Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Answers for the Million Dollar Question on Oracle EBS R12.2 Customization

Last week we had our webcast “Answering the Million Dollar Question for Oracle E-Business Suite R12.2 Customization” and boy, did we have some interesting questions to answer - besides the million dollar one, that is. We are bringing you the transcript below.

Is it mandatory to be on database Oracle 11gR2 for Oracle R12.2?

Yes, that is the minimum database version that you need to be on, it’s mandatory. We see that many organizations prefer to upgrade their database to Oracle 12c because of security concerns and other benefits, but the minimum is Oracle 11gR2.

Online patching: what will happen if you have custom codes? How will that be treated?
What will happen if you try to run the upgrade directly is that you will realize at the enablement step that the custom code is violating Online Patching, and you will not be able to move forward to the next step.

Instead of getting to the point where you reach a dead end, you can use the readiness report and development standards before starting the upgrade in order to have the process run smoothly, remediating all the custom code beforehand.

Do you have any customers that are using Dell Stat to move customizations?

Whatever your tool is, bear in mind that it needs to be certified with Oracle EBS 12.2 in order to meet the new standards.
By checking in the product’s page (http://software.dell.com/products/stat-oracle-e-business-suite/) Oracle E-Business Suite 12.2.x is certified.

Is R12.2.4 Vision database available to download? If not, what's the latest vision demo database available?

Oracle just released a Vision environment for 12.2.4. It’s a Virtual Machine template you can download, so if you have a contract with Oracle you should download it and play around with the new standards, check your code and train your users.

What’s the impact on Form and Web Page customization in Patch application online?

You have to consider that all the customizations for Form and OAF pages are going to be in two file systems which one of them is the “run” and another is the “patched”. This involves having the users running forms/HTML pages in the run edition which is the “old” version and you’re applying the changes to the patch edition which will be converted into the “run” after the cutover phase. So, in other words, the impact during patch application is transparent for all the objects in the application and the users can run the system as usual.

Where can the Oracle E-Business Suite customizations coding standards be found?

The documentation in My Oracle Support (MOS) is very rich and I’d recommend starting in the Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.2 Information Center - Documentation (Doc ID 1583110.1).
From there you can find all the documents related to the functional and technical aspects of Release 12.2. The main document to understand the new concepts is the Oracle® E-Business Suite Concepts Release 12.2 Part No. E22949-09 and specifically to the development standards Oracle® E-Business Suite Developer's Guide Release 12.2 Part No. E22961-11.

Online Patching will not help you migrate from 11.5.10 to 12.2, right? It works only after you are on 12.2?

That’s correct. Online patching is part of the Release 12.2. It will be a one-way ticket to online patching after you “enable” it as shown in the picture below on step 5. 












What is the average time during cut over?

Based on IT Convergence’s implementation and some of our customers you would expect between 15 minutes and 30 minutes of total cutover - meaning real downtime for the users.

Is web logic included in 12.1.3?

No, Weblogic Server (WLS) was introduced in Release 12.2.2 and as far as we know Oracle is not planning to back port WLS to 12.1.

With online patching, can we apply patches on Monday and switch over on Sunday?  What happens to the data that is changed or added after the patches are done on Monday?

Yes, that’s actually some of the real life experience that we see. A DBA starting the online patching process during business hours, proceeding with the first 3 phases of the online patching cycle and executing the cutover over the weekend when the load of the system decreases. Now, keep in mind that we’re actually talking about less than half hour of downtime so, that means that you could have a downtime window at midnight.

The patches are being applied to the “patching file system” and “patch version” in the database. For consistency and business continuity the “run edition” remains intact and that’s why the users can continue to operate without interruption. Once you execute the cutover then the “patched edition” becomes your “run edition” and that’s where your users will see the changes applied.

Stay Connected for More on Oracle R12.2.4!

Are you interested in Oracle’s latest mobile solutions and user experience development? Join our upcoming webcast “Go Mobile with EBS - How to improve your productivity through User Experience” on Tuesday December 16th at 9:00 am Pacific/12:00 am Eastern. You can click here to reserve your spot now.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Upgrade a Oracle R12.2: el Camino al Éxito – Preguntas y Respuestas



La semana pasada tuvimos el agrado de ofrecerle al público de América Latina nuestro webcast en español: “Upgrade a Oracle R12.2: el camino al éxito”. Como lo prometido es deuda, hoy les acercamos la transcripción de la sesión de preguntas y respuestas que siguió a la presentación.
 
