R12 Oracle EBS Essentials for Implementers – day 2

Continuation of the Oracle Education class on EBS Foundations……

Today we continued the discussion on shared entities and integration. I think I understand this concept. Basically it is similar to Java Objects and inheritance. If I define something at a global level, it is shared across all entities. If I define something inside an object, it is valid for that object only. The example given was with a supplier. If I create a supplier, the supplier name is global. If I create a site for invoices or delivery, the site is specific to the role that I was in when I created the site. I can have this object shared across sites but the secondary role must define this and allow it to be the same or different. The example given was with a company that does business in the US and Canada. If I work for a company that has divisions (and different roles) in both locations, the invoice group in Canada has a site that they invoice that might be the same or different from the site in the US.

Chapter 5 of the class focuses on security of EBS. The basic model is what you would expect. End users have access to self service and approvals. A smaller class of users has access to registered applications. An even smaller class of system administrators have access to delegate application access and define access control. There is also a class of higher system administrators that define the data security model and functional security of EBS. By functional security, I mean individual menus of functions, forms, and html pages. What was new to me was that this is the same as Oracle Access Manager. Given that EBS already has this, there really isn’t a need to OAM to front end an EBS installation. The only reason you would use OAM is to time restrict or restrict by ip address a users access to the EBS installation. This does not come up very often so the need to use OAM is decreased.

It is interesting that EBS allows you to define effective dates but not times. It seems that effective date range should also allow you to restrict on a time basis and EBS might be able to do this but out of the box it does not. OAM gives you this option along with some other options and we have recommended this to some customers. They were more excited about the password reset features in OAM and less interested in the time access. EBS does not have the self service password reset that OAM does have.

The reporting mechanism to look at security inside of EBS is also something that is potentially very powerful but also dangerous. Many of the customers that I have talked to have a difficult time managing concurrent processing. I think I understand why now. Users can be given the right to define and launch reports at any time. If these reports are search intensive, it can log jam a system. Using something like partitioning can reduce the search by reducing the result set to a month instead of six or seven years. Incorporation of the EBS Management Pack into OEM does give you a finer grain administration of concurrent processes. OEM gives you a view into processes and allow you to raise or lower the priority of the process. EBS administration tools do not give you this fine a grain of control. OEM integrates better into the operating system thus has better controls to raise or lower process priorities through EBS or OS commands.

Chapter 6 is a discussion of flexifields. Flexifields is a configurable field that opens in a window from a regular EBS window. It allows you to structure identifiers required by EBS according to your own business definition. It also allows you to collect and display additional information that EBS does not require as fine a grain definition. You can create key flexfields to generate a shortcut name for an item. For example, if you encode components with descriptive information in a series of values, these values can be concatenated together. The 11g version of the database allows you to partition based on these entries. The two fit very nicely together and allows you to separate data based on a partial field and not have to waste storage to split information into different columns.

more tomorrow…..