This guide also applies to on-premises implementations

4Flexfields for Custom Attributes

This chapter contains the following:

Flexfields: Overview

A flexfield is an extensible set of placeholder fields associated with business objects and placed on the application pages. You can use flexfields to extend the business objects and meet enterprise data management requirements without changing the data model or performing any database programming. Flexfields help you to capture different data on the same database table.

For example, an airline manufacturer may require specific attributes for its orders that aren't predefined. Using a flexfield for the order business object, you can create and configure the required attribute.

Flexfields that you see on the application pages are predefined. However, you can configure or extend the flexfields, or modify their properties. Users see these flexfields as field or information attributes on the UI pages. To use flexfields, search for and open the Define Flexfields task list in the Setup and Maintenance work area. You can use the following tasks contained within it:

  • Manage Descriptive Flexfields: Expand the forms on the application page to accommodate additional information that is important and unique to your business. You can use a descriptive flexfield to collect custom invoice details on a page displaying invoices.

  • Manage Extensible Flexfields: Establish one-to-many data relationships and make application data context-sensitive. The flexfields appear only when the contextual data conditions are fulfilled. Thus, extensible flexfields provide more flexibility than the descriptive flexfields.

  • Manage Key Flexfields: Store information combining several values, such as a number combination. The key flexfields represent objects such as accounting codes and asset categories.

  • Manage Value Sets: Use a group of values to validate the data entered in the flexfields.

    Note: You can manage value sets within the Manage Descriptive Flexfields or Manage Extensible Flexfields tasks.

For more information about specific predefined flexfields, open the Setup and Maintenance work area, and use the tasks in the Define Flexfields task list.

Types of Flexfields

The following three types of flexfields provide a means to customize the applications features without programming:

  • Descriptive

  • Extensible

  • Key

Configuring Flexfields: Overview

Configuring a flexfield ranges from identifying the need for extending a business object with custom attributes to integrating the custom attributes into the deployment. In the case of key flexfields, configuring the flexfield involves identifying value set assignments and determining segment structures.

Overall Process for Configuring Custom Attributes

For descriptive and extensible flexfields, the overall configuration process involves the following:

  1. Use the Highlight Flexfields feature from the Administration menu to find flexfields on pages associated with business objects.

  2. Plan the flexfield configuration.

  3. Plan flexfield validation.

  4. Define the attributes by configuring the flexfield segments.

    1. Use the Manage Extensible Flexfields or Manage Descriptive Flexfields tasks, or use the Configure Flexfield icon button directly on the page where the flexfield is highlighted. For simple configurations, use the Add Segment, Add Context Value, and Edit Segment icon buttons directly on the page where the flexfield is highlighted.

    2. Optionally, validate the flexfield configuration.

    3. Optionally, deploy the flexfield to a sandbox for initial testing.

  5. Deploy the flexfield to the mainline metadata to display the custom attributes on the application pages and to make them available for integration with other tools such as Oracle Business Intelligence.

  6. Perform the necessary steps to integrate the custom attributes into the technology stack.

A simple configuration is limited to such actions as adding a format-only field or adding a field with a basic list of values.

Overall Process for Configuring Custom Keys

Using key flexfields, you can configure intelligent key codes comprised of meaningful parts according to your business practices. You configure the key flexfield to have one segment for each part that makes up your key code.

For key flexfields, the overall configuration process involves the following:

  1. Use the Highlight Flexfields feature from the Administration menu to find flexfields on pages associated with business objects.

  2. Plan the flexfield configuration.

  3. Plan the flexfield validation.

  4. Define the value sets before configuring the key flexfield segments by going to the Manage Value Sets task.

  5. Define the key flexfield structures and their segments, and define structure instances for each structure.

    1. Use the Manage Key Flexfields task or the Configure Flexfield icon button directly on the page where the flexfield is highlighted.

    2. Optionally, validate the flexfield configuration.

    3. Optionally, deploy the flexfield to a sandbox for initial testing.

  6. Deploy the flexfield to the mainline metadata to display it on the application pages and to make it available for integration with other tools such as Oracle Business Intelligence.

  7. Perform the necessary steps to integrate the flexfield into the technology stack.

Flexfield Components: Explained

A flexfield is made up of several data entities that store and render information pertaining to flexfield configuration.

Flexfields are made up of the following components:

  • Segments

  • Value Sets

  • Contexts

  • Structures

Segments

A segment is a field within a flexfield and represents a single table column of your database. When configuring a flexfield, define the appearance and meaning of individual segments. Segments represent attributes of information. Segments can appear globally wherever the flexfield is implemented, or based on a structure or context. Each segment captures a single atomic value and represents an attribute of information.

The characteristics of a segment vary based on the type of flexfield in which it's used.

  • In key flexfields, a segment describes a characteristic of the entity. For example, a part number that contains details about the type, color, and size of an item.

  • In a descriptive or extensible flexfield, a segment represents an information attribute on the application page. For example, details about a device containing components, some of which are global while the remaining are contextually dependent on the category of the device.

Value Sets

Users enter values into segments while using an application. A value set is a named group of values that validate the content of a flexfield segment. You configure a flexfield segment with a value set to enforce entries of only valid values for that segment.

The configuration involves the following tasks:

  • Defining the values in a value set, including characteristics such as the length and format of the values.

  • Specifying formatting rules or values from an application table or predefined list.

Multiple segments within a flexfield, or multiple flexfields, can share a single value set.

Contexts

Context-sensitive flexfield segments are available to an application based on a context value. You define contexts as part of configuring a flexfield. Users see global segments as well as any context-sensitive segments that apply to the selected context value.

In descriptive flexfields and extensible flexfields, you can reuse the context-sensitive segments that are based on the database columns, in multiple contexts.

Structures

Key flexfields have structures. Each key flexfield structure is a specific configuration of segments. Adding or removing segments, or rearranging their order, produces a different structure. You can reuse the segments that are based on the database columns, in multiple structures.

Flexfields at Run Time: Explained

Business objects have an associated descriptive or extensible flexfield. Using these, you can create custom attributes for the business object at run time. Some business objects have an associated key flexfield for configuring flexible multiple part keys.

Finding Flexfields on a Page

At run time, the custom attributes you define as flexfield segments appear in the application page just like any other attribute. However, each type of flexfield appears in a different way.

The following characteristics help you determine the type of flexfield on the application page:

  • Descriptive flexfield segments appear as label and field pairs or as a table of fields that correspond to the column headers. The fields represent the flexfield segments and accept values that derive from the segment's assigned value set.

  • Extensible flexfield segments appear grouped within labeled regions, where each grouping is a context and the region labels are the context names.

  • Key flexfields appear in the application page as a field with a key flexfield icon, where the field's value is a collection of segments.

To locate flexfields on a page, in the global area, select your user name and under the Settings and Actions menu, select Highlight Flexfields. The page renders in a special mode, displaying the location of flexfields, if any, on the page. Do the following:

  • Hover over the Information icon to view flexfield details.

  • Click the Configure Flexfield icon to manage the flexfield using the Manage Flexfields task.

  • Click the Add Context Value, Add Segment, or Edit Segment icons to add a context value or edit a global or context-sensitive flexfield segment. This applies to both descriptive and extensible flexfields.

Note: Not all flexfields are available for creating custom attributes. For example, some flexfields are protected, and you either can't edit their configurations at all, or can do only limited changes to them. Consult the product-specific documentation in Oracle Fusion Applications Help to verify whether there are any restrictions on using the flexfield.

