14 July 2010


Hi again everyone
So for InSync10 in August (Melbourne, Australia) I submitted two presentations that are completely different from one another so that the organisers could pick whichever fit in best with the rest of the agenda. They both got in - LOL! So for the record, this year I'm presenting about:

  • the effect of Subledger Accounting when you upgrade to R12; and
  • how you could use a risk-based approach to UAT for the R12 upgrade
I've done the draft outline so far - time to knuckle down this week as I think that both topics require support materials rather than just a presentation. Does anyone other than me read white papers from conferences - I always like to walk away with some reference material (preferably in PDF rather than hardcopy) - is it just me? Does anyone else keep them forever? (Yes, I still refer back to Cathy Cakebread's whitepaper on reconciling AR to GL which was originally written for R9 I believe).
Take care

14 March 2008

Favourite Profile Options - what's yours?

Okay, first up I have to vote for:

FND Corporate Branding Image - yep, that's the one that replaces that Oracle logo with yours - nice! Only normally see this one used on the big sites, but what a slick profile option :)

Self Service Personal Home Page Mode - prior to 11.5.9 I used to use this to change the front page back to the blue screen so I could launch the forms in one click. Now I just set up a favourite and leave this one alone.

Concurrent:Active Request Limit - isn't it tempting to set this? I mean, really.... I'm always tempted but never done it to anyone other than myself LOL
Concurrent: Hold Requests - yeah, this too... see above ;)

Concurrent:Report Access Level - if you're the system administrator or support look up this profile option, everyone else don't worry about it - you don't need to know.

Flexfields: AutoSkip - means when you are in a pop-up flexfield and you've finished typing the two digits in segment 1 for example the cursor will automatically go to the next segment without you pressing TAB.

Flexfields:Open Descr Window and it's brother Flexfields:Open Key Window - controls whether the flexfield automatically pops the window open when your cursor goes into the field. Annoying if you want to enter concatenated values.

Utilities: Diagnostics - set this to Yes for the user to use the Diagnostic tools without having the APPS password. Useful for support staff and consultants :)

and of course everybody's favourite:

Java Color Scheme - the one that lets you change the colour of your screen - I make production red whenever I have access just so my subconcious knows I don't belong in there. It's hideous but it works. :)

Over to you guys - got a favourite?


29 February 2008

Why TE.040 Test Scripts for UAT are a waste of time and money

I’m all for testing… I love the stuff.. but seriously, spending weeks of effort putting together a test script in the format of:
  1. Enter "Jo's super Journal 290208" as the journal entry header
  2. Enter the journal source "Manual"
  3. Enter the journal category "Adjustment"
  4. .....
  5. ????
It seems I've spent weeks of my life over the last 11 years writing these things. Weeks I will never get back. (There are some nice ones uploaded by other nice humans over at http://www.oracleappsblog.com/index.php/weblog/comments/oracle-11i-test-scripts/ if you’re looking for a standard test script repository by the way).

Why I don’t like them, in a nutshell:
  • too easy to concentrate effort on the test script steps instead of taking a step back and looking at the types of testing you’re doing and what sort of coverage you’ve got across the applications, particularly with regard to negative testing and scenario-based integration testing.
  • users hate writing them and try to outsource it to the implementation partner, which is never going to work because seriously the only person who can effectively test whether you’ll still be able to do your job on Monday morning is you, not some hired gun.
  • they contribute to the intimidating thud factor. Let’s face it – would a user would like to see a 50 page test script he/she has to get through or a one page one? Keep in mind that he/she’s also juggling their actual job (which is piling up on their desk while they’re here testing this thing because no one actually back-fills the finance department)… talk about stress.
  • they get out of date very quickly and are never maintained, so when you go to do the next project you find the steps listed for ‘Enter an invoice’ are not the way Payables actually perform the task. It must be kept in line with the user procedure but there's no method to do so.
So - back to basics – what is the purpose of User Acceptance Testing? To ascertain whether the business can continue to function with the system as delivered. Whether it be a fresh implementation, an upgrade or a really big patch, the purpose of UAT is the same.
We need to spend time, effort and money on documenting the user procedures and the training. Put the effort in where it will really be used ongoing, not just used for 2-4 weeks of UAT every six months or so.

The test scripts can then just document the actual test case or scenerio and refer out to the procedures/training guide on how to actually perform the task. If you really want a detailed, step-by-step test plan for UAT use a product to document your procedures which will produce the test script steps automatically, e.g. Oracle’s User Productivity Kit (UPK) or (my favourite) RWD’s uPerform. If you get really exited go have a look at Turnkey Solutions and see how you can have software document the testing for you apparently (haven't tried it myself yet, but the demo looks promising). Then you can concentrate your effort on what you should be testing, rather than how you should be testing it.

