Oracle E-Business Suite tips

  • Last updated on: 2017-10-16
  • Authored by: Catherine Richardson

Oracle® E-Business Suite (EBS) is the most comprehensive suite of integrated, global business applications that enable organizations to make better decisions, reduce costs, and increase performance. This article is for those who know the basics of EBS and want to take their skills to the next level.

For more information about new ways to work in Oracle, check our blog or contact us.

This article includes tips to perform the following tasks:

General navigation

This section includes some tips about general navigation in EBS.

Create a Top Ten List

Oracle EBS lets you store your top ten functions as favorites. Your Top Ten List is on the right side of the Main Menu. After you have added a function to your Top Ten List, you can open it by typing the number assigned to the function.

Use the following steps to add a function to your Top Ten List:

  1. In the Navigator page, click the Functions tab.

  2. Select the function of your choice.

  3. Click the right arrow in the center of the Navigator to move the function to your Top Ten List.

Customize the order of the tabs

Standard functionality in Oracle allows you to change the order of the tabs on many Oracle forms. Changing the tab order facilitates faster navigation and is useful for processing things such as Accounts Payable (AP), Accounts Receivable (AR), and General Ledger (GL) journals.

Use the following steps to change the order of tabs on Oracle forms:

  1. Have access to Oracle Forms Personalization.

  2. Open any form.

  3. Use the path Help > Diagnostics > Custom Code > Personalize to access the dialog to customize the order of the tabs.

    This brings up the Personalization Form in the context of the form and function that you are in. Here you build the personalizations specific to that form or function. (You use the Folder Tools to move a field.)

Sort summary forms

If you open a summary form and you want to change the way that it is sorted, you can usually change the sort order on the first three fields.

Use the following steps to change the sort order:

  1. Use the Folder Tools to move a field into one of the first three positions used for the sort.

  2. Perform the sort in either of the following ways:

    a. Double click the column header.

    b. Go to Folder > Sort Data.

Copy Descriptive Flex Field values

To copy Descriptive Flex Field (DFF) values from the Payables Invoice Line to Invoice Distribution, set the following profile option at the site level to Yes:

 AP: Copy Invoice Lines Flex field to Distributions during Import

Enable Oracle Zoom

Oracle Zoom is a fast way to navigate Oracle forms. By using Oracle Zoom, you can be in one Oracle form and change to another form without navigating to the Main Menu. Oracle Zoom also allows you to build custom links through Forms Personalization and use global variables to transfer data across forms.

To enable Oracle Zoom in EBS Release 12.2.6, navigate through Help > Diagnostics > Properties > Item and then click Close.

Another option to enable Oracle Zoom is to do a small Forms Personalization to enable the Zoom option directly. Use the following steps for this option:

  1. While in a form, create a form personalization to call the Properties window with these settings:

    Seq: 10
    Desc: First step is to call the Properties window
    (Condition Tab)
    Target Event: WHEN-NEW-ITEM-INSTANCE
    Target Object: APPTREE_NAV_TREE.NAVIGATOR
    Processing Mode: Both
    (Actions Tab)
    Seq: 10
    Type: Property
    Language: All
    Object Type: Window
    Target Object: APPTREE_FOLDER_PROPS
    Property Name: VISIBLE
    VALUE: TRUE
    
  2. Create another forms personalization to disable and close the Properties window with these settings:

    Seq: 20
    Desc: Second step is to disable and close Properties window
    (Condition Tab)
    Target Event: WHEN-NEW-BLOCK-INSTANCE
    Target Object: APPTREE_FOLDER_PROPS
    Processing Mode: Both
    (Actions Tab)
    Seq: 20
    Type: Builtin
    Language: All
    Builtin Type: GO_ITEM
    Argument: RESULTS.GRID
    
  3. Save these form personalizations.

  4. Close and reopen the form to see that the Zoom option is enabled directly
    without navigating through properties.

Fix Oracle forms closing too often

If the form that you are working on closes when you open another form in the same responsibility, you might have the Close Other Forms option enabled.

To disable the Close Other Forms option, use the following steps:

  1. While in the Navigator form, go to the Tools menu.

  2. In the Tools dropdown menu, check to see if the Close Other Forms option is enabled (has a check mark in the box beside it).