All segments of a single flexfield are grouped together by default. The layout and positions of the flexfield segments depend on where the application developer places the flexfield on the page. Flexfields may also be presented in a separate section of the page, in a table, or on their own page or a dialog box. You can use Oracle Composer to edit the layout, position, or other display features of the flexfield segments.

When you no longer want to view the flexfields on a page, select Unhighlight Flexfields from the Administration menu.

Customizing Flexfields Using Page Composer: Explained

Using Page Composer, you can create customizations to flexfields that are specific to a page.

In Page Composer, to customize:

  • Extensible flexfields, open the page in Source view, and look for a region that is bound to an EffContextsPageContainer task flow. This is the container for the extensible flexfield attributes and contexts. To view the flexfield code and identifying information, open the properties panel for the region. To customize any component within the region, select the desired tag and click Edit.

  • Descriptive flexfields, open the page in Source view, and look for <descriptiveFlexfield> elements. Open the properties panel for the element to view the flexfield code and identifying information. Within the properties panel, you may customize properties for the global and context-sensitive segments or re-order the segments on the page.

Flexfields and Oracle Applications Cloud Architecture: How They Work Together

To capture additional data, administrators or implementors configure flexfield segments that represent attributes of business objects. Business objects are enabled for both descriptive flexfields and extensible flexfields.

The following figure shows the layers involved in configuring a flexfield:

  • The business entity table and metadata in the database.

  • The ADF business component objects. These are derived from the metadata and stored in Oracle Metadata Services (MDS) repository.

  • The user interface where fields defined by the flexfield segments are rendered.

The flexfield definition consists of all the metadata defined during configuration and stored in the database.

The figure displays the workflow of defining flexfield
and adding capacity in the database to enable flexfield segments through
applications development. After a flexfield is created and registered,
administrators configure it so that the definition is stored in the
database. The associated business components are deployed to the Metadata
Services repository. As a result, the attributes representing the
flexfields are available in the user interface, making those business
components accessible.

Application developers create a flexfield and register it so that it's available for configuration. Administrators and implementation consultants configure segments and other properties of the available flexfields. This information is stored as additional flexfield metadata in the database. Deploying the flexfield generates ADF business components based on the flexfield metadata in the database.

The following aspects are important in understanding how flexfields and Oracle Applications Cloud architecture work together:

  • Integration

  • Deployment

  • Import and export

  • Run time

  • Patching

Integration

The attributes that you add by configuring flexfields are available throughout the Oracle Fusion Middleware technology stack. You can use the flexfield segment's Application Programming Interface (API) to identify segments and integrate the flexfields in the following:

  • User interface pages

  • Service-oriented Architecture (SOA) infrastructure

  • Oracle Business Intelligence

  • Extended Spread Sheet Database (ESSbase)

Flexfield configurations are preserved across application updates.

Deployment

The metadata for the flexfield is stored in the application database as soon as you save your configuration changes. Deploying the flexfield generates the ADF business components so that the run time user interface reflects the latest flexfield definition in the metadata.

Importing and Exporting

Using the Setup and Maintenance work area, you can import and export flexfields across the implementation site. The deployment status must be either Deployed or Deployed to sandbox. Therefore, before you attempt migration, verify and ensure that a flexfield is successfully deployed.

Run Time

The latest definitions of a flexfield reflect on the user interface at run time only if the flexfield is deployed. When the user interface accesses a business object, the deployed flexfield definition identifies the attributes associated with the captured values. On a page, if you add display customizations for a flexfield using Oracle Composer, the same flexfield segments can appear differently on different pages.

Patching

Flexfield configurations are preserved during patching and upgrading.

Flexfields and Value Sets: Highlights

Before you use flexfields to create custom attributes, you should be familiar with the customization layers and the customization life cycle of Oracle Applications Cloud. In addition to the extensive help content available about configuring flexfields, consider the resources below for adding flexfields to business components and alternatives to flexfields where flexfields can't be enabled.

For more information about specific predefined flexfields, open the Setup and Maintenance work area, and use the tasks in the Define Flexfields task list. For customization not available through the tasks and user interface pages, contact My Oracle Support at http://www.oracle.com/pls/topic/lookup?ctx=acc=info or visit http://www.oracle.com/pls/topic/lookup?ctx=acc=trs if you are hearing impaired.

Note: Don't use Oracle JDeveloper to customize flexfields.

Before Configuring Flexfields

You can add custom attributes to a business object using a flexfield, if a flexfield has been registered for that object by developers.

Deploying Flexfields

Oracle Business Intelligence

Flexfield Management

Managing Flexfields: Points to Consider

Managing flexfields involves registering, planning, and configuring flexfields.

You plan and configure the registered flexfields provided in your applications by applications developers. How you configure flexfield segments determines how the flexfield segments appear to users. Optionally, you can customize the UI page to change how the flexfield segments appear to users on that page.

The figure shows the processes involved in making flexfields available to users. The tasks in the Define Flexfields activity let administrators configure and deploy flexfields. After you configure and deploy a flexfield to a sandbox, deploy it again to the mainline metadata so that it's available to the users.

Figure shows flow from planning to making the flexfield
available to users. Configuration and deploying falls within the tasks
of the Define Flexfield activity.

Consider the following aspects of managing flexfields:

  • Registering flexfields

  • Planning flexfields

  • Configuring flexfields

  • Enabling a flexfields segment for business intelligence

  • Deploying flexfields

  • Optionally changing a flexfield segment's appearance in a user interface page

  • Identifying flexfields on a run time page and troubleshooting

Registering Flexfields

A flexfield must be registered before it can be configured. Therefore, application development registers flexfields so that they are available to administrators and implementation consultants for configuration. The registration involves reserving columns of entity tables for use in flexfields. For more information about registering flexfields, see Oracle Fusion Applications Developer's Guide.

Planning Flexfields

Before you begin planning flexfields, determine what type is appropriate to your needs, and which business objects are available for customizing flexfields. All flexfields consist of segments which represent attributes of an entity. The value a user enters for an attribute is stored in a column of the entity table. Carefully plan flexfields before configuring them. Before configuring new segments for your flexfields, be sure to plan their implementation carefully.

If you have determined that a business object supports flexfields, and those flexfields have been registered, you can begin planning their configuration. Note the code name of the flexfield you intend to configure so that you can find it easily in the Define Flexfield activity. In some cases you can customize how the flexfield appears on the page. See Oracle Applications Cloud Help for specific products to determine any restrictions on using product-specific flexfields.

Configuring Flexfields

Administrators or implementors configure flexfields so they meet the needs of the enterprise. Some flexfields require configuration to make an application operate correctly. You can configure flexfields using the following methods:

  • Go to the manage flexfield tasks in the Setup and Maintenance work area.

  • Use the Highlight Flexfields command in the Administration menu while viewing a run time page.

    • Use the Configure Flexfield icon button to manage all aspects of a flexfield, such as change a segment's sequence number or configure a flexfield segment's business intelligence label.

    • Use the Add Segment and Edit Segment icon buttons to add and edit descriptive or extensible flexfield segments with simple configurations.

    • Use the Add Context icon button to add descriptive or extensible flexfield context values.

Configuring a flexfield includes the following:

  • Defining value sets against which the values entered by users are validated

  • Defining the structure or context of the segments in the flexfield

  • Specifying the identifying information for each segment

  • Specifying the display properties such as prompt, length and data type of each flexfield segment

  • Specifying valid values for each segment, and the meaning of each value within the application

Tip: You can create value sets while creating descriptive and extensible flexfield segments. However, define value sets before configuring key flexfield segments that use them, because you assign existing value sets while configuring key flexfield segments.

