Thursday Apr 03, 2014

New Contracts RUP Patches Released

You may have noticed in last week's post CRM Product Family Latest Patch Information that there are new Contracts RUP patches released.  These are important patches and I wanted to tell you more about them here, in case you missed the information in last week's entry. 

Service Contracts

Patch 17155169:R12.OKS.B is the first RUP patch released for Service Contracts in R12.1.3 (see Doc ID 1612461.1 for the readme).  It contains many bug fixes encountered since R12.1.3 was first released and it's highly recommended that you apply this patch.  In addition to the bug fixes, the patch also delivers a number of enhancements including:

  • Service Contract Renewal Performance Enhancements
  • Performance Enhancements to Main Billing Program for Usage Contracts
  • Mass Update Tool for Contract Authoring
  • Selective Update of Warranty Contracts Upon IB Transfer of Ownership
  • Flexible Invoice Text Defaulting.

Details of the enhancements are given in Doc ID 1467147.1.

Sales/Procurement Contracts

For Sales Procurement Contracts Patch 17755570:R12.OKC.B is the second RUP patch released for R12.1.3 (see Doc ID 1612432.1 for the readme).  This is a recommended patch and contains a large number of bug fixes as well as some important enhancements.  The enhancements include:

  • MS Word 2010 Certification
  • Multi Row Variables or UDA Variables
  • Purge Repository Contracts Concurrent Program
  • Delete Multiple Clauses and Sections in Contract Terms.
    Details of the enhancements are given in Doc ID 1467149.1 (for Sales Contracts) and Doc ID 1467140.1 (for Procurement Contracts).

    Tuesday Feb 11, 2014

    Service Contracts Renewals and Public APIs

    Your chance to interact with the Service Contracts Development team!  Service Contracts Development are looking for customers to share their experience and requirements around two specific Service Contracts product areas:
    • Service Contracts Public APIs
    • Service Contracts Renewal Processing.
    If you have experience, requirements or interest in either of these areas then we'd love to hear from you!  Please post a response in the two My Oracle Support Contract and Lease Management Community threads that we've started to gather customer feedback:
    We look forward to hearing from you!

    Monday Feb 03, 2014

    New Contracts Billing Troubleshooting Assistant

    The Service Contracts billing process often gives rise to lots of questions and issues.  If you've ever searched the MOS knowledge base for service contracts billing issues then you'll know that there are a lot of notes out there and it can be difficult to find exactly what you're looking for.  So, we've created a new Troubleshooting Assistant to try and help you find what you need more quickly. 

    Take a look at Doc ID 1608580.2: Troubleshooting Assistant: Service Contracts Billing.  The note allows you to select an area of billing that you are interested in, then you select the symptoms you are seeing or select sub-topics and then presents you with relevant notes based on your selections.

    Don't forget that there is also the Information Center: Oracle Service Contracts (Doc ID 1271128.2) which is another way of accessing knowledge documents using topics other than executing a search.

    Monday Jan 27, 2014

    Upcoming CRM Product Family Webcasts

    Webcast.jpg

    Don't miss the upcoming CRM product family webcasts coming up in February and March.

    Webcast: Funds Capture Through Oracle Payments

    Date: February 5, 2014 at 8:30 am EST, 7:30 am CT, 6:30 am MT, 5:30 am PT, 1:30 pm GMT, 7:00 pm IST

    This one-hour session is recommended for technical and functional users who integrate with Oracle Payments to process online credit/purchase card transactions for inbound (receivables) payments via Oracle Payments, iStore, Order Capture, OM, Oracle Receivables and bank account transfers from Oracle Cash Management and settlements against credit cards and bank accounts or any users integrating with payment processing systems.

    resolve.jpg


    Details & Registration : Doc ID 1614255.1.


