Oracle unveils Alta, a next-generation user interface

A mobile app creation tool for business users is also in the works

Oracle's new Alta user interface provides a consistent experience across device types.

Oracle's new Alta user interface provides a consistent experience across device types.

Oracle has overhauled the way it will build user interfaces in a bid to meet customers' expectations for user-friendly mobile applications -- and also to keep pace with rivals Salesforce.com and Workday.

Dubbed Alta, the new design system came about through years of user experience testing and prototyping, Oracle said Tuesday during the OpenWorld conference in San Francisco.

Alta encompasses four design principles, Oracle said: Mobile first, simple layouts, more visualizations and a "clear information hierarchy."

It's already being used in the newest versions of Oracle's Fusion Applications as well as other cloud services, such as Documents Cloud. Alta was also used to create mobile applications for Oracle's E-Business Suite and JD Edwards Enterprise One, "with many more to come," the company said.

The goal with Alta is user interfaces that can adapt to various device types and screen resolutions while giving users a consistent experience.

On the tools front, Oracle's Mobile Application Framework and Oracle Application Development Framework version 12.1.3 (and up) support Alta. Oracle has also created a set of design guidelines for developers.

Also Tuesday, Oracle previewed a new tool that makes it relatively simple for business users to create mobile applications on their own, without the need for IT involvement.

Mobile Application Accelerator works inside a browser and doesn't require any coding. Users will have a live view of their app as they create it. Page templates will help speed the process.

If desired, developers can then use Oracle's more robust tools to enhance the apps created by business users, Oracle said.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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