Using Oracle E-Biz


Using Oracle E-Biz



Before getting into Oracle applications, we must know how to use Oracle applications. So let’s discuss a little bit about that. We will start with the different GUIs (Graphical User Interfaces) available with the application.

GUI is commonly known as the Graphical User Interface. These are the screens that open up on the user’s window, so that a user can enter, query and update data with ease. There are two types of GUIs available in Oracle E-Biz R12.

  • Form Based
  • HTML Based


Form Based GUI

The Forms based applications are the most widely used GUI in E-Biz. These are developed by the Forms Builder in Developer 2000 (D2K) or Developer suite; and are launched to the client machine by Java using the JAR files.


(Figure 1.4 – Forms GUI)

If we see Figure 1.4 – Forms GUI, the forms based GUI looks similar to the image given here. This is the first screen that opens up, when we open any responsibility. This is called the navigator. There are two distinct sections.

  • Menu Functions (On the left side of the figure 1.4)
  • Top Ten List

Menu Functions:

The Menu function section opens up the different menus attached to the responsibility. When we double click on the menu, it either opens another sub menu or simply calls a function, which in turn opens up a form / a web based GUI. There are two ways to open a menu, either double click on it, or single click it and then click on the Open Button on the fourth co-ordinate. The ‘+’ sign tells us, that the menu has one or more menus / functions attached to it. If we click on the ‘+‘sign, it expands with the sub menus/ functions, and the sign is then changed to ‘-’; clicking on which causes the menu to collapse. The text on the top, tells the Responsibility name and the description of the highlighted menu.

Let’s have a look at the extreme left of the figure 1.4. We will find small icons with ‘+’ and ‘-’ Signs. They help us navigate the screen better.

  • The ‘+’ sign expands the highlighted menu.
  • The ‘-’ sign collapses the menu.
  • The third sign ‘+ ->’ expands the entire menu, including all submenus in it
  • The ‘++’ sign expands all the menus in the screen to the granular level, expanding all menus and submenus
  • The ‘--’ sign collapses all the menus and submenus

Top Ten List:

The Top Ten lists are the most frequently used screens, put on the other side for ease of access, because we do not have to go on finding the function from the menus. However system does not determine what to put on the list. The list will be determined by the user, and system remembers the list and brings it up once same user logs in again. The two arrow buttons on the middle of the navigator are the ones that are used to move a function to the top ten lists and vice versa. As the name suggests, we can have ten functions listed out there.

Another amazing thing about top ten list is the shortcut, once the function is added to the list, it gets added with a number as a Prefix. Next time we wish to open the function, we will just key that number from the number pad of the keyboard, and that opens up the related form.

Let’s have a look at the tools available to the Form Based GUIs. See Figure 1.5 – The Toolbar.


(Figure 1.5 – The Toolbar)

A

New

Creates a New Record

B

Find

Opens the find record window

C

Navigator

Shows the navigator, putting all other active windows in the back

D

Save

Saves the record

E

Next Step

Takes us to the next step in the process

F

Switch Responsibility

Opens up a window listing all available responsibilities for the user that a user can switch to.

G

Print

Prints the current page

H

Close

Closes all windows in the navigator

I

Cut

Cuts the selection

J

Copy

Copies the selection

K

Paste

Pastes the cut or copied portion

L

Clear

Clears the record

M

Delete

Deletes the Record, with a  prompt

N

Edit Field

Opens a Editor to edit the text in the selected field

O

Zoom

Zooms the view based on users preferences

P

Translate

Opens the translation window; translates the text,

Q

Attachments

Shows the added attachments

R

Folders

Opens up the Folder tools, it helps users to add / remove columns from some basic windows.

S

Help

Opens the window help button; however we should have the Profile options set for this.

The Menu in the application is almost the same as we have in Toolbar, and are pretty self explanatory. So we are not going to discuss more about that.

Querying in the Forms GUI is very simple. The function key ‘F11’ is used for the same. Pressing F11 turns the entire form grey. Then we can enter the string that we are looking for in the grey fields and press CTRL + F 11. The system then tries finding out a match for the query we have entered and puts it on to the form. For example, if the query returns 5 records, the form will initially show up the first record it had fetched, and then we can navigate through the other four by using the up and down arrow keys.

If we know just a portion of the string and not the whole String we want to query for, then we can do a pattern matching using a Wild Card Character. For an Example, we want to look for an employee name; and all we know that the last name starts with a ‘MOH’ then we can query like this: ‘MOH%’

With this query in place, the system will look for all records that start with ‘MOH’ and will return all records that match the requirement. That is called Pattern Matching mechanism. The ‘%’ is called a wild card character; there is another one, the underscore ‘_’.

When we enter the ‘%’, it searches for the string that can have any number of characters in place of the ‘%’ sign. Similarly the ‘_’ replaces just one character. Let’s take an example. If there are five records in my database like:

  • 1.       MOHANTY
  • 2.       MOHA
  • 3.       MOHAN
  • 4.       MOHANT
  • 5.       BISWAJIT

And we will enter a query for ‘MOH%’; the system will return all the rows, except the last one; as the % sign will replace all other characters, and every row starts with a ‘MOH’, except the last one.

If we enter a query for ‘MOH_’ then the system will return me just one row, as it will look strings that has just one character after MOH, and the result is ‘MOHA’; all other strings will not be pulled because either the string does not match, or they have more than one characters after MOH.

There is another way to query the database. We can just use the Find window. Almost all forms have a Find window associated with it. We can open the window just by clicking the Find button from the toolbar. The Find button opens up a window with the prompt of data fields that are unique to the records. We can key in the strings with the wild card characters if we wish to, and then press find to fetch the records.