    Webcast: Service Contracts: Online Renewal

    Date: February 19, 2014 at 10:00 am EST, 9:00 am CST, 8:00 am MST, 7:00 am PST, 3:00 pm GMT, 8:30 pm IST

    This session will be useful for all customers planning to implement the Service Contracts Online Renewal feature. The session will explain how the feature works, how to set it up and troubleshooting tips.

    resolve.jpg


    Details & Registration : Doc ID 1614212.1.


    Webcast: A Starter's Guide to Oracle Advanced Scheduler Features

    Date: March 5, 2014 at 9:30 am EST, 8:30 am CST, 7:30 am MST, 6:30 am PST, 2:30 pm GMT, 8:00 pm IST

    This one-hour session is recommended for technical and functional users who are relatively new to Field Service - Scheduler module. This will help them understand the various aspects that they need to keep in mind when using the Oracle Advanced Scheduler functionality.

    resolve.jpg


    Details & Registration : Doc ID 1614211.1.


    Remember that you can access a full listing of all future webcasts as well as replays from Doc ID 740966.1.

    Monday Dec 23, 2013

    Service Contracts Online Renewals Explained

    Service Contracts has a number of different options for contract renewal.  The Online Renewal type can be used for automatic renewal of a contract when customer agreement is required.  When this approval type is chosen, the application sends an email notification to the customer requesting them to review the contract renewal details via a URL link to the Customer Acceptance Portal. 


    From the portal customers can review the renewal and have three options to select to continue:

    • accept
    • request assistance
    • decline.
    The setup steps to for Online Renewal are:
    1. Global Defaults setup
    2. Setting up Quote to customer template and profiles
    3. Contract setup
    4. Running the flow.

    The required setups are explained in detail in a new document: Doc ID 1602944.1: Service Contracts Online Renewal Setup Flow.

    Thursday Aug 22, 2013

    Why Doesn't My Sales Order Generate A Contract?

    When a Sales Order is created in Order Management which includes a Service line, when the order is booked and shipped a Service Contract is created (or amended depending on the order).

    In some cases, the service contract is not created.  In this blog post I try to give some pointers to help you debug this integration point.  Note that in R12 there was a change in how this integration point works, here I refer only to R12 functionality.  If you are on an earlier EBS release please see Doc ID 463912.1 for troubleshooting steps.

    Is your order interfaced?

    Make sure that your order has been successfully shipped and the line has been interfaced.  Sometimes the order can be deferred until a future date.  Check the OM workflow to see if that's happened.  You'll see the deferred date in the OM Order Line (OEOL) 'Fulfill' node.  If it's not deferred to a future date but is not closed, then running the Workflow Background Process is required to progress the workflow.

    Is the instance created in IB?

    Make sure that the install base instance has been created.  Search in IB using the sales order number and make sure that the item with the linked service line is created as an instance.
    Remember that the inventory item must be set up with 'Track in Installed Base' and 'Service Allowed' set to yes (ticked) in the item master.

    What's the status of the interfaced record?

    When the sales order is processed, a record is created in the OKS_REPROCESSING table.  Check the status of the this record in Service Contracts > Reprocess Order.
    Query using the sales order number. This should return the sales order with a status of NEW (if the record is available for processing) or ERROR (if the record has been processed but failed to create the service contract).
    If the status is NEW then all you have to do is select it for processing and then submit the Service Contracts Order Processing concurrent program.
    If the status is ERROR then the error message displayed should give you an indication of why the contract creation has failed.

    If all fails and you can't find the order in the Reprocess Order form, the query below will return order numbers with service lines which have not created a contract and are not in OKS_REPROCESSING table.   
    select ord.order_number "Order_Number",
    ord.header_id "Order_Id",
    line.line_number,
    instance_number,
    line.service_reference_type_code,
    line.service_reference_line_id "Reference ID",
    line_id "Service_Line_ID"
    from csi_item_instances ib,
    oe_order_lines_all line,
    oe_order_headers_all ord
    where not ib.last_oe_order_line_id is null
    and ib.last_oe_order_line_id = line.service_reference_line_id
    and ord.header_id = line.header_id
    and line.flow_status_code = 'CLOSED'
    and line.service_reference_type_code = 'ORDER'
    and line.line_id not in
    (select order_line_id from oks_reprocessing);
    You can then use this information to implement a workaround such as creating the service contract manually OR you can log a service request with Oracle Support to get a datafix which will insert the missing order lines into OKS_REPROCESSING.

