Wednesday Oct 15, 2014

Improving worklist notification response performance by deferring the processing

Overview

When the user responds to a notification from self-service worklist, the control will be returned back to the responder only after processing the subsequent function activities and other synchronous activities until the next blocking activity. If there is any costly activity defined after the notification activity user can experience performance problems. There is a feature available from E-Business Suite Release 12.2 onwards to defer the response processing to a later time and the control will be returned back immediately so that the response time will be faster.

When a notification is responded in a deferred mode, a message with event name 'oracle.apps.wf.notification.wl.response.message' and other required properties will be enqueued in to WF_NOTIFICATION_IN queue for later processing, and the notification will be closed immediately. The 'Workflow Inbound Notification Agent Listener' dequeues the message from WF_NOTIFICATION_IN queue and executes its subscription to complete the notification activity and the subsequent activities.

Notification Response mode

The Workflow Administrator actually determines the response processing mode for their application whether to process all the workflows synchronously or to defer all the workflows or only some specific workflow types. There is a section available in the Workflow Administration page to select the required processing mode.


There are 3 options available

  • NONE - None of the workflows response processing will be deferred. This is the default behavior.
  • ALL - All the workflows will be deferred for processing
  • SPECIFIC - Only the specified workflows will be deferred. There are buttons available to Add or Delete or Search for the required item types

Tracing the responded notification

The responded notification processing can be traced in the below sequence.

  • Check the STATUS column in WF_NOTIFICATIONS table                                                                                                The notification status will be changed to CLOSED once the control returns back to the worklist and a message will be enqueued to WF_NOTIFICATION_IN queue with READY state                      
    select notification_id, status from wf_notifications where notification_id = <nid>;
  • Check the message state in WF_NOTIFICATION_IN queue                                                                                               The 'Workflow Inbound Notification Agent Listener' component processes the messages in WF_NOTIFICATION_IN queue and the message state will be changed to PROCESSED                                       select win.user_data.GET_STRING_PROPERTY('NOTIFICATION_ID') NID, msg_state, enq_time, deq_time from applsys.aq$wf_notification_in win where win.user_data.GET_STRING_PROPERTY('NOTIFICATION_ID') = <nid>;
  • Check the notification activity status in WF_ITEM_ACTIVITY_STATUSES table                                                             The notification activity status will be COMPLETE once the message is processed by the 'Workflow Inbound Notification Agent Listener' component                                                                                                                         SELECT notification_id, activity_status FROM wf_item_activity_statuses where notification_id = <nid>;

Handling Errors

When there is any error occurs during the deferred response processing, WFERROR/NTF_DEFER_RESP_PROCESS_ERROR workflow process will be launched and an error notification will be sent to the Workflow Administrator role. The ERROR notification contains the information about the Errored notification details, Error message and Error stack.


The Error notification contains two response attributes 'Retry' and 'Resolved'.

Retry

When the problem that is causing the error is fixed and no longer exists, submit the 'Retry' response so that the actual notification will be enqueued to WF_NOTIFICATION_IN queue and will be processed again.

Resolved

When the problem that is causing the error is resolved now and the notification is COMPLETE, then submit the 'Resolved' response so that the error notification will also be closed.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The 'Workflow Inbound Notification Agent Listener' component should be up and running for the above feature to work

Thursday Oct 09, 2014

Global Worklist Header - New Feature on 12.2.3

About

Global worklist header is a new feature available from Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.2.3 in Skyros look and feel.

  • Worklist header icon is the bell icon which is displayed by default in all HTML based pages in the global header, the worklist header icon is an alternative to including a worklist region in the Oracle E-Business Suite home page. Users can select the icon to view a summarized list of recent notifications, and then click to view and respond to each notification in the notification details page.
  • With this feature, users can view the recent notifications from any HTML page by default instead of navigating back to homepage and checking the homepage worklist for any recent notifications.
  • The open notification count is displayed next to worklist header icon in the global header and the count gets updated on page reload or refresh.
  • On click of the worklist header icon, the worklist menu opens up, which displays the recent 10 notifications. Each notification section shows from user, notification subject link,  sent date and due date of the notification.
  • Users can navigate to notification details page on click of the notification subject link and can review and respond to the notification. The subject text is displayed up to 45 characters and on hover of the subject link, the full subject text is shown.
  • The worklist menu also displays the ‘Go to Full Worklist’ link at the bottom and on click of link, user is taken to the advanced worklist page.
  • The worklist menu can be closed by clicking anywhere outside the menu.
  • If the open notification count for the user is zero, then on click of the worklist header icon, the worklist menu still opens up and displays the message ‘No open notifications found for the user’ along with the ‘Go to Full Worklist’ link at the bottom.

Configuration

Though worklist header icon is rendered by default, the icon rendering in the global header can be controlled at user, responsibility, application, site levels using profile ‘WF_ENABLE_WORKLIST_HEADER’. By setting the profile value, the worklist header icon can be rendered on/off at various levels.