When creating table-validated, independent, dependent, or subset value sets while creating descriptive and extensible flexfield segments, you can optionally specify to display the description of the selected value to the right of the segment at run time. You can assign sequence order numbers to global segments and to context-sensitive segments in each context. Segment display is always in a fixed order based on the segments' sequence numbers. You cannot enter a number for one segment that is already in use for a different segment. Therefore, you may consider numbering the segments in multiples, such as 4, 5, or 10, to make it easy to insert new attributes.

A flexfield column is assigned to a new segment automatically, but you can change the assignment before saving the segment. If you must set a specific column assignment for a segment, create that segment first to ensure that the intended column isn't automatically assigned to a different segment.

Enabling a Flexfield Segment for Business Intelligence

You can enable flexfield segments for business intelligence if the flexfield is registered in the database as an Oracle Business Intelligence-enabled flexfield. For more information about enabling segments for business intelligence, see points to consider when enabling descriptive, extensible, and key flexfield segments for business intelligence. For extensible flexfield segments, you can't assign labels to equalize segments across contexts that are semantically equivalent.

Deploying Flexfields

Once you have configured a flexfield, you must deploy it to make the latest definition available to run time users. In the Define Flexfields tasks, you can deploy a flexfield using either of the following commands:

  • The Deploy Flexfield command deploys a flexfield to the mainline metadata. This command is for general use in a test or production environment.

  • The Deploy to Sandbox command deploys a flexfield to sandbox. This command is for confirming that the flexfield is correctly configured before deploying it to the mainline metadata.

In Highlight Flexfields mode, when using the:

  • Add Context, Add Segment, and Edit Segment tools for extensible flexfields, use the Save command to save your changes. Then use the Deploy command to deploy the flexfield to the mainline metadata

  • Add Segment and Edit Segment tools for descriptive flexfields, use the Save and Deploy command to save your changes. Then deploy the flexfield to the mainline metadata

Once deployed, the deployment status indicates the state of the currently configured flexfield relative to the last deployed definition.

Optionally Changing a Flexfield Segment Appearance

The flexfield attributes that you define integrate with the user interface pages where users access the attributes' business object. Application development determines the UI pages where business objects appear and the display patterns used by default to render flexfield segments.

After a flexfield has been deployed to the mainline MDS repository so that it appears on application pages, you can customize it on a per-page basis using Page Composer. For example, you can hide a segment, change its prompt or other properties, or reorder the custom global attributes so that they are interspersed with the core attributes in the same parent layout. You can customize the appearance of descriptive and extensible flexfield segments in the UI page using Page Composer, once the flexfield is deployed to the mainline metadata.

If the applications are running in different locales, you can provide different translations for translatable text, such as prompts and descriptions. Enter translations using the locale that requires the translated text. In the global area, click your user name and from the Settings and Actions menu, select Set Preferences. Then change the text to the translated text for that locale.

Identifying Flexfields on a Run Time Page

The Highlight Flexfields command in the Administration menu of the Setup and Maintenance work area identifies the location of flexfields on the run time page by displaying an Information icon button for accessing details about each flexfield.

Even if a descriptive or extensible flexfield isn't yet deployed and no segments appear on the run time page in normal view, the flexfield appears in the Highlight Flexfield view for that page. For descriptive flexfields, the segments as of the last deployment appear. For extensible flexfields, any segments and contexts that have been saved but not yet deployed also appear as disabled.

Highlight Flexfields accesses the current flexfield metadata definition. Use the highlighted flexfield's Configure Flexfield icon button to manage flexfields directly. Alternatively, note a highlighted flexfield's name to search for it in the tasks for managing flexfields.

For more information about creating flexfields and adding them to a UI page, see the Oracle Fusion Applications Developer's Guide. For more information about customizing flexfield segment appearance with Page Composer, see guidance on customizing existing pages in the Oracle Fusion Applications Extensibility Guide.

Flexfield Segment Properties: Explained

Independent of the value set assigned to a segment, segments may have properties that affect how they are displayed and how they function.

The following aspects are important in understanding

  • Display properties

  • Properties related to segment values

  • Properties related to search

  • Range validation segments

  • Rule validation of segment values

  • Naming conventions

Display Properties

The following table summarizes display properties.

Property Description

Enabled

Whether the segment can be used.

Sequence

The order the segment appears in relation to the other configured segments.

Prompt

The string to be used for the segment's label in the user interface.

Display type

The type of field in which to display the segment.

Selected and deselected values

If the display type is check box, the actual values to save. For example, Y and N or 0 and 1.

Display size

The character width of the field.

Display height

The height of the field as measured in visible number of lines when the display type is a text area.

Read only

Whether the field should display as read-only, not editable text.

Description help text

The field-level description help text to display for the field. Use description help text to display a field-level description that expands on or clarifies the prompt provided for the field.

If description help text is specified, a Help icon button is displayed next to the field in the run time application. The description help text is displayed when the user hovers over the Help icon button.

Instruction help text

The field-level instruction help text to display for the field.

Use instruction help text to provide directions on using the field. If instruction help text is specified, it's appears in an in-field help note window when users move the cursor over the field.

Properties Related to Search

Extensible flexfield segments can be marked as selectively required in search using the indexed property. The indexed property requires users to enter a value before conducting a search on the attribute represented by the indexed segment. A database administrator must create an index on the segment column representing the indexed attribute.

Range Validation of Segments

Range validation enables you to enforce an arithmetic inequality between two segments of a flexfield. For example, a product must be ordered before it can be shipped. Therefore, the order date must be on or before the ship date. Also, the order date segment value must be less than or equal to the ship date segment value. You can use range validation to ensure this relationship.

The conditions for range validation are as follows:

  • Segments must be configured for range validation in pairs, one with the low value and one with the high value.

  • Both segments must be of the same data type.

  • Both segments must be parts of the same structure in a key flexfield or parts of the same context in a descriptive flexfield or extensible flexfield.

  • The low value segment must have a sequence number that is lesser than that of the high value segment.

  • Non-range validated segments can exist between a range validated pair, but range validated pairs cannot overlap or be nested.

You can configure as many range validated pairs as you want within the same flexfield. Your application automatically detects and applies range validation to the segment pairs that you define, in sequence order. It must detect a low value segment first, and the next range validated segment that it detects must be a high value segment. These two segments are assumed to be a matching pair. The low value and the high value can be equal.

Rule Validation of Segment Values

Validation rules on descriptive and extensible flexfield segments determine how an attribute is validated. The value entered for an attribute on a business object may must match a specified format or be restricted to a list of values. Use a value set to specify the validation rules.

Value set validation is required for global segments and context-sensitive segments, and optional for context segments. In the case of context segments, the application may validate a value instead of the value set validating the value against the context segment. However the application entered values must match exactly the valid context segment values. If the context segment values are a superset or subset of the input values, you must assign a table-validated value set or independent value set to validate context values.

When you configure a descriptive flexfield segment, you can specify a constant to use for setting the initial value. The initial value can be an available parameter. For every planned segment, list the constant value or parameter, if any, to use for the initial value.

Naming Conventions

Enter a unique code, name, and description for the segment. These properties are for internal use and not displayed to end users. You can't change the code after the segment is created.

