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Oracle® Fusion Applications Compensation Management Implementation Guide
11g Release 1 (11.1.2)
Part Number E20376-02
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4 Common Applications Configuration: Define Geographies for Human Capital Management

This chapter contains the following:

Geography Hierarchy: Explained

Geography Structures: Explained

Geography Structure, Hierarchy, and Validation: How They Fit Together

Geography Validation: Explained

Zone Types and Zones: Explained

Zone Hierarchy: Explained

Geography Hierarchy: Explained

Geography hierarchy is a data model that lets you establish conceptual parent-child relationships between geographies. A geography, such as Tokyo or Peru, describes a boundary on the surface of the earth. The application can extrapolate information based on this network of hierarchical geographical relationships.

For example, in the geography hierarchy the state of California is defined as the parent of San Mateo county, which is the parent of Redwood City, which is the parent of the postal code 94065. If you enter just 94065, the application can determine that the postal code is in California, or that the corresponding city is Redwood City.

The application leverages geography hierarchy information to facilitate business processes that rely on geography information, for example, tax calculation, order sourcing rules, sales territory definition. The geography hierarchy information is centrally located in the Trading Community Model and shared among other application offerings.

The top level of the geography hierarchy is Country, so the hierarchy essentially contains countries and their child geographies. Other aspects of the geography hierarchy include:


A geography is a boundary such as a country, state, province or city. It is a physical space with boundaries that is a defined instance of a geography type. For example, San Jose is a geography of the City geography type.

Geography Type

Geography types are a divisional grouping of geographies, which can be either geopolitical (for example, City, Province, and District) or user defined (for example, Continent, Country Regions, Tax Regions).

Geography Usage

Geography usage indicates how a geography type or geography is used in the application. A master reference geography always has the usage of Master Reference. User defined zones can have the usages of Tax, Shipping, or Territory, based on what is relevant for their purpose.

Master Reference Geography Hierarchy

The geography hierarchy data is considered to be the single source of truth for geographies. It is all the data, including geography types and geographies, that you define and maintain in the Trading Community Model tables.

The geography usage for the entire hierarchy is the master reference, and defined geography types and geographies are considered as master reference geography types and geographies. For example, Country is a universally recognized geography type, and United States is considered a master geography.

User Defined Zones

User defined zones are a collection of geographical data, created from master reference data for a specific purpose. For example, territory zones are collections of master reference geographies ordered in a hierarchy. Tax and shipping zones are collections of master reference geographies without a hierarchical grouping.

Geography Structures: Explained

A geography structure is a hierarchical grouping of geography types for a country. For example, the geography structure for the United States is the geography type of State at the top, then followed by the County, then the City, and finally the Postal Code.

You can use the geography structure to establish:

How Geographies Can Be Related

You can determine how a country's geographies are hierarchically related by creating the hierarchy of the geography types in the geography structure. When you define a country's structure the country geography type is implicitly at the top of the geography structure, and the numbering of the subsequent levels start with 1 as the next geography level after country.

You must add a geography type as a level in the country structure before you can define a geography for that geography type in a country. For example, before defining the state of California, the State geography type must be added to the United States country structure. Only one geography type can be used for each level, you cannot define more than one geography type at the same level.


After you first define a country structure you can only add geography types below the current lowest level, and delete geography types without defined geographies.

To simplify the creation of a country structure you can copy a structure from another country, and then amend the geography type hierarchy for the country.

The Types of Geographies You Can Define for the Country

The application provides you with a set of available master reference geography types. If required, you can create a geography type before adding it to the country structure. Each geography type is added below the current lowest level.


If you want to delete a geography type that is not at the lowest level in the country structure, then you have to delete the geography type level and all the levels below it.

A geography type that you create within the country structure can be used for other country structures as well.

Geography Structure, Hierarchy, and Validation: How They Fit Together

There are three components that are dependent on each other when defining a country: geography structure, geography hierarchy, and geography validation. Every country has to have the geography structure defined first before the hierarchy can be defined, and the geography hierarchy has to be defined before the validation can be defined.

Geography Structure

Firstly, you need to create a geography structure for each country to define which geography types are part of the country structure, and how the geography types are hierarchically related within the country structure. For example, you can create geography types called State, City, and Postal Code. Then you can rank the State geography type as the highest level within the country, the City as the second level, and the Postal Code as the lowest level within the country structure. Geography structure can be defined using the Manage Geographies task, or can be imported using tasks in the Define Geographies activity.

Geography Hierarchy

Once the geography structure is defined, the geographies for each geography type can be added to the hierarchy. For example, below the United States you can create a geography called California using a State geography type.

As part of managing the geography hierarchy you can view, create, edit, and delete the geographies for each geography type in the country structure. You can also add a primary and alternate name and code for each geography. A geography hierarchy can be created using the Manage Geographies task, or can be imported using tasks in the Define Geographies activity.

Geography Validation

After defining the geography hierarchy, you need to specify the geography validations for the country. You can choose which address style formats you would like to use for the country, and for each selected address style format you can map geography types to address attributes. You can also select which geography types should be included in geography or tax validation, and which geography types will display in a list of values during address entry in other user interfaces. The geography validation level for the country, such as error or warning, can also be selected.

Geography Validation: Explained

Geography validation determines the geography mapping and validation for a country's address styles, as well as the overall geography validation control for a country.

