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Oracle E-Business Suite Flexfields Guide
Release 12.1
Part Number E12892-04
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Planning and Defining Key Flexfields

Additional Terms and Concepts for Key Flexfields

You should already know these basic flexfields terms and concepts:

Now that you know terms and concepts that apply to both key and descriptive flexfields, you need to know additional terms that apply to key flexfields only.

Intelligent Key

An intelligent key is a code made up of sections, where one or more parts may have meaning. An intelligent key "code" uniquely identifies an object such as an account, an asset, a part, or a job. Intelligent keys are useful in applications because they are usually easier for a user to remember and use than a unique number. For example, a part number of PAD-YEL-11x14 is much easier to remember than a unique part number of 57494. However, unique ID numbers are easier to maintain in a relational database application because only one column is required for the ID number, while multiple columns would be required for an intelligent key (one for each section or segment of the code). The Oracle E-Business Suite products use key flexfields to represent intelligent keys with unique ID numbers. That is, an end user sees and works with an easy-to-remember intelligent key code, while the Oracle E-Business Suite products only need to store a hidden unique ID number in most tables.

Important: Throughout this guide we use the "Part Number Key Flexfield" in our examples and graphics. We use this example because it helps to illustrate the uses and behaviors of key flexfields without requiring any specialized accounting, human resources, or manufacturing knowledge. However, there is no actual "Part Number Key Flexfield" in the Oracle E-Business Suite, and you should not confuse it with the System Items Flexfield (Item Flexfield) used by many Oracle E-Business Suite products such as Oracle Inventory.

Examples of Intelligent Keys

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Related Topics

Combination

Combinations Table

Qualifiers

Types of Key Flexfield Forms

Dynamic Insertion

Other Key Flexfield Features

Planning your Key Flexfield

Combination

A combination is a particular complete code, or combination of segment values that makes up the code, that uniquely identifies an object. For example, each part number would be a single combination, such as PAD-YEL-11x14 or 01-COM-876-7BG-LTN (where the dash "-" is the segment separator). If you had ten parts you would define ten combinations. A valid combination is simply an existing or new combination that can currently be used (that is, it is not out of date, is not disabled, and does not violate cross-validation or security rules). A combination would have different segments depending on the flexfield structure being used for that combination. Any combination is associated with only one particular flexfield structure (arrangement of segments).

Note that many of the Oracle E-Business Suite products (and their documentation) do not necessarily refer to key flexfield combinations as "combinations". They may refer to combinations using the name of the entity or the key flexfield itself. For example, Oracle Assets uses a key flexfield called the "Asset Key Flexfield" and refers to one of its combinations as "an asset key" or "an asset key flexfield". In another example, Oracle General Ledger and other Oracle E-Business Suite products generally use the term "account" or "GL account" to refer to combinations of the Accounting Flexfield.

Example of a Combination

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Related Topics

Intelligent Key

Combinations Table

Qualifiers

Planning your Key Flexfield

Combinations Table

Each key flexfield has one corresponding table, known as the combinations table, where the flexfield stores a list of the complete codes, with one column for each segment of the code, together with the corresponding unique ID number (a code combination ID number or CCID) for that code. Then, other tables in the application have a column that stores just the unique ID for the code. For example, if you have a part number code, such as PAD-YEL-11x14, the "Parts" combinations table stores that code along with its ID, 57494. If your application allows you to take orders for parts, you might then have an "Orders" table that stores orders for parts. That "Orders" table would contain a single column that contains the part ID, 57494, instead of several columns for the complete code PAD-YEL-11x14.

Related Topics

Intelligent Key

Combination

Qualifiers

Types of Key Flexfield Forms

Dynamic Insertion

Planning your Key Flexfield

Qualifiers

Flexfield Qualifier

A flexfield qualifier identifies a particular segment of a key flexfield.

Usually an application needs some method of identifying a particular segment for some application purpose such as security or computations. However, since a key flexfield can be customized so that segments appear in any order with any prompts, the application needs a mechanism other than the segment name or segment order to use for segment identification. Flexfield qualifiers serve this purpose. You can think of a flexfield qualifier as an "identification tag" for a segment.

Examples of Qualifiers

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For example, your Oracle General Ledger product needs to be able to identify which segment in the Accounting Flexfield contains balancing information and which segment contains natural account information. Since you can customize the Accounting Flexfield so that segments appear in any order with any prompts, Oracle General Ledger needs the flexfield qualifier to determine which segment you are using for natural account information. When you define your Accounting Flexfield, you must specify which flexfield qualifiers apply to which segments.

