The Latest Features, Improvements, and Changes with Oracle Siebel CRM Release 20.x

The latest Oracle Siebel CRM release update represents the continued evolution in the enterprise CRM application. With these updates, delivered as part of the Continuous Release model, Oracle introduces major enhancements primarily designed to transform business agility and improve customer experience in tandem with industry innovations as well as providing new enhancements for product development and cloud integration.

Key New Features with Release 17.x and Later

SWSE and Third-party Web Servers Replaced by a New Application Interface

The new Siebel Application Interface that replaces the Siebel Web Server Extensions (SWES) features an internal web application server and includes application container functionality to manage Siebel CRM Web requests. This module is installed with the updated version of Siebel Enterprise Server installer. The new framework eliminates dependency on third-party web servers.

The same web server is installed on all supported operating systems for a consistent web-tier across all platforms.  Also, configuration of the Application Interface is different, as the eapps.cfg file and virtual directories are no longer required. The Application Interface configurations are now managed by the Siebel Management Console and stored in the Siebel Gateway registry.

Enterprise Configuration Store (siebens.dat) Replaced by Apache Zookeeper

The new Siebel Gateway has replaced the Siebel Gateway Name Server. The Gateway performs many of the same functions as before, but utilizes embedded application container functionality to manage communications to other modules. Configuration data for the Siebel environment is stored internally to the Siebel Gateway (utilizing Apache ZooKeeper to maintain the registry). The previous siebns.dat file is no longer utilized.

Siebel Native Load Balancing Always on

The new Siebel Gateway now performs the internal Siebel Native Load Balancing. Initial Configuration parameters of the Siebel Gateway is done during the installation wizard, further configuration is done with the new Siebel Management Console.  This replaces the previous configuration wizard to configure the Siebel Gateway Name Server.

Siebel SRF File Is No Longer in Use

The Siebel server processes now utilize the new Siebel Runtime Repository that replaced the SRF file that used to be stored within the Siebel Server directory structure.

Security

A new requirement of IP2017 onwards is the creation and storing of SSL certificates to allow communications between the different enterprise components. The web browser utilizes SSL to communicate with the Application Interface.  In addition, the Application Interface utilizes SSL to communicate between itself and the Gateway Server.  It is recommended that you utilize your internal company’s keystore and truststore, but if that is not available, you can create self-signed certificates for the Siebel installation.

Configuration Wizard Replaced by Siebel Management Console (SMC)

The new Siebel Management Console is a web-based application that replaces the Enterprise Configuration Wizards for most configurations (Note – Database Configuration still utilizes the DB Configuration Wizard). The Management Console is used to configure the Siebel Gateway, Siebel Enterprise, Siebel Servers, Security profiles, Application Interface, and a few other modules. You can create deployment profiles for the different components and, once saved, you can then either deploy the profile or stage the profile for later deployment. The new Siebel CRM release keeps the primary configuration tasks centrally located in an easy-to-use web utility.

Siebel Web Tools and Workspaces

Siebel Web Tools is a browser-based utility that replaces the installed version, Siebel Tools, for most configuration tasks. Developers can easily transition to the Web Tools interface which is almost identical to the Tools client. Workspaces is part of the new Development tool set that provides modern development experience with distributed developers, allows work on multiple parallel releases, and removes the need for local databases and Seed Data management. Workspaces also provides the capability to preview workspace change within the application in real-time before publishing any changes for users.

Release 20.x – Top Improvements

Oracle Siebel CRM release updates are provided to introduce new features that improves business agility, DevOps, developer, and user experience. Some of the big improvements as of Release 20.x include:

Parallel Development
  • A centralized, version-controlled repository that supports multiple developers or teams working concurrently on multiple releases and projects
  • Supports parallel deployment, testing, and migration across environments
User Experience
  • Improved administrator and developer experience – simplified tooling for approval and migration
  • Siebel OpenUI – a modern, adaptable UX framework – continues to thrive
Updated Agility
  • With the Continuous Release model, Oracle releases monthly updates containing new fixes and new features
  • Updates are delivered in container format for rapid deployment
  • Most changes are additive, reducing complexity
  • More frequent updates, not “Big Bang” upgrades
  • Near zero downtime for updates
Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery
  • Enhanced options to support complete Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery (CI/CD)
High Availability Deployment
  • High availability and scalable architecture, which is transparent for on-premises or cloud deployment

The Changes – Siebel CRM Release 20.x

The new release of Siebel CRM provides key features and benefits to end users. Below are some of the major new benefits as of Release 20.x.

Old (Pre IP2017)New (20.x ++)
Extended 6 months+ UpgradesCost effective, 2-3 month Updates (not Upgrades)
Windows platform dependencyBrowser-based author, migrate, manage
Sequential developmentParallel development
Multi-hour downtime for updatesNear-zero downtime for updates
Multi-hour installations (4 hrs+)Container-based installation (~15 mins)
Predominantly manual testingPredominantly automated testing
3rd Party support & independent testing of Cloud IaaS platformsCompletely supported & tested Oracle Cloud IaaS platform
Gateway: single point of failureGateway Clusters using Zookeeper zero downtime
No DevOps solution for zero downtimeDevOps orchestration for near zero downtime
Older technologyModern technology
Annual ReleasesMonthly Releases

To summarize, the latest release of Oracle’s Siebel CRM delivers many new features such as Web Tools and Workspaces for developer experience, Enhanced REST API for Siebel CRM integrations, a new installer to simplify application deployment and management, Open UI enhancements for customer experience and industry specific innovations for modern business.