    The following notes also have useful information about this integration point:
    Integration Troubleshooting: Order Management to Service Contracts (Doc ID 1455545.1)
    R12 How to Process Order Lines from Order Management to Create Service Contracts (Doc ID 785760.1)

    Tuesday Jul 16, 2013

    Effect On EBS Contracts Application of Microsoft Ending Support for Windows XP and Office 2003

    Microsoft is ending support for Windows XP and Office 2003 on April 8, 2014.  The official announcement is published here:

    For further details of what this means for E-Business Suite customers please see the E-Business Suite Technology Blog entry 'Microsoft Ending Support for Windows XP and Office 2003 in April 2014'.


    Actions

    Oracle recommends that E-Business Suite customers upgrade their desktops from Windows XP and Office 2003 to the latest certified equivalents.  As of today, those are Windows 7 and Office 2010.

    E-Business Suite Procurement, Sales and Repository Contracts include integration with MS Word for contract clause authoring and contract download/upload.  The Contracts product integration with MS Word requires the Word document to be saved in Word 2003 xml format.  Microsoft's latest versions (Word 2007, Word 2010 and Word 2013) still support saving the documents in 2003 xml format.

    Please see Doc ID 1476036.1: Supported Formats in Contract Terms Authoring which includes:

    • details of required and recommended patches
    • Microsoft Word Releases certified to be used with Oracle Contracts product
    • Microsoft Word supported formatting.


    Contacts

    If you have questions about the effect of this announcement on EBS generally you can post your comment or query on the E-Business Suite Technology blog entry.
    For questions on the effect on the EBS Contracts suite of products please post your comments or query on the MOS Contracts and Lease Management Community.

    Wednesday Jul 10, 2013

    Service Contracts: New Troubleshooting Assistant for QA Check Issues

    A new Troubleshooting Assistant has been published to help you resolve Service Contracts QA check errors. Troubleshooting assistants help you to find a resolution to an issue by guiding you from the problem, through possible scenarios or symptoms, in to the proposed solution(s). Check out the new assistant in Doc ID 1556899.1.

    For a full listing of all assistants in EBS check the index note Doc ID 1501724.1.

    Monday Dec 03, 2012

    Tips On Using The Service Contracts Import Program

    Prior to release 12.1 there was no supported way to import contracts into the EBS Service Contracts application - there were no public APIs nor contract load programs provided.  From release 12.1 onwards the 'Service Contracts Import Program' is provided to load service contracts into the application. The Service Contracts Import functionality is explained in How to Use the Service Contracts Import Program - Scope and Limitations (Doc ID 1057242.1).  This note includes an attached document which explains the program architecture, shows the Entity Relationship Diagram and details the interface table definitions.

    Contracts Import Program Architecture


    The Import program takes data from the interface tables listed below and populates the contracts schema tables:  

    OKS_USAGE_COUNTERS_INTERFACE
    OKS_SALES_CREDITS_INTERFACE
    OKS_NOTES_INTERFACE
    OKS_LINES_INTERFACE
    OKS_HEADERS_INTERFACE
    OKS_COVERED_LEVELS_INTERFACE

    These interface tables must be loaded via a custom load program.

