Monday Feb 17, 2014

Announcing Significant Functional White Papers for Merchandising

In conjunction with Release 14, Oracle Retail has published to My Oracle Support a collection of in-depth White Papers addressing the functional details of various business operations within the  Merchandising Operations Management suite of applications. Retailers and partners should consider these key reference documents as essential supplements to the Oracle Retail end user documentation suite.

Oracle Retail Merchandising Functional Library (Doc ID 1585843.1)

Oracle Retail Merchandising System (RMS) Catch Weight Overview v14

Catch Weight functionality allows for the ordering and management of items that vary by weight from one instance of an item to the next. Examples of this are primarily in the grocery industry, where items such as fresh produce, deli, butchery and prepackaged cheese and meat, are often purchased by weight and may be sold by weight or as individual products (eaches). Catch weight items can have a varying cost by unit of measure (UOM) and have an average weight maintained for the items, which is used by any transactions involving the items where a weight is not captured. From an ordering perspective, Oracle Retail Merchandising System (RMS) was built primarily to support the ordering of catch weight items using simple packs. However, the ordering of catch weight items without using simple packs is also supported. RMS supports four different types of catch weight items, which are outlined in more detail in this document, including how the setup for these items differs from other items in RMS, as well as the various ways that catch weight items impact inventory functions, such as purchasing, receiving and, cost maintenance.

Oracle Retail Trade Management (RTM) v14

Oracle Retail Trade Management (RTM) is used to manage the import process, including automating the steps necessary to import goods, managing file exchanges with trading partners, and providing a central database of critical import order information. This document provides an overview of the primary functions and features of the RTM system, as well as information regarding implementation, data setup, and troubleshooting.

RMS 24x7 Inventory Availability v14

Large retailers today have operations and operating models that extend across different continents and time-zones. 24x7 Retailing refers to an amalgamated retail model that offers customers retailing experience and information across various channels, time zones, formats and geographies on an uninterrupted basis, that is, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The need for 24x7 retailing has been driven by several emerging retailing models, including:

  • Store Operations
  • Distribution Center (DC) Operations
  • Commerce Anywhere Operations
  • Geographically Dispersed Business Process Models

This white paper examines the requirements for 24x7 retailing and the suitability of RMS in specifically supporting 24x7 inventory availability.

RMS Franchise Management v14

To scale up business operations and market presence, particularly in new markets, retailers may choose to utilize business partners to manage branded or co-branded stores while retaining the retailer’s business processes and value proposition. Businesses who partner with a retailer to expand the retailer’s presence are known as franchisees. Franchisees may operate one or more stores under the retailer’s banner. This white paper addresses the management of Franchise functionality within RMS and describes the several system parameters that are used to configure RMS related to Franchise management functionality.

RMS Deals Overview v14

A deal is a set of one or more agreements that take place between the retailer and a vendor. A vendor can be a supplier, wholesaler, distributor or manufacturer, and from the vendor, the retailer is entitled to receive discounts or rebates for goods that are either purchased or sold. A deal consists of a set of discounts and/or rebates that are negotiated with the supplier and share a common start and end date. This functional white paper holistically addresses Deals functionality in the Oracle Retail Merchandising System.

RMS Stock Counts Overview v14

Inventory accuracy is a critical and highly sensitive area affecting retailers. Inventory record accuracy has a significant impact on increasing levels of customer service, reducing costs, and increasing productivity. Stock counts verify the inventory figures kept within the merchandise management system, which makes reporting, planning, and ordering more accurate. In order to reconcile theoretical inventory levels to actual inventory on-hand, retailers perform physical inventory stock counts, which also serve to make stock ledger adjustments. These stock counts assist retailers in budgeting and accounting for shrinkage. This document provides an overview of the primary functions and features of the Stock Count module in RMS as well as an overview of the integration of this module with the Store Inventory Management (SIM) and Warehouse Management System (RWMS).

