Oracle Fusion Expenses - Mobile app for Oracle EBS R12
By Rveliche-Oracle on Apr 10, 2014
Oracle Fusion Expenses - Mobile App for Oracle EBS R12
Note: The views and opinions expressed in this post are the Author's personal views and opinions. They are not to be treated as commitments from the organization.
A new version of the app is available for download. This has additional features in addition to what is mentioned in this blog post. Please see https://blogs.oracle.com/rajeshvelicheti/entry/oracle_fusion_expenses_mobile_app1 for details.
To adapt to the emerging ways in which mobile users work, Oracle offers another entry method for expense capture while on the go. Fusion Mobile Expenses is a comprehensive solution that supports common features such as photo capture of receipts, voice capture to record expenses, as well as multi-currency and location based on your GPS location. Other innovative features use your contacts and calendar on your smart phone to select attendees for a meal or other expense while capturing the receipt on the spot. No more paper receipts to track; no more sticky notes to remind you when you’ve paid in cash. It’s all in your smart phone so you can easily sync with Oracle Internet Expenses for expense reporting.
No entry is the best entry with Fusion Mobile Expenses.
This blog post provides some details on the functionality available on R12.
Fusion Expenses Mobile is available for download from Apple's App Store. To run the app against an existing R12 instance, there are some patches that have to be applied and a little bit of configuration.
Note 1625446.1 has details on the patches required. The app uses REST Based services, no additional setup is required apart from applying the patches recommended in the note.
After following note 1625446.1, download the app from the App Store. To download the app, open App Store on the device, search for Oracle Fusion Expenses, install the app. Note that the app is currently optimized for iPhone, but is installable on the iPad and iPod touch as well. On iPad when searching for Oracle Fusion Expenses, select iPhone/iPad apps.
After the app is installed, connect to VPN if required by your organization. The initial screen will show the Agreement, select I agree to continue.
Enter the Host URL in the format http(s)://<host>:<port>/OAR.
Enter a valid username and password. The user should have access to at least one iExpenses responsibility. Please see the troubleshooting section for further information.
Taping on Login will start the sync process. The sync process will bring down details like user preferences, expense templates and types, projects tasks and awards, currencies and rates, Approvals etc.
After the sync process is complete Expenses Springboard is displayed.
If the user logged in has approval notifications to respond to, the approval icon will show a badge with the number of items that need action.
The icons on the springboard can be re-arranged. Tap and hold for a while to see the icons jiggle, re-arrange the icons. Tap and hold to stop jiggle.
Next to the Fusion Expenses header is the settings icon. Tap on the settings icon to navigate to the settings view. Settings view will show the host and the user information entered on initial login. Sync frequency indicates the frequency at which the data from the server is fetched on to the device. The options available are Weekly (default), Monthly and Manual. Weekly sync will automatically start when it is one week since the last sync date. Monthly when it is a month after the last sync. Manual Sync requires users to select the sync button on the settings. When the automatic sync starts and the device is not connected to the network, sync fails and appropriate message is shown. This is done each time the app is used until the next sync.
Expense template defaulted on the settings follows the same logic as that on the browser based application. User preferences set on the server will take priority. Template can be changed on settings. Once the default template is changed on the device next sync will not overwrite it. Reimbursement currency follows the same logic as the template, user preference or the functional currency, if the user preference is not present, is used.
Quick entry is the quickest form of manually entering an expense line. On the springboard tap on the quick entry pop-list to select an expense type, enter amount and tap add. An expense is created. View icon will show the count of expenses on the device in a badge. Quick entry pop-list will show the list of all expense types that are in the default template. See settings for information on default template.
Quick entry will default the location based on the current location of the device. No other data is defaulted. If there is required data missing, view expenses will show the violations and the expense will not be available for submission. See view expenses for details.