Let’s discuss the keyboard shortcuts that are available in forms.

CTRL + K

Open shortcuts

Opens a window with all available shortcuts.

CTRL + L

List of Values

Opens a window with all available values.

If pressed on navigator, opens up all possible Functions to choose from.

F7

Clear Block

Clears the Entire Block.

F5

Clear Field

Clears the field.

F8

Clear Form

Clears the entire form.

F11

Query mode

Enters in the query mode.

CTRL + F11

Execute Query

Queries based on the data.

F12

Count

Counts the number of records to be returned by the query.

CTRL + U

Update

Updates the Record.

CTRL + P

Print

Prints the page.

CTRL + H

Help

Opens help window.

Tab

Next Field

Takes us to the next field.

Down

Next row

Takes us to the next record.

Up

Previous Row

Takes us to the Previous row.

Shift + CTRL + E

Show Error

Shows the error occurred in the form.

Shift + F5

Duplicate Field

Copies the field with the value available from the previous record.

Shift + F6

Duplicate Record

Copies the entire record, as it is in the Previous record.

Shift + page down

Next Block

Moves the cursor to next Block

We have discussed the most widely used keyboard shortcuts here. However if we want to learn more shortcuts then we need to use one, (CTRL + K) on the navigator.


HTML Based GUI

HTML based GUIs, as the name suggests, are pages popped up on client window in HTML. See Figure 1.6 – HTML Based GUI. The pages are usually OAF pages / Java pages that are translated onto HTML at the desktop tier. The query standards and the basics remain the same; however there will be no application specific menu/ toolbar in it. The HTML pages are executed on a web browser, like the Forms GUI. The HTML based pages in R12 are made mainly for the end user interactions, as the end user might not be able to browse through the Forms. Hence the web based GUI are very self explanatory. The only other difference that we might find from the Forms GUI is there will be buttons and small icons that represent different actions. The buttons, and the icons, as shown here, have text labels that help the users to understand the underlying actions. Self Service Human resource is a complete web based GUI module that helps the end users to enter and maintain, data for their day to day activities.


Using Self Service



Self service Human resource or SSHR is a set of web based GUI, specially created for the end users. Users like employees, applicants, ex-applicants need not have to log in to forms and browse for data, they can simply log in to the SSHR pages and query and update data from there. There are two major reasons to do so, firstly, the end user need not know the flow in which Oracle works or the basics of Forms GUI; secondly the user need not have to be exposed to the enormous data we store in the applications. All it needs is to see data related to it. With these things in mind, Oracle gives the users a wonderful Web Based GUI Interface called Self Service Human Resource.

Although we can do wonders using SSHR, and it is a complete module by itself, we are not going to discuss the techno-functional aspects of SSHR; because of the vastness of the subject matter. However what we certainly plan to do is to discuss, how to use SSHR with respect to the different modules and application utilities we have learnt so far.

As we already discussed, it is a module by itself and there is a different responsibility to be attached to the user to be able to use it. Actually two:

  • Employee Self Service
  • Manager Self Service

The first one is used for the Employees, where they can enter their personal details, manage their competencies, self appraisals etc. and the second one is for managers, where they can manage their subordinates, Approve applications, Conduct appraisals etc.

If we look at the key functionality, we can divide it in three distinct types:

  • 1.       People Management
  • 2.       Talent Management
  • 3.       Compensation and Benefits Management

People Management

These are functionalities that enable the user to maintain their personal, professional and employment details.

Maintaining personal details will include functionality like:

  • ·         Store the Personal details
  • ·         Managing Addresses and phone numbers
  • ·         Managing Contacts, dependents and beneficiaries
  • ·         Managing Emergency Contacts
  • ·         Managing Documents of Records to store the Electronic documents

For Professional details:

  • ·         Store details on Educational Qualifications and Resume
  • ·         Manage competencies
  • ·         Manage work preferences

And lastly for employment details, the functionalities are:

  • ·         Store data in EIT and SITs
  • ·         Manage the assignments of subordinates.
  • ·         Manage Locations and supervisors of directs.
  • ·         Manage the pay rates for Contingent workers and other employees.
  • ·         Manage the work schedule and other employment information of the subordinates
  • ·         Terminate Employees and End the placements for contingent worker

Talent Management

Talent management set of functionalities are more related to the appraisal process, employee reviews and all. Some of the major functionalities are:

  • ·         Users can do self appraisal and submit it to the Supervisors
  • ·         Managers can complete employee appraisals, and submit reviews
  • ·         Users can create and manage events and bookings like presentations, trainings etc.
  • ·         Managers can enrol directs in to specific bookings.
  • ·         Managers can do a suitability matching to find out if there are any suitable profiles.
  • ·         Managers can also do succession planning for the positions that are going to be vacant in future, and identify the possible successors for the positions.

Compensation and Benefits Management

These set of functionality enable the users to do the following:

  • ·         Users can opt for Online or paper pay slips.
  • ·         Users can view their online pay slips.
  • ·         Users can set up their preferred payment methods, along with the bank account details if necessary.
  • ·         Users can see their absences, apply for absences.
  • ·         Managers can approve/ reject absences.
  • ·         Users can manage their Benefits online.

These are most widely used functionalities that a user or a Manager can do with SSHR. However as we had discussed earlier, the possibilities are huge. It is advised to log into SSHR and start exploring the usages, to learn more about the module. Using SSHR should not be a problem, as it is a user friendly GUI for end users.