The Application Programming Interface (API) name is a name for the segment that isn't exposed to users. The API name is used to identify the segment in various integration points including web services, rules, and business intelligence. Use alphanumeric characters only with a leading character. For example, enter a code consisting of the characters A-Z, a-z, 0-9 with a non-numeric leading character. The use of spaces, underscores, multi-byte characters, and leading numeric characters isn't permitted. You can't change the API name after the segment has been created.

Flexfields Segments: How They Are Rendered

Flexfield segments appear on pages as attributes of business objects.

Settings That Affect Flexfield Segment Display

When you configure flexfield segments, the value you enter for the segment's display type determines how the segment appears at run time.

How Display Type Values Appear

The following figures represent how the display types render on the UI at run time. Each display type screenshot is assigned an alphabet that maps to the display type and its description in the table.

This figure contains the representation of a check box, a drop-down list, a list of values, and a search box.

A. Check box, B. Drop-down List, C. List of Values,
D. Search Box List of Values

This figure contains the representation of a radio button group, text area, text box, date and time, and rich text editor.

E. Radio Button Group, F. Text Area, G. Text Box,
H. Date and Time, I. Rich Text Editor

This figure contains the representation of a color palette and a static URL field.

J. Color, K. Static URL

The following table describes each display type.

Display Type Figure Reference Description

Check Box

A

The field appears as a check box. If the user selects the check box, the checked value is used. Otherwise, the deselected value is used.

List

B

The field appears as a list of values available to the user for selection.

List of Values

C

The field appears as a list of values available to the user for selection. The user can also click Search to find more values.

Text Field with Search

D

The field appears as a text field with a Search icon button. The users can type a value in the text field or they can click the Search icon button to open another window for searching.

Radio Button Group

E

The field appears as a set of radio buttons. The user can select one button. Selecting a button deselects any previously selected button in the set.

Text Area

F

The field appears as a text area in which the user can type multiple lines of text. The display width and height specify the visible width and number of lines in the text area, respectively.

Text Box

G

The field appears as a text field in which the user can type a single line of text. The display width controls the width of the text box.

Date Time

H

The field enables the user to enter a date if the data type is Date, or a date and time if the data type is Date Time. The user can select the date in a calendar. If the data type is Date Time, the field also displays fields for specifying the hour, minutes, seconds, AM or PM, and time zone.

Rich Text Editor

I

The field appears as a text area in which the user can enter and edit multiple lines of formatted text. The display width and height specify the visible width and number of lines in the rich text editor, respectively.

Note: This display type is available for extensible flexfields only.

Color

J

The field displays a color palette for the user to select a color at run time and assign it to the segment. During setup, this display type appears in the list for selection only if:

  • You are working on an extensible flexfield segment.

  • The value set for the segment is set to ORA_FND_COLOR_#RRGGBB.

Static URL

K

The field appears as a text field in which users can enter a fixed URL that opens the web page when clicked.

Note: The length of the URL must not exceed 255 characters.

Hidden

 

The field isn't displayed.

Flexfields and Value Sets: How They Work Together

Value sets are specific to your enterprise. When gathering information using flexfields, your enterprise's value sets validate the values that your users enter based on how you defined the value set.

You can assign a value set to any number of flexfield segments in the same or different flexfields. Value set usage information indicates which flexfields use the value set.

The following aspects are important in understanding how flexfields and value sets work together:

  • Defining value sets

  • Shared value sets

  • Deployment

Defining Value Sets

As a key flexfield guideline, define value sets before configuring the flexfield, because you assign value sets to each segment as you configure a flexfield. With descriptive and extensible flexfields, you can define value sets when adding or editing a segment.

Note: Ensure that changes to a shared value set are compatible with all flexfield segments that use the value set.

Shared Value Sets

When you change a value in a shared value set, the change affects the value set for all flexfields that use that value set. The advantage of a shared value set is that a single change propagates to all usages. The drawback is that the change shared across usages may not be appropriate in every case.

Value Set Values

To configure custom attributes to be captured on the value set values screen in the Manage Value Sets task, configure the Value Set Values descriptive flexfield. The object's code is FND_VS_VALUES_B.This flexfield expects the context code to correspond to the value set code. For each value set, you can define a context whose code is the value set code, and whose context-sensitive segments are shown for the values of that value set. By default, the context segment is hidden since it maps to the value set code and is not expected to be changed.

You can also define global segments that are shown for all value sets. However, this would be quite unusual since it would mean that you want to capture that attribute for all values for all value sets.

Deployment

When you deploy a flexfield, the value sets assigned to the segments of the flexfield provide users with the valid values for the attributes represented by the segments.

Defaulting and Deriving Segment Values: Explained

To populate a flexfield segment with a default value when a row is created, specify a default type of constant or parameter and a default value.

To synchronize a segment's value with another field's value whenever it changes, specify the derivation value to be the flexfield parameter from which to derive the attribute's value. Whenever the parameter value changes, the attribute's value is changed to match. If you derive an attribute from a parameter, consider making the attribute read-only, as values entered by users are lost whenever the parameter value changes.

When defaulting or deriving a default value from a parameter, only those attributes designated by development as parameters are available to be chosen.

Different combinations of making the segments read only or editable in combination with the default or derivation value or both, have different effects.

Initial run time behavior corresponds to the row for the attribute value being created in the entity table. If the default value is read only, it cannot subsequently be changed through the user interface. If the default value isn't read only, users can modify it. However, if the segment value is a derived value, a user-modified segment value is overwritten when the derivation value changes.

Default Type Default value specified? Derivation value specified? Initial run time behavior Run time behavior after parameter changes

None

No

Yes

No initial segment value

The changed parameter derivation value updates segment value

Constant

Yes

No

Default segment value

N/A

Constant

Yes

Yes

Default segment value

The changed parameter derivation value updates segment value

Parameter

Yes

No

The default segment value is the parameter's default value

N/A

Parameter

Yes

Yes, and same as default value

The default segment value is the parameter's default and derivation value

The changed parameter derivation value updates segment value

Parameter

Yes

Yes, and different from default value

The default segment value is the parameter's default value

The changed parameter default value doesn't update segment value. Only the changed derivation value updates the segment value.

Flexfield Usages: Explained

The flexfield usage specifies the table with which the flexfield and its segments are associated.

A flexfield can have multiple usages. However, the first table registered for a flexfield indicates the master usage. Segments are based on the master usage. Other usages of the same table for the same flexfield use the same segment setup, though the column names may have a differentiating prefix.

On the Manage Descriptive Flexfields and Manage Extensible Flexfields pages, click the Show Entity Usages icon for a specific flexfield to view its entity usage. On the Manage Value Sets page, you can view the flexfield usages for a selected value set.

Extensible Flexfields

For extensible flexfield contexts, you can configure a different usage. The usage of an extensible flexfield context determines the scenarios or user interfaces in which the segments of a context appear to end users. For example, the Supplier page displays an extensible flexfield's supplier usage and the Buyer page for the same flexfield displays the buyer usage. Then, a context that is associated only with the supplier usage appears only on the Supplier page and not on the Buyer page.

Value Sets

The usage of value sets specifies the flexfields having segments where the identified value set is assigned.

FAQs for Flexfield Management

How can I access predefined flexfields?

Search for predefined flexfields using the Define Flexfields task list:

  1. In the Setup and Maintenance work area, search for the Define Flexfields task list and expand it to view the tasks.

  2. Open the task that corresponds to the flexfields you are searching for.

  3. Enter any of the search parameters and click Search.

    Tip: If you don't know the flexfield name or the code, use the Module field to filter search results.
  4. Click a flexfield to view its details.

Why can't I edit my flexfield or value set configuration?

