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About the Relationship Between Attributes and Skills

When you define an assignment criterion, the data Assignment Manager uses for matching the object and candidate can come from two different types of sources, either attributes or skills.

  • Attribute. An attribute is data that usually resides on a column on the base table. For example, Employee Salary resides on a column in the S_EMP_PER employee table and is an attribute. Similarly, Service Request Severity is an attribute on the Service Request object, because it is stored on the Service Request record.

    Some attributes exist outside the base table. For example, Account Zip Code is an attribute on the account, but does not exist on the Account table itself. Instead, Account Zip Code exists on the common address table known as S_ADDR_ORG. It does not exist on the account table. However, there is a link between a given account record and all the addresses that belong to it.

  • Skill. Skills are row-level extension attributes to objects (Opportunities, Service Requests, and so on) and candidates (employees, positions and organizations). These are data stored in special child and grandchild tables of the base tables known as skill and skill item tables. For example, Language is an employee skill defined in the S_EMP_SKILL employee skill table and the S_EMP_SK_IT employee skill item table. The S_EMP_SK_IT table is actually a child table of the S_EMP_SKILL table. You can define skill and skill item tables for every assignment object through properties using Siebel Tools.

    Skills and skill items are defined in a similar manner to criteria and criteria values. If an employee has expertise for two products, Product A and Product B, you define one skill (Product) and define two skill items under the same skill (Product A and Product B). Skills provide a way to create new attributes for a candidate or an object without extending the database schema.

    Objects also have skill and skill items. For example, you can define a Product skill with a Product A skill item for an activity to indicate that candidates must have the same product skill for assignment to that activity.

  • Attribute and skill. Data could reside on an object or a candidate in the form of an attribute and a skill. For example, you can link an opportunity to a product using either of the following:
    • Products subtab and associating the product to the opportunity
    • Skills subtab and creating a product skill and a skill item for the product you want to associate

When matching assignment criteria, Assignment Manager looks for column-based attributes first, and if they are not found, Assignment Manager looks for a skill value in designated skill tables.

For example, if you have an assignment rule using an Account State criteria and the Compare Object to Person comparison method, Assignment Manager processes the rule in the following order:

  1. Assignment Manager checks the assignment object.

    If the object to be assigned is the Opportunity assignment object, Assignment Manager checks the value specified in Assignment Criteria > Assignment Criteria Attribute in Siebel Tools. Then, Assignment Manager checks the Assignment Attribute > Assignment Attribute Column value for the Opportunity object. In our case, this is Opportunity: Primary Account Primary State.

  2. Assignment Manager checks the criteria attributes.

    Since Opportunity is a team- and position-based, Assignment Manager checks the value specified in Assignment Criteria > Attribute in Siebel Tools. From the Attribute, Assignment Manager then checks the Assignment Attribute Column for that assignee, which in our case is Position: State.

  3. If no Assignment Attribute Column exists for the person chosen, then Assignment Manager checks the Skills table.

Assignment Manager evaluates criteria by comparing two strings, numbers, or dates using a comparison method. One of these literals sets the requirement, and the other literal must match the first literal for the criterion to pass.

Table 9 shows an example of a sales assignment rule and how position, skills, and skill items relate to that rule.

Figure 9. Example of a Relationship Between Assignment Criteria and Skills for a Sales Implementation
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