Oracle Retail Allocation v14

Oracle Retail Allocation helps retailers determine the inventory requirements at the item and location level, resulting in an inventory allocation that optimizes your supply across all locations. Using real-time inventory information, the system calculates need based on parameters you set, whether it is the characteristics of the product or the store. The result is an allocation tailored to each store's unique need. Oracle Retail Allocation allows you to allocate either in advance of the order's arrival or at the last minute to leverage real-time sales and inventory information. The primary objective of this document is to highlight lesser-known capabilities within the Allocation product, provide more detail on commonly asked questions, call out product facts, clarify specific capability/features, and provide additional information on how to use the Allocation product more effectively.

RMS Stock Ledger v13.2

This document provides an overview of the primary features of Oracle Retail Stock Ledger functionality. In addition, this document addresses the integration of this module with the financial packages. Use this document to get a detailed overview of the following:

  • Stock ledger attributes
  • Accounting methods
  • Budgeted shrink
  • Transaction data
  • What impacts the stock ledger
  • Stock ledger processes

RMS Managing Multiple Company Operations v13

Generally, large multi-national retailers have complex organization structures with multiple business groups, legal entities, operating units, and inventory organizations. Such enterprises have the business need to be able to separate financial transactions along with business groups, legal entities, operating units, and inventory organizations. When retailers operate with multiple legal companies or entities, they may use different physical instances of their accounting systems to support the segregation of financial records, or they may use a single physical instance of their accounting system. When operating with multiple legal companies or entities in a single installation, a company needs the ability to partition their general ledger along certain criteria, so that each set has its own chart of accounts and other identifying characteristics, such as the primary currency, accounting calendar, and balancing segment. RMS was extended to support multiple company operations in a single instance with the inclusion of multiple sets of books (MSOB) functionality, described in this white paper.

Friday Dec 13, 2013

Announcing Documentation for Oracle Retail Enterprise 14.0

The 14.0 release of the Oracle Retail application enterprise includes the most documentation published in the history of Oracle Retail. Over 200 documents have been published, and more documents than ever have been either considerably revised or developed from scratch to reflect the enterprise applications newest code base. In the upcoming weeks, this blog will address the various aspects of each solution unit's documentation sets. Some of the highlights include:

  • Commerce Anywhere updates within the documentation sets of Oracle Retail Merchandising System (RMS), Oracle Retail Store Inventory Management (SIM), the POS Suite, Oracle Retail Warehouse Management System (RWMS), and Oracle Retail Advanced Inventory Planning (AIP).
  • Two key My Oracle Support libraries addressing Commerce Anywhere from a Functional perspective and a Technical perspective, the latter developed using the authoring tools and best practices of the Retail Reference Architecture.
  • New documentation sets for applications within the Oracle Retail Advanced Science Engine (ORASE) suite of products.
  • A new documentation set for the Oracle Retail Service Backbone.
  • An expanded Enterprise Integration Guide.
  • An enhanced RWMS documentation set reflecting new functionality for both Task Management and Activity Editor.
  • Security Guides published for each solution unit.
  • RPAS and application documentation to reflect the new RPAS Extension Framework
  • Deep new and updated Merchandising Functional White Papers in areas such as Franchise, Catch Weight, Deals, and so on.
  • A new Developer's Guide technical paper and new Data Model for the RMS Data Access Schema.
  • A revised and enhanced RMS Operations Guide.
  • Oracle Retail Analytics documentation updates to reflect its 25 new Dashboards spanning Commerce Anywhere, Consumer, Clustering and Wholesale / Franchise.

Wednesday Sep 04, 2013

Documentation in Oracle Retail Allocation 13.3

The 13.3 release of Oracle Retail Allocation represents a significantly improved solution, helping retailers determine the inventory requirements at the item, store, and week level using real-time inventory information. This release focused on enhancements related to front-end usability and a better user experience. In addition, the release featured numerous technical and integration enhancements. 

Highlighted End User Documentation Enhancements

Oracle Retail Allocation User Guide
This document's structure was updated to reflect the changes in the user interface.