Your flexfield or value set configuration may be protected. Application developers mark some configurations as protected, indicating that you can't edit them.

Some examples of configurations that may be protected are:

  • Descriptive flexfields

  • Extensible flexfield contexts

  • Extensible flexfield pages

  • Value sets

Why did my page not display any flexfield?

For a flexfield to be available in the page, it must be registered by developers and also deployed. The segments appear on the page only after you have successfully deployed the flexfield.

A flexfield's deployment status indicates whether the flexfield segments are available to end users. The flexfield segments seen by end users in the run time correspond to the flexfield definition that was last deployed successfully.

For information about registering flexfields, see the Oracle Fusion Applications Developer's Guide. Some business objects haven't been designed to support flexfields. For information about how to enable business objects with flexfield capability, see Getting Started with Flexfields in the Oracle Fusion Applications Developer's Guide.

Note: Oracle Sales Cloud doesn't support flexfields.

To add custom attributes to these applications, you may use Application Composer. For more information, see the product-specific documentation.

Why did my flexfield changes not appear in the run time UI?

The ADF business components or artifacts of a flexfield, which are generated into an Oracle Metadata Services (MDS) Repository when the flexfield is deployed, are cached within a user session. You must sign out and sign back in again to view flexfield definition changes reflected in the run time application user interface page.

How can I enable flexfield segments for Oracle Social Network Cloud Service?

When you manage Oracle Social Network Objects during setup and maintenance, search for the business object that includes descriptive flexfields. Select the attributes that are defined as flexfield segments and enable them.

Flexfield Deployment

Flexfield Deployment: Explained

Deployment generates or refreshes the Application Development Framework (ADF) business component objects that render the flexfield in a user interface. The deployment process adds custom attributes to the Web Services Description Language (WSDL) schemas exposed by Oracle ADF services and used by SOA composites. Flexfields are deployed for the first time during the application provisioning process. After you configure or change a flexfield, you must deploy it to make the latest definition available to users.

If a descriptive flexfield is enabled for business intelligence, the deployment process redeploys the flexfield's business intelligence artifacts.

You can deploy a flexfield to a sandbox for testing or to the mainline metadata for use in a test or production run time environment. You can deploy extensible flexfields as a background process.

After deployment, the custom attributes are available for incorporating into the SOA infrastructure, such as business process and business rule integration. For example, you can now write business rules that depend on the custom attributes. You must sign out and sign back in to Oracle Applications Cloud to see the changes you deployed in the run time.

The following aspects are important in understanding flexfield deployment:

  • Deployment Status

  • Initial Deployment Status

  • Metadata Validations

  • Metadata Synchronization

  • Deployment as a Background Process

  • Export of Artifacts from Flexfield MDS

Deployment Status

Every flexfield has a deployment status.

A flexfield can have the following deployment statuses:

Deployment Status Meaning

Edited

The flexfield metadata definition hasn't been deployed yet. Updates of the metadata definition aren't applied in the run time environment yet.

Patched

The flexfield metadata definition has been modified through a patch or a data migration action, but the flexfield hasn't yet been deployed. So, the updated definition isn't reflected in the run time environment.

Deployed to Sandbox

The current metadata for the flexfield is deployed in ADF artifacts and available as a flexfield-enabled sandbox. The status of the sandbox is managed by the Manage Sandboxes task available to the Administrator menu of the Setup and Maintenance work area.

Deployed

The current metadata for the flexfield is deployed in ADF artifacts and available to users. No changes have been made to the flexfield after being deployed to the mainline metadata.

Error

The deployment attempt in the mainline metadata failed.

Note: Whenever a value set definition changes, the deployment status of a flexfield that uses that value set changes to edited. If the change results from a patch, the deployment status of the flexfield changes to patched.

Initial Deployment Status of Flexfields

The Oracle Applications Cloud implementation loads flexfield metadata into the database. This initial load sets the flexfield status to Edited. During installation, the application provisioning process deploys the flexfields of the provisioned applications, setting their status to Deployed if no errors occur.

In a provisioned application, deployed flexfields are ready to use. In some cases, flexfield availability at run time requires setup, such as defining key flexfields.

Metadata Validation

Use the Validate Metadata command to view possible metadata errors before attempting to deploy the flexfield. Metadata validation is the initial phase of all flexfield deployment commands. By successfully validating metadata before running the deployment commands, you can avoid failures in the metadata validation phase of a deployment attempt. The deployment process ends if an error occurs during the metadata validation phase. Metadata validation results don't affect the deployment status of a flexfield.

Metadata Synchronization

When an extensible or descriptive flexfield is deployed, the deployment process regenerates the XML schema definition (XSD). As a result, the custom attributes are available to web services and the SOA infrastructure.

After deploying a flexfield configuration, you must synchronize the updated XML schema definition (XSD) files in the MDS repositories for each SOA application.

Note: To synchronize the updated XSD files in the MDS repositories in Oracle Cloud implementations, log a service request using My Oracle Support at http://support.com/

Deployment as a Background Process

You can deploy extensible flexfields offline as a background process and continue working in the session without having to wait for the deployment to complete. You can queue up several extensible flexfields and deploy as a background process. The flexfields are deployed, one at a time, in the order that you deploy them to the queue. You must deploy extensible flexfields with more than 30 categories as a background process.

You can remove an extensible flexfield from the deployment queue with the Cancel Background Deployment command. When an extensible flexfield is deployed in a background process, its offline status indicates that the flexfield is in a background deployment process. A flexfield's offline status is cleared and its deployment status updated when the background deployment process has completed.

Export of Artifacts from Flexfield MDS

You can export business components from MDS for descriptive, extensible, or key flexfields, mainly for use in troubleshooting issues with flexfields. Use Download Flexfield Archive on the Manage Flexfields page to export MDS artifacts of the selected flexfield, and import them to an archive on your local computer. You can use these archived business components of flexfields for troubleshooting purposes.

Alternatively, export the deployed artifacts using exportMetadata WLST.

Flexfield Deployment Status: How It Is Calculated

Flexfield deployment status indicates how the flexfield metadata definition in the Oracle Fusion Applications database relates to the Application Development Framework (ADF) business components generated into an Oracle Metadata Services (MDS) Repository.

The following aspects are important in understanding how flexfield deployment status is calculated:

  • Settings that affect flexfield deployment status

  • How deployment status is calculated

Settings That Affect Flexfield Deployment Status

If you have made a change to a flexfield and expect a changed deployment status, be sure you have saved your changes. No settings affect flexfield deployment status.

How Deployment Status Is Calculated

If the flexfield definition has been edited through the Define Flexfields activity task flows, the status is Edited. The latest flexfield metadata definition in the Oracle Fusion application diverges from the latest deployed flexfield definition. Any change, including if a value set used in a flexfield changes, changes the deployment status to Edited. If a flexfield has never been deployed, its status is Edited.

Note: When an application is provisioned, the provisioning framework attempts to deploy all flexfields in that application.

If you deploy the flexfield to a sandbox successfully, the status is Deployed to Sandbox. The latest flexfield metadata definition in the Oracle Fusion application matches the metadata definition that generated ADF business components in a sandbox MDS Repository. Whether the sandbox is active or not doesn't affect the deployment status. If the flexfield was deployed to a sandbox and hasn't been edited or redeployed to the mainline metadata since then, the status remains Deployed to Sandbox independent of whether the sandbox is active, or who is viewing the status.