Other applications, such as Oracle Human Resources, also use flexfield qualifiers. Oracle Human Resources uses flexfield qualifiers to control who has access to confidential information in flexfield segments.

A segment qualifier identifies a particular type of value in a single segment of a key flexfield. In the Oracle E-Business Suite, only the Accounting Flexfield uses segment qualifiers. You can think of a segment qualifier as an "identification tag" for a value. In the Accounting Flexfield, segment qualifiers can identify the account type for a natural account segment value, and determine whether detail posting or budgeting are allowed for a particular value.

It is easy to confuse the two types of qualifiers. You should think of a flexfield qualifier as something the whole flexfield uses to tag its pieces, and you can think of a segment qualifier as something the segment uses to tag its values.

Related Topics

Intelligent Key

Combination

Combinations Table

Types of Key Flexfield Forms

Dynamic Insertion

Other Key Flexfield Features

Planning your Key Flexfield

Types of Key Flexfield Forms

Key flexfields appear on three different types of application form:

These form types correspond to the types of tables that contain key flexfield data.

Combinations form

A combinations form is a form whose only purpose is to maintain key flexfield combinations. The base table of the form is the actual combinations table. This table is the entity table for the object (a part, or an item, an accounting code, and so on). The table contains a unique ID column (also called the code combination ID column) as the primary key, as well as individual segment columns, a structure ID column, and other flexfields-related columns. The combinations form contains hidden fields for each segment column in the table, as well as displayed fields for the concatenated segment values (the combination) and any other fields (and columns) that the entity requires, such as a concatenated description field. A combinations form is sometimes also called a maintenance form.

Example of a combinations form

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Foreign key form

A foreign key form is a form whose underlying base table contains only one or two columns that contain key flexfield information, and those columns are foreign key columns to the combinations table (usually a foreign key to the CCID column of the combinations table and sometimes a structure ID column as well). The purpose of a foreign key form often has very little to do with the key flexfield itself, and that the key flexfield appears on the form is essentially incidental. For example, if you have a key flexfield that represents a part number, you would use the combinations form to define new parts and maintain existing part numbers. You would then have many foreign key forms that you use to manipulate your parts. You might have a form where you take orders for parts, another form where you receive parts, and yet another form where you ship parts. The fact that your part number happens to be a key flexfield is not important to your taking orders for your parts, for example.

Example of a foreign key form

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Range form

A range form displays a range flexfield, which is a special pop-up window that contains two complete sets of key flexfield segments. A range flexfield supports low and high values for each key segment rather than just single values. Ordinarily, a key flexfield range appears on your form as two adjacent flexfields, where the leftmost flexfield contains the low values for a range, and the rightmost flexfield contains the high values. A user would specify a range of low and high values in this pop-up window. For example, you might choose a range of part numbers for which you want to run a report.

The range form uses a special table as its base table. This table contains one or more (usually two) columns for each segment column that appears in the combinations table. However, these columns do not necessarily contain actual segment values, and a row in the table does not necessarily contain actual valid combinations. Usually this table contains two columns for each segment, called SEGMENTn_LOW and SEGMENTn_HIGH (where n is the segment column number), that store the range of values for each segment.

In Oracle E-Business Suite, we use a key flexfield range to help you specify cross-validation rules for key flexfield combinations.

Note: Be careful in planning your range flexfields. As discussed in a later section, you cannot use ID-validated value sets with range features. ID-validated value sets include table-validated value sets with an ID column specified; translatable independent and translatable dependent value sets; numeric value sets using precision; and date, date/time, and time value sets.

Some forms use a variation of a range flexfield to capture information for each key flexfield segment that is not necessarily a segment value. For example, the form might capture a "Yes" or "No" value for each segment (the Assign Function Parameters form displays a pop-up flexfield window where you choose Yes or No to specify whether you want to assign a value to each particular segment).

Example of a form with a range flexfield

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Related Topics

Intelligent Key

Combination

Combinations Table

Qualifiers

Dynamic Insertion

Other Key Flexfield Features

Planning your Key Flexfield

Dynamic Insertion

Dynamic insertion is the insertion of a new valid combination into a combinations table from a form other than the combinations form. If you allow dynamic inserts when you set up your key flexfield, a user can enter a new combination of segment values using the flexfield window from a foreign key form. Assuming that the new combination satisfies any existing cross-validation rules, the flexfield inserts the new combination into the combinations table, even though the combinations table is not the underlying table for the foreign key form.

