Tailoring Fusion Applications in the Cloud Explained

Introduction

This brief article is intended to clarify what you can and cannot do to Fusion Applications (Release 5) that are deployed as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) via the Oracle Cloud. We’ve seen lots of questions on this subject and this article is intended to provide some clarity.  This does not cover options for private or hybrid Cloud deployments, such as through Oracle Managed Cloud / Oracle On-Demand. These dedicated environments may permit deeper system access, such as connections via JDeveloper, and therefore it is possible to perform more invasive customization work. For SaaS deployments personalization and customization is performed using the Composer family of tools, accessible from within Fusion Applications itself.

Oracle’s cloud services are evolving at a rapid pace, and as such where possible we have marked the applicable release. We will create new posts similar to this with any significant changes in each new release.

In addition, customers and partners are working on solutions outside the standard services and products, and these may include addition options for tailoring and extending the core functionality. An example of which is a recently deployed custom J2EE application in the Oracle Cloud Java Service that is integrated (via webservices) to an Oracle Cloud Fusion HCM instance.

Common Requirements Checklist

The following is a short list of activities that are commonly part of tailoring an Enterprise Application and provides confirmation if this is possible for an Oracle Cloud / SaaS deployment, and in which release.

Category Task Available
Flexfields Manage Descriptive Flexfields (DFF) and Manage Extensible Flexfields via FSM tasks Y

Import flexfield seed data Y

Include DFF in OTBI reports (a deployment option), but not EFF yet Y

Migrate flexfields from T2P via FSM export/import Y



Business Processes Edit or add SOA Composite Applications N

Edit existing Approval Rules Y

Add new approval processes to existing BPEL processes N

Use all standard AMX routing options N



BI & Reporting Add-to or edit the seeded BI Publisher (PDF) reports Y

Add-to or edit the BI Analytics reports Y

Edit the existing OTBI charts embedded in pages N

Add new all reports content to the custom folder of the BI Catalog Y



ESS Add a report to an new ESS Job Definition Y

Manually schedule a new ESS Job Y

Edit the VO-based input parameters used in an ESS Job N

Edit the application logic to use a new ESS job definition N



User Interface Change the regions of the UI Shell (although some options exist in the CRM Application Composer) N

Make a page personalizable if it is not by default, or change what can be personalized N

Change the Fusion Applications Skin – the look-and-feel including logos and colors N (coming soon)

Change the standard Fusion Applications Menu items N

Edit mobile-specific pages N

Translate text added via customization N

Change the seeded ADF task flows N

Add an entirely new page N

Change existing pages and workareas, including labels, layouts, and hide/show fields Y

Add/edit existing ADF Business Object field use on a page Y

Add Expression Language code to page components to extend validation logic Y

Change and extend the User Assistance / Help content (although not the embedded page content) Y

Summary and References

The table above is intended to answer some of the more common questions around what you can and cannot do in a SaaS-Cloud deployment of Fusion Applications. Of course there are many more options and features available than are listed here, and items that are not currently possible may be possible in the future. If you have business cases for any of these please let us know.

A more comprehensive list of what you can do with each of the Fusion Applications tools (Composers and JDeveloper) is provided in Tables 1-2 to 1-8 in Chapter 1 of the Fusion Applications Extensibility Guide.

There are some useful tips and recommendations in the MyOracleSupport notes entitled ‘Guidance for Managing Customizations in Oracle Cloud Application Services’, such as 1510580.1, 1510578.1, 1510577.1, and 1510288.1.

Comments:

Hi Richard,

I'm afraid that you've made some mistakes in your listing above.
SaaS installations allow more flexibility for reporting. All of the following are available:

- Add-to or edit the seeded BI Publisher (PDF) reports
- Add new content to the BI Catalog
- Add a new custom BI Report for execution via ESS

Posted by guest on May 20, 2013 at 08:15 AM PDT #

Hi. Thanks for this, you're right and I made the Y/N edits above. Regarding ESS, I removed reference to BI as well as the point was really centered around adding new ESS program code. Thanks again, Richard.

Posted by Richard Bingham on May 22, 2013 at 02:03 AM PDT #

Hi Richard

When working with BI pulisher reports on SaaS Oracle cloud, can we create default packages (ie PL/SQL packages in db) for handling report triggers in case of complex reporting requirements ?

Also, can we create temporary tables to store data so that it makes it easier to perform calcualtions for complex reporting?