If you deploy the flexfield successfully to the mainline metadata, the status is Deployed. The latest flexfield metadata definition in the Oracle Fusion application matches the metadata definition that generated ADF business components in a mainline MDS Repository. Change notifications are sent when a flexfield is deployed successfully to the mainline metadata.

If either type of deployment fails so that the current flexfield definition isn't deployed, the status is Error. The deployment error message gives details about the error. The latest flexfield metadata definition in the Oracle Fusion application likely diverges from the latest successfully deployed flexfield definition.

If the flexfield definition has been modified by a patch, the status is Patched. The latest flexfield metadata definition in the Oracle Fusion application diverges from the latest deployed flexfield definition. If the flexfield definition was Deployed before the patch and then a patch was applied, the status changes to Patched. If the flexfield definition was Edited before the patch and then a patch was applied, the status will remain at Edited to reflect that there are still changes (outside of the patch) that aren't yet in effect.

When a deployment attempt fails, you can access the Deployment Error Message for details.

Deploying a Flexfield-Enabled Sandbox: How It Works With Mainline Metadata

The flexfield definition in a sandbox corresponds to the flexfield metadata definition in the Oracle Fusion Applications database at the time the flexfield was deployed to the sandbox. When the flexfield is ready for end users, the flexfield must be deployed to the mainline metadata.

A flexfield-enabled sandbox uses the following components.

  • Flexfield metadata in the Oracle Applications Cloud database

  • Flexfield business components in a sandbox Oracle Metadata Services (MDS) repository

  • User interface customizations for the flexfield in the mainline MDS repository

The figure shows the two types of deployment available in the Manage Flexfield tasks of the Define Flexfields activity. Deploying a flexfield to a sandbox creates a sandbox MDS Repository for the sole purpose of testing flexfield behavior. The sandbox is only accessible to the administrator who activates and accesses it, not to users generally. Deploying a flexfield to the mainline metadata applies the flexfield definition to the mainline MDS Repository where it is available to end users. After deploying the flexfield to the mainline metadata, customize the page where the flexfield segments appear. Customization of the page in the sandbox MDS Repository cannot be published to the mainline MDS Repository.

The figure shows a flow in the Define Flexfields activity
that includes testing the flexfield in a sandbox and possibly also
making changes to the MDS data in Oracle Composer after deploying
the flexfield to the mainline metadata for access to users.

Sandbox Metadata Services Repository Data

Deploying the flexfield to a sandbox generates the Application Development Framework (ADF) business components of a flexfield in a sandbox MDS Repository for testing in isolation.

Caution: Don't customize flexfield segment display properties using Page Composer in a flexfield-enabled sandbox as these changes will be lost when deploying the flexfield to the mainline metadata.

Mainline Metadata Services Repository Data

The Oracle Fusion Applications database stores the single source of truth about a flexfield. When the flexfield is deployed, the ADF business component objects that implement the flexfield in the run time user interface are generated in the mainline MDS Repository from this source.

Deploying a Flexfield to a Sandbox: Points to Consider

Deploying a flexfield to a sandbox creates a flexfield-enabled sandbox. Each flexfield-enabled sandbox contains only one flexfield.

You can test the run time behavior of a flexfield in the flexfield-enabled sandbox. If changes are needed, you return to the Define Flexfield tasks to change the flexfield definition.

When you deploy a flexfield to sandbox, the process reads the metadata about the segments from the database, generates flexfield Application Development Framework (ADF) business component artifacts based on that definition, and stores in the sandbox only the generated artifacts derived from the definition.

When you deploy a flexfield sandbox, the process generates the name of the flexfield sandbox, and that flexfield sandbox is set as your current active sandbox. When you next sign in to the application, you can see the updated flexfield configurations. The Oracle Fusion Applications global area displays your current session sandbox.

Note: Unlike a standalone sandbox created using the Manage Sandboxes tool, the sandbox deployed for a flexfield contains only the single flexfield. You can manage flexfield sandboxes, such as setting an existing flexfield sandbox as active or deleting it, using the Manage Sandboxes tool.

When you deploy a flexfield to the mainline metadata after having deployed it to the sandbox, the sandbox-enabled flexfield is automatically deleted.

Sandbox MDS Repository Data

The sandbox data lets you test the flexfield in isolation without first deploying it in the mainline metadata where it could be accessed by users.

Caution: Don't customize flexfield segment display properties using Page Composer in a flexfield-enabled sandbox as these changes will be lost when deploying the flexfield to the mainline metadata.

Managing a Flexfield-Enabled Sandbox

When you deploy a flexfield as a sandbox, that flexfield-enabled sandbox automatically gets activated in your user session. When you sign back in to see the changes, the sandbox is active in your session.

You can only deploy a flexfield to a sandbox using the Define Flexfields task flow pages.

You also can use the Manage Sandboxes feature in the Administration menu of the Setup and Maintenance work area to activate and access a flexfield-enabled sandbox.

Note: Whether you use the Define Flexfields or Manage Sandboxes task flows to access a flexfield-enabled sandbox, you must sign out and sign back in before you can see the changes you deployed in the run time.

You cannot publish the flexfield from the sandbox to the mainline metadata. You must use the Define Flexfields task flow pages to deploy the flexfield for access by users of the mainline metadata because the flexfield configuration in the mainline metadata is the single source of truth.

Deploying Flexfields Using the Command Line: Explained

You can use the Manage Key Flexfields, Manage Descriptive Flexfields, and Manage Extensible Flexfields tasks to deploy flexfields. You can also use WebLogic Server Tool (WLST) commands for priming the Oracle Metadata Services (MDS) Repository with predefined flexfield artifacts and for deploying flexfields.

The table describes the available commands.

WebLogic Server Tool Command Description
deployFlexForApp

Deploys all flexfields for the specified enterprise application. Only flexfields whose status is other than deployed are affected by this command, unless the option is enabled to force all flexfields to be deployed, regardless of deployment status.

Initial application provisioning runs this command to prime the MDS Repository with flexfield artifacts.

deployFlex

Deploy a single flexfield regardless of deployment status

deployPatchedFlex

Deploys flexfield changes that have been delivered using a flexfield Seed Data Framework (SDF) patch. Deploys flexfields that have a Patched deployment status.

deleteFlexPatchingLabels

Displays MDS label of flexfield changes for viewing and deleting patching labels.

validateFlexDeploymentStatus

Displays list containing flexfields that aren't deployed or failed deployment.

Executing these commands outputs a report at the command line. The report provides the following information for every flexfield that is processed.

  • Application identity (APPID)

  • Flexfield code

  • Deployment result, such as success or error

In case of errors, the report lists the usages for which errors occurred. If a run time exception occurs, the output displays the trace back information. For each WLST flexfield command, adding the reportFormat='xml' argument returns the report as an XML string.

Consider the following aspects of command-line deployment.

  • Preparing to use the WLST flexfield commands

  • Using the deployFlexForApp command

  • Using the deployFlex command

  • Using the deployPatchedFlex command

  • Using the deleteFlexPatchingLabels command

  • Using the validateFlexDeploymentStatus command

  • Closing WLST and checking the results

Preparing To Use the WLST Flexfield Commands

You can only execute the WLST flexfield commands on a WebLogic Administration Server for a domain that has a running instance of Oracle Fusion Middleware Extensions for Oracle Application.

For more information about deploying the Oracle Fusion Middleware Extensions for Oracle Application to the server domains, see the Oracle Fusion Applications Developer's Guide.

Ensure that the AppMasterDB data source is registered as a JDBC data source with the WebLogic Administration Server and points to the same database as the ApplicationDB data source.

