A day in the life of an Oracle Applications Consultant


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Connecticut State Governments integrated Financial, HR and Payroll System

I came across the Core CT site today and found it to be a site with a wealth of information relating to systems implementation.

According to the site:

Core-CT is the system that has replaced Connecticut state government’s core financial and administrative computer systems including central and agency accounting, accounts payable, payroll, time and attendance, worker’s compensation, personnel, and other legacy systems. For years before Core-CT was implemented, these systems were plagued by poor integration, redundant data entry, and time-wasting reconciliation. They were written in a number of different languages, resided on many platforms, and included numerous databases. This older technology was not adaptable to workflow and e-commerce.

The state’s central administrative agencies - the Office of the State Comptroller, the Departments of Administrative Services and Information Technology, and the Office of Policy and Management - banded together to undertake the transition to a new, integrated system encompassing virtually all major administrative functions and all executive-branch state agencies. The system uses enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to tie together all functions, using an integrated suite of software applications, a common database, and a unified technical architecture.

The Core-CT fact sheet outlines what modules and systems were implemented as follows:

Core-CT is Connecticut state government’s central financial and administrative computer system. Using PeopleSoft’s ERP suite, the system encompasses central and agency accounting functions, including modules for general ledger, purchasing, accounts payable, accounts receivable, billing, assets, and inventory, with projects and contracts scheduled to be implemented in 2006; as well as PeopleSoft’s Human Resource Management System, with modules for payroll, time and labor, human resources, and benefits. Core-CT covers all these functions for executive branch agencies, and some of its functions are also used by the Judicial Branch, the General Assembly, and state institutions of higher education. In addition, Core-CT uses PeopleSoft’s EPM ad-hoc reporting function to allow queries on its vast database.

Currently, the system uses PeopleSoft Financials version 8.4 but will be upgrading to version 8.8 around July 2006; HRMS uses PeopleSoft version 8.3 and will be upgrading to 8.9 around May 2006. Some 7,600 state workers use Core-CT. They pay the state’s bills in a $15.3 billion annual budget (fiscal year 2006), including the payroll for all state employees.

Launched in 2003, Core-CT is based at the Department of Information Technology’s East Hartford, CT office; it is managed jointly by the Office of the State Comptroller, the Department of Administrative Services, and DOIT; these agencies hold the statutory authority for the system’s functions.  Approximately 150 people work in the development and maintenance of Core-CT.

Other interesting areas of the site include the Presentation Library, Document Library and Chart of Accounts Documentation. I also thought the catalog of online financial reports provides a good example of how reports should be documented.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Oracle Navigation and ADI Tip Sheets

Last year I worked with Nici Aldridge on an IMSCAN document management and scanning solution for an Oracle E-Business Suite implementation. Nici is an Oracle Applications Consultant who does quite a substantial amount of Oracle Training - read her profile here. She shared with me some “tip sheets” she has produced for Oracle Applications Navigation and Oracle’s Application Desktop Integrator (ADI). These tips sheets are very short documents which are aimed at providing users with the basic information they need to get started with.

Other tip sheets are available for:

  • Office 2000 - Generic Information for Office 2000
  • Word 2000 - For those converting to Word 2000
  • Outlook 2000 - For those converting to Outlook 2000
  • PowerPoint 2000 - For those converting to PowerPoint 2000
  • PowerPoint for Presenters - Suggestions for using PowerPoint effectively in PC-based presentations
  • Visual Aids - Suggestions for choosing and using visual aids, including PC slides

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Some interesting IT, ERP and Oracle Job Sites

Over the last two weeks I’ve come across a variety of interesting job sites which I wanted to specifically highlight to readers. It seems that more job sites are getting in to the blogging thing as well as providing RSS support. The concept of job sites having RSS support appeals to me since it means that I can find out about the latest jobs without have to wade through tonnes of e-mail subscriptions.

Firstly, I wanted to point out that Jobserve now has RSS support for job searches. Monster, another really large job site now has a blog as well as an RSS feed available on their Career advice site. Jobster also has a blog here.

IT Jobs Watch is another interesting site I came across that gives you a good indication of earnings in the UK IT Sector. According to the site:

ITJobsWatch offers you a unique perspective on today’s UK IT jobs market. Our aim is to present you with a concise and accurate map of the prevailing IT jobs market conditions. Our goals include helping you:

  • Determine the level of demand for particular IT skills with a guide to the average salary and contractor rates offered.
  • Discover how various IT skills interrelate.
  • Determine which IT skills are popular in specific locations.
  • Determine the level of demand for a certain IT skills required by specific IT Job Titles. is a job site which has a forum mainly consisting of SAP job vacancies and advertisements. is an open database where you can share interview questions. They have 102 questions for Oracle Apps. Also of note is the site which has a number of tutorials for Oracle Applications 11i. To mention a few:

From an Oracle perspective you should check out the official Oracle Jobs site as well as this OracleJobSite which has an array of RSS feeds you can subscribe to.