  • Two new chapters, Introducing the Common User Interface and Understanding the Allocation User Interface were introduced to explain the user interface controls. The Understanding the Allocation User Interface chapter describes the various parts of the allocation workspace and explains how to use worksheets and quick create allocation features.
  • The Create an Allocation chapter was replaced with a new chapter, Creating Standard Allocations. This chapter explains the steps involved in creating and calculating a standard allocation.
  • The Creating Scheduled Allocations chapter was updated to include Worksheets used for creating allocations. 
  • The Maintain What-If Allocations chapter was replaced with Creating What-If Allocations.
  • The Maintain an Allocation chapter was replaced with Managing Allocations. This chapter describes the various editing operations you can perform on an allocation.
  • The Allocation Details chapter was removed and the Assortment View and Final Allocation information was updated and moved to the Managing Allocations chapter. 
  • The Size Profiles chapter was removed and its content moved to the Managing Foundation Data chapter.
  • The Managing Foundation Data chapter explains how to manage policy templates, location groups, size profiles, and system options.
  • In addition to updates mentioned above, the following features were added in all the chapters related to creating allocations: Support for Single Parent/Multi Diff/Multi Size Packs, Worksheets to create allocations, ability to select Inventory Buckets, spread demand mode, Fashion Group Allocation for multiple stores, select seasonal size profile data, freeze logic, pack rounding, and quick location add. 

Oracle Retail Allocation 13.3/Merchandising Operations Management 13.2.5 Implementation Guide

  • The Oracle Retail Allocation chapter was updated to include information regarding policies and allocation templates. In addition, a new section for System Options was added.

Oracle Retail Allocation User Interface Administration Guide
This entirely new document describes operations an administrator can perform to configure and manage the user interface and its security. The document includes the following information:

  • Introduction to the WebCenter Portal Administration Console
    The WebCenter Portal Administration Console offers several administration pages that enable authenticated administrators to perform common administrative duties, including:
    • Configuring Page Templates and Skins
    • Modifying the Navigation Model(s)
    • Modifying the Resource Catalog
    • Creating Task Flows at Runtime
    • Managing Users and Granting Application Roles
    • Managing and Configuring External Applications
  • Configuring Page Templates and Skins
    Applicable Oracle Retail applications are packaged with two page templates and three skins. Page templates are used to maintain a consistent branding and layout for all pages within an application as well as common branding and layout for all applications in a suite of applications. A skin is used to define the appearance of an Oracle ADF web application in a manner similar to cascading style sheets (CSS). Page templates and skins work together to control the layout and appearance of application pages.
  • Modifying the Navigation Models
    The navigation model defines a navigational structure and keeps track of navigational data. A navigation model can consist of a variety of resources, such as task flows, pages, external links, and others.
  • Creating Task Flows at Run Time
    Task flows are reusable building blocks developed using the Oracle Application Developer Framework (ADF). Rather than developing an application as a single large JSF page flow, application developers break up page design into a collection of reusable task flows. Oracle Retail Allocation was developed using task flows. The application's resource catalog is configured with additional task flows that can be added at run time. Using Oracle Composer, you can edit the application page from either the WebCenter Portal Administration Console or from the Edit Current Page menu item on the application's main page.

Oracle Retail Allocation Operations Guide
The following enhancements were made to this document:

  • Backend System Administration and Configuration chapter
    Steps to configure dynamic logging in WebLogic have been added.
  • Functional Design chapter
    The Net Need at Store Level Calculation section now includes an updated stock on-hand calculation.
  • Java Batch Process chapter
    The AllocationAutoScheduleBatch batch job has been renamed ScheduledAllocationBatchClient. Running the AllocScheduleBatch has been updated. Rule Level On Hand (RLOH) batch information has been added.
  • Internationalization chapter
    Internationalization is the process of creating software that can be translated easily. Changes to the code are not specific to any particular market. Allocation has been internationalized to support multiple languages. This section describes configuration settings and features of the software that ensure that the base application can handle multiple languages.
  • Implementing Functional Security chapter
    This new chapter discusses the Allocation functional security and the components used to implement it. The chapter includes the following sections:
    • Introduction to Retail Roles
    • Retail Role Hierarchy
    • Default Security Reference Implementation
    • Extending the Default Security Reference Implementation 

List of End User Documents in Allocation, Release 13.3

The following documents are included in Release 13.3:

