As many of you know, it can be difficult to get data in and out of Oracle E-Business Suite, and Oracle doesn’t provide easy to use, end user friendly interfaces for users to process their data across the board. This can end up costing the customer thousands of extra hours entering and correcting data. Anytime you can improve your accuracy and efficiency, it’s going to have a positive impact on the overall business.
We have found Oracle EBS customers generally deploy a patchwork of different solutions depending on their needs. Some customers may use the Oracle Forms to enter their invoices, they may have built a few WebADI templates for another process, and perhaps built a custom PLSQL program for yet another process. There are also 3rd party software tools that can be useful or problematic. You are probably familiar with some of the freeware available that can cause data corruption, is unstable and can fall over easily, and may freeze up your computer so you’re stuck babysitting a long, tedious upload.
- Oracle technologies: standard forms, web ADI
- IT customizations: of all kind, complexity and utility
- 3rd party: scripting tools, one-offs
There is no cohesion between the different mechanisms and this can not only become confusing to the business user, but it creates a burden on IT to support and maintain all of these different tools and make sure every time they apply a patch or update, that all of these interfaces remain compatible. They also have to make sure users’ PCs are updated and users are trained on how to use the different interfaces. As we know, using the forms can be slow going and prone to manual data errors. Users have to navigate through several different screens just to process a single record. This often means spending an hour just processing 10 records. When companies are preparing for year-end, or have any data conversion projects underway, this can bog down the users with simple data entry work. Users either fall behind with their other work or companies are forced to hire additional resources to help expedite the data entry. This can be a costly, ongoing solution for companies using Oracle EBS.
Likewise, using WebADI requires significant time and expertise to build either from IT or consultants and they still don’t provide support for parent/child relationships or multiple API calls in one template. Creating custom programs in house or through a consultant means extra work for IT to train users on this interface, insure timely updates and compatibility with Oracle updates/patches and PC compatibility. This can create an undue burden on IT resources. We’ve often seen customers hire external resources to build these custom programs, but when it comes time to upgrade these programs to work with the latest Oracle version, often these resources are no longer available and customers must start from scratch and allocate for time and money to create a new solution.
From a user perspective, these data entry options are not only inefficient, but they don’t provide insight to users when there are data errors. This may cause the risk of inaccurate data being loaded into the system, thereby giving the overall business an inaccurate picture of their bottom line and be a very costly mistake.
In an ideal world, business users would have an automated solution to create and update Oracle EBS data in an easy to use interface that provides pre-validation of the data so the user can control the entire process from data entry/creation, data extraction, data updating, and master data maintenance without relying on IT assistance.
Many companies using EBS have found this solution in API Wizard and have shared some of their positive results:
- Saved thousands of hours on data entry
- Quarter and year end close expedited
- Dramatically decreased IT support
- Fewer resources needed for day to day transaction processing
- Accurate, up to date data
- Expedited data conversion project timelines
Efficient and accurate data processing is crucial for any business and insuring companies have the most up to date and accurate data in their system allows them to make the best business decisions positive to maximize growth, efficiency and profit. Learn how your organization can gain these benefits and more by attending our upcoming OATUG eLearning session, “Leverage Excel to Significantly Improve Year End Processing” on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020 at 1pm EST. Register here.
About the Author:
Sarah Conzemius has over 20 years of experience working specifically in the Oracle E-Business Suite market for technology companies. She has worked with leading business intelligence, middleware tools, database and archiving tools for Oracle Applications. Sarah has visited hundreds of customer sites using Oracle EBS and has identified a real interest in people wanting to use Excel for their data processing.