¿Para el tema de la localización de México, estas nuevas versiones ya consideran el tema de la facturación y contabilidad electrónica?­

Desde el punto de vista de localizaciones y globalizaciones, la versión de Oracle E-Business Suite R12.2 para Latinoamérica trae las mismas existentes en 12.1, y no incluye la parte de facturación electrónica (eso se hace a través de partners). Con respecto a los requisitos de contabilidad electrónica del SAT Mexicano, están cubiertos hasta cierto aspecto del producto. IT Convergence tiene un producto armado para cubrir los requisitos de contabilidad electrónica  que ya fue implementado exitosamente en más de 10 clientes en México (cubre las versiones desde Oracle 11.5.10 hasta R12.2). Desde los productos de Oracle está cubierto desde una visión más de producto y está siendo liberada de a poco por Oracle a través de Support. Para más información, visite nuestras entradas sobre contabilidad electrónica.

­Nosotros estamos migrando a 12.2.3 con un Go Live previsto para Febrero 2015. ¿Cuáles son las diferencias más importantes de Oracle E-Business Suite 12.2.4 respecto de Oracle 12.2.3 y cómo es el proceso de migración (Online Patching o hay que migrar de manera estándar)?­

El cambio más importante de Oracle E-Business Suite 12.2.3 A 12.2.4 es mayormente en el Delta 5 en el ADK y TDK, desde el punto de vista de mejoras en Online Patching. Hay algunas mejoras en Oracle 12.2.4 para la experiencia de usuario, proxy user, interfaz. Para este caso específico que mencionan, el paso de 12.2.3 a 12.2.4 va a ser puramente Online Patching. Esta es una de las grandes ventajas de estar en EBS 12.2, el upgrade es mucho más fácil en términos de tiempo, mejoras y simplicidad.

¿Desde qué versión de migró Sinopec?­

Sinopec migró desde la versión Oracle E-Business Suite 11.5.10.2

¿­Existe alguna interfaz o API para carga de conteo y toma de inventario?­

Dentro de Oracle E-Business Suite hay una API para carga de conteo. Lo importante es que se puede utilizar Web Services y crear un paquete como servicio, ya sea PL/SQL, etc. Esto es muy importante porque ya tenemos muchas mejoras en términos de monitoreo, puede ser muy activo. Así que en ese tipo de APIs e interacción, es importante poder avanzar hasta Integrated SOA Gateway.

¿Qué tan recomendable es utilizar Panaya para el upgrade de los desarrollos?

Panaya lo que permite es detectar los cambios que son necesarios en las customizaciones, lo que trae ventajas de automatización de los cambios y cómo esos cambios van siendo aplicados. Esto mejora los tiempos, pero conlleva un gasto extra en términos de licenciamiento. Así que es cuestión de evaluar el costo beneficio de utilizar este producto para cada proyecto en particular.

¿Endeca, OATS y SOA tienen costos adicionales en la implementación?

WebLogic está incluido dentro de Oracle E-Business Suite y no necesita licenciamiento. Oracle Applications Testing Suite (OATS) es otro producto, y necesita licenciamiento extra, al igual que Endeca. Cuando hablamos de licenciamiento extra, también va a necesitar hardware extra. La gran ventaja es que OATS viene con contenido prearmado para Oracle E-Business Suite y Endecca es un add-on de Oracle EBS, integrado nativamente tomando todo lo que es seguridad, etc. Son extensiones pero requieren licenciamiento extra.

¿Alguna idea de qué procentaje de pantallas es OAF con respecto a Oracle 11.5.10.2?

Es difícil determinar el porcentaje de pantallas con respecto a Oracle E-Business Suite 11.5.10.2, ya que depende de los módulos a evaluar. Sí puedo afirmar que un gran número de pantallas han sido agregadas y/o migradas a OAF desde forms. En algunos casos, tal como indicamos en el webcast, la nueva pantalla de Ordenes de ventas (OM HTML) de la que pueden encontrar un video en nuestro website fue agregada y se mantuvo la pantalla en forms. En otros casos, como por ejemplo proveedores y clientes, la única opción es OAF.

