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JDE Is Pulling the Plug on Mobile Apps. What Now?

After five years of creating and delivering mobile apps for iOS and Android, JD Edwards made the decision to remove all these applications from the Apple Store and Google Play in the Fall of 2020. Let’s take a look at what this means for the JDE community and your options for creating web and mobile apps that leverage the JD Edwards EnterpriseOne platform.

Why Are Things Changing?

This decision was a long time coming, and it was probably inevitable. JDE laid out the reasoning in a recent announcement:

“Our hope was that these applications would meet our customers’ requirements and be highly leveraged. Unfortunately, we did not find that to be true. Adoption was very low. In fact, a significant number of the mobile applications do not appear to have been used by any customer.” 

That’s a pretty clear sign that things aren’t working out. What went wrong?

  • Functionality Didn’t Align with Processes

One of the great things about the JDE platform is that it supports a limitless number of use cases. But that’s also what makes it difficult to predict what users will want to accomplish. JDE developers had to make decisions about what to build--and they chose to focus on individual functions that they assumed users would want. It turns out that users wanted their apps designed based on roles and work processes rather than specific functions. Customers ended up modifying JDE’s apps or creating their own to get the UX and functional scope they really wanted.

  • Popular Front-End Tools Made More Sense for App Building

Front-end mobile development tools like React, Xamarin, and Oracle’s Visual Builder Cloud Service (VCBS), are readily available for people to build their own mobile apps. These are low code/no code options that let citizen developers create their own apps even with little programming experience. Since business analysts and other domain experts are the people using JDE from day to day, it makes sense to empower them to build and modify their own apps using simple front-end tools to create an interface and then leverage Orchestrator for processing of data on the back-end.

 

Can You Get Support for the JDE Mobile Apps You Already Use?

Bug fixes will be available directly through the Update Center and Oracle Software Delivery Cloud through the end of April. Users can access these Mobile Application Archive files to manually install fixes.These files will remain available indefinitely, but starting on May 1, 2021, all MAF-based mobile applications will be moved to Sustaining Support. Sign into your Oracle account and go here and here to find the relevant support sections.

What about Building New Mobile Applications for JDE?

JD Edwards EnterpriseOne no longer certifies mobile applications developed on Oracle Mobile Application Framework (MAF). Operating systems Android 10 and iOS 13 were the last operating systems they certified. However, lightweight web and mobile apps can easily be built outside JDE and still leverage the logic and data within the JDE system. 

Which Front-End Tools Can You Use Going Forward?

Any front-end low code/no code development tool capable of creating REST can be used to create the right UI and features for your use case and role. 

Options include:

  • Xamarin
  • Mendix
  • Ephlux SWIFT
  • React
  • Oracle VBCS

You can learn more about how to build your own mobile apps with Oracle’s set of educational resources here

What Approach and Tools Do We Recommend at ACBM?

As an early adopter of the Orchestrator and a trusted Oracle partner, we’ve been able to get a head start on building web and mobile apps for JDE. We are proud to be the first company to have VCBS-based apps in production. 

Our team can develop mobile apps with node.js or other tools, but we prefer using Oracle’s VCBS or Ephlux’s SWIFT. It allows our customers to stay within the Oracle product family for more streamlined support. We leverage the Orchestrator to take care of the heavy lifting between the app and the ERP. This results in powerful but lightweight apps that are inexpensive to build. 

 

Examples of Our Clients’ Use Cases for JDE Mobile and Web Apps

Inventory Transfers: Drivers at a propane and oil company use a mobile app to document the transfer of repair parts in the field. JDE is updated in real time for better supply chain management.

Sales Orders: Reps can enter sales orders on their phone while they are with a customer instead of waiting to get back to the office, reducing “end-of-day” administrative burden, errors, and delays.

POs and Requisitions: Supervisors and workers can enter requests and reorder materials from the shop floor on the fly. Approval requests are automatically sent to relevant parties who can also approve POs from a mobile device.

 

Ready to Start Building Mobile Apps That Work with Your JDE?

Meeting your unique requirements for UX and business process automation is our specialty. At ACBM, we’ve found this approach can cut the cost to build apps by 90% compared to the typical price for custom development. 

Contact us by filling at the form below to talk about your unique use case today.

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