templates ready-to-use that organization members can use to run builds of their jobs. See What Are Build VMs and Build VM Templates.

  • VM quota and number of VMs running

    While adding a Build VM, users can now see the selected shape's VM quota and the number of VMs running. If all VMs are in use, they can select another shape. See Add and Manage Build VMs.

  • Software for Build VM templates

    New and updated software bundles are available. See Software for Build VM Templates.

Blank Projects
Blank Change workspace ownership Project owners and workspace owners can assign new owners to workspaces they own. See Manage Workspaces.
Blank Visual Builder instance's release version and URL After adding a Visual Builder instance to an environment, in the Service Instances tab, users can now click Expand to see the Visual Builder instance's release version and URL. See Add a Visual Builder Instance to an Environment.
Blank NPM
  • Private NPM registry

    In addition to using the public NPM registry, users can now use a new project-based private NPM registry in Visual Builder Studio. See Set Up and Use the Project's NPM Registry.

  • Manage NPM packages globally

    Users can now add and/or update NPM packages globally, instead of being forced to use local NPM packages, which need to be reinstalled each time a build is run. Being able to add/update global NPM modules will save users from having to perform a full reinstall each time they run a build. See Step 10 in Configure a Job to Build a Node.js Application.

Blank Vulnerability analysis for Gradle projects VB Studio adds support for vulnerability analysis for Gradle projects, similar to what has been offered for Maven and Node.js/JavaScript projects before. The documentation has been merged together, now covering all three types of projects. See Generate a Dependency Vulnerability Analysis Report and Resolve Reported Vulnerabilities Automatically
Blank Manage Build Actions With one mouse click, users can now disable a plugin instead of spending much longer to actually delete it in the job configuration. In addition, users can also quickly and easily remove a job configuration, even if it has been disabled. See Manage Build Actions.
Blank Build parameters and reserved words Users can quickly look up characters and reserved words that shouldn't be used in parameter names. See Use Build Parameters and Reserved Words that Shouldn't Be Used in Build Parameter Names.
Blank Pipeline instance log Users can now display the pipeline instance log without leaving the UI. See Manage Pipelines.
Blank Create Git merge requests from the command line You can now create merge requests and add reviewers from the command line using git push options. Use the mr.target option to create a merge request for publishing changes from your local branch to a remote branch, and include either the mr.add.reviewer option or the mr.add.defaultReviewers option to add reviewers. See Create a Merge Request from the Command Line.
Blank Trigger a job based on an included or excluded fileset When you've enabled a job to be triggered either on each SCM commit or according to a polling schedule, it's now much easier to configure the job to run based on an included or excluded fileset. Use the job's Advanced Git Settings to specify a list of files and directories to be polled in the Git repository; only changes to these files determine whether a build is triggered or not. See Include or Exclude Files to Trigger a Build.
Blank Wercker build step We will remove support for the Wercker build step from VB Studio in a future release. We recommend that you configure pipelines that currently use the Wercker build step to use VB Studio’s pipelines instead. See Design and Use Job Pipelines.
Visual Applications Oracle Redwood Design System

Web apps that you create using this release of VB Studio now use the Redwood theme, a theme created with the Oracle Redwood Design System. Oracle Redwood Design System is the new Oracle standard for application look and feel. The Designer within VB Studio has also adopted a Redwood theme. See Develop Applications.

Blank Manage runtime dependencies Your applications are no longer automatically upgraded to the new major runtime versions of Visual Builder Runtime and Oracle JET after you instance of VB Studio is upgraded. You decide when to upgrade your applications using the UI that has been introduced for this purpose. See Manage Runtime Dependencies for Visual Applications.
Blank Business object data caching You can now define a caching strategy to safely store your business object's data and improve performance, by editing the Resource Cache Control setting on a business object's Endpoints tab. Because all application data is deemed sensitive, by default, no data is cached. See Control Data Caching for Business Objects.
Blank Version input field in the visual application's Settings editor The Settings editor for visual applications now includes a Version input field where you can modify the value for the version property in the visual-application.json file. See Set Version Information for Your Application.
Blank Audits
  • Status indicators

    Red overlay icons now appear in the Navigator to identify app artifacts that include audit errors. Red underline appears on the Navigator entry and the tab for the file that includes the error.

    Errors are generated for broken variable and type references. Warnings are generated for unused action chains, constants, events, event listeners, types, and variables. For action chains, audits have been added to validate that required fields in the action include values.

