Non-Reservable, Non-Nettable Locators

This is new functionality in R12 that we’ve been using at my current client. We wanted to create a “Putaway” locator in the stockroom that we could use for WIP job completions. Manufacturing would complete into this locator, then the Stockroom folks could transfer it from there to a more permanent storage.

We found that this worked well, but WIP Pick Release was allocating material from Putaway rather than the permanent storage location, so we wanted to make the Putaway locator non-reservable.

Using the new Material Status Definition form, we created an NRL status as below.

We then created the Putaway locator and assigned it this status.

Should work fine, right? Almost. There’s a “secret” profile option that has to be set before it all comes together:

I’m honestly not sure why this profile option exists. I can’t imagine a situation where a user would create additional material statuses and then not use them. I also can’t understand why Oracle would ship the application with this profile option set to null, and why null is interpreted as No. But that’s how it is…

Oracle Project Manufacturing

I’ve been working with Support, Development and Product Management for the last few weeks to clarify some of the functionality around Project Manufacturing and how it integrates with other modules.

My client is using Advanced Supply Chain Planning, Work in Process and Inventory in a Project Manufacturing environment. We’ve seen that, by setting the Reservation Level to Planning Group in the ASCP options, we can use excess supply from other projects within the planning group for a particular project. When we release the job created from the Planner Workbench and pick release the components, the Component Pick Release function releases these materials from other projects within the planning group. Our issue comes when we try to transact the resulting Move Order and move the components into the staging subinventory. The Move Order Transaction fails because a project transfer is required during the move.

Strangely, if we navigate to the View/Update Allocations screen and transact from there, the move order processes successfully and the project transfer is effected.

Support told us that the error message is intentional and that our ability to process the transaction from the Allocations screen is a mistake. They intend to prevent this with a patch in the near future.

Project Manufacturing Development recommends that on-hand balances are reviewed for project ownership prior to running pick release and that project transfers are done were necessary before pick release is run. This is difficult for the client, as some WIP jobs include 200-300 components and a manual review would slow down the process considerably. They intend to continue to use the “backdoor” approach and avoid applying th patch that will stop them.

We understand that more than one customer has logged an enhancement request so that this functionality is available.

Enhancement Requests

1. That “Indicate Attachments” profile option – make it “Yes” by default. Who would ever set it to “No”??

2. I think it would be a great idea if the application was shipped with ALL DFF’s FROZEN. Raise your hand if you’ve gotten five steps into one of the web applications only to get an error that forces you to have to back out and freeze a DFF that should have been frozen in the first place.

I’m just saying…

R12 and IE8

In some cases, I’ve found that Oracle Applications won’t open the forms in IE8.

I’ve been able to fix this by going to IE8’s Internet Options> Local Intranet> Sites> Advanced. Add the site for your application instance to the list of sites and you should be good to go.

RVTII-060 Errors

RCVTII-060

This has to be one of the most useless and annoying messages we run into in Oracle Applications! You get it when you try to do a receipt and the Receiving Transaction Processor doesn’t know how to handle it.

I’ve found that it’s possible to troubleshoot the issue without logging an SR. All it takes is a little bit of help from your friendly DBA.

You’ll need access to the System Administrator responsibility to set the following profile options at the user level:

  1. RCV : Debug Mode = Yes
  2. RCV : Processing Mode = Immediate
  3. FND : Debug Log Enabled = Yes
  4. FND : Debug Log Level = Statement
  5. FND : Debug Log Module = po%
  6. TP: INV: Transaction Processing Mode = Online
  7. INV : Debug Trace = Yes
  8. INV: Debug Level = 11
  9. INV : Debug File (including complete path) = /usr/tmp/invdebug.log (can be any file name – make it easy for the DBA to find)
  10. PO: Enable SQL Trace for Receiving Processor = Yes

You should completely log out of the application and log back in again to enable the changes to the FND profile options. Retry the failing transaction. It may appear to be successful, but remember that you have changed the processing mode away from Online. The Receiving Transaction Processor will have run in the background and errored. (You can verify this by going to View> Requests.)

