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Author: Michele Veilleux Contributor: Lee Ewertz Oracle Corporation
• ITEM CATEGORIES Oracle Inventory allows a logical classification of items that have similar characteristics through the use of Categories. You can use categories and category sets to group your items for various reports and inquiries. For example, suppose you have a category set named Inventory. Within this set you maintain subsets called Office Supplies. This enables you to run reports for items which are classified as Final Assembly by sorting on the Office Supplies category, without having to number your Final Assembly parts in a sequential range. The following are examples of uses within Oracle Inventory. • • Inventory items: You can use categories to group inventory items. Summarizing demand histories: Oracle Inventory can summarize demand history for a particular category of items. Loading forecasts: Oracle Inventory can compile a statistical or focus forecast for a particular category of items.
Performing min-max planning: Oracle Inventory can perform min-max planning for a particular category of items. Performing reorder point planning: Oracle Inventory can perform reorder point planning for a particular category of items. Reports and Inquiry windows: You can enter category information in reports and inquiry windows where you are required to specify a list of items. The reports or inquiries then include only those items in the category you select.
There are several steps to setting up Categories, and some points to consider prior to populating your Inventory Item Master. This paper serves as a guide to completing these steps and provides some precautions. Define Item Category Flexfield Structures Multiple segment structures can be defined for the Item Categories Flexfield. Each segment structure may have its own display prompts and fields. In other words, you may choose to have a structure with one segment while another structure may have multiple segments. You can build specific meaning into each segment of this flexfield for tracking details such as product families, color codes, and product lines as suits your enterprise's needs. For example, if you want to group items according to product line and product information, then you can use the first segment to represent
product line and the second segment to represent the product. The Item Categories Flexfield must be designed and configured before defining items, since all items must be assigned to at least one category. The Item Categories Key Flexfield has a flex code of 'MCAT'. If at any time you see an error in the system which gives an Application (App) error and the following text: 'Appl = 401, Structure =101, Code= MCAT', you may interpret this as Application_Id 401 = Inventory, Flexfield Structure 101 for Key Flexfield Item Categories. These errors typically point to a conflict in the flexfield structure, the validity of the flexfield values or that the flexfield needs to be re-compiled. Navigate to Setup > Flexfields > Key > Segments to setup the Item Category Key Flexfield.
Ø Plan out how many segments you want to create and click on ‘Segments’.
Ø If the flexfield is displayed as ‘Frozen’, you must first uncheck this box before making changes. Ø Choose an existing structure or create a new one.
Ø Create the number of segments you wish to use for the structure. Ø Attach a value set to each segment by placing the cursor in the Value Set column and choose a value set from the list of values. (Value sets can be shared among segments). Ø Be sure to check the ‘Enabled’ box on the far right of the Segment Summary form. Ø Save your work, and freeze the flexfield in the Key Flexfield form. Ø The flexfield must have the 'Freeze Flexfield Definition' box checked before the ‘Compile’ radio button becomes active. Ø Be sure to press compile, which will generate the flexfield view MTL_CATEGORIES_KFV necessary for the system. Ø Check Help > View My Requests to be sure that the view generates successfully.
Please note: creating the Item Categories Flexfield with "dynamic insert" checked is not allowed within the Application. Navigate to Setup > Flexfields > Validation > Sets to create a new value set or to review the seeded ones.
defining a category. They are not valid categories until you define categories as explained later in this document.
Values must also be entered into the value set used for the flexfield if you choose 'Independent' or 'Dependent' as the validation type for the value set attached to each segment of the flexfield. This provides a predefined list of values (LOV) for a segment, and is defined in the Segment Values window. Navigate to Setup > Flexfields > Validation > Values to insert the values to validate the 'Independent' or 'Dependent' segments. This step is not required for segments with value sets having a validation type of 'None'. Since a ‘None’ value is not validated, segments with a validation type of ‘None’ are not provided a LOV to select from when you define the segment. Note: At this point in the setup, these values only represent a list of valid values you can choose from when
Oracle Inventory Release 10.7 has two category flexfield structures provided by default: Item Categories and PO Item Category. Release 11 provides three by default: Item Categories, PO Item Category, and Product Family. See Oracle Applications Flexfields Guide for further information on flexfield setup. Setting Up Categories and Category Sets Categories and category sets are setup in four steps. 1. 2. 3. 4. Define Categories. Define Category Sets. Assign Default Category Sets. Assign Items to Categories.
Define Categories The category information is stored in the MTL_CATEGORIES table and holds the system generated CATEGORY_ID, which is a number field, as the primary key. Navigate to Setup > Items > Categories > Category Codes to set up categories.
Item Category Set list will be displayed for you to choose from. After completing the above steps, commit the record. Plan ahead: the categories assigned to a category set must be assigned to the same flexfield structure that is assigned to the category set. Ø To make a category inactive, enter the date on which the category becomes inactive in the fourth column on the form in DDMON-YYYY format for both release 10.7 and release 11. As of the inactive date, you can no longer assign the category: • • • As the default category of a new category set As a valid category of a category set As a valid category of an item catalog group To an item
Ø The Find Categories window will appear. Choose the 'New' button. Ø Choose the name of the flexfield structure you wish to assign to the category from the list of values in the first column (for example, Item Categories). Ø In the second column, enter a unique name for the category and enter the description for the category in the third column. Ø A LOV of categories is available here. With the cursor in the category field, click the LOV button. The Item Category popup window displays, and the LOV for a single segment is grayed out. Click the multiple LOV and the long list find window displays. Enter the wild card character ‘%’, press the OK button, and the
Note: You cannot assign an inactive date to a category that is the default category for a mandatory category set. Define Category Sets The category information is stored in the MTL_CATEGORY_SETS table and holds the system generated CATEGORY_SET_ID, which is a number field, as the primary key. An item in the Item Master may belong to many category sets, but can only belong to one category within the same category set.
