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Edward Charity, Jr Project Management Systems Consultants (PMSC), LLC
Most of the new features and functions of the Oracle Enterprise Project Management Suite (aka Oracle Projects) have been developed using Hyper Text Markup Language or HTML. Users of Oracle Project Costing and Billing have been use to operating in the old Oracle Forms environment. This mixed environment has caused a considerable amount of confusion in both the user and implementation communities. The purpose of the paper is to clear up some of this confusion. This paper will explain the technical differences between the two technologies. This paper will also detail the features and functions exclusive to the HTML environment, those that can be accomplished in either the Forms or HTML environment, and those functions that remain exclusive to the Forms environment. This paper will discuss some of the skills and knowledge required to use the various environments and highlight some the “gotchas” that may be encountered along the way. Background The Oracle Enterprise Project Management Suite is comprised of the following modules: Project Costing; Project Billing; Project Management; Project Resource Management; Project Portfolio Analysis; and Project Collaboration. Additionally, Project Foundation, although not truly a separate module, is required to implement and use modules in the Projects Suite. Finally, Project Contracts, while integrated with the Projects Suite, it is actually a component module of the Contracts Suite. In order to simplify the discussion, this paper will limit its focus to Project Costing and Billing, representing the old Oracle Forms environment and Project Management, representing the new HTML environment. The features and functions of Oracle E-Business Suite Release 188.8.131.52 were used in the development of this paper. The examples cited and graphics used were generated from this release as well. The E-Business Suite Architecture Oracle E-Business Suite is based on a three tiered architecture composed of (1) the Desktop Tier, (2) the Application Tier, and (3) the Database Tier. The desktop tier provides the User Interface (UI) accessed via the user’s Web browser. The Application Tier hosts the various servers that process business logic and manages communication between the desktop tier and database tier. The Database Tier supports and manages the Oracle database. The Oracle database stores all of the data generated and used by the E-Business Suite. Two of the servers hosted by the Application Tier are the Oracle HTTP or Web Server and the Forms Server. These two servers host the HTML-based applications and Oracle Forms-based applications, respectively.
While. About Personalizations in the Oracle Application Framework There are three distinct user groups associated with Personalization in the Oracle Application Framework: 1) Oracle’s In-House E-Business Suite Development Teams. Oracle HTML-based applications.and Forms-based Menus and Responsibilities. 2) Oracle Applications Administrators. and Oracle Applications End-Users. built using Oracle’s Development Suite. The Projects Implementation Super User (PISU) Responsibility grants access to all of the Forms-based menus and functions in the Projects Suite. Administer Group Personalizations are grouped in to the following levels: Function Level – For example. certain functions can be enabled and disabled using Function Security. are limited in the amount of modification that can be done to the look and feel of the user interface. HTML versus Forms: What’s The Difference and Why Does It Matter? Aside from the underlying technology differences between HTML and Forms-based applications. customer personalizations continue to function properly as applicable. in its simplest form. and Project Billing Appendix D of the Oracle Projects Implementation Guide. the general presentation of the Forms user interface cannot be modified without replacing the delivered version of a form with a custom version. lists all of the predefined menus and responsibilities in the Oracle Projects Suite. Menus and Responsibilities. Oracle Forms-based applications. layout or visibility of page content to suit a business need or user preference. The OA Framework architecture stores UI component definitions as meta-data in a database repository. Project Costing. you have the added overhead of maintaining the custom form through patch application and upgrades. what’s really different about these applications and why should a customer. The specific modules covered by this responsibility include: Project Foundation components. built using Oracle’s Application Framework. or implementation team member care about this topic? The answer lies in the degree to which the different applications can be modified without customization. Personalization. a function level personalization could be used to hide a field in a record if the record was being updated. Product upgrades and patches affect only the base meta-data definition. as a result. It segregates this list into HTML. introduce the concept of “Personalization”. but display the field and allow for data entry if a new record is created. Our focus is on the Administrator and End-User groups. The custom forms are not necessarily supported by Oracle. is tailoring the user interface look-and-feel. At runtime.associated with individual Project Team Members. Personalizations are translated into offsets from the base metadata definition and stored separately. the application personalizations meta-data is uploaded from the repository and layered over the base meta-data definition to produce the net effect. Additionally. . end-user.