    The Service Contracts Import concurrent request is then submitted to create contracts from this legacy data. The parameters to run the Import program are:

     Parameter Description
     Mode Validate only, Import
     Batch Number
    Batch_Id (unique id populated into the OKS_HEADERS_INTERFACE table)
     Number of Workers
    Number of workers required (these are spawned as separate sub-requests)
     Commit size
    Represents number of successfully processed contracts commited to database

    The program spawns sub-requests for the import worker(s) and the 'Service Contracts Import Report'.  The data is validated prior to import and into the Contracts tables and will report errors in the Service Contracts Import Report program output file (Import Execution Report).  Troubleshooting tips are provided in R12.1 - Common Service Contract Import Errors (Doc ID 762545.1); this document lists some, but not all, import errors.  The document will be updated over time.  Additional help is given in Debugging Tip for Service Contracts Import Errors (Doc ID 971426.1).

    After you successfully import contracts, you can purge the records from the interface tables by running the Service Contracts Import Purge concurrent program. Note that there is no supported way to mass delete data from the Contracts schema tables once they are populated, so data loaded by the Import program must be fully tested and verified before the program is run to load data into a Production system.

    A Service Contracts Import Test program has been provided which will take an existing contract in the application and load the interface tables using the data from that contract.  This can be used as an example for guidance on how to load the interface tables.  The Test program functionality is explained in How to Use the Service Contracts Test Import Program Provided in Release 12.1 (Doc ID 761209.1).  Note that the Test program has some limitations which do not apply to the full Import program and is not a supported program, it is simply a testing tool.  

    Thursday Nov 15, 2012

    Sales and Procurement Contracts 12.1.3++ Release Information

    New functionality has been released for Sales and Procurement Contracts in a new patch: Contracts 12.1.3++: Patch 13877401: 12.1.3 Rollup for Oracle Contracts Core.

    The new functionality includes:

    • APIs for Import of Contract Templates, Contract Expert rules, Questions and Constants:
      The three APIs are as follows: API for Templates, API for Rules, and API for Questions and Constants. These can be used to both create entities and update existing templates and rules. The APIs will display error and warning messages which can be processed and analyzed by the customer.

    • Ability to Apply Multiple Templates to a Sourcing, Procurement or Sales Document:
      The buyer can select and add multiple templates to a quote,sales agreement document, sourcing or purchasing odcument.  All the clauses and deliverables from the new templates are synchronized with the document. The Contract Expert rules are from the original template. The buyer can also view the list of templates that are added to any sales or procurement document.

    • Ability to Define Multi-Row Variables:
      You can create user defined manual variables that are tables containing one row per line or multiple rows. Contract Preview will print the variable values according to the layout defined for the variable. These variables are not available for Contract Expert Rules and Supplier.

    • Enhancement to Suggested Sections for Clauses by Contract Expert:
      You can associate multiple default sections with a clause. A clause is associated with multiple values of any system variable and for each such value a section name is associated in Contracts Terms Library. When Contract Expert is run in the contract authoring flow, the clause is automatically placed in the associated section name.

    Plus many more new features. Read the following notes for details on all the new and changed functionality:

    Oracle Procurement Contracts Release Notes, Release 12.1.3++ (Doc ID 1467140.1)
    Oracle Sales Contracts Release Notes, Release 12.1.3++ (Doc ID 1467149.1)
    Oracle E-Business Suite Releases 12.1 and 12.2 Release Content Documents (Doc ID 1302189.1)

    Monday Jul 30, 2012

    CRM: Contract Terms Library Clause Authoring Formats

    The Oracle Core Contracts product supports multiple ways of creation of the clause text.  In the Create Clause Page or Update Clause Page you can either edit text in Rich Text Editor (RTE) or use a Microsoft Word document to edit and then import the clause text. In addition, you can download the contract terms as a Microsoft Word document, edit the clause text and upload the text.

    When creating clauses by either of these methods, there are some restrictions on the formatting that can be used in the clause text.  The restrictions vary depending on the functionality that is being used for contract download and upload when contract terms are added to other documents such as purchase orders or sales orders.