For some key flexfields, dynamic inserts may not be allowed. Sometimes it may not make sense for an application to allow a user to be able to create a new combination from any form other than the combinations form. For example, a user should not be able to create a new part while taking an order for parts using an Enter Orders form; the application should restrict the creation of new part numbers to authorized users using a Create Parts form.

Dynamic inserts may not be technically possible for some key flexfields. If the combinations table contains mandatory columns that are not maintained by the flexfield, dynamic inserts would not be possible. If the combinations table contains mandatory non-flexfield columns, such as a "unit of measure" column, the flexfield would not be able to complete the entire row in the combinations table from the foreign key form (because the base table of the foreign key form is not the combinations table). The flexfield does maintain the CCID column.

Generally there is only one, if any, combinations form for a given key flexfield. In some applications, there may not be a combinations form. In these cases, you would use dynamic inserts to create new combinations.

Note: For details on dynamic insertion for a particular flexfield, refer to the Oracle [Product] User's Guide of the owning application.

Dynamic insertion can be enabled for a key flexfield in the Register Key Flexfields form, in the Segments form, and in the key flexfield definition when defined in a given form.

Dynamic Insertion Example

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Related Topics

Intelligent Key

Combination

Combinations Table

Qualifiers

Types of Key Flexfield Forms

Other Key Flexfield Features

Planning your Key Flexfield

Other Key Flexfield Features

Key flexfields also offer additional features that help your organization maintain valid combinations and make data entry easier for your users.

Related Topics

Overview of Shorthand Flexfield Entry

Overview of Flexfield Value Security

Cross-Validation Rules

Planning Your Key Flexfield

Your first step in planning your key flexfields is to determine which key flexfields your Oracle E-Business Suite product requires. You should also determine the purpose of the key flexfield, as well as the number and length of its available segment columns (See: Key Flexfields in Oracle E-Business Suite). You should also note whether your key flexfield allows more than one structure, and determine if you do indeed need to define more than one structure. For example, the System Items Flexfield (Item Flexfield) supports only one structure.

Note: You can determine whether a key flexfield allows more than one structure, as well as other information on the key flexfield, in the Register Key Flexfield form. See the Oracle E-Business Suite Developer's Guide for more information.

Those key flexfields that allow multiple structures may use different mechanisms to determine which structure a user sees. For example, the Accounting Flexfield uses multiple structures if you have multiple sets of books with differing charts of accounts. Your forms determine which Accounting Flexfield structure to display by using the value of the GL_SET_OF_BOOKS_ID profile option associated with your current responsibility. Other key flexfields may have a field built into the form that allow a user to essentially choose which structure appears. See: Key Flexfields in Oracle E-Business Suite.

You should decide on the number, order and length of your segments for each structure. You must also choose how to validate each segment. See: Overview of Values and Value Sets.

When you are planning your flexfields, you should consider the following questions and their corresponding decisions:

Related Topics

Intelligent Key

Combination

Combinations Table

Qualifiers

Dynamic Insertion

Other Key Flexfield Features

Key Flexfield Segments Window

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Use these windows to define the your key flexfield structure.

Related Topics

Defining Key Flexfields

Defining Key Flexfield Structures

Defining Segments

Defining Key Flexfields

You define descriptive information and validation information for each segment. You also determine the appearance of your key flexfield window, including the size of the window, the number and order of the segments, and the segment descriptions and default values.

Once you set up or modify your structures and segments, you must freeze your flexfield definition and save your changes. When you do, your flexfield compiles automatically to improve on-line performance. You must recompile your flexfield every time you make changes using this form, including enabling or disabling cross-validation rules. You must also recompile your flexfield after you enable or disable shorthand entry using the Shorthand Aliases window.

You can see your flexfield changes immediately after you freeze and recompile your flexfield. However, your changes affect other users only after they change responsibilities or exit your application and sign back on.

Once you freeze your flexfield definition and save your changes, Oracle E-Business Suite submits one or two concurrent requests to generate database views of the flexfield's combinations table. You can use these views for custom reporting at your site. One of these views is always generated and contains concatenated segment values for all structures of the key flexfield. You see the name of this view in a message window. The other view is for the particular structure you are defining and freezing. This second view is generated only if you enter a view name for your structure in the View Name field. See: Overview of Flexfield Views.