Once again, I wanted to point out that I’m frequently updating my job site listing with new sites I come across such as the ones mentioned above, hence I recommend you subscribe to the OracleAppsBlog jobs RSS feed. You’ll also find a listing of Job sites in the Jobs folder of the OracleAppsBlog Blogroll. If you want to see a job site with an interesting and sometime humorous twist, check out Simply Fired.

Anyone know of any other job sites that have RSS feeds?

Monday, August 01, 2005

Oracle 11i Installation, Architecture, Administration and Maintenance

Recently I was asked by a reader whether I could provide them with a diagram of the architecture of 11i10. Here’s some excellent presentations you can download and take a look at if you want to understand more about the architecture of Oracle Applications E-Business Suite (EBS) R11i.

I’ve always been impressed by the quality and content of information produced in presentations delivered by SolutionBeacon. One of the first presentations I came across that provided a very good look under the hood of 11i was one entitled “Care and Feeding of 11i” by John Stouffer.

The most recent versions of these presentations that I could find were delivered by Randy Giefer at the NorCal OAUG 2005 Training Day. I’ve linked to the presentations and also quoted their abstracts below. You should also check out the NorCalOAUG Presentations Archive where there are many other useful presentations you can download.

Introduction to Release 11i Part 1 of 2: Installation & Architecture


In the 1st of a 2 part presentation, get a “real world” perspective as well as tips and techniques to install and understand the architecture of the complex Oracle Applications environment delivered with Release 11i, including Release 11.5.10. Release 11i is the biggest and most complex applications release ever! There have been ten 11i releases with major changes to tools and technology stack. Each release addresses bug fixes and has added new module functionality along with three specific Oracle environments that must be installed for Release 11i – database, applications and web. All environments require differing levels of support but each has to be maintained to fully utilize and make the most of the Release 11i Applications. We will discuss the underlying architectures and approaches to architecture and installation that make ongoing support more manageable for the Apps DBA.

Introduction to Release 11i Part 2 of 2: Administration & Maintenance


In the 2nd of a 2 part presentation, get a “real world” perspective as well as tips and techniques to administer and maintain the complex Oracle Applications environment delivered with Release 11i, including Release 11.5.10. Release 11i is the biggest and most complex applications release ever! There have been ten 11i releases with major changes to tools and technology stack. Each release addresses bug fixes and has added new module functionality along with three specific Oracle environments that must be supported for Release 11i – database, applications and web. Administering and maintaining these environments has become a full time job for the Applications DBA. All environments require differing levels of support but each has to be maintained to fully utilize and make the most of the Release 11i applications. We will discuss all of these administration and maintenance processes for the Apps DBA and will share “real world” recommendations for each.

Friday, August 27, 2004

University of Florida ERP Implementation - Bridges

This post contains a review of the University of Florida Bridges site which contains some useful documentation and training material on the implementation of Enterprise Systems.

The University of Florida has a really good site called "Bridges" which provides documentation and training material relating to the implementation of systems in their organisation.

According to their site: -

UF Bridges is a multi-year project to replace the University’s current computer systems with new Web-based, integrated systems that provide real-time information and improve university business processes. This is known as an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution. The University purchased ERP software from PeopleSoft for its financial, human resources, payroll and student administration functions, and enterprise data warehouse and reporting functions from Cognos (a PeopleSoft partner).

Although the solutions being implemented at this University are not Oracle Applications related I thought the site would be helpful for the following reasons: -

  1. It provides some good examples of the type of documentation and training material that should be prepared when implementing Enterprise Systems.
  2. The documentation and training material will provide readers with a good understanding of the business processes for each of the functional areas within an organisation (e.g. Finance, HRMS)
  3. There are various presentations available that give an idea of the issues that one needs to think about when implementing ERP systems.
  4. The site provides a good example of how to effectively manage the knowledge gained in an organisation as a result of such an implementation.

The training section is probably the most useful area of this site. It provides instructions guides, classroom training presentations and handouts, classes on video and web tutorials which cover the following functional areas: -

  • Enterprise Reporting
  • Finance
    • Overviews
    • Core User
    • Customer Relations
    • General Ledger/Budgets
    • Purchasing and Payables
      • Requisitions
      • Change Requests
      • Receiving
      • Vouchers
      • Procurement Card (PCard)
    • Sponsored Programs
    • Travel and Expense
  • Human Resource Management Systems
    • Hiring
      • Staff, OPS and Student Positions
      • Faculty Positions
    • Position and Job Actions
    • Distributions and Pay
    • Reporting Time
    • Using Leave
    • Approving Time and Leave
    • Workflow

Within the training section there are also some really good Project Presentations. Highlights are as follows: -

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