Start the WebLogic Server Tool (WLST) if not currently running.

UNIX:

sh $JDEV_HOME/oracle_common/common/bin/wlst.sh

Windows:

wlst.cmd

Connect to the server, replacing the user name and password arguments with your WebLogic Server user name and password.

connect('wls_username', 'wls_password', 'wls_uri')

The values must be wrapped in single-quotes. The wls_uri value is typically T3://localhost:7101.

For more information about the WLST scripting tool, see the Oracle Fusion Middleware Oracle WebLogic Scripting Tool.

Using the deployFlexForApp Command

The deployFlexForApp command translates the product application's predefined flexfield metadata into artifacts in the MDS Repository.

Note: This command is run automatically when you provision applications. However, if you customize applications, you have to manually run it following the order of tasks as given here:
  1. Configure your application to read the flexfield artifacts from the MDS Repository.

  2. Run the deployFlexForApp command.

  3. Sign in to the application.

This sequence of steps is required even if there is no predefined flexfield metadata.

This command doesn't deploy flexfields that have a status of Deployed unless the force parameter is set to 'true' (the default setting is 'false').

For more information about priming the MDS partition with configured flexfield artifacts, see the Oracle Fusion Applications Developer's Guide.

From the WLST tool, execute the following commands to deploy the artifacts to the MDS partition, replacing product_application_shortname with the application's short name wrapped in single-quotes.

deployFlexForApp('product_application_shortname'[, 'enterprise_id'] [,'force']) 

In a multi-tenant environment, replace enterprise_id with the Enterprise ID to which the flexfield is mapped. Otherwise, replace with 'None' or don't provide a second argument.

To deploy all flexfields regardless of their deployment status, set force to 'true' (the default setting is 'false'). To deploy all flexfields in a single-tenant environment, you either can set enterprise_id to 'None', or you can use the following signature:

deployFlexForApp(applicationShortName='product_application_shortname',force='true')

The application's short name is the same as the application's module name. For more information about working with application taxonomy, see the Oracle Fusion Applications Developer's Guide.

Using the deployFlex Command

From the WLST tool, execute the following command to deploy a flexfield, replacing flex_code with the code that identifies the flexfield, and replacing flex_type with the flexfield's type, either descriptive flexfield, key flexfield, or extensible flexfield. The values must be wrapped in single-quotes.

deployFlex('flex_code', 'flex_type')

Optionally, execute the following command if the flexfield is an extensible flexfield, and you want to deploy all the flexfield's configurations.

Note: By default, extensible flexfields are partially deployed. That is, only the pages, contexts, or categories that had recent changes, are deployed.
deployFlex('flex_code', 'flex_type', ['force_Complete_EFF_Deployment'])
where, forceCompleteEFFDeployment=None

Using the deployPatchedFlex Command

Use the deployPatchedFlex command for situations where the patching framework doesn't initiate the command, such as when an application has been patched offline.

If the installation is multi-tenant enabled, the command deploys all patched flexfields for all enterprises. This command isn't intended to be initiated manually.

Check with your provisioning or patching team, or the task flows for managing flexfields, to verify that the flexfield has a Patched deployment status.

From the WLST tool, execute the following command to deploy the artifacts to the MDS partition.

deployPatchedFlex()

Execute the following command to deploy all flexfields that have either a READY status or an ERROR status.

deployPatchedFlex(mode='RETRY')

Using the deleteFlexPatchingLabels Command

Whenever you deploy flexfield changes to MDS using the deployPatchedFlex() WLST command, an MDS label is created in the format FlexPatchingWatermarkdate+time. Use the deleteFlexPatchingLabels command to inquire about and delete these labels.

From the WLST tool, execute the deleteFlexPatchingLabels () command with no arguments to delete the flexfield patching labels.

To output a list of flexfield patching labels, execute the command with the infoOnly argument, as follows:

deleteFlexPatchingLabels(infoOnly='true')

Using the validateFlexDeploymentStatus Command

The validateFlexDeploymentStatus() WLST command checks the deployment status of all flexfields in an Oracle Fusion Applications deployment.

validateFlexDeploymentStatus()

Use this command to verify that all flexfields in the current instance of provisioned Java EE applications are deployed.

Closing WLST and Checking the Results

To close the tool, execute the command: disconnect().

Optionally, sign in the application, open user interface pages that contain flexfields, and confirm the presence of flexfields for which configuration exists, such as value sets, segments, context, or structures.

Manage Value Sets

Value Sets: Explained

A value set is a group of valid values that you assign to a flexfield segment to control the values that are stored for business object attributes.

An end user enters a value for an attribute of a business object while using the application. The flexfield validates the value against the set of valid values that you configured as a value set and assigned to the segment.

For example, you can define a required format, such as a five digit number, or a list of valid values, such as green, red, and blue.

Flexfield segments are usually validated, and typically each segment in a given flexfield uses a different value set. You can assign a single value set to more than one segment, and you can share value sets among different flexfields.

Note: Ensure that changes to a shared value set are compatible with all flexfields segments using the value set.

The following aspects are important in understanding value sets:

  • Managing value sets

  • Validation

  • Security

  • Precision and scale

  • Usage and deployment

  • Protected value set data

Managing Value Sets

To access the Manage Value Sets page, use the Manage Value Sets task, or use the Manage Descriptive Flexfields and Manage Extensible Flexfields tasks for configuring a segment, including its value set. To access the Manage Values page, select the value set from the Manage Value Sets page, and click Manage Values. Alternatively, click Manage Values from the Edit Value Set page.

Validation

The following types of validation are available for value sets:

  • Format only, where end users enter data rather than selecting values from a list

  • Independent, a list of values consisting of valid values you specify

  • Dependent, a list of values where a valid value derives from the independent value of another segment

  • Subset, where the list of values is a subset of the values in an existing independent value set

  • Table, where the values derive from a column in an application table and the list of values is limited by a WHERE clause

A segment that uses a format only value set doesn't present a list of valid values to users. Adding table validated value sets to the list of available value sets available for configuration is considered a custom task.

Note: For the Accounting Key Flexfield value sets, you must use independent validation only. If you use other validations, you can't use the full chart of accounts functionality, such as data security, reporting, and account hierarchy integration.

Security

Value set security only works in conjunction with usage within flexfield segments. You can specify that data security be applied to the values in flexfield segments that use a value set. Based on the roles provisioned to users, data security policies determine which values of the flexfield segment end users can view or modify.

The application of value set security has the following conditions:

  • At the value set level: The value set is the resource secured by data security policies. If a value set is secured, every usage of it in any flexfield is secured. It isn't possible to disable security for individual usages of the same value set.

  • Applies to independent, dependent, or table-validated value sets.

  • Applies mainly when data is being created or updated, and to key flexfield combinations tables for query purposes. Value set security doesn't determine which descriptive flexfield data is shown upon querying.

  • Security conditions defined on value sets always use table aliases. When filters are used, table aliases are always used by default. When predicates are defined for data security conditions, make sure that the predicates also use table aliases.

For key flexfields, the attributes in the view object that correspond to the code combination ID (CCID), structure instance number (SIN), and data set number (DSN) cannot be transient. They must exist in the database table. For key flexfields, the SIN segment is the discriminator attribute, and the CCID segment is the common attribute.

Precision and Scale

If the data type of a value set is Number, you can specify the precision (maximum number of digits user can enter) or scale (maximum number of digits following the decimal point).

Usage and Deployment

The usage of a value set is the flexfields where that value set is used. The deployment status of flexfields in which the value set is used indicates the deployment status of the value set instance.

