OracleAppsBlog
A day in the life of an Oracle Applications Consultant

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Oracle Reports using BI Publisher

I’m currently working as an associate consultant with an organisation called BeLife Ltd. We are interested in showing organisations how they can transform their Oracle Reports using BI Publisher (formerly XML Publisher) and would like to offer a free 1 hour demonstration of this product to anyone that’s interested.

BI Publisher is standard Oracle Financials integrated functionality, but it is only used by a few organisations. Recent feedback suggested that this is because organisations just don’t know how to start with using BI Publisher even though users are eager to experience the benefits. We’d like to show you in an hour how you can get started.

We can show you how to use BI Publisher to generate:

  • Remittance Advices
  • Dunning Letters and Customer Statements
  • General Ledger Reports for downloading direct to Excel, including grouping and formulae (sums, average, maximum, minimums)
  • Management information reports with tables, graphs and conditional formatting.

Whether you’re a super user, end user or implementor if you’re interested in potentially using this reporting tool or know of anyone that may be interested in a demonstration please contact me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Update:

This demonstration will be run as a webinar. Details of the first part of a series of BI Publisher webinars are outlined here.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Contractors - LinkedIn and Oracle Community Groups

Join Contractors on the Oracle LinkedIn and Community Groups I recently created an Oracle Contractors Group on LinkedIn as well as on the Oracle Community. The purpose of these groups is to create a network for contractors to talk to each other as well as discuss and refer work opportunities. If you’re interested in joining sign up to the LinkedIn group and I’ll approve your membership. To join the Oracle Community Contractors Group simply sign up to the community and add yourself to the group.  

Oracle Community - the Social Network for Oracle People

Recently I joined the Oracle Community Social Networking site. It’s the brainchild of Eddie Awad and uses the Ning Platform. The site offers the following features and tools: -

  • Blogging
  • Chat
  • Forums
  • Gadgets
  • Groups
  • Photos
  • Videos

Certainly there are plenty of Oracle blogs and forums around as well as social networks. What I like about this site is all of these services are offered together in one place and are integrated with each other. They’re all also totally focused on one thing - Oracle. Pay the site a visit and if you like what you see sign up and connect with myself and all the other Oracle Users within the network.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Oracle Financials Technical Interview Questions and Score Sheet

Over the last few years I’ve been involved in interviewing a number of Oracle Financials Consultants and have also in the past been sitting on the other side of the desk as an interviewee. The last time I conducted an interview it was more technical in nature and I decided to came up with a list of questions to ask the interviewee. These questions were focused along the lines of people, process and technology and I thought I would write a blog entry with the questions as I’m sure it will be useful for interviewers and interviewee’s alike. In addition to the questions I also developed a score sheet utilising the Kepner Tregoe decision making methodology, an approach I learnt when doing my Masters in Business Leadership (MBL). This score sheet allows the interviewer to develop an objective means of evaluating the answers to interview questions rather than a subjective one and can be modified to suit a number of different scenarios. I haven’t included any answers to the questions as in many cases there is no right answer, I prefer to see if someone understands the concepts and can explain them well. Having said that, if any one wants to come up with a suggested answer sheet I will gladly append it to the questions listing. Hopefully this question listing and score sheet will provide readers with a baseline/guideline that can be used in any type of interview.

Technology Questions

General Ledger

  • Explain the organisational concepts of business group, set of books, legal entity, operating unit and inventory organization and the hierarchical structure relating to these.
  • What are the three C’s in relation to a set of books? 
  • Explain the difference between a key flexfield and descriptive flexfield
  • What is the difference between a cross validation rule and a security rule? 
  • What is a value set and what are the different types of value sets that you will find within Oracle?

Accounts Payable

  • Describe the Key Configuration decisions you would need to undertake when implementing the Accounts Payable module.
  • Briefly describe the Supplier Invoice to Payment process within Oracle.

Accounts Receivable

  • Describe the Key Configuration decisions you would need to undertake when implementing the Accounts Receivable module.
  • Briefly describe/draw the Customer Invoice to Cash process within Oracle
  • Describe the Key difference in setting up accounting for Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable
  • What happens when you have a receipt in Oracle that can’t be applied to an invoice?

Fixed Assets

  • Describe the key configuration decisions you would need to undertake when implementing the fixed assets module.
  • Briefly describe/draw the asset additions process within Oracle.

Cash Management

  • Describe the key configuration decisions you would need to undertake when implementing the cash management module.
  • Outline the Statement to Reconciliation process within Oracle with particular reference to the different options you might want to consider when reconciling.

All Modules

Describe/draw the sequence of events you would undertake in closing the various financials modules.

People Questions

  • Draw a typical structure relating to project implementation and describe the role each person would play within a project.
  • Describe how to implement an effective training strategy within an implementation – include the timing of training relative to the project lifecycle.
  • Within an implementation describe a Change Management strategy that you would put in place.

Process Questions

  • Describe/draw the main phases of an implementation lifecycle and the key milestones and deliverables within each of these phases.
  • Describe the key differences between a process and work instruction
  • Within a project describe the different test phases that you might go through and what level of testing would be undertaken.
  • Describe a typical process you would implement for managing Change Requests and Bug requests within your organization.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Oracle Mix - bringing Web 2.0 to the Enterprise

Last year I attended the UKOUG 2007 which was a good opportunity to catch up on what’s happening in the Oracle World. At the Applications Keynote presentation given by Jesper Andersen I first heard about Oracle Mix, one of the initiatives Oracle has undertaken to bring Enterprises into the Web 2.0 space, a concept now dubbed Enterprise 2.0

Oracle Mix was built by Oracle AppsLab in collaboration with ThoughtWorks. I see it as one of Oracle’s first attempts at a FaceBook or MySpace equivalent for its customers, partners, developers and employees. The Oracle Mix strapline is Our Business is all about you, our Customers. Its purpose is stated as giving everyone a voice to help shape the future of Oracle together. Here’s what Oracle says you can do with Mix: -

Share Ideas.
Let us know how we can improve our products or how we do business. See an idea you like, vote on it or add your comments.
Join Groups.
Get together with others around products, industries, or more. Can’t find a group you like? Start one!
Network.
Connect with other customers and get to know Oracle experts in your product area or industry.
Get Answers.
Got a tough question, ask it. Feeling bright? Help someone and answer a question.
Share and Learn.
Learn about best practices for your product and check out new ideas being discussed by the community. Share your experiences with others through posting ideas or answering questions.

I have to say I like the way Oracle is starting to embrace Web 2.0. When I first started blogging several years ago, there were very few Oracle Bloggers around and the community was fairly fragmented and disorganised. Now it seems that with all of the collaboration and social networking tools around I’m able to interact more effectively with my Oracle peers. Apart from Oracle building effective web applications for the Oracle Community they’re also demonstrating Enterprise 2.0 leadership by building services into their applications that have Web 2.0 features and characteristics. I look forward to seeing how the community and applications grow and metamorphasise in the future.

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