e. They are not seen or usable by other users. They are visible to all users and can only be changed or deleted by the Administrator. . The following Personalizations are unique to the Applications Administrator Group: • • • • • • • • Change product branding Change region header icon Change required state of non-mandatory items Update allowed state for updateable items Alter the item cascading style sheet (css) – to personalize the look and feel of an item Set default value for an item Define Tips (in line instructions and usage help) for associated items Add new items to an existing region. Application User Personalizations are. Localization Level – For example. The results returned for a user in one organization would be different than the results returned for a user in another organization. The following Personalizations are available for use by both the Applications Administrator and End User groups: • • • Change the number of rows displayed in a table Hide or show regions and items Change layout order or regions and items within the boundaries of the parent region. i. are limited to use by the respective user that created them. Site Level – Using global personalizations that affect all users with access to the given application component. as the name implies. where new items are limited to specific styles. Typically. as part of an extensibility project. Organization Level – Personalizations that affect all users belonging to a specific organization or unit.Industry Level – Using the delivered set of predefined industry categories to define personalizations according to vertical market distinctions. Seeded User Level . Responsibility Level – Personalizations that affect all users of a specific responsibility. Oracle Projects component modules. showing a different address field label based on country settings. Note: All Administrator Personalizations are visible to the End-Users.Personalizations similar to the User Level available to End Users (see below).
and User-Level Personalizations is outside of the scope of this paper. These are the only two items accessible in this dual manner (to the author’s knowledge). There are two exceptions to this rule. HTML or Forms: When and Where Will They Be Used? As mentioned in the section covering access to the Oracle Project Suite Modules. when applicable. Project Portfolio Analysis. while Oracle Forms-based. The PSU Responsibility includes two items under Projects: Setup. the HTML. respectively. Conversely some of the Project and Project Template Options available in the Forms-based application pages. they would not have access to the HTML-based application pages. Project Portfolio Analysis. and Project Collaboration.and Forms-based application pages are primarily accessed via the respective predefined User Responsibilities. Personalizing Your Pages and Portlets. some implementations may only use some combination of Project Management. An example is the Structures Option. These items are also directly accessible from the PISU Responsibility. use HTML-based pages. accessing features and functions unique to Oracle Project Management. Conversely. Selecting either of these items takes the user to Oracle Forms-based pages. is required to implement both groups of modules in the Oracle Projects Suite. They would not have access to the Forms-based application pages associated with Project Costing and Project Billing.• • • • Define up to three sorting levels for tabulated data. and Chapter 6. Implementation and Use Issues . Additional information can be found in the following chapters of the Oracle Application Framework Personalization Guide: Chapter 3. Key Performance Areas and Performance Status Indicators. Additionally. The other exception is Project and Project Template Creation. Personalization information specific to the Oracle Projects Suite can be found starting on Page 2-123 of the Projects Implementation Guide. Oracle Project Foundation. Change item labels and region headers Enable totals for table columns. A detailed discussion of Administrative. Chapter 4. Filter (restrict querying of) tabular data. It is also worth noting that the HTML-based application pages used to define Project Templates have a greater number of available options than the Forms-based version. Administrative-Level Personalizations. To recap. Since some implementations may only use Project Costing or Project Costing and Project Billing. Oracle Project Resource Management. UserLevel Personalization User Interface. Accessing features and functions unique to Oracle Costing and Billing will utilize the Oracle Forms-based application pages. and Project Collaboration will utilize the HTML-based application pages. Projects Super User (PSU) and Projects Implementation Super User (PISU). Both of these functions can be performed in either HTML-based or Forms-based application pages. Project Resource Management. Projects and Templates created in one environment are accessible from the other.
D. Mr.and Forms-base application pages in the Oracle Projects Suite that warrant specific attention. Virginia (Washington. Jr. Charity was a Senior Manager in the Oracle Service Line at CapGemini’s and Ernst & Young’s Management Consulting Organizations. Mr. Prior to that Mr. Charity has been working with Oracle’s Enterprise Project Management Suite (aka Projects/Project Accounting) since 1993. .C. PMSC is a boutique Management Consulting firm specializing in the design. Charity was a Managing Principal Consultant at Oracle Corporation. UDAs are unique to the HTML-based application pages. Oracle Projects’ Budgetary Controls enable you to monitor and control expense commitment transactions entered for a project based on a project cost budget. Charity and PMSC. development.There are two issues associated with the use of both HTML. and deployment of Enterprise Project Management Systems. Conversely Descriptive Flexfields (DFFs) are available and usable in both HTMLand Forms-based application pages. They are User Defined Attributes versus Descriptive Flexfields and Budgetary Control. Metro Area). Oracle Projects’ Budgetary Control functionality is limited to use in the Forms-based application pages. Prior to founding PMSC. is President and Chief Executive Consultant of Project Management Systems Consultants (PMSC). Edward Charity. LLC. This is primarily due to the Budget Types setup required to use this functionality. User Defined Attributes (UDAs) enable you to define project and task level attributes that fit the unique needs of your enterprise. Mr. LLC are based in Arlington.
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