  • Oracle JET Audit Framework

    The Audits feature now references up the Oracle JET Audit Framework (JAF) tool and metadata from Oracle’s content distribution network (CDN). You can configure the built-in rules that JAF provides.

See Audit Application Code.

Blank Horizontal text tabs for artifacts in the Designer The artifact section tabs for page flows, event listeners, and so on now appear as horizontal text tabs above the artifact instead of as a vertical icon bar. See Understand the Designer.
Blank Status icons in the Designer’s Navigator and Git Panel A series of status icons have been introduced to provide a visual indicator of the status of an application’s file. These icons indicate if a file has yet to be committed to the workspace’s current branch, contains modifications that have yet to be committed, or conflicts with changes from other team members. The Git Panel also includes a new Options menu that provides access to a subset of the Git commands available from the Designer toolbar. See Manage Your Visual Applications With Git.
Blank Create variables You can now create variables from within the Assign Variables dialog that you open from the Action Chains editor. See Add an Assign Variables Action.
Blank Mobile applications
  • Deep links for mobile applications

    The Visual Builder Runtime now supports deep linking. Application behavior depends on the app and the environment where the app runs. Android and iOS mobile apps that you build in VB Studio can be opened from deep links. For PWAs, iOS does not support deep links while Android provides ready-to-use support for deep links.

    See Support Deep Linking from Mobile Applications.

  • Adaptive icons for Android mobile applications

    Adaptive icons that display as a variety of shapes on different Android devices are now supported for mobile applications built on VB Studio. The sample application image archive (available in an application's Resources section) includes adaptive icons that you can use as a base when you create custom images for your application. If your application uses an older image archive, VB Studio will try to use those icons as adaptive icons, but it is best to provide your own icons that are in line with Android specifications. VB Studio does not validate your icons and cannot guarantee that they will be compatible.

    See Change the Splash Screen and Icons Used by a Mobile Application and Enable PWA Support.

Blank Action chain tests

The grunt-vb-build NPM package now includes a vb-test Grunt task that runs the action chain tests in your visual application on your computer. See Test Action Chains Using the vb-test Grunt Task.

Blank Upgrade the Oracle Sample R13 SaaS LightBlue Theme If your application uses the Oracle SaaS R13 Light Theme, you need to upgrade the theme in your application before you run the application using this release. See Update Your Oracle SaaS Application Template Theme.
Application Extensions Redesigned workspace creation

The "Designer" item in the main menu has been renamed "Workspaces". The process for creating workspaces for an app extension has been simplified.

Blank Redesigned dynamic UI artifact pages

The dynamic UI artifact page has been restructured to improve usability for navigating to rule sets, fields, templates and editor tabs for working with the layout model.

Blank Support for layout programming model

Support has been added for events, variables, types, action chains, and JavaScript within dynamic component templates.

Dynamic layouts now expose additional components to their programming model. Each dynamic template can bind to events, action chains, variables and functions defined within its layout model. Editors for working with the layout model have been added as tabs to the dynamic UI and page artifact pages.

A variables picker and Events tab have been added to the Property Inspector for components in dynamic templates

In dynamic layout templates, you can now trigger an action chain defined within its layout model. Within the layout's action chain, a "FireCustomEvent" action can now fire a custom event with the new "dynamicComponent" behavior type that you use within the context of a dynamic layout.

See Advanced Techniques for Customizing Your App Extension.

Blank Improved dynamic UI rule set editor

The following improvements have been made to the dynamic UI rule set editor:

  • Rule sets are no longer displayed as secondary tabs, but are now displayed in a list in the Rule Sets tab, grouped into either Dynamic Forms or Dynamic Table.
  • A lightning icon is now used to indicate rule sets that are extendable. Rule sets that have been extended are marked with a vertical gray line in the Rule Sets tab.
  • Navigation breadcrumbs have been added in the Rule Sets tab to help with navigating between rule sets and dynamic layouts.

See Determine What's Displayed at Runtime.

Blank Create custom fields for dynamic layouts A Fields tab has been added to the dynamic UI artifact page, with an editor for creating custom fields by editing the artifact's metadata. You can now also modify the fields used in the dynamic layout on the client-side by augmenting or replacing the metadata. See Create a Custom Field in Your Dynamic Form or Table.
Blank Dynamic form field templates

A Templates tab with a template designer has been added to the dynamic UI artifact page. You can now create your own field templates for customizing how fields in dynamic forms are rendered, and apply your field templates to form fields in dynamic layouts.