  • Oracle Retail Allocation Release Notes
  • Oracle Retail Allocation Installation Guide
  • Oracle Retail Allocation Online Help and User Guide
  • Oracle Retail Allocation User Interface Administration Guide
  • Oracle Retail Allocation Data Model
  • Oracle Retail Allocation Operations Guide
  • Oracle Retail Allocation Licensing Information Guide
  • Oracle Retail Merchandising Batch Schedule 
  • Oracle Retail Merchandising Implementation Guide

Wednesday Aug 15, 2012

Navigating to Release Readiness Transfer of Information (TOI) Recordings

TOI  recordings about new features in Oracle Retail applications are available to Oracle-supported customers for the 13.x enterprise releases. Oracle Retail has released over 100 of these TOIs since Oracle Retail began producing them.

These online courses provide release-specific product knowledge that enables your functional and technical teams to plan, implement and/or upgrade and support Oracle Retail applications effectively and efficiently. TOI training is delivered via Oracle University. Note that you may be prompted to log in to Oracle University the first time you view the recorded training.

Product-based TOIs

Oracle Retail application TOIs are divided into two categories: Functional and Technical. Examples include:

  • Oracle Retail Merchandising System (RMS) Functional Overview
  • Oracle Retail Predictive Application Server (RPAS) Platform Technical Overview
  • Oracle Retail Warehouse Management System (RWMS) Technical Overview
  • Oracle Retail Store Inventory Management (SIM) Functional Overview   

In addition to product TOIs, some TOIs address special topics and deep dives into specific functional, integration or technical changes. Examples include the following:

  • Retail Translation and Internationalization Technical Overview
  • Oracle Retail Merchandise Operations Management - Upgrades Functional Overview
  • Oracle Retail Merchandising System (RMS) Wholesale Franchise Technical Overview
  • Oracle Retail MOM, SIM & RTG Implementation Technical Overview
  • Oracle Retail Store Inventory Management (SIM) - Usability Improvements Functional Overview  

Documentation TOIs

In addition to product TOIs, self-paced training is also available that addresses significant Documentation changes in releases 13.0, 13.0.1, and 13.2. Topics include enterprise updates to Documentation technology (such as Oracle Retail's transition to Oracle Help for the Web) as well as updates to solution unit technical documentation (new Implementation Guides, for example) and updates to solution unit functional documentation (new User Guides, for example).

Navigational Steps to Oracle Retail TOIs

To access the TOIs, follow these steps:

  1. Log into My Oracle Support at  https://support.oracle.com and access the following:
    Doc ID 732026.1, Get Proactive - Oracle Applications TOI (Transfer of Information) Online Training
  2. Click the drop-down and select Oracle Retail on the Release Readiness Transfer Information TOI Recordings page
  3. Select the Solution area of interest on the Browse Subcategories Retail page (for example, Merchandising Operations Management, Stores, and so on).
  4. Click the link for the applicable application TOI. There may be more than one page of TOI recordings. Click the Next button to see the additional TOIs that are available.  

Thursday Apr 19, 2012

Documentation in Oracle Retail Price Management (RPM), Release 13.2.4

The Patch Release 13.2.4 of Oracle Retail Price Management (RPM) is now available from My Oracle Support.

End User Documentation Enhancements

  • RPM User Guide
    The RPM User Guide was updated to reflect the new functionality addressing time-based promotions. The user can now enter discounts specific to events such as happy hours, door buster sales, or special holiday promotions by entering a specific start and end times associated with dates. The user indicates a Time Based Promotion by selecting the new checkbox on the RPM promotion screens, such as Add Components to a Promotion, Create a Threshold Component, Create a Multi-Buy Component, and Create a Simple Component, when setting up the promotion details.
  • RPM Operations Guide
    There were batch documentation updates implemented in conjunction with Future Retail enhancement functionality. This functionality is associated with RPM's ability to store future retail data above the transaction item and location level.