  3. If the options is enabled, deselect the checkbox beside Close Other Forms to disable it.

The easiest way to hide the Preferences link is by changing the General Preferences Show Flag profile option that can be set on Site, Responsibility, and User Level. The default values are NULL, which means to show the link.

Use the following steps to hide the link:

  1. In System Administrator Responsibility, navigate to Profile > System

  2. Search for the General Preferences Show Flag profile option.

  3. Set the profile option value to No.

  4. Save the changes.

  5. Log out and then log back in to see the results.

Use the document navigator

Expedite navigation by using the document navigator to eliminate the need to navigate back and forth to a document that you are working on.

Use the following steps to use the document navigator:

  1. Open the purchase order (PO) or invoice that you want to work on.

  2. Select File > Place on Navigator from the menu.

    The document is placed on the Navigator. This acts as a Zoom to get you back to the document quickly.

  3. From the Main Menu, click Documents to see all of your documents.

    Additionally, you can rename, organize, and clean up your document names.

Switch from data entry mode to query mode

By using your function keys, you can switch your open form from data entry mode to query mode.

Use the following steps to use the function keys to switch modes:

  1. Open a form.

  2. Use the F11 key to switch modes. In query mode, the fields turn blue.

  3. Enter your search criteria.

  4. Use the Control + F11 keys at the same time to execute your query.

You can also enter query mode by using the menu. Use the following steps to switch modes in the menu:

  1. Open a form.

  2. Under the View menu, in the Query by Example section, use the Enter menu to switch from data entry mode to query mode.

  3. In the Query by Example section, use the Run menu to execute the query.

Tools tips

This section includes tips about using some of the tools in EBS.

Oracle Folder Tools

Use Oracle Folder Tools to change the layout of an Oracle Summary form, such as, an Invoice Summary or a PO Summary.

Access Oracle Folder Tools by clicking on the Folder Tools icon in the menu. You can make the following changes:

  • Move fields
  • Add fields
  • Hide fields
  • Shrink and enlarge fields
  • Save changes as your default view or a selectable view

Oracle Folder Tools enables features for form layouts that are similar to Microsoft® Excel®. You can also save your frequently used queries for future use.

Export data from Oracle Summary forms

You can export data from Oracle Summary forms for quick Ad Hoc reports. Use the following steps to export the data:

  1. When your query has completed, navigate to Tools > Export.

  2. If you export to a text file but would rather export directly to Microsoft Excel, go to Windows > Control Panel > Default Programs.

  3. Change the default program for .csv files to Excel.

    Note: Exporting data in this way does not work for On-Hand inventory. For On-Hand inventory, right-click and select Copy All Rows. Then paste the rows into Excel.

Use the inventory Patch Wizard

Use the Patch Wizard to stay up-to-date with your inventory patches. EBS inventory customers are often asked if they are patched to the most recent file version. To get the most out of their inventory investment, it’s critical that they avoid known issues by being patched up to the most recent product patches available. The Patch Wizard is a key tool to use to keep patches up-to-date.

The Patch Wizard is an interface that analyzes and compares patches currently applied in your instance to the patches included in the Recommended Patch List (RPL). It allows you to set your execution preferences, then performs impact analysis, and allows easy download of the patches that you decide to apply. You can easily access the Patch Wizard from the Oracle Applications Manager menu by using the System Administrator Responsibility.

Leverage Multiple Organization Access Control security

Oracle EBS 12 has an integrated Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) Gateway that leverages the Multiple Organization Access Control (MOAC) security feature to ensure that only authorized users have data access privilege within an operating unit.

Businesses can define multiple organizations and the relationships between them in a single installation of EBS. Examples of multiple organizations are sets of books, business groups, legal entities, operating units, or inventory organizations. The following table shows the relationship between security profiles, responsibilities, and operating units for a sales company:

Responsibility Security Operating unit
Sales manager XYZ Sales security profile XYZ USA, XYZ UK, XYZ Corp
Sales supervisor USA Sales security profile XYZ USA, XYZ East, XYZ West
Sales representatives New York Sales security profile New York region

With MOAC, a system administrator can predefine the scope of access privileges as a security profile, and then use the profile option MO: Security Profile to associate the security profile with a responsibility.