The template designer supports nearly all of the Page Designer features, including the Components palette, Structure View, canvas and Property Inspector. The Templates designer supports working with the layout programming model, including support for events, variables, and action chains within templates. See Control How a Field is Rendered on the Page.

Blank Improved Page Designer

The Page Designer is now a tab in the page artifact page. The Property Inspector now provides improved support for working with extendable constants, variables and dynamic containers.

Blank Support for dynamic containers

Dynamic container components are now supported in pages:

  • The Property Inspector for page artifacts lists extendable dynamic containers in the page, and provides an editor for configuring the containers' display logic and templates.
  • A template designer has been added for designing display templates used in dynamic containers. The designer supports nearly all of the Page Designer features, including the Components palette, Structure View, canvas and Property Inspector.
  • A container's template designer supports working with the page's programming model, including support for events, variables, and action chains.
  • Quick Starts are enabled for components inside container templates.

See Add Components to a Page.

Blank Expanded support for constants The default value of constants can now refer to expressions that contain variables.

Release 19.4.3 - August 2020

Area Feature Description
DevOps Configure authorization credentials for the build job The Publish Changes dialog now notifies you if you need to configure authorization credentials for the build job associated with the merge action of your master branch. It also provides a link to navigate to the build job. See Deploy a Visual Application.
Visual Applications Backend service catalog for Oracle Integration Cloud If the Visual Builder instance that you use in your environment is provided by Oracle Integration, visual applications in VB Studio now inherit the catalog of Integration and Process backend services ready-to-use, without the need for you to manually enter instance URLs in the visual application's Settings editor. You can use the Settings editor to override settings for the inherited catalog. See Manage Backend Services in Your Visual Application.
Blank Corrupted business object resource files Business object resource files that may have been corrupted due to, for example, invalid syntax can now be restored to a valid state by opening a source editor to edit the JSON. See View a Business Object's Endpoints.

New Features in Oracle Visual Builder Add-in for Excel

The Oracle Visual Builder Add-in for Excel version bundled in VB Studio 21.04 is 2.4. For details of what's included in this release, see New and Changed Features.

Supported Browsers

VB Studio supports most modern HTML5–compliant browsers.

VB Studio complies with the Oracle Software Web Browser Support Policy and supports the latest version of the browser available, and in the case of IE and Safari, one previous major release. Oracle support is available for all platforms that the browser vendor supports. For mobile device operating systems, Oracle provides support only for the most recent browser delivered by the device operating system.

The following table describes the platforms supported by the Visual Builder runtime:

Operating System Chrome Firefox Microsoft Browser Safari

Android

Supported*

Not Supported

N/A

N/A

iOS

Not Supported

Not Supported

N/A

Supported

Mac OS X

Supported

Supported

N/A

Supported

Windows

Supported

Supported

Supported

Not Supported

* Chrome for Android only, not native Android browser

JavaScript must be enabled for all browsers.

Note:

The Visual Builder Studio Designer is supported by the Chrome browser running on Mac OS X and Windows. Other browsers and platforms are not supported.

Note:

Visual Builder runtime has deprecated the use of Internet Explorer 11. Users who try to access a deployed Visual Builder application from Internet Explorer will now see a deprecation warning. In addition, Oracle Support will no longer address issues pertaining to Internet Explorer 11.

Deprecated Features

Take note of features that have been deprecated and are no longer supported in VB Studio:

Area Feature Description Release
DevOps Oracle ACCS deployment

VB Studio no longer supports deployment to Oracle Application Container Cloud Service (ACCS). An ACCS service instance can't be added to an environment and ACCS deployment can no longer be configured from the Oracle Deployment build step.

21.04 - February 2021

Blank OSN webhook

VB Studio dropped webhook support for Oracle Social Network (OSN), after the service was decommissioned.

21.04 - February 2021

Visual Applications Internet Explorer 11

Visual Builder runtime has deprecated the use of Internet Explorer 11. Users who try to access a deployed Visual Builder application from Internet Explorer will now see a deprecation warning.

19.4.3 - August 2020

Oracle Support will no longer address issues pertaining to Internet Explorer 11.