¿­Existe algún documento acerca de las ventajas de la versión Oracle E-Business Suite 12.2 vs Oracle Release 11 específicamente para Oracle Enterprise Asset Management?­

Tal como hicimos mención en el webcast, My Oracle Support (MOS) tiene un documento que consolida toda la información para Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.2, "Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.2 Information Center (Doc ID 1581299.1)". En él hay un volumen muy grande de información y pueden encontrar una nota que indica todas las mejoras desde la versión 12.1 hasta la versión 12.2.4. Esta nota es "R12.1 / R12.2: Oracle E-Business Suite Releases 12.1 and 12.2 Release Content Documents (Doc ID 1302189.1)" y en ella están los documentos para todos los módulos. 
En particular para Oracle EAM, hay más de 45 puntos de mejora que se encuentran detallados en ese documento.

¿­Oracle BPM es parte de Oracle E-Business Suite? Si no es así, ¿cuál sería un producto similar dentro de EBS?

Oracle Business Process Management no es parte de E-Business Suite y debe licenciarse de manera separada. El producto similar dentro de EBS es Oracle Workflow, pero sin la flexibilidad y simplificación que ofrece BPM para modelar y ejecutar procesos. La integración entre Oracle E-Business Suite y BPM puede potenciar el ERP de manera asombrosa y con una integración cada vez más sincronizada.

R12.2 y Customizaciones – Webcast en inglés

Muchas compañías se preguntan cómo lidiar con las customizaciones y su impacto en el proyecto de Upgrade a R12.2. Asista a nuestro webcast en inglés y conozca la respuesta a este enigma. Regístrese aquí.

 




Monday, November 17, 2014

Oracle User Productivity Kit Localization Tips, Part 1: Planning and Design

Whether you desire to localize your systems in two languages or five, you will face a variety of challenges, such as: consistent content quality, time and budget constraints, and difficulty ensuring that the newly localized environment adequately reflects the original environment. Addressing these challenges ultimately contributes to having a well-trained and empowered net of employees.

Oracle User Productivity Kit provides the ability to easily translate outputs into different languages, greatly improving training for companies that are spread out all over the world. With UPK one can choose several “levels” of localization for content: you can go as far as having the entire environment in the local language or go for a less customized environment that only has part of the content translated (for instance, the instructions and explanations.)

Today our UPK experts bring you some simple but effective tips that everyone trying to run a Localization Project with UPK should follow, and you will notice that not all of the tips are necessarily technical.

Some of the most important decisions that will impact the performance of the localization project will be done during the planning phase. Having said that, here are some planning tips:

It is absolutely crucial to understand the needs of your organization. It’s amazing how many projects fail because the solution that was designed and implemented did not align with the actual needs of the users.

It is also necessary to determine what resources are available for the project (money, time, people, etc.). These questions can help to better define the scope of the project:

  • Which systems or modules will you work with?
Understand how the systems work and how they relate to other systems in the company. This is very important because extra systems or modules may need to be added (or removed) from the scope of the project in order to guarantee that the end-user will be able to fully adopt the newly implemented technology.
  • Where are employees being trained? What processes are end-users being trained on?
Make sure to define the right scope for each system/language combination. For example, there may be a project in which materials need to be developed in Spanish for a particular module of an ERP system for end-users in Mexico, but a different module needs to be developed in Portuguese for Brazil end-users because a different software is used in that location. Each company has a particular way to deal with the globalization of their operations, so make sure to understand the differences between each one of the target locations.
  • Is the software being translated to the native language of the location? Should the material reflect the local instance or the original language?
It’s important to clarify this point because it greatly impacts the final output of the project. A full localization guarantees that the training material reflects the instances of each locations as they are, meaning the content will be much easier to use for that particular location. However, this also means that your content is only useful for that particular location and will take much more effort, time and money to create.

Stay Connected for More on Oracle UPK

We have a host of UPK resources at your disposal. For more, please visit IT Convergence’s UPK mini-site, sign up to take advantage of our UPK free demo or health check or watch UPK tutorials on our YouTube Channel!

Don’t B a Stranger: Register for our Next Webcast

Join our webcast: “The 3 B's of Testing: Basics, Best Practices and Best Strategies” on Tuesday, November 18th, 2014 at 8:00 am PST/ 11:00 am EST and learn how to increase your ROI by building effective, end-to-end Testing lifecycles for your ERP projects. Register here.

 


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Business Value of User Productivity: Your Questions Answered



User Productivity Kit You ask, we answer. This week we had our webcast “The Business Value of User Productivity”, featuring a live Oracle User Productivity Kit demo and a very lively Q&A session. As usual, we are happy to bring you a transcript.
  
