Friday Jun 28, 2013

Create a Smoother Period Close

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Do You Use Oracle E-Business Suite Products Involved in Accounting Period Closes?

GPIcon We understand that closing the periods in your system at the end of an accounting period enables your company to make the right business decisions. We also know this requires prior preparation, good procedures, and quality data.

To help you meet that need, Oracle E-Business Suite’s proactive support team developed the Period Close Advisor to help your organization conduct a smooth period close for its Oracle E-Business Suite 12 products. The Period Close Advisor is composed of logical steps you can follow, aligned by the business requirement flow. It will help with an orderly close of the product sub-ledgers before posting to the General Ledger. It combines recommendations and industry best practices with tips from subject matter experts for troubleshooting. You will find patches needed and references to assist you during each phase.

Get to know the E-Business Suite Period Close Advisor

The Period Close Advisor does more than help the users of Oracle E-Business Suite products close their period. You can use it before and throughout the period to stay on track. Proactively it assists you as you set up your company’s period close process. During the period, it helps evaluate your system’s readiness for initiating the period close procedures and prepare the system for a smooth period close experience. The Period Close Advisor gets you to answers when you have questions and gives you the latest news from us on Oracle E-Business Suite’s period close. The Period Close Advisor is the right place to start.

How to Use the E-Business Suite Period Close

The Period Close Advisor graphically guides you through your period close. The tabs show you the products (also called applications or sub-ledgers) covered, and the product order required for the processing to handle any dependencies between the products. Users of all the products it covers can benefit from the information it contains.

Structure of the Period Close Advisor

Clicking on a tab gives you the details for that particular step in the process. This includes an overview, showing how the products fit into the overall period close process, and step-by-step information on each phase needed to complete the period close for the tab. You will also find multimedia training and related resources you can access if you need more information.
PCA Tabs

Once you click on any of the phases, you see guidance for that phase. This can include:

OM & Shipping Tab

  • Tips from the subject-matter experts—here are examples from a Cash Management specialist:
    • “For organizations with high transaction volumes bank statements should be loaded and reconciled on a daily basis.”
    • “The automatic reconciliation process can be set up to create miscellaneous transactions automatically.”
  • References to useful Knowledge Base documents:
    • Information Centers for the products and features
    • FAQs on functionality
    • Known Issues and patches with both the errors and their solutions
    • How-to documents that explain in detail how to use a feature or complete a process
    • White papers that give overview of a feature, list setup required to use the feature, etc.
  • Links to diagnosticsthat help debug issues you may find in a process
  • Additional information and alerts about a process or reports that can help you prevent issues from surfacing

This excerpt from the “Process Transaction” phase for the Receivables product lists documents you’ll find helpful.

Recievables Excerpt

How to Get Started with the Period Close Advisor

The Period Close Advisor is a great resource that can be used both as a proactive tool (while setting up your period end procedures) and as the first document to refer to when you encounter an issue during the period close procedures!

As mentioned earlier, the order of the product tabs in the Period Close Advisor gives you the recommended order of closing. The first thing to do is to ensure that you are following the prescribed order for closing the period, if you are using more than one sub-ledger.

Next, review the information shared in the Evaluate and Prepare and Process Transactions phases. Make sure that you are following the recommended best practices; you have applied the recommended patches, etc.

The Reconcile phase gives you the recommended steps to follow for reconciling a sub-ledger with the General Ledger. Ensure that your reconciliation procedure aligns with those steps.

At any stage during the period close processing, if you encounter an issue, you can revisit the Period Close Advisor. Choose the product you have an issue with and then select the phase you are in. You will be able to review information that can help you find a solution to the issue you are facing.

Stay Informed

Oracle updates the Period Close Advisor as we learn of new issues and information. Bookmark the Oracle E-Business Suite Period Close Advisor [ID 335.1] and keep coming back to it for the latest information on period close

Thursday Apr 04, 2013

Know What Changed

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Find Configuration Changes with My Oracle Support’s Configuration-Based Services

Compare
When customers log technical Service Requests, one of the first things we want to know is, “What changed?” Changes in a configuration are often the cause of newly reported issues.

