OracleAppsBlog
A day in the life of an Oracle Applications Consultant

Documentation

Monday, August 16, 2004

11i Upgrade Project - a move from 11.0.3 to 11.5.9

This post contains a link to the Financial Information Systems Upgrade site at University College London (UCT) and also gives an overview of the upgrade documentation prepared for this organisation.

In a previous post I discussed the Financials Systems Project site at the University College London (UCT). One portion of this site that I think is particularly useful is the section that talks about Upgrading to Version 11i. It provides the following documentation relating to upgrades: -

Business Case

I’m a personal advocate of making sure that a value proposition is prepared for any major IT projects you are going to perfom in your business. This business case contains a summary according to the following points: -

  • Fit with UCL Strategy
  • Demand for change
  • Alternative Options
  • Reasons for the Upgrade
  • Costs
  • Expected Benefits
  • Investment Appraisal

It then provides more detail for the business case and then outlines what Functional and Other improvements will be made. Lastly it speculates as to when Future Upgrades will need to take place.

11i Communications Plan

According to this document: -

The aim of this plan is to identify the stakeholders of the 11i upgrade project, to identify the information needs they have, and to provide a plan to provide up to date and accurate information in the most effective format and medium and in the most timely way.

Clear, timely and effective communications will enable the project team to:

  • Ensure that all principal stakeholders are aware of and in support of the reasons for undertaking the project, have realistic expectations of it and are prepared for it.
  • Communicate information needed by other departments or organisations who are affected by or need to know about the project’s progress towards its outcomes, enable them to prepare (e.g. with appropriate training and equipment) and enlist their support.
  • Communicate to users the direct requirements for using the system.
  • Keep up to date at all times with users’ requirements and make sure the project aims continue to meet these right from the beginning and continue to do so in the light both changes to users’ needs and new information apparent as the project develops.
  • Inform advisors and consultants of the project of all progress and developments so that the best available help can be received when required.
  • Enable appropriate action to be taken on an informed basis by those responsible for managing the project so that appropriate decisions can be made and the best level of support can be offered to the project at the right time and in the right way.

11i Project Initiation Document

This is a fairly comprehensive document and according to the site, it’s purpose is to: -

Define the 11i Upgrade project, to form the basis for its management and to help with the assessment of the project’s overall success. The two primary uses of the PID are:

  • To provide a baseline document against which the Project Board and Project Manager can assess progress, project issues and on-going viability
  • To ensure that the project has a sound basis before asking the Project Board to make any major commitment to this project

The document is structured as follows: -

  1. Background
  2. Business Case
    • Business Case Summary
    • Budget
  3. Project Definition
    • Objectives
    • Scope and Exclusions
    • Project Deliverables
    • Approach
    • Constraints
    • Dependencies
    • Assumptions
  4. Project Plan
    • Project Plan Summary
  5. Project Structure
    • Project Organisation
    • Outline of Roles
    • Project Meeting Structure
  6. Communication Plan
  7. Issue and Risk Logs
  8. Change Control

PC Specification for Version 11i

This document lists the hardware and software requirements for PC’s being used to access Oracle 11i.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Implementing Oracle Tutor using Author and Publisher

This post explains what Oracle Tutor is and contains links to some very good online examples of organisations that have implemented Oracle Tutor using Author and Publisher

Tutor Overview

According to the Tutor Page on Oracle Appsnet: -

Oracle Tutor, a critical training product for the Oracle E-Business Suite, provides you with a powerful tool to document and track your business processes, determine workflow, and develop and deploy applicable training materials to end-users. It includes a repository of Oracle applications procedural and instructional content that can be dynamically customized to apply to a company’s unique business processes. The result is a set of job-specific desk manuals and student guides that are easy to update and can be deployed online.