Warning: Plan your key flexfield structures carefully, including all your segment information such as segment order and field lengths, before you define your segments using this form. You can define your key flexfields any way you want, but changing your structures once you acquire any flexfield data may create data inconsistencies that could have a significant impact on the behavior of your application or require a complex conversion program. Changing your existing structures may also adversely affect the behavior of any cross-validation rules or shorthand aliases you have set for your structures, so you should be sure to manually disable or redefine any cross-validation rules (using the Cross-Validation Rules window) and shorthand aliases (using the Shorthand Aliases window) to reflect your changed structures.

Related Topics

Defining Key Flexfield Structures

Defining Segments

Choosing Your Value Set

Defaulting Segment Values

Segment Prompts and Display Lengths

Flexfield Qualifiers

Descriptive Flexfield Segments Window

Defining Key Flexfield Structures

Before defining your key flexfield structures, use the Value Sets window to define any value sets you need. See: Value Set Windows

Perform the following steps to define your key flexfield structure.

  1. Navigate to the Key Flexfield Segments window.

  2. Select the application name and title of the key flexfield you want to define. You cannot create a new flexfield or change the name of an existing flexfield using this window.

  3. For those application flexfields that support more than one structure (such as the multiple charts of accounts in the Accounting Flexfield), you can create a new structure for your flexfield by inserting a row. If you are defining the first structure for your flexfield, select the default flexfield structure that appears automatically. If you are modifying an existing structure, use your cursor keys to select the title of the flexfield structure you want.

    You can change the title of an existing flexfield structure by typing in a new title over the old title. You see this name when you choose a flexfield structure and as the window title in your key flexfield (unless the flexfield is used for a specific purpose such as "Consolidation Account", in which case the structure title does not appear in the flexfield window).

    The code for a structure is a developer key and is used by loader programs. The value you specify for the code will default into the title field.

    If you upgraded, the codes for your structures were created from your structure titles during the upgrade.

  4. If you want to generate a database view for this structure, enter a view name. Your view name should begin with a letter and must not contain any characters other than letters, numbers, or underscores ( _ ). Your view name must not contain any spaces. See: Overview of Flexfield Views.

  5. Check the Enabled check box so that this structure may be used in your key flexfield. You cannot delete structures from this window because they are referenced elsewhere in the system, but you can disable them at any time. A structure must be enabled before it can be used.

    You should enable at least one structure for each key flexfield. If you disable a structure that already contains data, you will not be able to query up the existing data or create new combinations.

  6. Select the character you want to use to separate your flexfield segment values or descriptions. This separator will appear whenever your application forms display concatenated segment values or descriptions.

    You should choose your separator character carefully so that it does not conflict with your flexfield data. For example, if your data frequently contains periods ( . ) in monetary or numeric values, you should not use a period as your segment separator.

    It is recommended that you do not use a character as your segment separator if you expect that character to appear frequently in your segment values or descriptions.

    If you do use a character that appears in your segment values or descriptions, then that character will be preceded by a backslash (\) when it appears in a value or a description. Also, when users use the Query Find feature, they will need to precede the character in the segment values with a backslash. A backslash in your values will be preceded by another backslash.

    Note: Do not use a backslash as your segment separator.

    For example, say the segment separator is a period (.) and your values contain periods also. The table below illustrates how the segment values would appear in the combination.

    Segment Values Concatenated Segments as Combination
    "1.2", "34", "5.6" "1\.2.34.5\.6"
    "1", "2.34", "5.6" "1.2\.34.5\.6"
    "1\.2", "34\.5", "6" "1\\.2.34\\.5.6"

    Warning: Some Oracle E-Business Suite tables store the segment separator as part of your flexfield values. Changing your separator once you have data in such tables may invalidate that data and cause application errors.

  7. Select the Cross-Validate Segments check box if you want to cross-validate multiple segments using cross-validation rules. You can define cross-validation rules to describe valid combinations using the Cross-Validation Rules form. Uncheck the box if you want to disable any existing cross-validation rules. See: Cross-Validation Rules.

  8. Indicate whether you want to freeze your rollup group definitions. If you do, you prevent users from modifying rollup groups using the Segment Values form.

    You can freeze rollup groups before or after you define your flexfield structure. See: Segment Values.

  9. If you want to allow dynamic inserts, check the Allow Dynamic Inserts check box. You would allow dynamic inserts of new valid combinations into your generic combinations table if you want users to create new combinations from windows that do not use your combinations table. You should prevent dynamic inserts if you want to enter new valid combinations only from a single application window you create to maintain your specific combinations table.