Availability 

  • The worklist header feature is available across all OAF and JTT pages by default from Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.2.3
  • It is i18n enabled and also supports accessibility features. The opening and closing of the worklist menu and the navigation to each notification component, full worklist link, navigation to notification details page, advanced worklist page from the worklist menu links can be fully controlled by keyboard. The navigation with the keyboard is the same as in any HTML page. In addition, user can navigate through the notifications using key up and key down as well.
  • The global worklist header feature is available in all supported browsers of Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.2.3

Screenshot

Additional Resources

Release 12.2.3 is currently available on My Oracle Support as Patch 17020683. This patch needs to be applied on top of Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.2.2. Instructions for downloading and applying the patch are in the Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.2.3 Readme, Note 1586214.1

Wednesday Aug 06, 2014

Now Available: Oracle Mobile Approvals for iOS

About

Oracle Mobile Approvals for Oracle E-Business Suite lets you respond on-the-go to your pending approval requests. From your phone, anywhere and anytime, take quick action on approval requests for expenses, requisitions, purchase orders, recruitment vacancies and offers, and more.

- Quickly filter approval requests by sender or subject
- Review at a glance header and line item details, action history, and comments
- Approve or reject with or without comments, or request more information

Oracle Mobile Approvals for Oracle E-Business Suite is compatible with Oracle E-Business Suite 12.1.3 and 12.2.3 and above. To use this app, you must be a user of Oracle E-Business Suite, with mobile services configured on the server side by your administrator.

Availability

Client

Oracle Mobile Approvals for Oracle E-Business Suite 1.0.0 is available on Apple's iTunes Store  for download.

This app works against Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3 and above and 12.2.2 and above.

Server

Oracle Mobile Approvals requires set up on Oracle E-Business Suite instance to support connections from the mobile app. Following patches are required to be applied.

Screens


Additional Resources


Friday Nov 16, 2012

New Worklist features on 12.1.3

Following new Worklist features are available on E-Business Suite 12.1.3 via Patch 13646173.

Ability to view comments on top of a notification

If an action is performed on a notification such as Reassign, Request for Information or Provide Information, the recipient of the notification will see who performed the last action and the associated comment on top of the notification.

Reassigning a request for information notification

If an approver requests more information on a notification from it's submitter, the submitter now has two options

  1. Answer Request for More Information
  2. Transfer Request for More Information

If the submitter thinks the requested information can be provided by another user, he/she can transfer the request to the other user. Please note that only Transfer is supported for Request for More Information. Once transferred, the submitter cannot access the notification and provide the requested information.

Use actual sent date when reassigning a notification

The Sent field in notification header always showed the date on which the notification was first created. If the notification was later reassigned, the Sent date was not updated to show the last action date. This caused problems in following scenario

  1. Approval notification was sent to JACK on 01-JAN-2012
  2. JACK waited for 10 days before reassigning to JILL on 10-JAN-2012
  3. JILL does not see the notification as sent on 10-JAN-2012, instead sees it as sent on 01-JAN-2012
  4. Although the notification was originally created on 01-JAN-2012, it was sent to JILL only on 10-JAN-2012

The enhancement now shows the correct sent date in Worklist and Notification Details page.

Figure 1 - Depicts all the above 3 features

Related Action History for response required notification

So far it was possible to embed Action History of an response-required notification into another FYI notification using #RELATED_HISTORY attribute (Please refer to Workflow Developer Guide for details about this attribute). The enhancement now enables developers to embed Action History of one response-required notification into another response-required notification.

To embed Action History of one response-required notification into another, create message attribute #RELATED_HISTORY. To this attribute set a value during run-time in the following format.

{TITLE}[ITEM_TYPE:ITEM_KEY]PROCESS_NAME:ACTIVITY_LABEL_NAME

The TITLE, ITEM_TYPE and ITEM_KEY are optional values.

  1. TITLE is used as Related Action History header title. If TITLE is not present, then a default title "Related Action History" is shown.
  2. If ITEM_TYPE is present and ITEM_KEY is not, For Example: {TITLE}[ITEM_TYPE]PROCESS_NAME:ACTIVITY_LABEL_NAME , the Related Action History is populated from parent item type of the current item.
  3. If both ITEM_TYPE and ITEM_KEY is present, For Example: {TITLE}[ITEM_TYPE:ITEM_KEY]PROCESS_NAME:ACTIVITY_LABEL_NAME , the Related Action History is populated from that specific instance activity.

Figure 2 - Depicts Related Action History feature

Wednesday Aug 04, 2010

Configurable User LOV in Worklist UI

User LOV is a UI component that exposes Workflow Directory Services to end-users in Worklfow pages to select a user or a role while performing actions on a notification such as Reassign, Request Information or setting up rules such as Vacation Rules or Worklist Access. By default the User LOV has always provided complete access to all the users and roles in the Directory Services to the end-users regardless of where they belong.

userlov.png

Oracle Workflow has now released a new feature that uses AOL's Data Security features to provide an option for Customers to configure the User LOV to stripe the data as per current user context. This allows certain users to see only certain group of users in the User LOV while accessing workflow notification pages. More information about how to use this feature is available in below My Oracle Support document.

Configuring the Oracle Workflow User List of Values, Release 12.0.6 and Release 12.1.1

About

This blog is dedicated to bring latest information on Oracle Workflow new features, best practices, troubleshooting techniques and important fixes directly from it's Development Team.

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