OracleAppsBlog
A day in the life of an Oracle Applications Consultant

Friday, June 18, 2004

Speeding up Oracle Hrms API debugging

One of my personal favorites is a little trick to speed up development and debugging of Oracle Hrms API’s.

The code behind the API’s has lots of trace statements. You can turn it on by calling “hr_utility.trace_on;”. But the output is now only available through a tool called PYUPIP. This is the one support asks many times for.

Just add one extra call to the previous one, and the trace messages are rerouted to dbms_output.

BEGIN
  hr_utility.set_trace_options(‘TRACE_DEST:DBMS_OUTPUT’);
  hr_utility.trace_on;
END;

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Oracle HRMS (Human Resources Management System) and Payroll Blog

Thierry Vergult an experienced Oracle HRMS and Payroll consultant has a blog entitled “Implementing HRMS: My Daily Experiences”. This post contains details of the blog.

According to Thierry “After 6 years implementing Oracle HRMS, I want to share my experiences and personal opinions about it. I’m an independent consultant, and have been busy on several projects, mainly in Europe and Africa, implementing all the HRMS modules. My personal favourite by far is Payroll. I do project Management, functional stuff and technical development. Application tuning is my cup of tea”. The blog can be found at http://oraclehrms.blogspot.com. You should also check out OPAYRA, another site that Thierry has started up.

I’ve asked Thierry if he would like to blog for this site under the HRMS and Payroll category. He has very kindly agreed, so welcome aboard Thierry!! You can read Thierry’s membership profile here or if you’re a member you can e-mail Thierry via the profile e-mail console.

Download Oracle AIM (Applications Implementation Methodology) Software and White Paper

Oracle AIM (Applications Implementation Methodology) is Oracle’s project management methodology. This post contains links to where you can download Oracle AIM software and an Oracle AIM White Paper.

Oracle AIM consists of a project management methodology together with the underlying documentation templates that support the tasks you perform within this methodology. This combination of a methodology together with documentation templates makes AIM a powerful tool for assisting implementation participants in running and managing projects successfully. The methodology can be used for any other software implementations but obviously the true value of AIM will be only be realised when it is used in conjunction with the Oracle specific document templates. The documentation templates are available in the AIM software and the methodology is clearly outlined in the AIM software documentation.

The Oracle AIM Front End Displaying Project Phases and Processes

The Oracle AIM GUI which allows you to navigate to the documentation templates

Download Oracle AIM Software (23.8MB). This software provides you with the methodology as well as documentation templates that are needed to run your Oracle Applications projects. Sadly this product doesn’t seem to have been updated for version 11i. Two tips I should give you about the installation and use of the tool - firstly, it doesn’t seem to work on IE6 so try and install it on IE5.5 or lower. Secondly, make sure that your macro security is set to low in both Word and Excel as AIM will need to run certain startup Macros that install additional menus. The software contains all the documentation you will need to learn how to use the product and you can also download my white paper which will give you a short overview of how AIM works.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Installing, Configuring and Using Oracle ADI (Applications Desktop Integrator)

Recently I wrote about configuring the ADI client to connect to the Oracle Database. I have subsequently come across an excellent site which has a page on how to Install, Configure and Use Oracle ADI (Applications Desktop Integrator). The page outlines how to: -

  • Install ADI
  • Start ADI
  • Define a Database Connection
  • Use ADI
  •  

    It can be found on the University of Virginia site here.

    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.

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