The Tutor CD can be found amongst the 11i CD pack you will receive when you purchase Oracle E-Business Suite (a lot of people don’t know that it’s there!). After installing Tutor Author and Publisher as well as the associated documentation, probably one of the most important files to know about is the DOCREG.xls file which is normally located in the following directory \\Tutor11i\User Manuals. The DOCREG.xls file contains the following sheets: -

  • Legend
  • Procedures
  • Instructions
  • Business Forms
  • References
  • Coding Conventions
  • EDUC Abstracts (abstracts related to the training slides)
  • EDUC Powerpoints (generic training slides for each module)

Each of these sheets will provide you with a listing related to the sheet title. For example, the "Procedures" sheet will provide you with a list of all the generic Oracle procedures that you undertake to perform the processes in a particular module. The related procedural documentation as per the listing is delivered as part of the Oracle Tutor installation. The thing I like about having the procedures in this kind of listing is that you can easily filter and sort the listing to identify the procedures that are relevant to your area of business. Then you only have to find the associated documentation in the Tutor folders created when installing on your local machine.

Tutor Author and Publisher Examples

Despite Tutor being such a wonderful product I haven’t come across many organisations that have implemented. My guess is that with IT Budgets being cut
to the bone, businesses do not have the necessary resources to implement it. The following are some really good online examples of how Tutor can be implemented
for your organisation and distributed across the web: -

US Department of Transportation

Here there is an online implementation of Tutor for Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Cash Management, Fixed Assets, General Ledger, Project Accounting, Purchasing and Reports (Web and Discoverer).

University of Virginia

Here, Tutor documentation is available for Oracle Financials, Human Resources and Payroll.

US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)

According to the site: -

The USACE Project Management Business Process (PMBP) Manual was developed as an web-based on-line tool to assist the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operation as a team-based organization, operating regionally, and focused on delivering projects on-time, within budget and meeting both the customers’ expectations and public interests. The Corps culture must be closely aligned with the project management business process environment. The Manual provides the Corps with business processes that are applicable in every organization:

  • to enable the Corps to consistently manage all work under the Project Management Business Process (PMBP), using corporate automated information systems
  • to transcend organizational and geographical boundaries, resulting in more efficient and effective work relationships
  • to promote a more project-focused organization, while also serving public interests
  • to more effectively and efficiently use limited resources
  • to enhance the use of cross-functional project delivery teams (PDT) and regional business centers
  • to further guide the organization into a team-based, learning organization that operates corporately

The PMBP Manual was developed using Oracle Tutor to facilitate integration of the business processes with P2. This on-line software allows for continuous update and improvement and provides both written processes as well as a flowchart supplement designed to reach all users.  Tutor also provides for specific role identification, using the Tutor term “author,” to allow users to recognize their responsibilities.  As a web-based on-line tool, the PMBP Manual offers immediate access to policy documents, reference documents and an ease of navigation through the execution of a program or project from work acceptance through planning and execution to closeout.

Oracle Tutor will also allow the user to relate actions directly to software usage and provide screenshots of entry pages aiding in navigation of new software.By allowing users to quickly see results (incorporation of comments and feedback), Oracle Tutor will assist in the continuous improvement of the PMBP Manual.

You can read more about the development of the Project Management Business Process (PMBP) Manual here

Key areas of the USACE site that you should take a look at are: -

  • Processes Index - here you can access all Process and Reference Documents by their phase in the project life cycle.
  • Desk Manual - See the processes as they relate to different roles.
  • “Tutor Best Practices” document
    The purpose of this document is to provide the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) with a reference guide that outlines general information regarding Oracle Tutor as well as some of the best practices as identified by the BP/P2 Project Delivery Team (PDT).This guide is not intended to be an Oracle Tutor User Manual, but a guide to aide in standardizing and implementing Tutor as a documentation tool for USACE. The Tutor tool, methodology, training, and roles and responsibilities will be covered along with information on support and installation requirements.

Related White Papers, Presentations and Articles

An article by Howard Penn of Solution Beacon in the R11i quarterly newsletter, entitled “Oracle Tutor 11i”, provides a brief explanation of what Tutor is and why it should be used.