    The following note provides a comprehensive listing of supported formatting depending on each scenario: Supported Formats in Contract Terms Authoring (Doc ID 1476036.1)

    Other recent notes covering this area of functionality include:
    Type        Number      Title
    PROBLEM     1406773.1     Internal Error When Attempting To Download Contract In Procurement Contracts
    PROBLEM     1402606.1   Contract Clause Text Displays As ##ARTICLEWML## Instead Of Clause Text
    PROBLEM     1463480.1    Deviations Report Does Not Include Clause Text That Has Been Deleted
    PROBLEM     1450666.1   Amendment Description In Imported And Exported Clauses Errors 

    Monday Apr 02, 2012

    Recommended Patches For R12.1.3 Procurement Contracts, Contract Terms Library or Repository Contracts

    If you are implementing or upgrading to R12.1.3 Procurement Contracts, Contract Terms Library or Repository Contracts, then please review the following note for a list of recommended patches to apply on top of 12.1.3: 1349213.1: Recommended Patches For R12.1.3 Procurement Contracts and Contracts Core.

    Note that currently the methods given in Note 1400757.1: How to Find E-Business Suite Recommended Patches may not give the same patch listing given in Note 1349213.1.

    Monday Feb 27, 2012

    Creating Service Contracts from Order Management

    Consider the following tips for creation Service Contracts from OM:


    Service agreements/extended warranties can be created as a result of selling a Service item on a sales order.  The process for creating the contract is different in 11i and R12.


    In 11i the process uses the ASO queues as follows:
    1. After the sales order is shipped, data is placed in ASO queues
    2. Data is dequeued and OKS_REPROCESSING table is populated
    3. The Service Contracts Order Capture Integration program must be run

    In R12 the ASO queues are no longer used and the Service Contracts Order Capture Integration program is obsoleted.  The R12 process is:
    1. after the sales order is shipped, data is placed directly in the OKS_REPROCESSING table
    2. the Service Contracts Order Processing Program must be run

    Notes:
    (a) in both 11i and R12 the Workflow Background Process concurrent program must also be running, so that deferred workflows are progressed.
    (b) in both 11i and R12 the contract creation will fail if there is an Install Base error and the referenced instance is not created. 

    The following notes can help in the troubleshooting this process:

    • 12 How to Process Order Lines from Order Management to Create Service Contracts (Doc ID 785760.1)   
    • Flow for Troubleshooting Order Management/Service Contracts/Install Base Integration Issues (Doc ID 463912.1)  
    • Completed OM Service Lines Not Flowing To Service Contracts (Doc ID 375240.1)   
    • How to Create a Service Agreement From a Sales Order That Has a Third Party Role in the Contract (Doc ID 459262.1
    • How to create multiple extended warranty or service contracts from one sales order (Doc ID 406200.1)   

    Monday Sep 12, 2011

    CRM - R12 Renewing Service Contracts - Overview

    ADVISOR WEBCAST: CRM - R12 Renewing Service Contracts - Overview
    PRODUCT FAMILY: Service Contracts

    September 20, 2011 at 9 am PT, 10 am MT, 12 noon ET

    This one-hour session is recommended for technical and functional users who have to set up and trouble shoot service contract renewals.

    TOPICS WILL INCLUDE:
    • Understanding the renewals options
    • Setting up/configuring renewals
    • Investigating problems with Queues
    • How Date assembler functions

    A short, live demonstration (only if applicable) and question and answer period will be included. Oracle Advisor Webcasts are dedicated to building your awareness around our products and services. This session does not replace offerings from Oracle Global Support Services.

    Click here to register for this session

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The above webcast is a service of the E-Business Suite Communities in My Oracle Support.

    For more information on other webcasts, please reference the Oracle Advisor Webcast Schedule.

    Click here to visit the E-Business Communities in My Oracle Support

    Note that all links require access to My Oracle Support.


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    Welcome to the EBS Support Blog where Oracle insiders share news and information about EBS products including new releases, tips and tricks, troubleshooting guides, upcoming webcasts and links to EBS Communities.

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