View / View Expenses:
View icon will list the number of expenses available on the device in a badge. Selecting the view icon will list all the expenses that are on the device. Swipe to the left on an expense to quickly delete the expense. The list on view expenses also show the attachments on the expense, taping on the attachment icon will show the attachments preview screen. See Enter Expenses for details on the attachments preview.
Create option on the view expenses page will help create a report. See Submit Report section for details on report creation and submission.
If the expense has required fields missing, violations are listed under the expense. The expense cannot be submitted.
Submit / Submit Report:
Submit reports shows the list of all expenses that can be submitted. All expenses are selected by default, expenses can be deselected.
After selecting the required expenses, tap on create to create a new report. Purpose, if required by setup, will be a required field. To add attachments to the report, select Report Attachments. To add more lines to the report, select Action Menu and Add More. Action menu also provides an option to save the report instead of submitting it. Expenses in saved reports are not available for selection in subsequent reports. Deleting the saved report will make the expenses available for submission in subsequent reports.
Users are required to agree to expense policies before the report can be submitted. Once the report is submitted, the standard validations are performed on the report and the lines. If there are policy violations that prevent the report from being submitted or the report has required fields missing, like dff segment values or expense fields, the report is saved on the server. A proper message is shown on the device. The saved report has to be updated on the actual instance from a browser.
If the report is saved (by choosing save on the action menu) the spring board will show the saved report count on the submit icon.
Choose camera to quickly capture a receipt. A new expense is created and captured image is added as an attachment.
Oracle Fusion Expenses can create expenses from the calendar entries. Tap on Calendar icon to see the list of calendar entries. Select an entry and an expense is created, location and attendee information is defaulted from the calendar entry.
Enter / Enter Expense:
Enter provides the most exhaustive entry on Fusion Expenses Mobile. Based on the current location of the device, location and the currency are defaulted. Today's date is defaulted in the date field. Type pop-list will list all the expense types under the default template. To know more about the default template, see Settings section.
Tap on attendees to select attendees from the contacts, calendar or even create a new attendee.
Attachments can be added on the expense by selecting the attachments option. Attachment can be captured using the camera or picked from the library. Depending on the setup on the server, attendees entered on the device as stored as Non-Employee attendees. Work is currently in progress to improve the functionality..
If enabled and the expense type supports, project, task and award are shown the entry view. If the setup mandates them, a violation is shown on the view screen after the line is saved. Project, task and/or award combination used on the last expense will default on to the current expense.
If required by the setup, missing justification is shown as a warning on the view screen.
Approval view lists all the reports that require action from the user logged in. The list includes AME and regular reports. No other notifications are shown in this view.
To quickly approve a report, swipe left and select Approve.
If the device is connected to the network, approvals are fetched each time approval icon is chosen. To manually fetch approvals, pull down the approval list. Note: approvals are also fetched as a part of the sync process.
Select a report on the Approval list to see the report details including expenses and violations. All image attachments, both at header and line level, are available on the device. The quality of the attachment might differ; this is because of bandwidth restrictions. Other kind of attachments are not shown on the device. This is due to the bandwidth and display limitations. Work is in progress to improve this functionality.
The action menu on the report provides options to Request More Information, Reject report.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. There are two published notes out there, what is the difference, which one do I follow?
A. Both the notes 1625446.1 or 1586116.1 are currently supported, however, we recommend following note 1625446.1. 1586116.1 will be obsolete soon. The difference is in the services architecture, 1625446.1 is REST based and 1586116.1 is SOAP based.
Q. We have already implemented note 1586116.1 can I continue using the app ?
A. Yes, on 12.1.3 setup made for 1586116.1 can still be used. No new enhancements will be available on the SOAP based services. On 12.2 and above, an additional license is required to deploy and use SOAP services, it is recommended to uptake REST based services by following note 1625446.1.. REST services do not require any additional licenses.
Q. Why can't I see all my projects on the device ?
A. To minimize the bandwidth and space utilization on the device, only the last 5 used Projects, Tasks and Awards are synced to the device. Users can manually enter the values.