    You can update this field only if your application flexfield has been built to allow dynamic inserts, and the flexfield has been defined in the Register Key Flexfields form with Dynamic Inserts Feasible checked. Otherwise this field is display only.

  10. Choose the Segments button to open the Segments Summary window, and define your flexfield segments. See: Defining Segments.

  11. Save your changes.

  12. Freeze your flexfield structure by checking the Freeze Flexfield Definition check box.

    Do not freeze your flexfield if you want to set up or modify your flexfield segments or change the appearance of your key flexfield window. You cannot make most changes while your flexfield is frozen.

  13. Compile your frozen flexfield by choosing the Compile button. Your changes are saved automatically when you compile.

You must freeze and compile your flexfield definition before you can use your flexfield. If you have more than one flexfield structure, you must freeze, save, and compile each structure separately. If you decide to make changes to your flexfield definition, make sure that you freeze and save your flexfield definition again after making your changes.

Warning: Do not modify a frozen flexfield definition if existing data could be invalidated. An alteration of the flexfield structure once you have any flexfield data can create serious data inconsistencies. Changing your existing structures may also adversely affect the behavior of any cross-validation rules or shorthand aliases you have for your structures, so you should be sure to manually disable or redefine any cross-validation rules and shorthand aliases to reflect your changed structures.

Note: When a flexfield is compiled, the system checks segment names to ensure that they follow the Segment Naming Conventions. If they do not follow these rules, you will get a Warning message.

Once a flexfield is compiled, a concurrent request is submitted to generate database views using the defined segment names. These database views enable simpler custom reporting on flexfields data. The generation of these views require that these segment naming conventions be followed.

Related Topics

Key Flexfield Segments Window

Defining Key Flexfields

Defining Segments Window

Overview of Reporting on Flexfields Data

Segment Naming Conventions

Defining Segments

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Use the Segments window to define segments for your flexfield. The window title includes the current flexfield's name. If your flexfield definition is frozen (that is, the Freeze Flexfield Definition check box is checked), this window becomes display-only.

You can define as many segments as there are defined segment columns in your flexfield table. You can create a new segment for your flexfield by inserting a row.

Note: If your flexfield definition is frozen, the Segments window fields are not updateable.

Before defining segments, use the Key Flexfield Segments window or the Descriptive Flexfield Segments window to define your flexfield structure. For key flexfields, see: Defining Key Flexfield Segments. For descriptive flexfields, see Defining Descriptive Flexfield Segments

To define segments, perform the following steps.

  1. Enter a name for the segment that you want to define.

    Your segment name should begin with a letter and use only letters, numbers, spaces or underscores ( _ ). The segment prompts get their default values from this field. The flexfield view generator will use your segment name as a column name and change all spaces and special characters to underscores (_). See: Segment Naming Conventions.

    Note: If the name you enter violates the segment naming conventions, you will get an error message.

  2. Indicate that you can use this flexfield segment by checking the Enabled check box.

    Your flexfield does not display disabled segments. You can define as many segments as there are defined segment columns in your key flexfield combinations table.

    Tip: To protect the integrity of your data, you should not disable a segment if you have already used it to enter data.

  3. Select the name of the column you want to use for your flexfield segment.

    Tip: If you are defining more than one segment in the same structure at one time, ensure that you use unique columns for each segment. If you attempt to use a single column for more than one segment in the same structure, you cannot save your changes or compile your structure. Columns you choose for your segments do not disappear from your list of values until you save your work.

  4. Enter the segment number for this segment.

    This number indicates the relative position in which this segment appears in a flexfield window. A segment with a lower segment number appears before a segment with a higher segment number. Dependent segments should occur after the segment they depend upon in the flexfield window.

    You receive a warning message if you enter a segment number that is already defined for your flexfield. This warning is only a reminder that the segment number is in use. If you attempt to freeze a flexfield in which two segments share the same segment number, the flexfield does not compile.

    Tip: For most flexfields, if you give your segments widely spaced numbers (such as 10, 20, 30...) to indicate their relative positions, you can add segments to your structure more easily. Adding segments still disables all your existing cross-validation rules and shorthand aliases for this flexfield structure, however. Note that the Accounting Flexfield requires consecutive segment numbers beginning with 1 (such as 1, 2, 3, ...).

    Warning: Changing the order of your segments invalidates all existing cross-validation rules and shorthand aliases for this flexfield structure.