List of Documents in RPM 13.2.4

The following documents are included in the patch release:

  • Oracle Retail Price Management Release Notes
  • Oracle Retail Price Management Data Model
  • Oracle Retail Price Management Installation Guide
  • Oracle Retail Price Management Operations Guide
  • Oracle Retail Price Management User Guide and online help
  • Oracle Retail Merchandising Batch Schedule
  • Oracle Retail Merchandising Implementation Guide
  • Oracle Retail POS Suite 13.4.1/Merchandising Operations Management 13.2.4 Implementation Guide

Monday Apr 16, 2012

Announcing two Technical Papers and an Accelerator Addressing Integration between Oracle Retail and Oracle Art Technology Group (ATG) Web Commerce

In the past year, Oracle Retail has published two documents on My Oracle Support (https://support.oracle.com) that address integration between Oracle Retail products and Oracle ATG Web Commerce. The Merchandising to Oracle ATG Document ID on My Oracle Support can be characterized as an Accelerator because in addition to the Technical Paper, Oracle Retail provides reference code.

  • Doc ID 1380165.1
    Oracle Retail Merchandising System (RMS) and Oracle ATG Web Commerce Integration–This accelerator is a toolkit that contains both integration reference code and a technical note to explain interfaces and how they should be used. The document provides a technical overview on integrating Oracle Retail Merchandising System (RMS) and Oracle Retail Price Management (RPM) with Oracle Art Technology Group (ATG) Web Commerce. The document focuses on the technical aspects of integrating item and price/promotion data from RMS and RPM to Oracle ATG Web Commerce, leveraging existing integration points where possible. The reference code addresses the following integration flows:
    • RMS Merchandise Hierarchy extract to ATG Categories
    • RMS Item extract to ATG Product
    • RMS Regular Price change to ATG price list for SKU-based pricing method
    • RMS Clearance Price change to ATG price list for SKU-based pricing method
  • Doc ID 1367354.1
    Oracle ATG Web Commerce-Store Inventory Management (SIM) Integration–This document is an overview that focuses on the technical aspects of integrating Oracle ATG Web Commerce and SIM for real-time inventory lookup, by leveraging existing integration points. By integrating Oracle ATG Web Commerce with SIM, retailers can leverage SIM’s real-time and inventory management capabilities, giving Web users visibility to in-store inventory availability. This overview document covers the technical aspects of an integration approach between Oracle ATG Web Commerce and SIM by addressing the following steps:
    • Implementing a new Store Inventory Manager component which can connect to the SIM Web service endpoints.
    • Configuring Oracle ATG Web Commerce to use the new Store Inventory Manager component.

Friday Apr 06, 2012

Documentation in Oracle Retail Merchandising System (RMS) and Oracle Retail Fiscal Management System (ORFM), Release 13.2.4

The Patch Release 13.2.4 of the Oracle Retail Merchandising System (RMS) and its module, Oracle Retail Fiscal Management (ORFM)  is now available from My Oracle Support.

End User Documentation Enhancements

The following summarize the highlights of changes made to the documentation in conjunction with the new Brazil-related functionality:

  • Foundation chapter in the Oracle Retail Merchandising System (RMS)/Sales Audit (ReSA) Brazil Localization User Guide
    This chapter was updated with a non-base Localization Flexible Attribution Solution (LFAS) section that addresses the addition of several new custom attributes to Items and Suppliers through non-base LFAS for Brazil; it also addresses the extension of the Retail Tax Integration Layer (RTIL) through the Oracle Retail Merchandising System (RMS), and Oracle Retail Fiscal Management System (ORFM).
  •  ORFM User Guide
    The Purchase Order chapter was updated to include schedule related updates for a Nota Fiscal. The Fiscal Documents chapter was updated to include information on creating a new NF and searching for details using Vendor Product Number.
  • Oracle Retail Fiscal Management/RMS Brazil Localization Implementation Guide
    The Implementation Checklist chapter was updated with a note on multi-currency functionality. The Batch Processes chapter was updated with information on the NF EDI batch.

The following summarize the highlights of changes made to the documentation in conjunction with the new technical certifications (see the RMS 13.2.4 Release Notes for more information):

  • Installation Guides for RMS and for ORFM/RMS Brazil
    These installation guides were updated extensively to account for the multiple technical certification enhancements in 13.2.4.
  • White Paper: How to Upgrade from WebLogic11g 10.3.3 to WebLogic11g 10.3.4  (Doc ID: 1432575.1)
    See the previous blog entry regarding this new White Paper.