By using this approach, multiple operating units are associated with a security profile and the security profile is assigned to a responsibility. Therefore, through the access control of security profiles, users can access data in multiple operating units without changing responsibilities.

Use attachments in Oracle applications

To illustrate or clarify your application data, you can link non-structured data such as images, word processing documents, spreadsheets, web pages, or video to more structured application data. For example, you can:

  • Attach images to inventory items
  • Attach video to manufacturing operations
  • Attach Certificates of Insurance to Suppliers

Invoke the Attachment form to view an attachment by pressing the Attachment toolbar button or clicking on the paperclip icon. The toolbar Attachment icon indicates whether the Attachments feature is enabled in a form block:

  • When the button is dimmed, the Attachment feature is not available.

  • When the Attachment feature is enabled in a form block, the icon becomes a solid paper clip.

    The icon switches to a paper clip holding a paper when the Attachment feature is enabled in a form block, and the current record has at least one attachment.

Note: The Indicate Attachments profile option allows you to turn off indication of attachments when querying records for performance reasons.

Payables tips

This section includes tips about working with payables in EBS.

Payment on receipt

Payment on Receipt enables you to automatically create standard, unapproved invoices for payment of goods based on receipt transactions.

Invoices are created by using a combination of receipt and purchase order information, which eliminates duplicate manual data entry and ensures accurate and timely data processing. Payment on Receipt is also known as Evaluated Receipt Settlement (ERS) and Self Billing.

You can automatically create invoices with multiple items and distribution lines, and include tax. You define which supplier sites participate in Payment on Receipt and enforce matching rules to ensure the proper payments are made to the suppliers.

The Pay on Receipt Auto Invoice program automatically creates an invoice batch depending on the options in the Payables Options window. Invoice count and invoice total are calculated automatically.

Priority number

Oracle Payments does not allow you to select random invoices for payment. However, you can use the PRIORITY_NUMBER option for this purpose. This option has a default value of 99, which indicates top priority. Make sure that you set appropriate value for PRIORITY_NUMBER on invoices to be selected for next payment process to use this feature.

Payments process in EBS release 12

The Oracle Payments process in release 12 creates each line for each remittance (invoice). If the payment batch selected 1000 remittances, the Payments process creates 1000 lines.

The Check Template creates a number of overflow checks based on the Number of remittances per page setup value.

Note: Some clients don’t want to see so many VOID checks. They want to print one check with a summary line.

Regulatory reporting

The regulatory reporting feature available in the Oracle Payments module can be used by corporations to manage the reporting that is required by a regulatory body, such as a country-specific government, a central bank, or an individual bank.

This feature provides the following fields with seeded values in the Regulatory Reporting region of the Payment Process Profile page. These fields enable you to determine the conditions under which regulatory reporting can be generated.

  • No Reporting
  • Reporting Directly to Central Bank
  • Reporting Made by Bank

Oracle Payments also provides a SQL function to personalize the conditions and implement business criteria. Oracle Payments enables you to set up payment reason codes that provide the payment system or bank with additional details about the reason for the payment for regulatory reporting purposes.

Note: You can define payment reason codes in the Create Payment Reason Code page of Payment Administrator.

Purchasing tips

This section includes tips about working with purchasing in EBS.

Confirm receipts

You must have the Self–Service Purchasing Confirm Receipts Workflow Select Orders process in Purchasing running in order to use the Confirm Receipts workflow.

The Confirm Receipts workflow sends notifications through the Web, e–mail, or Notification Details Web page (accessible through the Notifications Summary menu in Purchasing) to requesters or buyers who create requisitions in Purchasing or iProcurement. The Confirm Receipts workflow informs people that they should have received an item.

The Confirm Receipts workflow sends notifications for the following items:

  • Destination or Deliver–To Type of Expense

  • Routing of Direct Delivery

  • Need–By with a date that is equal to or later than today’s date

Professional Buyer’s Work center

Released in Procurement 12.0, the Professional Buyer’s Work Center (PBWC) is a web-based interface that provides a central launch pad from which you can efficiently perform the following tasks:

  • Manage your requisitions and create them to Purchase Orders (like manual autocreate).

  • Create new standard purchase orders, blanket purchase agreements, or contract purchase agreements.

  • Create and maintain supplier information.

  • If Oracle Sourcing is licensed and implemented, you can create buyer’s auctions or sourcing requests for quotes (RFQs) all from the same HTML Page.