Ask your DBA to retrieve the file for you.

You should be able to open it with a text editor such as Notepad. It will be long, so I suggest you do a search on theĀ  word “error” until you find something that looks useful. See the example below:

[18-MAR-09 07:51:54] INV_INTERCOMPANY_INVOICING: MTL_QP_PRICE.Populate_Temp_Table: Calling QP:Bulk insert routine…
[18-MAR-09 07:51:54] INV_INTERCOMPANY_INVOICING: MTL_QP_PRICE.Populate_Temp_Table: No. of records inserted in QP_PREQ_LINES_TMP=2
[18-MAR-09 07:51:54] INV_INTERCOMPANY_INVOICING: MTL_QP_PRICE.get_transfer_price: Initializing control record…
[18-MAR-09 07:51:54] INV_INTERCOMPANY_INVOICING: MTL_QP_PRICE.get_transfer_price: Calling QP:Price Request routine …
[18-MAR-09 07:51:55] INV_INTERCOMPANY_INVOICING: MTL_QP_PRICE.get_transfer_price: Populating QP results …
[18-MAR-09 07:51:55] INV_INTERCOMPANY_INVOICING: MTL_QP_PRICE.Populate_Results: Status_Code=IPL Status_Text=Item 82-00004419 and uom EA not on pricelist
[18-MAR-09 07:51:55] INV_INTERCOMPANY_INVOICING: MTL_QP_PRICE.get_transfer_price: EXCEP G_EXC_ERROR
[18-MAR-09 07:51:55] GET_TRANSFER_PRICE: Error from get_transfer_price_for_item

We can see that, in this instance, the receipt failed because of a price list error. (It is a receipt of an intercompany dropship order and the item was missing from the intercompany price list.) Most likely, your error will be quite different, but you can find it by following the same steps.

Make sure that you revert the profile option settings once your troubleshooting is complete.

Oracle jumps into the SaaS market with SaaS Sourcing

Oracle jumps into the SaaS market with SaaS Sourcing | Technology and the Global Supply Chain | ZDNet.com.

Interesting to see that this is Oracle’s first foray into SaaS outside of the Seibel CRM products.

Oracle ERP salespeople tended to point customers towards the embedded Sales product; On Demand people touted their product. It will be interetsting to see which offering the ERP folks push now that they have a choice within their stable.

Oracle Applications on Windows 7

My geek nature meant that I had to try Windows 7 Beta on at least one of my computers. I can’t say I was as down on Vista as most people who leave comments online, but 7 seems to be a great leap forward. I like it. Getting the apps to run on Windows 7 is very similar to getting them to run on Vista:

Internet Explorer and Firefox:

  1. Download and install the latest version of Java (such as Version 6, Update 11). You can get it here.
  2. Copy the file C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin\client\jvm.dll to folder C:\Program Files\Oracle\Jinitiator 1.3.1.21\bin\hotspot. (Overwrite the existing jvm.dll.)
  3. In folder C:\Program Files\Oracle\Jinitiator 1.3.1.21\lib, rename “font.properties.zh.5” to “font.properties.zh.6” and “font.properties.zh.5.1” to “font.properties.zh.6.1”
  4. If you use multiple languages, use a text editor (such as Notepad) to open file “C:\Program Files\Oracle\Jinitiator 1.3.1.21\lib\font.properties”. Search for “\u5b8b\u4f53=SIMSUN.TTF” and change it to “\u5b8b\u4f53=SIMSUN.TTC”. This is an optional step

Internet Explorer:

Go to Tools> Internet Options> Advanced. Disable 3rd Party Extensions by unchecking as below:

Click the Compatibility Viewer button to the right of the address bar as below and follow the instructions:

(My thanks to Garry Martin, CTO of Fujitsu’s Microsoft Practice in the UK for this IE8 tip.)

You should be good.

