Friday Nov 07, 2014

Service Contracts APIs are Finally Here!

For some time now customers have been lobbying hard for Public APIs for Oracle Service Contracts.  Now what you've all been waiting for: public APIs for service contracts data creation, update and deletion are finally here!

Many customers implement service contracts while retaining legacy (or building custom) front-end systems for entry of source transactions.  These legacy / custom transaction systems typically handle quoting and order entry and when a quote is approved or a deal is closed, there is a need for back-end programmatic mechanisms to create service contracts for the purposes of future administration, billing and to provide entitlements.   In Release 12.2.4 public and supported APIs for service contracts data manipulation have been provided.

For more details about the APIs see R12.2.4: Service Contracts API Bulletin - Technical Documentation on Available Public APIs (Doc ID 1941609.1)

The following APIs are provided:

API Name
Usage

OKS_IMPORT_HEADER_PUB.Create_Contract_Header

Creating a contract header of Service Agreements, Subscription Agreements, Warranty and Extended Warranty.

OKS_IMPORT_HEADER_PUB.Update_Contract_Header

Updating contract header information.

OKS_IMPORT_HEADER_PUB.Create_Template_from_contract

Creating a template contract from any contract.

OKS_IMPORT_HEADER_PUB.Create_Contract_from_Template

Creating a contract from a template.

OKS_IMPORT_LINE_PUB.Create_Contract_Line

Ccreating contract lines of type Service, Usage, Extended Warranty and Subscription.

OKS_IMPORT_LINE_PUB.Update_Contract_Line

Updating contract lines of type Service, Usage, Extended Warranty and Subscription.

OKS_IMPORT_LINE_PUB.generate_bill_schedules

Generating the billing schedules.

OKS_STATUS_CHANGE_PUB.Change_Status

Change the contract status from Entered to Cancelled, Cancelled to Entered and also to different statuses within the same status type.

OKS_TERMINATE_CONTRACT_PUB.Terminate_Contract

Terminate a contract/line/subline with various options like suppress credit, full credit or with some override amount.

OKS_DELETE_CONTRACT_PUB.Delete_Contract

Delete contract/line/subline.

OKS_RENEW_CONTRACTAPI_PUB.Renew_Contract

Renew a contract.

OKS_CASCADE_ATTRIBUTES_PUB.Oks_Cascade_Attributes

Cascade attributes like dates and price list from headers to lines and from lines to sublines.

OKS_ACTIVATE_CONTRACT_PUB.Activate_Contract

Perform QA check and submit the contract for approval for contracts which are in ‘Entered Status’.  Contracts in QA hold status are moved to Active once the contract passes the QA check.

OKS_IMPORT_SUBLINE_PUB.create_subline

Creating a subline/covered level under a service/usage or extended warranty line.

OKS_IMPORT_SUBLINE_PUB.update_subline

Updating contract subline.




Monday Aug 18, 2014

EBS Extensions for Endeca 12.2 V5 Now Available

E-Business Suite Development has announced the availability of Oracle E-Business Suite Extensions for Oracle Endeca 12.2 V5 - see the announcement here

This release adds the following new modules that can be used to extend Oracle E-Business Suite 12.2:

  • Oracle Service Contracts Extensions for Oracle Endeca
  • Oracle TeleService Extensions for Oracle Endeca
  • Oracle Human Resources Extensions for Oracle Endeca
  • Oracle Quality Extensions for Oracle Endeca.

These new modules are in addition to those already previously available.  Availability of these new and updated V5 modules for 12.1 is planned.


Where can I find more information?

  • Subscribe to the YouTube channel for Oracle E-Business Suite to get the latest on Oracle E-Business Suite Extensions for Oracle Endeca.
  • Bookmark the Information Center: Oracle E-Business Suite Extensions for Oracle Endeca (Doc ID 1486924.2)
  • Read about how to install Oracle E-Business Suite Extensions for Oracle Endeca, Release 12.2 V5 (Doc ID 1614014.1).



Thursday Jun 26, 2014

New Service Contracts Functionality - Contracts Merge

A common contracts problem is that assets are spread across different contracts and customers want to consolidate different contracts into one.  Up until recently the only way to do this (other than at renewal time) was to author new contracts from scratch or amend existing ones manually.  With Release 12.1.3+ (via Patch 17861639:R12.OKS), users can now move assets from multiple source contracts to a single target contract using the new Contract Merge functionality.  This helps in improving the maintainability of customer contracts and avoids duplication of assets across the contract base.

A new profile option “OKS: Change Party in Contract Merge” allows users to move assets across the customer base. The re-pricing of the assets moved to target contract is controlled using “OKS: Pricing Method for Contract Merge” profile option. For more details on the implementation steps and functionality, please refer toOracle Service Contracts – How To Merge Assets Across Contracts (Doc ID 1684658.1).  This explains how the new feature works, how to use it and includes a UPK demo.



Questions on the new functionality?  Post your comments in the discussion thread in the Contracts and Lease Management Community.

Tuesday May 13, 2014

Negative Usage Billing in Service Contracts

In early R12 releases, the ability to generate negative usage invoices was removed (except for settlement) and the profile option OKS: Enable Negative Invoicing was disabled; zero value billing data was generated instead of a negative invoice. 

The ability to bill negative quantities for usage is now restored in R12.1.3+ with Patch 18233437:R12.OKS.B.  Please see Doc ID 1665321.1 for details.

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 

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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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