  • If Oracle Services Procurement is licensed and implemented, you can create
    and maintain purchase orders for complex work payments.

  • If Oracle Procurement Contracts is licensed and implemented, you can handle author contract terms and manage deliverables.

  • Globally for the PBWC, you can create and personalize your own document
    views, including a list of columns, where conditions, and sort sequences.

  • Globally for the PBWC, you can use predefined document views.

The PBWC is accessed from the Purchasing responsibility. The Buyer’s Work Center has links to launch to the areas that you want to access.

For more information, see the PBWC User Guide.

Purchase requisitions versus internal requisitions

Use the Requisitions window to create requisitions. You must choose the requisition type: purchase or internal. You can also provide a description, unlimited notes, and defaults for requisition lines.

Purchase requisitions

For each requisition line, choose the item that you want to order along with the quantity and delivery location. You can get sourced pricing from catalog quotations or open blanket purchase agreements.

You can also choose a price from a list of historical purchase order prices. In the Distributions window, you can charge the item to the appropriate accounts, or you can let the Account Generator create the accounts for you. After you complete the requisition, send it through the approval process.

Purchase requisitions are supplied from purchase orders. They are picked up when you use Auto-Create RFQs or purchase orders. You can assign them to a buyer in the Assign Requisitions window.

Internal requisitions

Internal requisitions are supplied from internal sales orders. Internal requisitions are not picked up when you use Auto-Create RFQs or purchase orders, nor can they be assigned to a buyer in the Assign Requisitions window.

Requisition approver unavailable

Oracle iProcurement can automatically forward documents when users do not respond to notifications. This tool is used to prevent documents from holding up business productivity. Oracle workflows manage this functionality, typically set up to send a first and second reminder after pre-determined time periods. If no response is received, the system forwards the notification to the next approver.

For more information, see the Oracle iProcurement User Guide.

Receivables tips

This section includes tips about working with receivables in EBS.

Manage revenue contingencies

Oracle Receivables supports revenue contingencies with a robust, event-based revenue management process. The event-based model is based on stringent revenue recognition requirements authorized by US GAAP or International Accounting Standards Board.

In Oracle Receivables Revenue, contingencies are terms and conditions in a sales contract or order that prevent revenue from being immediately recognized.

Following are typical contingencies that can delay revenue recognition:

  • Fiscal funding clauses (for government contracts)
  • Cancellation clauses
  • Customer acceptance clauses
  • Customer creditworthiness
  • Nonstandard payment terms
  • Nonstandard refund policies

Oracle Receivables uses event-based revenue management to automatically evaluate your invoices and determine whether to immediately recognize revenue, or temporarily defer revenue to an unearned revenue account. Revenue is subsequently recognized depending on certain events, such as customer acceptance or receipt of payment.

For more information, see the Oracle Receivables Implementation Guide.

Empower collection agreements

Oracle Advanced Collections provides a robust feature called Universal Work Queue (UWQ). UWQ provides a high-level list of all actionable work assigned to or owned by a collections agent. In UWQ, the work is automatically populated on a screen as part of the automated collections management flow provided by Oracle Advanced Collections. Collections agents save their time and effort in finding work or remembering follow ups to be taken for various customers.

For more information, see the Oracle Advanced Collections User Guide.

Invoice credit memo netting

If you use Invoice Credit Memo Netting in Oracle Receivables release 12, ensure that the credit memo LINE and TAX link is the same as the invoice LINE and TAX link. Otherwise, the netting will not work.

Import multiple pre-calculated TAX lines

When you are importing multiple, pre-calculated TAX lines, the link between TAX and LINE is critical.

In release 11i, you can assign all TAX lines to one LINE, but in release 12, you need to assign a distinct TAX code to each LINE. If enough LINE lines are not available, create $0.00 dummy LINE lines and use them for the TAX line.

Score customers for collections

Scoring in Oracle Advanced Collections is another feature that forms the foundation of business collections activities. Oracle Advanced Collections uses scoring in the following ways:

  • To determine transaction status - Current, Delinquent, or Pre-delinquent

    When scoring transactions, Advanced Collections looks at transactions from Oracle Receivables, including the following transactions:

    • Invoices, debit memos, and chargebacks
    • Lease invoices originating in Oracle Lease Management
    • Loan invoices originating in Oracle Loans

    In general, if a customer has delinquent transactions, the customer is considered to be delinquent.