Can the test scripts generated in UPK be integrated with an automated testing suite?

Yes, absolutely. One of the hottest trends we see with UPK is the creation of test scripts, whether you are doing automated or manual testing. If you’re doing automated testing, there are three preferred tools. UPK can integrate with Quick Test Pro, found within HP Quality Center or ALM. Also, UPK can integrate with Oracle Application Testing Suite. You can take the Excel sheet (Test Case output of UPK) from UPK and upload it into OTM. UPK test scripts can also be plugged into IBM Rational.

Regarding the support for 22 languages – would we first need to install the languages in Oracle or is Oracle English-only? We have the need to create documents in many languages.

There’s 3 ways to translate UPK content into different languages. For a typical scenario, you will record those processes in English. When you record a process, UKP drives what’s called Template Text – that navigational text (such as “scroll down”, “click here”)…All that Template text can be translated within the product itself.

The second aspect is the custom text, where maybe you added learning objectives, extra information, etc. There is a feature where you can export all those custom texts together and translate it outside of UPK, then bring it back in.

A third aspect would be if your screens are in a different language. If you want to train users with screens in another language, you would have to set up an instance, and use UPK’s Re-Record feature. So you’d go into that other instance, let’s say Spanish, and re-record the screen associated to that process.

These three aspects together would be the high-level overview of what you’re trying to accomplish.

In addition to the demo, is there a detailed Job Aid available to walk you through the process of content development?

We don’t have a Job Aid available, but you can check out our UPK Resources Sheet, where we’ve compiled many resources that are available on the web for you to browse.

About 80% of the work we do is content creation for a variety of applications such as Oracle E-Business Suite, JD Edwards, Peoplesoft, etc, or editing pre-built content for those who need it.

What’s the version of UPK that IT Convergence is using?

The version we showed on the demo is 11.1, but currently we’re also using version 12.1.0.1

Can UPK be used to produce process guides, including flow charts?

UPK is not going to produce flow charts. It can produce the process guides, and if you have the flow charts you can embed them within the process. In the player package, the flows can also be visible in the training guide.

Can UPK be used for non-Oracle applications?

Yes, absolutely, regardless of whether you’re thinking of SAP or apps like SalesForce.com. Some of the biggest UPK users are on SAP, such as Exxon Mobile and Coca Cola. We’ve also worked with a clinical research organization, where they used the CTMS tool. We’ve also worked with a transportation company in Texas to develop a transportation optimization tool. There are many use cases out there.

For third party applications, will UPK create the same outputs like scripts, etc?

Yes. It can produce those scripts in Excel and Word. We work with organizations initially to build a roadmap of where they are today and where they want to go, and many times we also customize those documents to give them the look and feel customers want and to add additional features they need (such as ETA, extra validation, etc).  
 

Don’t B a Stranger: Register for our Next Webcast

Join our webcast: The 3 B's ofTesting: Basics, Best Practices and Best Strategies on Tuesday, November 18th, 2014 at 8:00 am PST/ 11:00 am EST and learn how to increase your ROI by building effective, end-to-end Testing lifecycles for your ERP projects.

 

Monday, November 3, 2014

China Golden Tax and VAT Compliance for Oracle Users Q and A

IT Convergence’s recent webcast “How to Comply with China’s VAT and Golden Tax Regulations” was an outstanding success. As always, we’re happy to provide a complete copy of the Q and A transcript.

Is there any Chinese translation that happens on the Golden Tax Adaptor before the data file gets sent to the Golden Tax System?

No, the translation doesn’t take place on the Golden Tax Adaptor. Users will need to maintain information in Mandarin in Oracle EBS first, and then transfer it to the Adaptor from where it gets sent to the Golden Tax System.

How do you maintain banking information for the Golden Tax System?

In the Golden Tax System  you will need the Bank Name, Branch and Account Number for every customer. Mind that all this information needs to be in Chinese.

Does this mean that VAT invoices are required to be printed in a specific format, and no accounting entry is required?

As we explained, you need to transfer the information from Oracle Receivables to the Golden Tax System. This is a system to print your physical invoices; the accounting entry is stored in the Oracle Account Receivables module.

Why do we need a separate system? Can’t this be built through custom Oracle report's?

