Oracle Applications FAQ

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Oracle E-Business Suite Applications FAQ - including Oracle Financials, General Ledger, Human Resources, etc.

What is Oracle Financials?[edit]

Oracle Financials products provide organizations with solutions to a wide range of long- and short-term accounting system issues. Regardless of the size of the business, Oracle Financials can meet accounting management demands with:

  • Oracle Assets: Ensures that an organization's property and equipment investment is accurate and that the correct asset tax accounting strategies are chosen.
  • Oracle General Ledger: Offers a complete solution to journal entry, budgeting, allocations, consolidation, and financial reporting needs.
  • Oracle Inventory: Helps an organization make better inventory decisions by minimizing stock and maximizing cash flow.
  • Oracle Order Entry: Provides organizations with a sophisticated order entry system for managing customer commitments.
  • Oracle Payables: Lets an organization process more invoices with fewer staff members and tighter controls. Helps save money through maximum discounts, bank float, and prevention of duplicate payment.
  • Oracle Personnel: Improves the management of employee- related issues by retaining and making available every form of personnel data.
  • Oracle Purchasing: Improves buying power, helps negotiate bigger discounts, eliminates paper flow, increases financial controls, and increases productivity.
  • Oracle Receivables: Improves cash flow by letting an organization process more payments faster, without off-line research. Helps correctly account for cash, reduce outstanding receivables, and improve collection effectiveness.
  • Oracle Revenue Accounting Gives an organization timely and accurate revenue and flexible commissions reporting.
  • Oracle Sales Analysis: Allows for better forecasting, planning. and reporting of sales information.

What is the MultiOrg and what is it used for?[edit]

MultiOrg or Multiple Organizations Architecture allows multiple operating units and their relationships to be defined within a single installation of Oracle Applications. This keeps each operating unit's transaction data separate and secure.

Use the following query to determine if MultiOrg is installed:

select multi_org_flag from fnd_product_groups;

How can I customize a form in Oracle E-Business Suite?[edit]

There are three ways do to this, and they are in order of preference:

  • Use the Forms Personalization feature to extend forms through configuration. This was a new feature in 11.5.10. Check out the Metalink Note with Doc ID 279034.1 for details on how to forms personalizations.
  • Modify the CUSTOM Library to extend forms. For details look in the CUSTOM Library chapter of the Oracle Applications Developer's Guide.
  • Modify the form directly in Forms Builder. This is not supported and you will have to reimplement the modifications whenever Oracle releases a new version of the form that you want or need to install.

What is the difference between Fields and FlexFields?[edit]

A field is a position on a form that one uses to enter, view, update, or delete information. A field prompt describes each field by telling what kind of information appears in the field, or alternatively, what kind of information should be entered in the field.

A flexfield is an Oracle Applications field made up of segments. Each segment has an assigned name and a set of valid values. Oracle Applications uses flexfields to capture information about your organization. There are two types of flexfields: key flexfields and descriptive flexfields.

Convert DFF (Descriptive Flex field) to Number[edit]

Often data in Oracle Applications is stored in extended columns known as Descriptive Flex field columns. These are character columns which you can map it to store any kind of information. On the front end, it is possible to apply validations like numeric, date or character but the ultimate value that gets stored inside these flex columns is just character strings.

The trouble comes during the time of reporting. Its not a problem if you just want to display the value stored in the column. The pain starts when you want to do some logic on top of those numeric or date values. In this article we just consider numeric values and how can they be utilized.

The problem can be simplified by using the to_number function that Oracle provides but this assumes that the column infact has *ONLY NUMERIC* values and no "white space," or "non-numeric" characters in it. If it does have non-numeric characters then the to_number function is going to bomb right in your face. Descriptive Flex fields are context dependent ie. each attribute column can store different data types for a given row, so for row 1 the attribute1 column might store a numeric value, row2 might store a date value and so on...

To deal with the above situation, we can create a new generic function as below

FUNCTION get_number
     (p_val  VARCHAR2)
  l_value  NUMBER;
  l_value := fnd_number.canonical_to_number(p_val);
  RETURN l_value;
    RETURN  - 1;

In the above wrapper function, it tries to convert the character value into number, if it succeeds then returns the value else returns a -1. The fnd_number.canonical_to_number converts the canonical value as stored in the flexfield column to your NLS number format.

So you can modify this function to return any value depending on the requirement e.g return a zero value instead of -1. The reason we chose -1 is to highlight any data issues. If we return a zero value then there is a possibility that the user might overlook the data error. So depending on the situation return a value which would tell the user that the data is not correct e.g like a huge negative value.

You can enhance the function to strip out non-numeric values like spaces etc using ltrim, rtrim or replace functions but caution should be exercised to not overload this function with more logic and calculations as it will effect the performance of your reports.