  • To determine the value of each customer

    When scoring to assign customer value, you can use any data point about the
    customer. Typically, you run customer value scoring at an operational data level, such as customer, account, bill to, or delinquency.

For more information, see Oracle Advanced Collections Implementation Guide.

Project accounting tips

This section includes accounting tips for working in EBS.

Derive expenditure item supplier invoice items

Oracle Projects determines the default expenditure date for project-related supplier invoice items by using the PA: Default Expenditure Item Date Source for Supplier Costs profile option. This profile option is used to determine the default expenditure item date for supplier invoice distribution lines and derives the item expenditure date during the invoice match process and when you enter unmatched invoices.

The default expenditure date is derived when the concurrent process, PRC: Interface Supplier Costs, is submitted to interface project-related supplier costs into Oracle Projects from Oracle Payables.

For the transactions that are rejected during the validation and interfacing to Oracle Projects, the default expenditure item date can be updated for invoice distribution lines on the Invoice Workbench in Oracle Payables.

Additionally, you can to update the expenditure item date using the Review Transactions window within Oracle Projects.

For more information, see Oracle Projects Implementation Guide.

Track project budgets

Oracle Projects allows you to track project costs against project budgets. Project Budgets can be defined in the following ways in Oracle Projects:

  • Directly via budget screens in Oracle Projects
  • Import budgets from external systems via import process

Oracle Projects includes the following product budget features:

  • Multiple budget versions: Create multiple budget versions that include all of the costs for your project, such as engineering costs, item costs, manufacturing costs, and overheads. You can revise your estimate to complete many times during a project. Each project that you define can be compared to the current or baseline budget with earlier versions for analysis and reporting.

  • Several budget types: Create diverse budgets including cost budgets,
    revenue budgets, forecasted revenue budget, and approved cost budget.

  • Time-phased budgeting: Create user-defined time periods or use existing calendars in Oracle General Ledger or Oracle Projects to establish multiple budgeting periods.

  • Budget extensions: Customize budget extensions to meet your company’s budgeting requirements.

  • Budget baselining and approval: Project budgets can be baselined and
    used in a workflow-supported approval process for approving your project budgets.

Miscellaneous tips

This section includes miscellaneous tips for working in EBS.

Improve cash management in payables

To improve your organization’s current and future cash management in Accounts Payables, you can use the Payables Manager to run the Payables Cash Requirement Report.

The Payables Cash Requirement Report forecasts immediate cash needs for your invoice payments. The Payables Manager can submit this report before processing every payment process request to determine your cash requirements for the payment process request.

You can also submit this report for the next few payment process requests to forecast your cash requirements. The Payables Cash Requirement Report produces output based on the Payment Template defined in the payment process request. The Payables Cash Requirement generates output for all business units that Payables Manager has access to enter invoices and process payment requests. The Payables Manager can run the report from several pages in Oracle Payables including Manage Scheduled Processes and Create Payment Process Request Template.

Not ready for advanced supply chain planning

Oracle has alternatives to full blown implementations of advanced supply chain planning.

Options such as Min Max Planning and Reorder Point Planning assist in getting your demand history and might serve as a quick win until there is proper funding or an approved advanced supply chain planning implementation project.

Leverage Data Transfer Consolidation

If your financial data is spread across multiple ledgers that do not share the same chart of accounts and accounting calendar combination, or the ledgers are on separate instances, consider using the Global Consolidation System within Oracle General Ledger to consolidate results.

You can leverage a proven methodology called Data Transfer Consolidation (DTC) in the Global Consolidation System. DTC methodology is used to move your financial data from diverse ledgers and data sources into a single consolidation parent ledger.

You can then report on and analyze consolidated financial information from this consolidated ledger. Use the Global Consolidation System in situations where you need to physically move the data to a consolidated location rather than simply report off multiple ledgers in a set.

Global Consolidation System is the traditional consolidation methodology in Oracle Financials. The Global Consolidation System imports in the form of balances and journal level vouchers, and from appropriate accounts from the trial balances of subsidiary ledgers.

For more information, see Oracle General Ledger User’s Guide.

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