  5. Indicate whether you want this segment to appear in the flexfield window. If your segment is not displayed, you should provide a default type and value so that the user does not need to enter a value for this segment. If you do not display a segment but also do not provide a default value for it, your users may see error messages when using this flexfield.

    Warning: If you are defining the Accounting Flexfield, you must display all segments. Hiding segments will adversely affect your application features such as Mass Allocations.

  6. If you are defining the Accounting Flexfield, decide whether you should check the Indexed check box. For details on the Accounting Flexfield, see the Oracle General Ledger Implementation Guide. If you are defining any other Oracle E-Business Suite (key) flexfield, you can skip the Indexed check box.

    The Oracle General Ledger applications use the Indexed field for the Optimization feature. What you enter here does not affect Oracle E-Business Suite key flexfields other than the Accounting Flexfield, but the value may or may not affect key flexfields in custom applications (depending on whether those applications have logic that uses the value of this field).

    Indicate whether you want the database column in the combinations table used to store this key segment to have a single-column index. You should create indexes on segments you expect to have many distinct values (instead of just a few distinct values). The Oracle General Ledger products' Optimizer does not drop existing indexes. See the Oracle General Ledger documentation for more information.

    If you set up a new structure of the same flexfield, this value defaults to the value in the first structure you set up.

  7. Enter the name of the value set you want your flexfield to use to validate this segment. See: Choosing Your Value Set.

  8. Indicate whether you want to require a value for this segment. If you do, users must enter a value before leaving the flexfield window. If not, the segment is optional.

    Important: All segments in your Accounting Flexfield must be required.

    If this segment is required but depends on an optional segment, then this segment will become optional if a user leaves the depended-upon segment blank.

  9. Indicate whether to allow security rules to be used for this segment. Otherwise any defined security rules are disabled.

    If the value set for this segment does not allow security rules, then this field is display only.

  10. If you want your flexfield to validate your segment value against the value of another segment in this structure, then choose either Low or High in the Range field. Segments with a range type of Low must appear before segments with a range type of High (the low segment must have a lower number than the high segment). For example, if you plan two segments named "Start Date" and "End Date," you may want to require users to enter an end date later than the start date. You could have "Start Date" be Low and "End Date" be High. In this example, the segment you name "Start Date" must appear before the segment you name "End Date," or you cannot compile your flexfield.

    If you choose Low for one segment, you must also choose High for another segment in that structure (and vice versa). Otherwise you cannot compile your flexfield.

    If your value set is of the type Pair, this field is display only, and the value defaults to Pair.

  11. Enter the display size and prompt information for the segment. See: Segment Prompts and Display Lengths.

Related Topics

Key Flexfield Segments Window

Defining Key Flexfields

Defining Key Flexfield Structures

Descriptive Flexfield Segments Window

Flexfield Qualifiers

Defining Descriptive Flexfield Structures

Context Field Values

Choosing Your Value Set

Defaulting Segment Values

Segment Prompts and Display Lengths

Choosing Your Value Set

If you do not want your flexfield to validate this segment, you can use the Value Sets window to define a value set with a Validation Type of None, or you can leave this field blank.

If you do not choose a value set, your segment behaves as if it were using a value set with validation type None, format type of Char, width the same as the underlying key flexfield segment column, with mixed-case alphabetic characters allowed and no right justification or zero fill. You must use a value set for any segment whose underlying column is not a Char column, or you will not be able to compile your flexfield. You must use a value set for the Accounting Flexfield.

Initially this field only lets you select from independent, table, and non-validated value sets, and you do not see dependent value sets in your list. If you want to define your structure to have a dependent segment that depends on an independent segment, you should define your independent segment first by selecting an independent value set in this field. Then save your changes before you start to define your dependent segment. Once you save your independent segment, you can also select from the dependent value sets that depend on your chosen independent value set.

This field prevents you from choosing a value set which is not valid for that segment. You will get an error message if you choose a value set that is not valid for the segment.

You should ensure that the total of the value set maximum sizes for all of the segments in a given structure, plus the number of segment separators you need (number of segments in your structure minus one), does not add up to more than 32000. If your structure's concatenated length exceeds 32000, you may experience truncation of your flexfield data in some forms. See: Value Set Windows, Defaulting Segment Values.