This presentations page at the Perthos Consulting Site contains the following excellent Tutor presentations by Thomas A. Perkins: -

This papers page contains the whitepaper on Tools for a Successful Oracle Tutor Implementation (506KB)

Lastly, you should take a look at the Tutor Special Interest Group (SIG) Home Page that is part of the Oracle Applications User Group (OAUG) - here you will find some sample tutor documents.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

The Oracle Financial Information Systems (FIS) Project at University College London (UCT)

This post contains a link to the Oracle Financial Information Systems (FIS) website at University College London (UCT) and also mentions the key features of the site.

The Financials Systems Project site at the University College London (UCT) provides readers with a comprehensive understanding of what it takes to implement an Oracle Applications System. The site gives readers a holistic view of all the aspects of Enterprise Systems Implementations. UCT initially implemented the following modules of Oracle Application 11.0.3 and later upgraded to 11i : -

  • General Ledger
  • Accounts Payable
  • Purchase Ordering
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Grants ( including Project Costing and Project Billing)
  • Fixed Assets
  • Inventory

Following is a review of the key areas of the site:

FIS Project

This section of the site provides an overview of what the FIS project and has related information categorised as follows: -

  • Information on the use of the site
  • What is the FIS Project?
  • FIS Team Members
  • Useful Contact Information
  • Migration Plan
  • FIS Service Times
  • FIS Users Group
  • 11.0.3 Enhancement Stage Plan
  • FIS Technical and Business Consultancy 2003
  • Upgrade to Version 11i
  • FIS Newsletters
  • FIS Training Dates

Procedures, User Guides and General Reference

This particular section of the site is probably one of the most useful areas as it contains project documentation which has been categorised in to the following areas: -

  • General Reference and Procedural Notes
  • User Guides for the following modules: -
    • Accounts Payable
    • Accounts Receivable
    • Fixed Assets
    • General Ledger
    • Grants
    • Inventory
    • Purchase Ordering
  • Other User Guides
  • Technical Guidance
  • How To…?

Monday, August 02, 2004

Oracle E-Business Suite Electronic Technical Reference Manuals (eTRM)

This post contains a link to the site where Oracle E-Business Suite Electronic Technical Reference Manuals (eTRM) can be found and also has a write up on the site.

In a previous post I highlighted where the Oracle E-Business Suite Documentation CD could be downloaded. If you’ve taken a look at this documentation CD you will have noticed that the Technical Reference Manuals (TRM’s) are not there. This is because Oracle is now maintaining the technical reference manuals online. Presently you can access the Oracle E-Business Suite at this site: http://etrm.oracle.com. Once accessing this site you will be redirected to Metalink where you will need to specify a user name and password.

According to the site: -

eTRM is a pl/sql utility that reads design information in an Oracle database and displays its output in html format. It shows database design and dependency information for the Oracle eBusiness Suite.

The present version of eTRM is 3.0 and according to Oracle: -

Version 3.0 is a complete re-write of the eTRM code. Prior versions ran against an Oracle Designer repository. Version 3 runs in an Oracle Applications instance. This allows it to provide a more complete and accurate picture of the Applications data model. New features include a search engine, improved navigator functionality, pl/sql dependencies and static reports for offline working.

The site allows you to search the Oracle Databases from 11.5.4 to 11.5.9 to examine the FND Model or Oracle Data Dictionary. The information you obtain can then be downloaded in HTML or PDF format. I’m sure the information on the site will be very useful to anyone who would like to understand the technical architecture of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Download Oracle Documentation

This post contains a link to a site where you can download a comprehensive range of Oracle Documentation.

Certainly I might be stating the obvious but I thought it would be good to have the information on this site. This Oracle Technology Network (OTN) page contains Oracle Documentation for the following key technology areas: -

  • Database
  • Development Tools
  • Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence
  • On Demand
  • System Management
  • Application Server
  • Oracle Collaboration Suite
  • Technologies / Utilities
  • Applications / E-Business Suite

Of interest to Oracle Apps users will be the online documentation CD which can be downloaded for each release of Oracle E-Business Suite from R11 to R11.5.9

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