New Descriptive Flexfield Context Synchronization in Release 11i

Try as hard as we may for perfection, the net result of our labors is an amazing variety of imperfectness. We are surprised at our own versatility in being able to fail in so many different ways.

~ Samuel McChord Crothers

Whoops.  A small mixup in communication resulted in our shipping a patch with new descriptive flexfield behavior around context synchronization without the accompanying documentation.  This isn't consistent with our standard practices, of course:  we usually strive to release the documentation for these types of things at the same time.  This serves as a reminder that software development is fundamentally a human discipline and not a science.

Descriptive Flexfields: Diagram showing key flexfield and descriptive flexfield concepts

What Changed?

ATG Family Pack H Rollup 4 (11i.ATG_FP.RUP4, patch 4376589) introduced a new flag that controls context synchronization for descriptive flexfields.  Prior to RUP 4, this feature was implicitly controlled through the context "Displayed" flag in the DFF Segments form. 

Starting with ATG Rollup 4, a "Synchronized with reference field" flag was added to the DFF Segments form. This flag controls the synchronized behavior of DFF context with the reference field value.

This feature is explicitly available in Release 12, but this is new for Release 11i.

What is Descriptive Flexfield Context Synchronization?



Descriptive Flexfield (DFF) Context Synchronization allows the runtime descriptive flexfield context to be determined from a current reference field value for the entity instance (current record) instead of a previous value of the reference field (e.g., the value during the record's creation. The older reference field value might be different from the current value of the reference field). The reference field could be a :BLOCK.FIELD (Oracle Forms only) or a profile option ($PROFILES$ reference).



During runtime, the flexfields engine reads the value of the reference field and tries to use the same value for the DFF context value. This context value has to be available in the DFF metadata if synchronization has been enabled.

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