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Modules

Monday, June 14, 2004

Understanding constraints (ceilings) in Oracle Public Sector Budgeting (PSB)

The objective of this post is to explain in more detail certain concepts relating to constraints. In particular I will be looking at thresholds and severity levels and explaining how they work.

According to the Oracle Public Sector Budgeting documentation, “Constraints are used to notify users regarding specific conditions for account ranges, elements, or position sets. For example, users can be notified if the total expense for a range of accounts exceeds a particular dollar amount.

  • Account constraints are used to prevent budget amount violations for line items.
  • Element constraints are used to prevent modification of element rates for a selected group of positions.
  • Position constraints are used to prevent element cost violations for selected positions or positions that are assigned to invalid element options”.
  • Constraints (otherwise known as ceilings in most of the Government organisations I have implemented in) are used to place limits on budget estimates. In Oracle Public Sector Budgeting, estimates are prepared in budget worksheets and after these estimates are prepared they are checked against constraints or ceilings that have been put in place by the relevant authorities.

    The screen shot below shows the constraint setup screen in Oracle PSB. 

    Setting up Ceilings/Constraints in Oracle Public Sector Budgeting

    One of the concepts I struggled to understand was severity levels and thresholds and how these worked together. I felt that the Oracle documentation was a bit weak in this area and did not clearly define how these two settings worked together. In the next couple of paragraphs I will attempt to clarify how these “parameters” work.

    Essentially two types of ceilings exist, namely: -

    Hard Ceilings (can also be referred to as absolute)

    This occurs is the threshold is less that or equal to the severity level. In the diagram shown, lines two (“General Fund”) and three (“Finance FTE”) would be classified as hard ceilings.

    If a ceiling is hard, when a budget worksheet preparer submits a worksheet for review, a constraint violation will be produced and the user will be required to amend the violation to the worksheet and then re-submit it. Essentially, the worksheet will remain stuck with the preparer until such time as he ensures the constraint violation is rectified.

    Soft Ceilings (can also be referred to as advisory)

    This occurs if the threshold > severity level. In the diagram shown, line one (“Budget Dept”) would be classified as a soft ceiling.

    In this instance, when a budget worksheet preparer submits a worksheet for review a constraint violation will be produced, however, the authoriser will still be able to work on the worksheet and post it to the General Ledger. Essentially, a warning message will be produced that there is a constraint violation but this will not stop the worksheet going through all the remaining processes needed to post it to the General Ledger.

    Note: If the severity level is left blank then it is assumed to be less than the threshold level.

    Saturday, June 12, 2004

    Configuring the ADI client to connect to the database

    This post outlines how to configure the ADI client software to connect to the database. It’s aimed at non-technical people and assumes that you have already configured the TNSNAMES.ora file.

    Assumed TNSNAMES.ORA file settings

    Typical TNSNAMES.ORA lines

    ADI database connection settings

    To get to the settings displayed below, from the ADI toolbar click on the signon button. In the Signon screen, on the bottom left hand side of the screen you should then click on the Define Basis button and configure your connection.

    An example of how to configure your ADI client database connection

    The name and description you give to the database connection can be user defined. The GWYUID and FNDNAM settings are consistent for most databases that you connect to and lastly, the connect string should be the same as the SID contained in the TNSNAMES.ORA

    Transfer of Budget Worksheet, Revision and Dossier transactions to the Oracle General Ledger

    Having implemented Oracle Public Sector Budgeting at two fairly large sites, I’ve gained a good understanding of how Oracle’s Budgeting solution fits together.  This post aims to outline the different methods used to post Budget data from Public Sector Budgeting and OPSF(I) in to the General Ledger.

    I felt the best way to explain how Oracle Budget data is posted into General Ledger would be by using a table as displayed below. The table outlines how budgeting data for a particular area of budgeting is posted in to the General Ledger and also identifies what journal sources and categories would be utilised. One of the main reasons for me writing this post is I felt that these procedures were not clearly outlined in the Oracle Documentation and where it was outlined it was in different manuals. I also get the feeling that the three main mechanisms of getting budget data into the General Ledger, namely worksheets, revisions and dossiers, were perhaps developed by different development teams or at different time periods.

    This table I have prepared will consolidate the methodology for posting budget data relating to worksheets, revisions and dossiers into one place. My hope is that this will help someone else implementing the same modules who may be going through the same struggle as I initially went through.

    Methodology for transferring Worksheets, Revisions and Dossiers to General Ledger

    How to transfer PSB and OPSF(I) transactions to Oracle General Ledger

    Tuesday, June 08, 2004

    Web ADI vs. ADI Client

    This documentation provides an architectural and functional comparision between Web ADI and the ADI client

    Oracle Applications Desktop Integrator (ADI) - Architectural Comparison

    Architectural Comparison of Web ADI with the ADI client

    Oracle Applications Desktop Integrator (ADI) - Functional Comparison

    Functional Comparison of Web ADI with the ADI client

    * Expected to be released soon through Web ADI
    ** Available through General Ledger in Oracle Applications release 11.5
    *** You can only monitor requests in Web ADI. The publishing capabilities of the Request Centre will be incorporated into a new web enabled reporting product.

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