Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Second step for Ideal Implementation

Best Practices:
1. keep the source of all Customized objects(Tables,Packages,Procedures ..) in the PLS folder in the custom top.
It is easy to say but making people to follow it is very difficult(Even i don't :-) ).One way to make people to follow is by dropping objects whose lastest source is not present in the UNIX box.
we need to compare the last update date in the UNIX box and last_modified date in the all_objects...i witnessed this idea really working..This also removes the Cost factor of maintaining a VSS(VSS might have its own Advantages) also...

2.All Customized objects should be labeled.Example XXLGEOM2309.and the name of the object should be decided prior to the development
Lets say for example u have a Custom process involving a concurrent program,a form and a workflow.
For each object if u have one lablel right at the design phase all the documets can have a process design showing different components getting involved at differnt stages in the process.

3.A Repository of all the process and all the objects associated with it should be maintained.Thats what MD70 should contain...But most of the times it wont..they are always some missing objects.
we will realize the importance of it when the people starts leaving the company during implemenataion..

Functional:

1.Its always better to identify one process owner From the customer side for each process or Area.
Even though it is not with in our control the management should insist for it from the starting because it clears a lot of hurdles during implementation

2.All Functional people should have a fair idea of all the technologies used . they need not be experts but aleast they should understand the usages of it,its advantages&limitations .
(Guys with a little idea straightaway dont start urself giving techincal solutions..use the knowlege to understand what's happening..in future after enought experience u may....)
This will help u a lot when u r designing solutions...

Technical:
Let us discuss the reports..

1.The most common custom objects we see in any normal implentation(10-20% Customization) is Reports.
I personally feel the layout designing of the report should be the in the last stage of the implementation.Because the 90% of the Customer concern will be the data that he will get to analyze and 10% will be the Format it is presented.
so it is better to show the user the raw data every time using the tools like toad.Once user is happy with the data just have the sql and keep it aside.This gives us the flexibility of adding a column or removing it during the process development
Because adding a column or removing a column in tools like report builder takes a considerable amount of time.
It doesn't remove total rework but alteast reduces it considerably..

First let me list different types of reports from customer perspective..

1.Reports Presented to Authorities and top management--Look & Feel and the layout are important
2.Reports used for analyzation purpose and day-to-day operatons--like daily Shipping details report and Shipping lead time)
3.Reports Used for Record purpose--Keeping the data aside
4.MIS Reporting--Summary reports ,Report used to tally data from differnt applications in apps--Perfomance is pretty important as they run on huge data .

Let me list different reporting tools and some of their advantages


Report Builder:
Advantages:
Good for Complex layouts involving images and for Pre -Printed Document
Developer will have more control on the layout
Many Technical People knows very much how to use it
Disadvantages:
Report building time is Relatively High
Handling small layout changes is even more difficult
Data & Layout are combined into one unit--If I want to see same data in 3 different layouts we have to design three reports

PL/SQL Reports
Advantages
Easy to Build and maintain
Just PL/sql Knowledge is Enough
Should be used for analyzation reports and day-to day operation Reports
Disadvantage
Can handle only very simple layouts

XML Publisher
Advantages
Replacement for Report Builder
Can handle Complex layout also
Layout Design can be done in Microsoftword,XSLT --Compartively Easy
We can have one report with different layouts and layout can be selected at run time
I heard even we can get single report in multiple layout by running it only one time--Not sure as I have not used it
Disadvantages:
Only available in after 11.5.9(with a patch),11.5.10 onwards
Requires sound knowledge of microsoft word tables and word feautures
Many people still don’t have much idea on it..
Some time output goes wavierd on hand experience is required to find workarounds--(My own Experience)
Discoverer Reports
Advantages:
Multi Dimension analysis
Easy to build and use
Disadvantages:
Separate License
No formatting options at all..can be used only for analysis not for reporting

6 comments:

KESHAV said...

Hi Ganjam,

Thanks for the article, its nice and helpful. Just for more info on 6i and XMLP Reports:
We can only dynamically select the output type (EXCEL/PDF/HTML/FO) in XML Publisher and not the layout.
Selecting different layouts in XML Publisher in the sense it is same as writing a formatting trigger in 6i Reports. In 6i we generally create different layouts in the same report but will make only one layout visible during runtime, based on the value/parameter selected. In the same way, in XML Publisher we will create different templates, register them and call a specific template based on the value/parameter selected.

But we have one major advantage in XML Publisher:
For Eg, We run a report by selecting the output as EXCEL/PDF/HTML/FO and once the report is completed, We dont need to re-run the report again. We can select the option Re-Publish and can select different output type which prints the same data but in selected output type. This re-uses the report which is ran earlier.

Coming up to Discoverer as we dont have a flexibility of selecting different layouts, we will reuse the same folder (query from Disco Admin), but will create the report in different sheets.

Regards,
Keshav

kalis said...

Ganjam,

Very nice and useful blog for apps people.

Keep it up your good work.

Regards,
Kali.

Sridevi Koduru said...
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Sridevi Koduru said...
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Sridevi Koduru said...
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Sridevi Koduru said...

Regards
Sridevi Koduru (Senior Oracle Apps Trainer Oracleappstechnical.com)
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