The Golden Tax System is a mandatory system established by the Chinese government. If your organization is a VAT-registered entity, you will have to generate your physical invoices through the Golden Tax System in the format mandated by the Tax Bureau authorities. So not using the Golden Tax System is not an option. Also, bear in mind that the same information that you enter in the Golden Tax System is the one that the government uses to reconcile your VAT reports (which need to be submitted every 2-3 months).

To transfer the information from Oracle Receivables to the Golden Tax System there are two options: the standard Oracle Golden Tax Adaptor, or a customized solution such as ITC’s, where we developed a customer form to generate and export the information required by the Golden Tax System.

How long does it take to implement ITC’s bolt-on solution?

Our solution is available both for Oracle 11i and Oracle R12 and many of our customers are working with it, so it’s a proven solution. What we normally do with a new client is carry out a mapping of the requirements and design. Normally it takes around 2 to 4 weeks to have the solution implemented and tested (though every project is different).

Connect for More on Oracle ERP Solutions for China

If you missed our webcast but are still interested in more on Oracle ERP solutions for China, we encourage you to check out the China Services section of our website and/or click here to view all of the China-related entries on this blog.

 

Friday, October 31, 2014

What’s New: Oracle Finally Clarifies Direction for Oracle Business Intelligence Analytics (OBIA)

Oracle Business Intelligence Analytics or Applications (OBIA) is favored by many clients. The secret of this romance may lie behind its quick time to market, or maybe because it allows users to quickly implement a robust dashboarding/reporting tool without the hassle of building a full set of datamart or datawarehouse and the extract-transform-load or extract-load-transform. This post from what ITC has done with BI Applications from 2011, depict our expertise in the area. 

Since the introduction of the first version of OBIA 11g (currently on 11.1.1.8.1, released in May 2014 https://blogs.oracle.com/biapps/entry/bi_apps_11_1_11 ) Oracle had left us a bit adrift to answer questions from existing customers regarding roadmaps, recommendations and timelines. 

The introduction of the 11g version brought the power of Oracle Data Integrator (ODI), but didn’t provide an upgrade option for those migrating from Informatica. Rumors started flying as to a new version which would support Informatica coming out soon, but it was never confirmed. So down in the trenches, the only options for OBIA projects coming from Informatica were to reimplement or set the project on hold until Oracle issued an official word.

Luckily, Oracle has finally spoken. In the document “Oracle Business Intelligence Analytics (OBIA) Statement of Direction (Doc ID 1937481.1)” dated October 21th, Oracle has put those Informatica support rumors to rest. To cut to the chase, here’s what you need to know:

- Organizations running OBIA 7.9.6.X will have to build a separate instance of OBIA 11g and have a partner, such as IT Convergence, help them support the migration.

- If a company wants to continue working with Informatica, (whether because they are unwilling to have a new tool or migrate their investment) they can continue with 7.9.6.x, which will have the following support timeline:

BI Options, Oracle OBIA

- Last but not least is the option of moving BI to the cloud. This would allow organizations running on-premise or cloud applications to connect data to the Oracle BI in the cloud.

Stay Connected for more on BI Options from Oracle


Stay connected for the latest on all things Oracle, including OBIA.


 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Webcast Sneak Preview - Oracle EBS & China’s Golden Tax

Tomorrow at 11:00 am Eastern/8:00 am Pacific IT Convergence is proud to host the webcast “How to Comply with China's VAT Regulations and Golden Tax System.

Today we’d like to offer you a sneak preview of the webcast.

Sample Screenshot of China’s Golden Tax VAT Invoices

China Golden Tax

















This is the screen of querying one VAT special invoice in GTS.

From top to bottom, you can see information like Invoice class code, Invoice Date, VAT invoice no, customer name, tax payer ID, address and bank information.

In the middle, you can fill selling item information for each line, including item name, item model, unit of measure, quantity, unit selling price ( please pay attention that this item is tax exclusive) and tax rate.

Below this, you can see total amount excluding tax and total tax amount for the entire invoice.

At the bottom, you are able to see selling company information, comments for this VAT invoices and names for collector and reviewer.

Stay Up to Speed on Oracle ERP Issues in China

Make plans to join our webcast “How to Comply with China's VAT Regulations and Golden Tax System” on Thursday October 30th at 8:00 am Pacific/11:00 am Eastern. You can click here to reserve your spot now.

Find this page after October 2014? Worry not. You can click here to visit our China services page and/or click here to view all of our China-related blog entries.