21.04 - February 2021

Upgrade Policy

We strongly suggest that you upgrade and republish your apps from time to time, not only to take advantage of the new features, bug fixes, and performance enhancements that come with each new release, but also to reduce the risk of possible incompatibilities between the Visual Builder Runtime and JET libraries you built your app with in the Designer, and the Visual Builder instance to which you deployed your app in Oracle Cloud. What does this mean? Suppose you built and deployed your app using Visual Builder 18.4.1. Since then, Visual Builder has upgraded its target deployment environment several times—from 18.4.1 to 18.4.5 to 19.1.3 and so on—and your app has continued to run on those instances with no issues. However, when the 19.4.3 instance becomes available (for example), your app suddenly stumbles on an incompatibility between your 18.4.1 runtime dependencies and your 19.4.3 deployment environment—simply too much has changed between the time you built the app and the capabilities in the latest target deployment instance. To avoid this, it’s a good idea to upgrade and re-publish your apps as frequently as your schedule allows. This entails opening your app in the Designer to uptake a new Runtime Version/JET library (and, optionally, taking advantage of some of the latest features), testing it with the latest Visual Builder deployment target, then republishing your app to that instance.

Getting Oriented

VB Studio brings you all the functionality previously available with Oracle Developer Cloud Service. You also get the ability to build web and mobile applications in the Visual Builder Designer, as well as to extend certain Oracle Cloud Applications to customize the UI for your business needs.

VB Studio offers end-to-end functionality for your development team, from planning releases and managing development backlog, to hosting source code in Git, to designing, building, testing, and deploying cloud-native applications to your Oracle Cloud Applications and Oracle Cloud instances.

For Former Developer Cloud Service Users

If you were a Developer Cloud Service user, the following table will help you understand the primary differences between Developer Cloud Service and VB Studio:

How Developer Cloud Service and VB Studio Differ? Find out more:
You don’t need to migrate your Developer Cloud Service projects. A VB Studio instance replaces your Developer Cloud Service instance, and you can continue to use your existing projects and corresponding DevCS features just as they are, without any impact to you. Using Oracle Developer Cloud Service has been restructured and rewritten for VB Studio and is now called Managing Your Development Process with Visual Builder Studio. If you’re an administrator, you’ll want to check out Administering Visual Builder Studio as well.
VB Studio comes equipped with the Designer, a graphical user interface that enables you to develop web and mobile apps using components from the Oracle JavaScript Extension Toolkit (JET). To test these applications, or to release them for production, you must deploy the apps to a separate Visual Builder instance, which serves as the runtime environment.

Of course, you can still use VB Studio to build apps with a third-party IDE or code editor and use VB Studio as the code repository, just as you did with DevCS. You can also use VB Studio to test, deploy, and maintain those apps throughout their lifecycles—nothing’s changed there.

Building Web and Mobile Applications explains how to use the VB Studio Designer to build web and mobile apps.
If you purchased Oracle Cloud Applications subscriptions that have front ends built with JET components, you can also use the VB Studio Designer to extend those apps to customize them for your business needs. See Extending Oracle Cloud Applications.
Developer Cloud Service used tags to associate service instances with environments. In VB Studio, you’ll need to add service instances again to environments, because the service instances associated with the environments were removed as part of the upgrade. The environments themselves were not removed, just the service instances associated with them.

For information about how to add a service instance to an environment, see Manage an Environment.

For Former Visual Builder Users

In VB Studio, you still use the Designer to create your visual applications, but the infrastructure surrounding that process has changed significantly, as described here:

How Visual Builder and VB Studio Differ? Find out more:
In VB Studio, you and your team belong to an organization. Within that organization are projects, which help to organize the work for a given endeavor. A project contains a Git repository, where your source code is stored, along with build jobs that package up your app’s artifacts and deploy them to the target environment. Each project also contains tools to help you manage your visual application’s lifecycle, like an Agile board, issue tracker, team wikis, and more. What Is Oracle Visual Builder Studio?
Whereas Visual Builder used to contain the runtime environment where you could test and deploy your visual applications, VB Studio requires you to have a separate Visual Builder instance to serve as your runtime environment, and to establish communication between the two services.

VB Studio manages the runtime environment instances that serve as your development, test, and production environments in the Environments page. Within the Environments page, you can view the status of the various service instances that have been added to your environment.

If you’re an administrator, see Set Up VB Studio for Developing Visual Applications to find out how to hook up your runtime to VB Studio.

If you’re an app developer, see Share, Publish, and Deploy Visual Applications.