The No Styles Format address style format is the default address style format for a country. By defining the mapping and validation for this format you will ensure that validations can be performed for any address in the country. After the No Styles Format is defined you can set up additional mapping for specific address styles.

For each address style format, you can define the following:

Map to Attribute

For every address style format, you can map each geography type to an address attribute. For example, you can map the State geography type to the State address attribute for the United States, or map the State geography type to the County address attribute for the United Kingdom. The geography types that appear are based on how the country structure is defined. The list of address attributes that appear are based on address formats delivered with the application, or your customer defined address formats.


You only need to map geography types that you want to use for geography or tax validation purposes.

Enable List of Values

Once a geography type is mapped to an attribute, then you can specify whether the geography type will appear in a list of values during address entry in user interfaces. It is very important to review carefully if you want to enable a list of values. You should only enable a list of values if you have sufficient geography data imported or created for that geography. Once you have enabled a list of values for an address attribute, you can only select the geography data available for the geography type. This means that if a specific geography value is not available in the geography hierarchy, you cannot create an address with a different geography value.

Tax Validation

You can also specify whether a geography type will be included in tax validation. For example, for the United States North America address style format you specify that County, State, and City are used for tax validation. This will mean that when a transaction involves an address with the North America address style, the address must have the correct county, state, and city combination based on the geography hierarchy data, to be considered valid for tax calculation.

Geography Validation

You can specify whether a geography type will be included in geography validation. This will mean that, for example, when the user enters a United States address using the North America address style format, the address must have the correct country, state, and postal code combination based on geography hierarchy data to be considered geographically valid.

If an address element is mapped to a geography type, but not selected for geography validation usage, then suggested values can be provided for that address element during address entry, but that element is not validated.


For either the tax or geography validation, do not skip more than one consecutive level unless you are certain that the selected geography types can uniquely identify geographies. For example, the United States country structure is: State, County, City, and Postal Code, and you want to select just State and Postal Code for geography or tax validation. However, for the combination of California and 94065, the city can be either Redwood Shores or Redwood City. In this case, you should also select at least the City geography type for geography or tax validation.

Geography Validation Control

You can select the geography validation level for a country. Validation will check if the entered address maps to the geography hierarchy data available for the country, and the geography validation control determines whether you can save an address that did not pass validation during address entry. For example, if the validation level is Warning, then an address can still be saved if the values do not match the geography hierarchy data.

These are the geography validation levels you can choose:

Regardless of the result of validation, the validation process will try to map any address attribute to a geography of the country, and store any mapping it could establish based on the available data. This is called Geography Name Referencing and it is executed as part of validation. The result of this referencing is used in several business processes in the application to map an address to a specific geography or zone.

Zone Types and Zones: Explained

You can create zone types and zones for the use of defining boundaries to be used in, for example, tax or shipping zones.

In order to create a zone boundary you need to define the following:

Zone Types

Zone types categorize and group zones together, for example, the zone types of Income Tax and Shipping Regions.

Zone types need to be created before you define a zone for the geographical boundary. You can create a zone type which will contain geographical boundaries from anywhere in the world, or you can create a zone type that will only contain geographies from within a specified country. When you create a zone type that is bounded by a country you can define which geography types or geographies you will be able to choose when you create a zone.


After you have created the zone type click Next and you will be able to add zones. Zones are geographical boundaries for a zone type, for example, the San Jose Tax zone. Zones are based on the master reference geography hierarchy data.

Zones are created within a zone type, and you can associate geographies to define the zone. For example, for the Shipping Regions zone type you can create a West Coast zone which has the state of California as one of its geographies. Within a geography you can specify a postal range. So for the state of California, for example, you can specify that the zone spans from postal code 90001 to 90011.

Zone Hierarchy: Explained

Using the territory manager zone hierarchy you can build a zone hierarchy by creating zones and zone types, and by adding master reference geographies. The zones, master geographies, and hierarchies can then be used, for example, by Territory Management to define a sales region or geographical boundary that is allocated to a salesperson.

In a zone hierarchy you can do the following:

Create Zone Types

When you are creating a zone you need to specify a zone type. Zone types categorize and group zones together, for example, an APAC zone type. You will need to choose if the zone is part of an existing zone type, or if not, then you will need to create a new zone type. After you have created or added a zone type to the zone you can enter the zone name, the zone code name, and the zone's effective dates

Create Zones and Add to a Hierarchy

You can create zones to describe geographical boundaries, for example, the Singapore Sales zone and the Southwest Sales Region zone. Zones can be placed below another zone or geography in the hierarchy, and geographies can be placed below a zone.

Move Zones or Geographies

You can move existing zones or geographies into your hierarchy. You can select the zone or geography you want the zone to appear below, and then select an existing zone that you want to move. The zone and all its child records will appear below the zone or geography you selected.

Add Geographies to a Hierarchy

You can create a hierarchy using the geographies from the master reference geography hierarchy data, and you can also add geographies to hierarchies created from zones.

When you are adding a geography to a hierarchy you have the option of either adding just the geography, or you can add the geography and selected child geographies. All the child geographies you select will automatically be added to the hierarchy, and will reflect the master reference geographical hierarchy. For example, when adding the United Kingdom geography to a hierarchy you can select that all the counties and postal codes will be added. When the hierarchy is generated the counties will be the level above the postal codes.


You cannot have the same geography in more than one hierarchy.