Related Topics

Key Flexfield Segments Window

Descriptive Flexfield Segments Window

Defining Key Flexfields

Defining Key Flexfield Structures

Defining Descriptive Flexfield Structures

Defining Segments

Defaulting Segment Values

Segment Prompts and Display Lengths

Flexfield Qualifiers

Defaulting Segment Values

Perform the following steps to set a default segment value:

1. If you want to set a default value for this segment, identify the type of value you need.

If you want to set a default value for this segment, identify the type of value you need.

Your list contains only the default types that have formats that match your value set format type.

Valid types include:

Variable Description
Constant The default value can be any literal value.
Current Date The default value is the current date in the format DD-MON-RR or DD-MON-YYYY, depending on the maximum size of the value set.
If the maximum size is 9, the date format is DD-MON-RR.
If the maximum size is 11, the date format is DD-MON-YYYY..
See the table below for Current Date default date formats for different value set format types.
Current Time The default value is the current time or the current date and time, depending on the maximum size of the segment.
See the table below for Current Time default date/time formats.
Field The default value is the current value in the field you designate in the Default Value field. The field must be in the same form as the flexfield.
Profile The default value is the current value of the user profile option defined in the Default Value field.
Segment The default value is the value entered in a prior segment of the same flexfield window.
SQL Statement The default value is determined by the SQL statement you define in the Default Value field.

The following table lists Current Date default date formats for different value set format types.

Current Date Default Date Formats
Value Set Format Type Value Set Maximum Size Date Format
Standard Date 11 User date format
Standard DateTime 20 User date/time format
Date 11 DD-MON-YYYY
Date 9 DD-MON-RR
Char Greater than or equal to 11 DD-MON-YYYY
Char 9, 10 DD-MON-RR

The following table lists Current Time default date/time formats for different value set format types.

Current Time Default Date/Time Formats
Value Set Format Type Value Set Maximum Size Date/Time Format
Standard DateTime 20 User date/time format
DateTime 20 DD-MON-YYYY HH24:MI:SS
DateTime 18 DD-MON-RR HH24:MI:SS
DateTime 17 DD-MON-YYYY HH24:MI
DateTime 15 DD-MON-RR HH24:MI
Time 8 HH24:MI:SS
Time 5 HH24:MI
Char Greater than or equal to 20 DD-MON-YYYY HH24:MI:SS
Char 18, 19 DD-MON-RR HH24:MI:SS
Char 17 DD-MON-YYYY HH24:MI
Char 15, 16 DD-MON-RR HH24:MI
Char Between 8 and 14 (inclusive) HH24:MI:SS
Char Between 5 and 7 (inclusive) HH24:MI:SS

If you choose Current Date or Current Time, you skip the next field.

Important: If you are using flexfields server-side validation, you cannot use form field references (:block.field). You must either remove your field references or turn off flexfields server-side validation using the profile option Flexfields:Validate on Server.

2. Enter a default value for the segment.

Enter a default value for the segment. Your flexfield automatically displays this default value in your segment when you enter your key flexfield window. You determine whether the default value is a constant or a context-dependent value by choosing the default type.

Your default value should be a valid value for your value set. Otherwise, when you use your flexfield for data entry, your flexfield displays an error message and does not use your invalid default value in your flexfield segment.

For each default type chosen in the Default Type field, the valid values for the Default Value field are:

Variable Description
Constant Enter any literal value for the default value.
Field The default value is the current value in the field you specify here. The field must be in the same form as the flexfield. Use the format :block.field.
The value of the field must be in the format of the displayed value for the segment.
Profile The default value is the current value of the user profile option you specify here. Enter the profile option name, not the end-user name.
The value of the profile option must be in the format of the displayed value of the segment.
Segment The default value is the value entered in a prior segment of the same flexfield window. Enter the name of the segment whose value you want to copy.
The default value can be one of three values associated with the prior segment. The three choices are: ID, VALUE, and MEANING. The ID is the hidden ID value for the segment. VALUE is the displayed value for the segment. MEANING is the description of the segment.
To use the displayed value of the prior segment, specify segment_name.VALUE in this field. Specify segment_name.MEANING for the description of that segment. Specify segment_name.ID for the hidden ID value of the segment. If you specify segment_name only, the hidden ID value of the segment is the default value.
For Standard Date and Standard DateTime value sets you should use segment_name.VALUE of the prior segment.
SQL Statement The default value is determined by the SQL statement you enter here. Your SQL statement must return exactly one row and one column in all cases.

For date values, the SQL statement must return the value in the correct displayed format. Use the FND_DATE package for date conversions.

