When designing a new Oracle EPM Cloud application, there are many factors to take into consideration. This two-part blog series addresses items necessary to design, build, and ultimately go-live with an Oracle EPM Cloud implementation; the first post in the series is available here. This second installment focuses on business rules, security, navigation flows, task lists/approvals, and data exporting.
At the heart of most Oracle EPM Cloud applications are the business rules used to create, manipulate, and move data. Business rules can be run independently, as part of a task list, or within a form. Questions to ask about business rules include:
- Do rules need to be established to set up any automations?
- Is there a need to aggregate or clear data in a “Block Storage Option” (BSO) cube?
- Will the budgeting or forecasting process utilize any seeding or spreading? If so, what sort of statistical accounts are required to manipulate the data as needed?
- How will different dimensions be used to move or group data?
- Is there a need to prepare data in different versions, scenarios, etc. before running a rule?
- Will ancillary accounts need to be populated based on seeded data? For example, automatically calculating a fringe benefits account when compensation accounts are used would require additional rules or parts of rules.
- If forms require action menus or smart lists, do any of those menus require a rule to run to properly execute (adding a suppressed row generally requires a calculation to input a data point to allow it to pass suppression)?
- Is there any sort of validation that needs to be performed on any aspect of the process?
- Is there some sort of check required to determine if users are entering data at a valid account string?
Establishing application security can be a very time-consuming and arduous task. Some security questions to ask include:
- What security is needed for dimensions, forms, task lists, approvals, etc.?
- How and when will security be added to the system?
- How complex will the security setup be? In other words, will security include manually entering users into dimensions, forms, task lists, approvals, etc., or will groups be a more efficient security method because they will allow for less manual work down the line when executing changes to the security profile?
- Will you use an approvals process? Can groups be established to handle this?
Navigation flows can be one of the most useful pieces of a system build. With the removal of composite forms, they offer a tremendous way to achieve the same capabilities as tabular forms and provide a cleaner system design in general. Some items to consider when determining whether to utilize navigation flows are:
- Is the ability to limit what the users see considered a “plus” or a “minus?” Navigation flows can be a major plus for design as they take away some of the anxiety related to moving to a new system with user interface items such as icons that users may not understand.
- Can navigation flows be used to replace composite forms?
- Where will most of the end users be doing their work (if the answer is in the system, this is a good use of navigation flows; if the answer is outside the systems in Smart View, navigation flows aren’t compatible at this point and task lists are a better option)?
Task Lists and Approvals:
Task lists and approvals are a tremendous way to secure application workflow, while also giving end users guidance on how to navigate the solution in a fashion appropriate to their responsibilities. When designing task lists or approvals, these are some things to take into consideration:
- Are task lists perceived as enhancing the user experience?
- Is locking users out of the system at various points so that only predetermined users can see/edit items perceived as a “good thing?”
- Is there a “chain of ownership” that needs to be followed so that the budget is promoted through proper channels to approval?
- Is it necessary for there to be a way to show the end users that they have completed all their tasks?
- How many levels of hierarchy will there be in an approvals process? Will this be anchored by more than one dimension?
Once the entire system has been built, there is likely a need to get the data generated back into a system of record. This process should be simple and straightforward, but a few things to remember include:
- Will end users need to export data or will this only be a task for system administrators?
- Should this be established as an automated job or should it be created to execute on demand?
That’s all for this series; please stay tuned for more upcoming blog posts! For additional information on successfully designing, building, and going live with EPM Cloud applications, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.