Also, a category may be assigned to multiple category sets at the same time. Navigate to Setup > Items > Categories > Category Sets. This is where the subset category defined in the Category Codes form is assigned to a larger set (Category Set).
Ø Choose one of the following control levels for the 'Control At' field value: Master Level: The Items assigned to this category set have the same category value in all organizations where they are assigned. Org Level: The items assigned to this category set may have a different category value in each organization where they are assigned. Ø Choose a 'Default Category' from the list of values. This is the default category used by the system to assign an item to a category set even if no category set is assigned by the user when the item is defined. See Define Default Categories for further information. Ø To enforce the list of valid categories, check the 'Enforce List of Valid Categories' box. If you do not use this feature, you can assign an item to any category defined that uses the same flexfield structure as this category set. If you use this feature, you can only assign an item to those categories defined as valid categories for this category set. If you are using Oracle Purchasing, you must use this checkbox for category sets you will use in Purchasing. (Purchasing only recognizes categories assigned to the Purchasing category set even if a category uses the same
Ø Enter a unique category set name in the 'Name' field and provide a description that is meaningful to you in the next field. Ø The 'Flex Structure' field allows you to select one of the item categories flexfield structures defined earlier from the list of values. Reminder: The categories assigned to the category set must have the same flexfield structure as the category set. This is true even if you choose not to validate the category list by checking the 'Enforce List of Valid Categories'.
flexfield structure as the Purchasing category set). Ø Select a valid list of categories on each blank line. These are the valid categories which the 'Enforce List of Valid Categories' feature will check against. Define Default Category Sets Oracle Inventory requires you to assign a default category set to each of the following seven functional areas: Inventory, Purchasing, Planning, Service, Costing, Engineering and Order Entry. Oracle Inventory makes the default category set mandatory for all items defined for use by a functional area. If an item is enabled for a particular functional area, the item's corresponding default category assignment cannot be deleted. Oracle Inventory assigns default category sets so that each functional area has at least one category set that contains all items in that functional area. This occurs automatically when defining an item using the Define Master Item form or when importing items through the Item Open Interface utilizing MTL_SYSTEM_ITEMS_INTERFACE. The default category set information is stored in the MTL_DEFAULT_CATEGORY_SETS table and holds the system generated CATEGORY_SET_ID (a number field), as the primary key along with the FUNCTIONAL_AREA_ID (also a number field), as an additional primary key. The category set for a
functional area is guaranteed to have a category assignment for each item defined for use by the functional area. For example, the category set for the Inventory functional area is mandatory and is the default for all items defined as Inventory items. The FUNCTIONAL_AREA_ID quickcodes and values for each functional area are as follows:
Column FUNCTIONAL_AR EA_ID QuickCode Type MTL_FUNCTIONAL _AREAS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 QuickCode Table MFG_LOOK UPS Inventory Purchasing Planning Service Cost Engineering Order Entry
Navigate to Setup > Items > Categories > Default Category Sets. This is where the default category sets for each functional area are defined.
Plan Ahead: Once a default category has been set up and an item has been defined, the only way to change the default category set for a functional area is to update all items with the new default category set before updating the default
category set associated with a particular functional area. Failure to do so will result in Application errors similar to the following:
The item defining attributes are:
Functional Area Oracle Inventory Oracle Purchasing Oracle Master Scheduling/ MRP Oracle Service Item Defining Attribute Inventory Item Purchased Item Internal Ordered Item MRP Planning Method Enabling Value Yes Yes, Yes MRP Planning MPS Planning Yes Yes
Service Item, Serviceable Product
Oracle Cost Mgmt Oracle Engineering Oracle Order Entry
Costing Enabled Engineering Item Customer Ordered Item
Yes Yes Yes
'App-5115 You must assign all items of this type to the new set first'. Note: The Purchasing category set should not be changed after requisitions or purchase order lines have been created using any of the categories assigned to the category set. Enable an item for a functional area by using that functional area's item defining attribute. An item defining attribute identifies the characteristics of an item. For example, what designates an item as an 'engineering item' is the attribute Engineering Item. If a functional area's item defining attribute has a control level of Organization, then that function area may only have an organization level default category set.
Assigning Items to Categories Assigning items to categories can be achieved several different ways. If you are importing your items for the first time into Inventory, the category will default from the Default Categories. You cannot assign a category when importing your items through the Item Open Interface. Currently, the Import Item process does not support populating the category set when inserting items. However, default category assignments can be changed using the forms discussed below. There are two ways to assign an item to a category set within the application. While defining an item in the Item Master form, you may click on ‘Special’ from the toolbar > Categories and the Category Assignment window will pop up and allow you to add a category.
Summary This document explains the process of setting up Categories, Category Sets and Default Categories with emphasis on setup considerations.
About The Author
Michele Veilleux is a Senior Technical Analyst for Oracle Support Services in Orlando, Florida
Also, you can perform this task from the Organization Items form once you have assigned the item to an organization and the category set is defined as controlled at the organization level. Additionally, when defining category sets, you can press the ‘Assign’ button and list the items you want to assign to a category set.
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Oracle Inventory Reference Manual, Release 11 Oracle Inventory Technical Reference Manual, Release 11 Oracle Inventory Reference Manual, Release 10SC Oracle Inventory Technical Reference Manual, Release 10 Oracle Inventory Application Oracle Applications Flexfields Guide
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