Some of the most powerful uses of configuration data are the capabilities to view a configuration at a point in time (Snapshot), view a list of configuration changes between two points in time (History), and view a side-by-side comparison of a configuration at two points in time (Compare). You can use these capabilities to quickly identify and recover from issues directly related to a configuration change or a patch introduction. This information is available for proactive usage as well. The ultimate goal is to help you proactively avoid issues and, if they occur, quickly resolve them.

To view configuration data, navigate to the Systems tab in My Oracle Support. Once there, search in the Targets region to view the desired configuration.

Note: The Systems tab is visible only to:

  • Customer User Administrators (CUAs)
  • Users with at least one hardware Support Identifier (SI) and View Asset privileges in their profile
  • Users with active targets associated with the hardware or software SIs in their profile

    Snap1

Clicking on the Detach button, in the target region above, will maximize the region and display additional columns.

Snapshot

Clicking on the target Name hyperlink in the screenshot above will open the target screen below in My Oracle Support. The most current snapshot of the configuration displays in the Configuration region.

Snap3

You also have the ability to view historical snapshots of the configuration at a point in time. Choose one of the displayed dates or specify a custom dates via the Other Date option. Oracle retains one year of configuration detail. The intent is to allow you to use this data for comparative analysis.

Snap4

Selecting Nov 26, 2012 from the drop-down displays the data for that day.

Note: If you do not have a collection on the day you selected, data for the closest possible date displays.

Snap5

History

The History button displays default dates, just as the Snapshot option above. Additional options are available for custom date ranges.

Snap6

Choosing Nov 26, 2012 from the drop-down displays changes that occurred between Nov 26, 2012 and Dec 17, 2012.

Notes: In the Item Name section click on the All hyperlink to see all changes. The check boxes for the Items that changed highlight as well. If you do not have a collection on the day you selected, the closest possible date’s data displays.

Snap7

Compare

The Compare button provides a side-by-side comparison of a configuration between two dates. The functionality for this regions works the same way as the History button.

Snap8

Choosing Nov 26, 2012 from the drop-down displays changes that occurred between Nov 26, 2012 and Dec 17, 2012 and a side-by-side view of the values. This view does not indicate when changes occurred.

Note: If you do not have a collection on the day you selected, the closest possible date’s data displays.

Snap9

Print or Export Data

Many customers want the ability to analyze this data outside of My Oracle Support. Under the View button, customers have the option of creating a Printable View or Export CSV.

Resources to Learn More

To learn more about how to leverage configuration data and the configuration-based services, please go to the Collector tab in My Oracle Support. For assistance on setting up the collector, please refer to the blog entry from October 18th, 2012.

You can find more information under the Help link in the upper right corner of My Oracle Support. Navigate to the Table of Contents link and select the Systems link from the window that opens. You will see links that provide detailed information on Systems, Targets, and Configurations.


Related articles on configuration-based services in My Oracle Support

 

Tuesday Mar 05, 2013

Improve Your Hardware Support Experience

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Use These Hardware Essentials

GPIcon

Oracle Hardware customers who are running Oracle Solaris or Oracle Solaris x86, can improve their support experience. Oracle Support recommends these three Hardware Essentials to all Oracle Hardware customers:



  1. Download and install the Services Tools Bundle. This bundle has Oracle Explorer Data Collector, Oracle Remote Diagnostic Agent, Oracle Serial Number in EEPROM (SNEEP), and Oracle Automatic Crash Dump Tool (ACT). The bundle is available for Solaris and Solaris x86, release 8 onwards.
    1. Download—Log into My Oracle Support and follow the links on this document to download the latest.
    2. Learn More—Take a few minutes to read the Oracle Explorer Information Center. Ensure you set up the explorer so that it regularly sends data to Oracle. As it is the data from these tools that help to improve your support experience.