22 February 2008

Is 10.7 Character extinct? Hardly...

With all the talk about R12 and Lifetime support, consultants can be forgiven for thinking that the old character interface is actually extinct... the truth is (for those of you out there still on it) that no, it isn't. There are actually Oracle E-Business Suite sites still on the 10.7 Character release (despite the fact that it's desupported) and wondering to themselves where they go from here? Have they totally missed the ship? So for anyone in this position, here's my two cents worth....

Upgrading to Release 11.5.10 is not impossible.... it's actually quite straightforward.... the secret (and it's not much of a secret) is to use a DBA team who've done it before... and seriously it's now 2008, we've been upgrading from 10.7 Character to 11i for eight years now, the DBAs are getting pretty good at it :) I've always said that an actual upgrade (not a point release, which is a really BIG patch, an actual upgrade which involves laying down a new $APPL_TOP and running AutoUpgrade) is not the time to break in your baby DBA. Trial by Fire may have it's uses as a training technique (although I'm not a huge fan of that either), but a massive upgrade is not a candidate.

The only thing which can bite you in the backside is going to be those customisations, so it's time to gather every single piece of documentation you can find with the word 'Oracle' in it then see what you've got. If we're lucky we can kill 90% of them while we're at it (don't get me wrong - I like developers, I just don't like massive customisations which bugger up the standard stuff).

So, as usual, I'm still recommending Upgrade over ReImplementation provided you're basically happy with the Accounting Flexfield structure and calendar. (And seriously - if you want to change your AFF, don't re-implement, just use Flexfield Express - it's cheaper and you get to keep your history).

Okay, end of babbling for today... catch you next time..


14 November 2007

Openworld Session Room Change

For those who don't check the morning OpenWorld newspaper my session tomorrow has changed rooms, it is now on in....

Saloon 12 & 13 at the Marriot

Apparently Diana & I needed an upgrade as we had too many registrations for the other room? How cool is that? And for those who care - yes, I will be talking about actual case studies in the presentation not just the theory :)

Have a great day

6 November 2007

Openworld San Francisco

Yes! The rumour is true! I will be at San Francisco, co-presenting about Internet Expenses! Come to the session.... or catch me for a coffee ... definately the place to be next week!

For those of you who are preregistering here is the info:
Session ID: S291212
Date: Wednesday 14th November
Time: 3pm - 4pm (What are the chances everyone will fall asleep?)
Where: Marriott Salon 3

And for those attendees who feel the urge to contact me (can't think why - perhaps that coffee?):

Join Me at Oracle OpenWorld Connect!

10 May 2007

The Easiest way to get Chart of Accounts Segment Descriptions

Such as account descriptions or cost centre descriptions as well as the value:

,SUBSTR(apps.gl_flexfields_pkg.get_description_sql( gcc.chart_of_accounts_id,1,gcc.segment1),1,40) segment1_desc
,SUBSTR(apps.gl_flexfields_pkg.get_description_sql( gcc.chart_of_accounts_id,2,gcc.segment2),1,40) segment2_desc
,DECODE(gcc.segment3,NULL,'',SUBSTR(apps.gl_flexfields_pkg.get_description_sql( gcc.chart_of_accounts_id,3,gcc.segment3),1,40)) segment3_desc
,DECODE(gcc.segment4,NULL,'',SUBSTR(apps.gl_flexfields_pkg.get_description_sql( gcc.chart_of_accounts_id,4,gcc.segment4),1,40)) segment4_desc
,DECODE(gcc.segment5,NULL,'',SUBSTR(apps.gl_flexfields_pkg.get_description_sql( gcc.chart_of_accounts_id,5,gcc.segment5),1,40)) segment5_desc
,DECODE(gcc.segment6,NULL,'',SUBSTR(apps.gl_flexfields_pkg.get_description_sql( gcc.chart_of_accounts_id,6,gcc.segment6),1,40)) segment6_desc
,DECODE(gcc.SEGMENT7,NULL,'',SUBSTR(apps.gl_flexfields_pkg.get_description_sql( gcc.chart_of_accounts_id,7,gcc.segment7),1,40)) segment7_desc
,DECODE(gcc.SEGMENT9,NULL,'',SUBSTR(apps.gl_flexfields_pkg.get_description_sql( gcc.chart_of_accounts_id,8,gcc.segment8),1,40)) segment8_desc
,gcc.chart_of_accounts_id chart_of_accounts_id
gl_code_combinations gcc

Otherwise you have to do a hideous number of joins back to FND_FLEX_VALUES_TL and generally hard-code in value set ids :)

Have a fun day