Regards
Gaurav

Posted by guest on July 25, 2013 at 11:16 PM PDT #

Gaurav, you generally don't have access to the database to create new schema objects or PL/SQL packages when you're using the Cloud solution.

Posted by Oliver Steinmeier on July 26, 2013 at 03:48 PM PDT #

We have a requirement where we are getting a source file from a 3rd party containing transactions which need to be uploaded as Journal in GL. However with no option to create own staging tables, I am not able to transform data and create file as required by File Based Loader template. Please let me know how i can create my own sql loader file and load gl interface directly or does Fusion SAAS has some other capabilities to manage these requirements.

Posted by somani on September 18, 2013 at 11:00 AM PDT #

Hi Somani, Thanks for your comment and question. Firstly I would recommend that this could be best suited to a Financials functional forum as they'd be able to explain the options and best practices better than I. That said, after a little reading I first noted that GL journal import has support for the ADFdi spreadsheet plugin that might give you tools to transform/convert the raw data before loading into the GL interface table. I also noted that there is the journalImportService webservice as well, as another method/format of moving data into the GL interface. Both are available in SaaS.
I hope this helps a little, and if I find anything else I'll let you know.

Posted by Richard Bingham on October 07, 2013 at 12:32 PM PDT #

Hi - I'm working on Oracle SaaS based Fusion Release 5 & 7 environment, currently we have requirement for developing few OTBI reports - Real time.

During our analysis and investigation stage - we find that there are couple of additional fields (like DFF) are not available in standard Fusion Business Areas of Procurement and Financials (AP, AR).

What we would like to know is whether over SaaS is it allowed / possible to create or modify business area from where the OTBI data is fetched?

If yes - we are allowed to create or modify business areas - how do we proceed any pointers.

Thanks,
Suren

Posted by Suren on October 14, 2013 at 11:45 PM PDT #

Hi Suren.
Firstly I thought you were considering adding custom fields where DFF's don't exist - which is either Application Composer (selected products) or ADFbc customization (on-premise).
On re-reading I think you simply want to extend the existing OTBI reports to include some existing fields (such as DFF's) not currently shown. I guess the answer lies in which seeded reports you wish to extend. Items in the BI Catalog can be extended by adding fields, sure, and we do support exposing enabled DFF's in BI reports, often via a special extract job.
This is quite product and report specific, so if the BI Composer screens are not showing those fields during customization right now, and there is no obvious additional process for their extraction (e.g. Application Composer has a process under 'Custom Subject Areas'), you'll need to get each related Product Dev teams to verify how/if they can get added into their OTBI usage.
Hope this helps a little.
Regards
Richard

Posted by Richard Bingham on October 15, 2013 at 11:31 AM PDT #

Hi,

I am working on Oracle SAAS environment I have a question, can i get access to oracle standard webservices which i can use to create custom ADF application and can deploy it to Oracle java cloud?

Thanks in advance

Posted by guest on May 15, 2014 at 03:17 AM PDT #

Hi,
Yes, you SaaS Fusion Application has externally published webservices you can call from your own ADF application deployed to the Oracle Java Cloud.
This post from Oliver explains this:
https://blogs.oracle.com/fadevrel/entry/paas_to_extend_saas

Also check out the posts tagged 'integration' and 'paas' which explain ways to do this:
https://blogs.oracle.com/fadevrel/tags/integration
https://blogs.oracle.com/fadevrel/tags/paas

Hope this helps
Richard.

Posted by Richard Bingham on May 15, 2014 at 05:53 AM PDT #

Hi thanks for the prompt reply, so what you mean is that i can use my current SAAS environment webservices exposed....on which i can build a adf application. if i understand this right, then how can i achive this.

Posted by guest on May 15, 2014 at 06:08 AM PDT #

Hi.
You are right. In terms of "how" then please review the blog posts to understand what web services are available, and the different ways you can call them from you own applications (including from an ADF app deployed on Java Cloud).
Kind regards
Richard

Posted by Richard Bingham on May 16, 2014 at 01:12 AM PDT #

Hi Richard. Is there much change between version 5 & 7? Is this listing available for Version 7/8? Thanks.

Grant.