Q. Is policy setup honored ?
A. Due to the limitations on the size of the device and to avoid a lot of data storage on the device not all policy violations are captured on the device. The app runs the required fields checks, Justification Required, Project Required etc. Policy violations are captured on the server.
Q. Fusion Expenses app on the App Store shows Voice and Scan options, I cannot see them on my device.
A. On R12 Voice and Scan options are on controlled availability.
Q. Can I use the app to submit Credit Card transactions ?
A. Planned for a future release.
Q. How about Mileage expenses ?
A. Planned for a future release.
Q. How do I know if an update is available, and what features does the update get me ?
A. App updates are notified automatically. The list of new features can be seen from the app description.
Q. Do I need VPN always ?
A. VPN is required if you need to connect to your corporate network. If your organization allows external access, VPN is not required.
Q. Can I use the app over DMZ ?
A. Yes, the app can be accessed over DMZ.
Q. What about Single Sign On ?
A. Authentication and Authorization are taken care of automatically, SSO is supported. If your implementation stores passwords External (OID) and Internal (FND_USER), the passwords are expected to be in sync. If your implementation stores passwords External only, make sure that FND_USER.ENCRYPTED_USER_PASSWORD is set to 'EXTERNAL'.
Federated authentication is not supported. If your implementation uses an Active Directory along with OID and FND_USER, it is expected that the passwords are stored in OID as well. The above condition applies here again. Storing passwords only in Active Directory is not supported.
Q. What if I lose my device, what happens to my saved expenses ?
A. Apple provides remote erase on the device. There is nothing specific that Expenses does here.
Q. Not all patches mentioned in 1625446.1 are downloadable.
A. Some of the patches are on controlled availability, please approach your support representative to get a password to download the patches. Work is currently in progress to publish all the patches.
Q. Enough about iPhone, when are the Android and other versions coming ?
A. Work is in progress to roll out an Android version of the app.
Q. Ok, I have done all the required setup, installed patches, tried connecting, the app does not let me login or submit a report.
A. Please see the troubleshooting section.
1. Cannot Login, Login failed, connecting to server failed.
Check if you need VPN to access your corporate network. If you are connected to VPN or you do not need to connect to VPN but still face the issue, check if the function "Expenses Mobile" is available to the user. See the troubleshooting section on note 1625446.1 for more details.
If you are using https, check if your ssl certificate on the server is valid. Login to the instance from a browser on your device to check if the ssl certificate on the server is valid.
If Single Sign On is enabled on the instance, the following have to be considered
- Are the users stored in OID and FND_USER ? If yes, then use the credentials (both username and password) in your FND_USER to login to the app.
- Are the users stored only in FND_USER ? Use your FND_USER credentials.
- Are the users stored only in OID ? Use your Single Sign On credentials.
- If a third party directory service is being used, it has to be configured with OID and External Authentication plugin. If passwords are stored in FND_USER or OID they will be used ahead of the password in the third party directory service.
2. I tried the above, still cannot login (applicable if Note : 1625446.1 is followed).
Download Expenses Mobile diagnostics archive from https://blogs.oracle.com/rajeshvelicheti/resource/mobile/ExpenseMobileServiceTest.zip
Extract the archive to some location.
From the command prompt navigate to the location where the diagnostics archive is extracted
Run the command
Make sure the current folder is accessible under java classpath.
When prompted for enter Host URL in the format http(s)://<fully qualified host>:<port if any>/OAR
For example http://myhost.us.mycompany.com:8080/OAR
If there is no port http://myhost.us.mycompany.com/OAR
Enter the User Name and Password
The diagnostics test will show the results after connecting to the server.
3. I can login but cannot submit report, it is always saved.
A report is saved on the server if there are some required fields missing or policy violations. If you think the report is all fine, please generate an FND log using the instructions in Generating FND Log section in note 1625446.1.
3. For any other issues please contact Oracle Support.