A day in the life of an Oracle Applications Consultant


Sunday, August 14, 2005

A Better Learning Environment (ABLE) at Harvard University

This post discusses the Harvard University systems support site and the use of Oracle 11i and Peoplesoft at this institution.

A Better Learning Environment (ABLE) is a support site for users of Harvard Universities systems. More specifically, the site provides support for Financial Applications (Oracle), HR Applications (Peoplesoft), Reporting Applications (Financial and HR) and for Harvard’s Central Administration Staff.

The resources available at the site include: -

  • Forms
  • Policies
  • Rates & Schedules
  • Work Instructions & Processes

Of particular interest is the section on Chart of Accounts (CoA) which outlines the account structure they implemented at Harvard.

For Financial Applications Harvard runs Oracle eBS and you can read about their upgrade to 11i from 11.0.3 in January 2003 here. According to the newsletter the upgrade introduced a new look and feel, new login techniques, and a new method of navigation for Web Voucher, General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Budget Tool, AWS2, HUDINI, and Applications Administration.

In November 2004 the University upgraded from 11.5.5 to 11.5.9 which you can read about here.

The Universities Administrative Systems e-news is an interesting insight into how ERP systems are run and maintained. According to the site:

The Office of Human Resources publishes a semimonthly electronic newsletter for users of University financial, HR, and reporting systems, policies, and procedures. It contains:

  • Updates on projects underway to build or improve University administrative systems
  • Information about new University financial, HR, and reporting policies, procedures, and forms
  • Reminders about upcoming deadlines and cutover dates
  • Tips and tricks for working more easily or productively

On the e-news site you will also find back issues of the publication as well as a useful index by topic.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Oracle eBS 11.5.10 Upgrade Assistant and Maintenance Wizard

Oracle Metalink has recently announced the release of the new upgrade assistant otherwise referred to as the Maintenance Wizard. This post contains the details.

According to Metalink: -

Oracle Support provides a self-service tool (formerly known as E-Business 11i Upgrade Assistant) that guides customers in a methodical and repeatable way through the upgrade process. The Upgrade Assistant and Maintenance Pack Assistant are now part of a tool called Maintenance Wizard.

Upgrade Assistant 11.5.10 was released on February 4, 2005 and is intended to help implementers upgrade Oracle Applications from 10.7 or 11.0.3 to 11.5.10. In March 2005 Oracle intends to release the Database Upgrade Assistant 9i for upgrading Applications databases from 8i to 9i.

View Oracle Support’s Free Upgrade Assistance Data Sheet (Metalink User Name and Password required) or read the Maintenance Wizard FAQ. To download the latest version of the Maintenance Wizard visit Metalink Note 215527.1 entitled Master issue list for the Maintenance Wizard - this note provides you with a listing of all the releases from version 1.01 through to the current release, version 1.07. The diagram below also gives you some idea of what the Maintenance Wizard looks like.

An illustration of the Oracle 11i Upgrade Assistant or Maintenance Wizard

You can also find the following demonstrations on Metalink which will give you some idea of how to use and implement it: -

Lastly, for those readers who don’t have access to Metalink you can obtain more information at the official Oracle Upgrade Assistant Web Page.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Oracle Partner Feature - Red Rock Consulting Group

This post contains a review of the Red Rock Consulting Group web site and highlights some useful downloads they have.

Recently I came across the Red Rock Consulting Group web site. Red Rock is an Oracle Certified Advantage Partner and according to their site: -

Red Rock Consulting is an innovative, dynamic and energetic consultancy formed to support clients who have chosen Oracle business solutions. Red Rock is the largest independent Oracle consulting firm in Australia and New Zealand, with a highly skilled and experienced pool of Oracle consultants across the Asia-Pacific region including offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Auckland.

They have some really good white papers, articles and presentations which have been delivered at numerous Oracle Conferences and User Groups or featured in reputable Oracle Publications and Magazines. In particular, there’s quite a bit of information available on upgrades. Highlights are as follows: -




As an when I get the chance to take a detailed look at each of these articles, white papers and presentations I will prepare a write up for this site. In the mean time, happy downloading and reading. You should also consider subscribing to the Red Rock Newsletter entitled HotRocks.

If you are reading this post and you know of any really good partner sites where you can get useful information and downloads, then please add your comments.

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.

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…?

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