Firefox:

  1. Go to C:\Program Files\Oracle\Jinitiator 1.3.1.21\bin. Find “NPJinit13121.dll” and copy it.
  2. Paste it into C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\plugins\.

Good luck!

Oracle Applications on Windows Vista

I bought a new laptop about a year ago and had Vista installed. I showed up at the client site the following Monday and spent the better part of a day trying to get Oracle to come up. Nothing I tried worked. That night, 3 days after the laptop arrived, I “upgraded to a previous version” and installed XP. I never gave a thought to Vista again until a colleague of mine brought his bright shiny new laptop into work a couple of weeks ago and nonchalantly mentioned that Oracle was working just fine with his Vista Ultimate. Like a red rag to a bull…!

Much Googling that evening – yeah I’m competitive!- led me to this solution. I’ve tried it on a couple of different computers and it seems to work well:

You should be able to make it work by following these instructions:

Internet Explorer and Firefox

  1. Download and install the latest version of Java (such as Version 6, Update 11). You can get it here.
  2. Copy the file C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin\client\jvm.dll to folder C:\Program Files\Oracle\Jinitiator 1.3.1.21\bin\hotspot. (Overwrite the existing jvm.dll.)
  3. In folder C:\Program Files\Oracle\Jinitiator 1.3.1.21\lib, rename “font.properties.zh.5” to “font.properties.zh.6” and “font.properties.zh.5.1” to “font.properties.zh.6.1”
  4. If you use multiple languages, use a text editor (such as Notepad) to open file “C:\Program Files\Oracle\Jinitiator 1.3.1.21\lib\font.properties”. Search for “\u5b8b\u4f53=SIMSUN.TTF” and change it to “\u5b8b\u4f53=SIMSUN.TTC”. This is an optional step.

This should be all you need to get Oracle running on IE7. However, if IE7 crashes every time Jinitiator tries to open Oracle Forms, you should try disabling third-party browser extensions. In IE7, go to Tools> Internet Options> Advanced and uncheck the box as below:

If you are using IE8, you will also have to click on the Compatibility button to the right of the address bar as below:

(My thanks to Garry Martin, CTO of Fujitsu’s Microsoft Practice in the UK for this IE8 tip.)

Firefox

These additional steps are required if you plan to use Firefox:

  1. Go to C:\Program Files\Oracle\Jinitiator 1.3.1.21\bin. Find NPJinit13121.dll and copy it.
  2. Paste it into C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\plugins\

Good luck!

SQL is my Friend

I think I’m a functional consultant with just enough technical knowledge to make himself very, very dangerous!

I’ve always been in awe of my developer friends and always will be. For many years I thought they practised some form of witchcraft. What you don’t understand always seems like magic, doesn’t it?

After several years of looking over the shoulders of some very patient friends – Ravinder Goyal and Sarath Yeturu, I owe you! – I started to pick little pieces of it up. I still don’t know a fraction of what these guys do, but I do know enough to be able to provide value to a client and I think that’s important. Anyone who can keep an SR moving by running scripts, create some table validated DFF’s and do some Forms Personalizations without having to wait for a developer to be available is more valuable to a client than someone who can’t.

SQL is my Friend is a document that I wrote with Pete Stees of Oracle Consulting. It shows how a functional consultant or BSA can pick up the basic SQL skills and how they might be used in an Oracle Applications context.

Adventures in Lead Times

I was working at my first client, a contract electronics manufacturer, in Ft Lauderdale, FL in the late 90’s and was responsible for implementing MRP. I was trying to figure out why I was getting wierd suggestions from my planning runs and didn’t find the documentation to be very helpful at all.

This was back in the days when Oracle Support was a phone call, not a website and I went on a tear for about a month calling multiple times every day until I could find someone who could answer my questions. Everything I was able to pry from them, or figure out myself ended up in this document, Adventures in Lead Times.

It follows the planning process through Item, BOM and Routing setup, explaining what order modifiers do and how the various lead times are calculated. It shows the effect that all of these have on MRP output. Many years later, I still think it’s a good introduction to the topic.