  2. Set up Oracle Explorer. How healthy are your Oracle Systems? Did you know that once you set up Oracle Explorer to send data to Oracle you can view two reports that will help you understand their health? The first is a mission critical report and the second is the Systems Risk Index based on the Sun Alert Program.  If the Oracle explorer was correctly configured, and you have access to the same Support Identifier as the system you would like to review, then you can get started today. If you cannot view reports please verify the following setup:

    1. Validate the chassis serial number is on contract with a valid Support Identifier. Using the Assets Tab, enter the serial number if it does not come back then you don’t have access to the CSI it’s associated with or it’s not on contact.
    2. Validate in My Oracle Support, via My Account that you have the same Support Identifier associated to your account as the chassis serial number.
    3. Install Oracle Services Tools Bundle for Solaris on any system you are interested in viewing reports on.
    4. Set up Oracle Explorer ensure the serial number is entered into the appropriate Oracle Explore Data Collector Field and that it matches exactly to the Serial Number as displayed in the Assets Region of the Systems Tab on My Oracle Support.
    5. Configure the explorer output to be sent to Oracle every 30 days.

  3. Enable Automatic Service Request (ASR) for known hardware issues. This is a secure, scalable, customer installable software solution that automatically generates a Service Request for specific hardware faults. Available for all ASR capable systems that are covered by an Oracle Support Contract.

    Learn MoreReview the ASR page for documentation and downloads.


Tuesday Nov 20, 2012

Find Knowledge Quickly

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Get to relevant knowledge on the Oracle products you use in a few quick steps!

Customers tell us that the volume of search results returned can make it difficult to find the information they need, especially when similar Oracle products exist. These simple tips show you how to filter, browse, search, and refine your results to get relevant answers faster.

Filter first: PowerView is your best friend

Powerview is an often ignored feature of My Oracle Support that enables you to control the information displayed on the Dashboard, the Knowledge tab and regions, and the Service Request tab based on one or more parameters. You can define a PowerView to limit information based on product, product line, support ID, platform, hostname, system name and others. Using PowerView allows you to restrict:

  • Your search results to the filters you have set
  • The product list when selecting your products in Search & Browse and when creating service requests

     

The PowerView menu is at the top of My Oracle Support, near the title

PVS1

You turn PowerView on by clicking PowerView is Off, which is a button. When PowerView is On, and filters are active, clicking the button again will toggle Powerview off.

Click the arrow to the right to create new filters, edit filters, remove a filter, or choose from the list of previously created filters.

PVS2

You can create a PowerView in 3 simple steps!

  1. Turn PowerView on and select New from the PowerView menu.
  2. Select your filter from the Select Filter Type dropdown list and make selections from the other two menus.
    • Hint: While there are many filter options, selecting your product line or your list of products will provide you with an effective filter.
    • Click the plus sign (+) to add more filters. Click the minus sign (-) to remove a filter.
  3. Click Create to save and activated the filter(s)

You’ll notice that PowerView is On displays along with the active filters.

PVS3

For more information about the PowerView capabilities, click the Learn more about PowerView… menu item or view a short video.

PVS4


Browse & Refine: Access the Best Match Fast For Your Product and Task


In the Knowledge Base region of the Knowledge or Dashboard tabs, pick your product, pick your task, select a version, if applicable. A best match document – a collection of knowledge articles and resources specific to your selections - may display, offering you a one-stop shop.

PVS5


The best match document, called an “information center,” is an aggregate of dynamically updated links to information pertinent to the product, task, and version (if applicable) you chose. These documents are refreshed every 24 hours to ensure that you have the most current information at your fingertips.

Note: Not all products have “information centers.” If no information center appears as a best match, click Search to see a list of search results.

From the information center, you can access topics from a product overview to security information, as shown in the left menu.


PVS6

Just want to search? That’s easy too!

Again, from the Knowledge Base region, pick your product, pick your task, select a version, if applicable, enter a keyword term, and click Search.

Hint:
In this example, you’ll notice that PowerView is on and set to PeopleSoft Enterprise. When PowerView is on and you select a product from the Knowledge Base product list, the listed products are limited to the active PowerView filter. (Products you’ve previously picked are also listed at the top of the dropdown list.)


PVS7

Your search results are displayed based on the parameters you entered.



PVS8

It’s that simple!


Related Information:

My Oracle Support - User Resource Center [ID 873313.1]
My Oracle Support Community

For more tips on using My Oracle Support, check out these short video training modules.
My Oracle Support Speed Video Training [ID 603505.1]

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