Siebel Product Administration Guide > Configuration Links >

About Configuration Links

Links provide a way to use Siebel data in constraints that you write for a customizable product or product class.

For example, if you have clients outside the U.S., you could create a link that stores the account location. You could then write a constraint that uses the account location to determine what kind of power supply and plug types to include with a computer configuration. For information about constraints, see Configuration Constraints.

The value of a link is determined when the user starts a configuration session and is not dynamically updated during the session.

Links can store the following types of information:

  • Business component links store the value of a field in a Siebel business component.
  • Context variable links store the value of a variable-map variable.
  • System variable links store the value of a specific system variable.

Business Component Links

Business component links map a Siebel business component data field to a link name. The link name can then be used when writing constraints for a customizable product.

To create a business component link, you must have a thorough understanding of Siebel business components and be able to use Oracle's Siebel Tools to identify business objects, business components, and field names.

When you define a business component link, the goal is to retrieve only one record. Several fields are provided in the link definition to help you do this. If more than one record is retrieved by the query, the link data is extracted from the first record in the group. If no records are retrieved by the query, the value entered in the default value field in the link definition is used.

You have the option to extract information from the current instance of a business component or from a new instance. For example, you select an account as part of creating a quote. You have defined a link for a complex product that extracts information from the business component that displays this record. When the user begins configuring the product, the link information will be extracted from the account record being used in the quote. The link uses the current instance of the business component.

Context Variable Links

Context variable links allow you to extract information from the current context by using the variable map. For example, if a variable in the variable map represents the Country field, you can use the context variable link to extract the name of the country in the current record.

To use context variable links, you must have an understanding of variable maps. For more information, see Siebel Order Management Infrastructure Guide.

In versions 7.8 and later, when Siebel Configurator is launched, the Context Service passes a property set to Siebel Configurator that is used for eligibility calculations and for pricing. The values in the property set are defined through Context Service administration, and they can be mapped so they are the same for quotes and orders.

Business component links are retained for backward compatibility, but context variable links are preferable because:

  • They do not require an additional query to the database, improving performance.
  • They do not require you to define separate links for quotes and orders.

System Variable Links

Links can be defined to extract information from two system variables:

  • TODAY. Returns today's date.
  • WHO. returns the log-in name of the user who started the configuration session.

You can use the TODAY system variable to write time-sensitive constraints. For example, you create a link named TodayDate that stores the value of the TODAY system variable. You could then write a constraint that says if today's date is later than December 23, 2001, then the product 64 MB RAM is required in computer configurations.

You can use the WHO system variable to customize configuration constraints based on the user log-in name. For example, you create a link named UserName that stores the value of the WHO system variable. You could write a constraint that says if the user's log-in account name is jsmith, then 64 MB RAM is required in computer configurations.

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