New Documents on My Oracle Support for Brazil Localization

  • Overview and Interfaces Tax Vendor Integration (Doc ID: 1424048.1)
    Oracle chooses to integrate with a third party tax expert to delivery the Brazilian solution. Oracle has built the Retail Tax Integration layer (RTIL) as the key integration component to support the integration of Oracle suite of products with external tax vendors. This paper addresses the RTIL integration interfaces with TaxWeb, providing guidance on the typical integration interfaces and operations that must be supported by other tax solutions in the Brazilian market.
  • Oracle Retail Fiscal Management/RMS Brazil Localization: Localization Flexible Attribute Solution (LFAS) (Doc ID: 1418509.1)
    The white paper covers the definition of custom attributes in Localization Flexible Attribute Solution (LFAS) and enables retailers to perform data conversion changes. Retailers can add several new custom attributes to Items and Suppliers through non-base LFAS for Brazil and extend Retail Tax Integration Layer (RTIL) through the Oracle Retail Merchandising System (RMS), and Oracle Retail Fiscal Management System (RFM).

Documents Published in RMS and ORFM Release 13.2.4

  • Oracle Retail Merchandising System Release Notes
  • Oracle Retail Merchandising System Installation Guide
  • Oracle Retail Merchandising System User Guide and Online Help
  • Oracle Retail Sales Audit (ReSA) User Guide and Online Help
  • Oracle Retail Merchandising System Operations Guide
  • Oracle Retail Merchandising System Data Model
  • Oracle Retail Merchandising Batch Schedule
  • Oracle Retail Merchandising Implementation Guide
  • Oracle Retail POS Suite 13.4.1 / Merchandising Operations Management
    13.2.4 Implementation Guide
  • Oracle Retail Fiscal Management Data Model
  • Oracle Retail Fiscal Management/RMS Brazil Localization Installation Guide
  • Oracle Retail Fiscal Management/RMS Brazil Localization Implementation Guide
  • Oracle Retail Fiscal Management User Guide and Online Help

Friday Mar 30, 2012

Announcing an Upgrading How-To Technical Paper for WebLogic 11g

Oracle Retail has published a document on My Oracle Support (https://support.oracle.com) that provides you with guidance on how to upgrade from WebLogic11g 10.3.3 to WebLogic11g 10.3.4. The goal of this document is not to be a substitute for WebLogic documentation but to illustrate how Oracle Retail approached and performed its upgrade. 

  •  Doc ID: 1432575.1
    This document provides information about how to upgrade to WebLogic 10.3.4 and how to complete related component upgrades as well. Upgrading from WebLogic 10.3.3 to WebLogic 10.3.4 (rather than performing a separate WLS 10.3.4 installation) is recommended so that you do not have to port information and custom settings from your 10.3.3 installation. The paper addresses the following topics:
    • High Level Steps for Applying WLS 10.3.4 Patch and 1.1.1.4.0 Patch Set
    • JRockit Upgrade (optional for Linux and Sun OS only)
    • WLS 10.3.4 Upgrade using Upgrade Installer
    • SOA 11.1.1.4 Upgrade
    • Forms 11.1.1.4 Upgrade
    • Update DB Patch Assistant
    • Post Patch Instructions
    • Validation

Monday Mar 26, 2012

Announcing a functional best practices White Paper for SIM and RMS integration

Oracle Retail has published a document on My Oracle Support (https://support.oracle.com) that provides you with guidance on how to adopt best practices that best facilitate the integration between the Oracle Retail Merchandising System (RMS) and the Oracle Retail Store Inventory Management System (SIM).

  • Doc ID: 1424596.1
    This paper highlights some specific functional best practices when integrating Oracle Retail Merchandising System (RMS) and Oracle Retail Store Inventory Management (SIM). The list in this paper is not comprehensive. Topics include:
    • Inventory adjustments
    • Returns to vendor (RTV)
    • Transfer shipping
    • Receipts
    • Receipt unit adjustments
    • Stock order reconcoliation
    • Stock counts
    • Transformable items
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