Your work in the Designer now takes place in a workspace, which is an entirely private area within a project that only you can access. The workspace brings together everything you need to build your visual app: a private branch within the Git repository and a VB Studio environment that points to your Visual Builder runtime instance. If you’re an app developer, see Create Visual Applications in VB Studio.
If you want others to collaborate with you in developing your project's apps, your project owner will need to add them to the project and you’ll need to commit your workspace to a branch in a Git repository that is shared with these project members.

To facilitate collaboration, the Designer in VB Studio includes built-in support for Git with a Git menu in the toolbar that accesses the Git commands you’re likely to use most frequently (Pull and Push, for example). There's also a new navigator tab (Git Panel) that provides a view to uncommitted changes in your workspace, and tools to resolve issues when your changes conflict with other changes in the Git repository branch that you want to commit to.

If you're a project owner, see Add and Manage Project Users. If you're an app developer, see Manage Your Visual Applications With Git.
In Visual Builder, the Stage and Publish actions were key parts of your development cycle. In VB Studio, however, you use Share to share your application with others for testing purposes, and Publish to push your changes from your local Git repository to the master branch of your remote repository (that is, the project's version) and deploy it to the Visual Builder runtime environment.

If you’re an app developer, see Share a Visual Application and Manage Deployed Visual Applications.

For business objects, VB Studio maintains one database schema per workspace. As a best practice, we recommend that you use the same workspace and branch to create and edit business objects in a visual application. See Work with Business Objects.
VB Studio provides the following options to manage your visual application’s business object data:
  • Menu options to import and export data. You access these options from the Visual Applications tab for the deployed visual application in the Environments page
  • Build jobs to import and export business object data
See Manage Business Object Data During Development.
You can use the visual applications you built in Visual Builder within VB Studio by importing them, then performing a few post-import tasks. See Learn About Migrating to Oracle Visual Builder Studio.
VB Studio manages connections to backend services differently to Visual Builder, where a Visual Builder administrator added these services to the Tenant Settings page.

In VB Studio, the steps to create a connection depend on the backend service. If your visual applications need to access REST services from an Oracle Cloud Applications catalog, you add the Oracle Cloud Applications instance to the runtime environment.

If the Visual Builder instance that you use in your environment is provided by Oracle Integration, visual applications in VB Studio inherit the catalog of Integration and Process backend services.

See Manage Backend Services in Your Visual Application.
The grunt-vb-build NPM package includes tasks to build visual applications that you develop in VB Studio and deploy to a Visual Builder runtime instance:
  • The vb-process-local task processes the sources of the visual application that you cloned from VB Studio’s Git repository to your local Git repository for usage in the Visual Builder runtime instance. The vb-process-local task replaces variables and placeholders in index.html, downloads libraries from the Component Exchange, and so on. The archive that the vb-process-local task produces does not include absolute links to the Visual Builder runtime instance.
  • The vb-credentials task transfers the credentials (service connection information and mobile build configurations) from secure storage in VB Studio to the target Visual Builder runtime instance.
  • The vb-deploy task deploys the environment-independent artifact that the vb-process-local task produced to the target Visual Builder runtime instance and inserts environment-specific information, such as URLs and Oracle Identity Cloud Service information. The vb-deploy task also produces native mobile packages, if your visual application includes mobile applications.
If you want to use the Grunt tasks described here to build and deploy a visual application to a Visual Builder runtime instance, see Build and Deploy Your Application.
Although you’ll now do almost all the administration tasks for your visual applications in VB Studio, someone with administrator privileges for the Visual Builder runtime needs to sign in to the Visual Builder runtime to do certain tasks. Examples include configuration changes to connect your Visual Builder runtime to an Oracle DB instance with more space, or to configure a custom domain if users access an application deployed on the Visual Builder runtime from a custom app URL. If you’re a Visual Builder runtime administrator, sign in to the Visual Builder runtime to complete the following tasks, that are described in Administering Oracle Visual Builder.

Extending Oracle Cloud Applications

If Oracle built your Oracle Cloud Application using Oracle JET, you can extend that app to customize it for your business needs.

To find out if you have such an app, see if you have an Edit Pages in Visual Builder option in your Oracle Cloud Application’s edit menu. If you do, click it to jump over to VB Studio and start creating your application extension. To help you along the way, have a look at How Can Visual Builder Studio Help Me Extend My Oracle Cloud Application?

Like everything built in VB Studio, the source code for your application extension is stored within a project’s Git repository, and you work on your own branch of that repo in the context of your own private workspace.

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