What's New in Fusion Applications Release 7 for Customization
By Richard Bingham-Oracle on Sep 16, 2013
This post provides a summary of the highlights of changes and enhancements in Release 7 that are of interest to those customizing and extending Fusion Applications. For product family specifics please refer to the documentation or the new public Oracle Product Features site.
For ease-of-use I have broadly categorized the main highlights into related sections.
With the continued evolution of the Design-Time and Run-Time architectures for tailoring Fusion Applications on-premises and in the Cloud, the extensibility guide has been divided into two separate documents. In Release 6 it was already two different sections, however now it’s two standalone books.
- Fusion Applications Extensibility Guide for Business Analysts (E16691-11) covers items including customizing pages using Composers, using Flexfields, customizing and extending BPMN Processes, and customizing Reports and Analytics.
- Fusion Applications Extensibility Guide for Developers (E41852-01) covers setting up JDeveloper and customizing and extending SOA, ADF, BPM Templates, ESS and more.
The following features related to the integration of external systems to/from Fusion Applications are new or enhanced in Release7:
- Integration between Fusion CRM and Oracle Social Network. Whilst not explicitly related to customization it is likely to be a popular method to support unique and tailored business interactions and therefore worth highlighting here. In addition this includes use with Oracle Social Networking Integration where objects are enabled for use with the Oracle Social Network Cloud Service.
- Registering a Web Application in the Topology Manager and from this creating custom navigator menu items that use this as the start of the URL (i.e. the domain), then requiring just menu specific values to be added to the end of the URL. This allows centralized store of integrated apps and easy and wide-spread changes, such as the move of the app from test to production.
- A new feature called ‘Delete HCM Stage Data and Files interface’ that supports the File-Base Loader and allows you to search the stage tables by date and status before submitting a deletion request to clear out old data.
- Additional support in the File Based Loader feature for DELETE and UPDATE actions, allowing incremental load and better data management. There is also more support for NULL values, as opposed to having to repeat existing data in the load file, adding more flexibility and ease-of-use.
- A new ‘Oracle Fusion HCM Extract’ feature that provides a user interface for Business Analysts or Human Resource Specialists to extract both job and person profile data from the Fusion Profile Management features for external reporting purposes.
- Additional integration with Oracle Webcenter Content Server within the File Base Loader features. This essentially eliminates the previous SFTP processing, reducing the need for interactions with Fusion Operations Support. This feature is available from the ‘Manage Import Export Files’ menu added to the global menu, and is supported by the new Integration Specialist job roles available for each family out of the box. In addition command-line or programmatic interfaces are also available for this feature. For more information use keyword “FBDI” in the OER search or query for assets of type “File Based Data Import”.
- The ‘External Application Code Generation’ features allow Oracle Fusion HCM Application Administrators the ability to create a Facebook application that you can deploy for your workers to use to sign up for Oracle Fusion HCM Workforce Reputation Management. It also includes a ‘External Application Download’ which allows you to deploy the Facebook sign-up application so that it can be accessed by all workers. Similarly there are built-in game dynamics and mechanics features, allowing you to facilitate motivation and trigger events in order to promote participation of workers in Oracle Fusion HCM Workforce Reputation Management.
- Oracle Fusion Payroll, Global HR, Benefits, and Compensation all have exposed more WebServices for external integration. Details of these will be available on http://fusionappsoer.oracle.com.
Security, Reporting and Analytics, BPM, and Customization Management
The following selection of new features are all of interest to those extending and customizing Fusion Applications.
- Widespread implementation of Auditing functionality. This includes ‘Audit History’ for tracking data changes and ‘Audit Vault’ for securing administrator access. There is also support for ‘Data Encryption’ (using Oracle TDE).
- BI Publisher has added enhanced customization capabilities by simplifying the process of adding custom layouts to reports.
- ‘Customization Set Migration’ is a new feature for moving customizations and extensions from one instance to another, usually test to production. It enables you to create a set of all customizations and extensions that have been made to an Oracle Fusion Applications environment, download that customization set, and then upload it into another environment. The customization set includes customizations across all the Oracle Fusion Applications product families. These customizations can include pages, standard and custom business objects, and security policies.
- There are Business Process Management (BPM) improvements that include some new in-composer features delivered with the new middleware release, plus important options to trigger your new BPM flows with HCM Workforce Lifecycle Management and the CRM Application Composer Object Workflows feature.
- A new easier method for customizing the Home Page tabs using Page Composer.
- There are several Flexfield enhancements, including a DFF Quick Create, some flexfield setup UI enhancements, a flexfield testing feature, and some enhancements to EFF display.
- There is a new UI for the Export/Import of files from the Oracle Universal Content Management server, such as attachments.
- In Page Composer you can now apply the same customizations to dialog boxes that you can also apply to base pages, plus you can hide, show, reorder, and rename all sub-tabs on a page.
- Application Composer previously had a strong dependency on specifying the context of a Web Application, such as Oracle Fusion Sales or Oracle Fusion Marketing. This is now reduced, meaning the objects and customizations can be created once and applied across CRM products.
- he new Fusion Simplified UI pages for standard objects such as Opportunities and Leads can be customized using Application Composer, under a new ‘Simplified Pages’ tab, allowing basic features such as showing/hiding fields, changing labels, and adding in custom fields.
- There is an improved Import and Export Artifact Generation feature that allows administrators to better manage the process of artifact generation required to import and export custom objects and fields. Also Opportunities objects can now be deleted during an import operation.
- This release includes the option to use the Groovy Expression Editor to invoke an internal or external secured Web Service, including services available on the Oracle Public Cloud, and use the returned value in your server side scripts.
For more information on other new features please review the ‘What’s New’ chapters at the start of most of the product documentation, such as here for the Business Analyst Extensibility Guide, and of course the latest Release Notes,