Important: If you are using flexfields server-side validation, you cannot use form field references (:block.field). You must either remove your field references or turn off flexfields server-side validation using the profile option Flexfields:Validate on Server.

Related Topics

Key Flexfield Segments Window

Descriptive Flexfield Segments Window

Defining Key Flexfields

Defining Key Flexfield Structures

Defining Descriptive Flexfield Structures

Context Field Values

Defining Segments

Flexfields:Validate on Server

Segment Prompts and Display Lengths

The lengths you choose for your segments and prompts affect how the flexfield displays.

You should ensure that the total of the value set maximum sizes (not the display sizes) for all of the segments in a given structure, plus the number of segment separators you need (number of segments in your structure minus one), does not add up to more than 32000. If your structure's concatenated length exceeds 32000, you may experience truncation of your flexfield data in some forms.

The display size of the segment must be less than or equal to the maximum size that you chose in the Value Sets window. If you enter a display size that is shorter than the maximum size, you can still enter a segment value of the maximum size since the segment field in the window can scroll.

The default for the display size of a segment when you first enable the segment is the maximum size of the segment based on the size of the underlying column, or 50, whichever is less. Once you choose a value set for your segment, the default for Display Size is the maximum size of the value set. See: Value Set Windows.

Description Sizes for Segment Value Descriptions

Your application uses Description Size when displaying the segment value description in the flexfield window. Concatenated Description Size specifies the number of characters long a segment value description should be when a window displays it as part of a concatenated description for the concatenated flexfield values. Your flexfield may show fewer characters of your description than you specify if there is not enough room for it in your flexfield window. However, your flexfield does not display more characters of the description than you specify.

The value you specify for Description Size also affects the length of a value description that appears in a list of segment values for the segment (if the segment uses a validated value set). However, the width of the description column in a list will not be less than 11 for English-language versions of the Oracle E-Business Suite (the length of the word Description in English). This width may vary for other-language versions of the Oracle E-Business Suite.

Some flexfields, particularly the Accounting Flexfield, display a special multicolumn format in some forms (for example, the Define Mass Budgets window in the Oracle General Ledger products). In these forms, your flexfield window may scroll horizontally if the longest description size (plus the longest prompt and display sizes) is large.

Tip: For ease of use, we recommend that you set the Description Size for each of your Accounting Flexfield segments to 30 or less so that your flexfield window does not scroll horizontally.

Segment Prompts and List of Values

Enter prompts for the segment (as it should appear in the flexfield window) and its list of values (if this segment uses a validated value set) and in reports your application generates. Do not use special characters such as +, -, ., !, @, ', or # in your prompts.

If your List of Values prompt is longer than the segment length, you see a warning displayed after you leave this field. This warning is for cosmetic considerations only; your flexfield will still compile normally.

Tip: Keep your segments' prompts short and fairly uniform in length wherever possible.

Related Topics

Key Flexfield Segments Window

Defining Segments

Choosing Your Value Set

Defaulting Segment Values

Flexfield Qualifiers

Descriptive Flexfield Segments Window

Flexfield Qualifiers

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Use this window to apply flexfield qualifiers to your key flexfield segments. The window title includes the current flexfield and segment names.

For each qualifier, indicate whether it is enabled for your key flexfield segment.

Since you can set up your key flexfields in any way you prefer, Oracle E-Business Suite products use flexfield qualifiers to identify certain segments used for specific purposes. You should consult the help for your key flexfield to determine whether your key flexfield uses qualifiers and what purposes they serve.

Some qualifiers must be unique, and you cannot compile your flexfield if you apply that qualifier to two or more segments. Other qualifiers are required, and you cannot compile your flexfield until you apply that qualifier to at least one segment.

You should consult the Key Flexfields in Oracle E-Business Suite section for your key flexfield to determine whether your key flexfield uses qualifiers and what purposes they serve.

Related Topics

Key Flexfields in Oracle E-Business Suite

Reporting Attributes

If you are using Oracle Public Sector General Ledger, you may have access to the Reporting Attributes block.

Reporting Attributes Zone

You can use this zone only if you are using Oracle Public Sector General Ledger and you have enabled the FSG:Reporting Attributes profile option (available only with Oracle Public Sector General Ledger). You use this zone to enter attributes to use for FSG report selection. For more information, see the Oracle General Ledger documentation.

Related Topics

Intelligent Key

Combination

Combinations Table

Qualifiers

Dynamic Insertion