Posted by guest on May 19, 2014 at 08:22 AM PDT #

Hi Grant.
Only a few changes actually.
In R8 you can now do more text customizations (including basic translations) using the User Interface Text tool, described here.
https://blogs.oracle.com/fadevrel/entry/what_s_new_in_release

Coming in Release 9 is the ability to customize the skin using an online editor tool.

Since Release 7 you can customize the navigator and other menus more than before. See our video library for examples (youtube.com/fadevrel).
Hope this helps
Richard

Posted by Richard Bingham on May 23, 2014 at 02:31 AM PDT #

Hi Richard,
The FA Developer Relations channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/FADeveloperRelations) provides a lot of examples and are indeed helpful. But is there any way to know which of these are allowed on SaaS implementation?

Thanks,
Sujoy

Posted by Sujoy on July 24, 2014 at 02:29 AM PDT #

Hi Sujoy,
Thanks for the feedback on the YouTube channel, glad it's helpful. The only content which is not applicable to SaaS are those featuring JDeveloper - which is just the ADF playlist and a couple of videos from the SOA-ESS playlist. All the rest are suitable.
I hope this clarifies.
Kind regards
Richard.

Posted by Richard Bingham on July 24, 2014 at 02:57 AM PDT #

So anything which involves Jdeveloper/design-time customizations is not allowed on a SaaS implementation.
Thanks for the clarification Richard!

Posted by Sujoy on July 24, 2014 at 04:35 AM PDT #

Sujoy,

correct, you cannot deploy design-time customizations created with JDeveloper to SaaS implementations.

(you can, however, extend Fusion Applications with JDeveloper using a PaaS offering like Java Cloud Service and deploy new UIs created with JDeveloper there)

Posted by Oliver Steinmeier on July 28, 2014 at 04:43 PM PDT #

What about AMX in rel 9? I understand AMX is now extensible in R9.

Posted by Jeremy on February 12, 2015 at 03:33 PM PST #

Dear Richard -

Please could you revisit the page and update the relevant items with respect to Release 9.

Also, could you confirm if the Application Composer is available for Financials, Procurement & HCM Product Lines. I understand that it is currently available only for Sales. Are there any plans to extend it to other product lines?

Thanks in Advance,
Nitin.

Posted by Nitin on February 13, 2015 at 02:34 AM PST #

Hi
As mentioned at the start of this article, it was originally written for Release 5 and things have obviously evolved. I will create a new post for Release 9 and share in the coming weeks.

Jeremy, AMX by its nature is flexible in the options for setting up your approval rules, and with uptake of later releases more options become available. With Release 8 the interfaces for this evolved for many products, providing business administrators some simpler methods for creating the configurations. Was there something specific in AMX that you were looking to leverage?

Nitin, You are right - Application Composer is only available in Oracle Sales Cloud. I cannot comment about future uptake in other areas, sorry.

Kind regards
Richard

Posted by Richard Bingham on February 13, 2015 at 04:16 AM PST #

Dear Richard -
Thanks for your response back.

I shall wait for your new post on Release 9 Extensions and Customizations.

Best Regards, Nitin

Posted by Nitin on February 13, 2015 at 04:21 AM PST #

My company is looking at Cloud Procurement. We have heavily customized workflows in R12. The procurement approvals are driven by purchasing categories along with the $$ amount using AME. Would like to know if we can reproduce AME rules in AMX.

No clear documentation or I can't find it.

Posted by Jeremy on February 13, 2015 at 08:24 AM PST #

Hi Jeremy

Whilst I am not specialized in Fusion Procurement, Yes, on the whole AMX in Fusion Applications has equivalent features to AME in R12, and obviously configuring approvers based on purchasing document attributes is core to this. Take a look at the SOA channel from our YouTube video for examples, and as above bear in mind R9 has evolved.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1ZiAfFIniZcZ2dfUa6sY22cQarTOYiv8

There are also some great content (articles and whitepapers) on setting up PO approvals for Fusion Procurement in the product documentation and in MyOracleSupport, such as the following:
FAQ for Document Approval Setups in Fusion Procurement Products (Doc ID 1320368.1)
How To Setup Approval Management (AMX) Rules (Doc ID 1320392.1)
Setting Up Document Approvals In Oracle Fusion Procurement (Doc ID 1527190.1)

Kind regards,
Richard

Posted by Richard Bingham on February 14, 2015 at 06:42 AM PST #

Thanks Richard. Great info.

Posted by Jeremy on February 14, 2015 at 07:35 PM PST #

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