The figure shows a value set used by a segment in a key flexfield and the context segment of a descriptive flexfield.

Figure shows a value set shared by both a key flexfield
and a descriptive flexfield.

For most value sets, when you enter values into a flexfield segment, you can enter only values that already exist in the value set assigned to that segment.

Global and context-sensitive segment require a value set. You can assign a value set to a descriptive flexfield context segment. If you specify only context values, not value sets for contexts, the set of valid values is equal to the set of context values.

Protected Value Set Data

Application developers may mark some value sets as protected, indicating that you can't edit them.

You can edit only value sets that are not marked as protected. You can't edit or delete protected value sets. If the value set type supports values (such as independent, dependent or subset value sets), then you can't add, edit, or delete values.

Note: There is no restriction on references to protected value sets. Value sets, protected or not, may be assigned to any flexfield segment. Likewise, other value sets may reference protected value sets; for example, an unprotected dependent value set may reference a protected independent value set.

Defining Value Sets: Critical Choices

Validation and usage of value sets determine where and how users access valid values for attributes represented by flexfield segments.

Tip: As a flexfield guideline, define value sets before configuring the flexfield, because you can assign value sets to each segment as you configure a flexfield. With descriptive and extensible flexfield segments, you can create value sets when adding or editing a segment on the run time page where the flexfield appears.

The following aspects are important in defining value sets:

  • Value sets for context segments

  • Format-only validation

  • Interdependent value sets

  • Table validation

  • Range

  • Security

  • Testing and maintenance

Value Sets for Context Segments

When assigning a value set to a context segment, you can only use table-validated or independent value sets.

You can use only table and independent value sets to validate context values. The data type must be character and the maximum length of the values being stored must not be larger than the context's column length. If you use a table value set, the value set cannot reference flexfield segments in the value set's WHERE clause other than the flexfield segment to which the value set is assigned.

Format Only Validation

The format only validation type enables users to enter any value, as long as it meets your specified formatting rules. The value must not exceed the maximum length you define for your value set, and it must meet any format requirements for that value set.

For example, if the value set permits only numeric characters, users can enter the value 456 (for a value set with maximum length of three or more), but can't enter the value ABC. A format only value set doesn't otherwise restrict the range of different values that users can enter. For numeric values, you can also specify if a numeric value should be zero filled or how may digits should follow the radix separator.

Interdependent Value Sets

Use an independent value set to validate data against a list that isn't stored in an application table, and not dependent on a subset of another independent value set. You cannot specify a dependent value set for a given segment without having first defined an independent value set that you apply to another segment in the same flexfield. Use a dependent value set to limit the list of values for a given segment based on the value that the user has defined for a related independent segment. The available values in a dependent list and the meaning of a given value depend on which value was selected for the independently validated segment.

For example, you could define an independent value set of the states in the USA with values such as CA, NY, and so on. Then you define a dependent value set of cities in the USA with values such as San Francisco and Los Angeles that are valid for the independent value CA. Similarly, New York City and Albany are valid for the independent value NY. In the UI, only the valid cities can be selected for a given state.

Because you define a subset value set from an existing independent value set, you must define the independent value set first. Users don't have to select a value for another segment first to have access to the subset value set.

Independent, dependent, and subset value sets require a customized list of valid values. Use the Manage Values page to create and manage a value set's valid values and the order in which they appear.

Tip: You can customize the Manage Value Sets page to capture additional attributes for each valid value by adding context-sensitive segments in a new context for FND_VS_VALUES_B descriptive field.

Table Validation

Typically, you use a table-validated set when the values you want to use are already maintained in an application table, such as a table of supplier names. Specify the table column that contains the valid value. You can optionally specify the description and ID columns, a WHERE clause to limit the values to use for your set, and an ORDER BY clause.

If you specify an ID column, then the flexfield saves the ID value, instead of the value from the value column, in the associated flexfield segment. If the underlying table supports translations, you can enable the display of translated text by basing the value set's value column on a translated attribute of the underlying table. You should also define an ID column that is based on an attribute that isn't language-dependent so that the value's invariant ID (an ID that doesn't change) is saved in the transaction table. The run time displays the corresponding translated text from the value column for the run time session's locale.

Table validation lets you enable a segment to depend upon multiple prior segments in the same context structure. You cannot reference other flexfield segments in the table-validated value set's WHERE clause. That is, the WHERE clause cannot reference SEGMENT.segment_code or VALUESET.value_set_code.

Table-validated value sets have unique values across the table, irrespective of bind variables. The WHERE clause fragment of the value set is considered if it doesn't have bind variables. If it has bind variables, the assumption is that the values are unique in the value set. If you use table validated value sets for key flexfields, then you can't use all integration functionalities supported for key flexfields, such as:

  • Data security

  • Oracle Transactional Business Intelligence (OTBI)

  • Extended Spread Sheet Database (ESSbase)

  • Tree or hierarchy integration

To use these integration functionalities for key flexfields, you must use independent value sets only.

Range

In the case of format, independent, or dependent value sets, you can specify a range to limit which values are valid. You can specify a range of values that are valid within a value set. You can also specify a range validated pair of segments where one segment represents the low end of the range and another segment represents the high end of the range.

For example, you might specify a range for a format-only value set with format type Number where the user can enter only values between 0 and 100.

Security

In the case of independent and dependent values, you can specify that data security be applied to the values in segments that use a value set. Based on the roles provisioned to users, data security policies determine which values of the flexfield segment users can view or modify.

To enable security on a value set, specify a database resource, typically the code value for the value set. Using the Manage Database Security Policies task, specify conditions, such as filters or SQL predicates, and policies that associate roles with conditions. You can use a filter for simple conditions. For more complex conditions, use a SQL predicate.

Value set data security policies and conditions differ from data security conditions and policies for business objects in the following ways:

  • You can grant only read access to users. You cannot specify any other action.

  • When defining a condition that is based on a SQL predicate, use VALUE, VALUE_NUMBER, VALUE_DATE, VALUE_TIMESTAMP, or VALUE_ID to reference the value from a dependent, independent, or subset value set. For table value sets, use a table alias to define the table, such as &TABLE_ALIAS category=70.

When you enable security on table-validated value sets, the security rule that is defined is absolute and not contingent upon the bind variables (if any) that may be used by the WHERE clause of the value set. For example, suppose a table-validated value set has a bind variable to further filter the value list to x, y and z from a list of x, y, z, xx, yy, zz. The data security rule or filter written against the value set must not assume anything about the bind variables. Instead the whole list of values must be available and you write the rule, for example, to permit x, or to permit y and z. By default in data security, all values are denied and show only rows to which access has been provided.

Testing and Maintenance

You don't have to define or maintain values for a table-validated value set, as the values are managed as part of the referenced table or independent value set, respectively.

You cannot manage value sets in a sandbox.

When you change an existing value set, the deployment status for all affected flexfields changes to Edited. You must redeploy all flexfields that use that value set to make the flexfields reflect the changes. In the UI pages for managing value sets, the value set's usages show which flexfields are affected by the value set changes.

If your application has more than one language installed, or there is any possibility that you might install one or more additional languages for your application in the future, select Translatable. This doesn't require you to provide translated values now, but you cannot change this option if you decide to provide them later.

Planning Value Sets: Points to Consider

The value sets you create and configure depend on the valid values on the business object attributes that will use the value set. When creating value sets, you first give the value set a name and description, and then define the valid values of the set.

The following aspects are important in planning value sets:

  • List of values

  • Plain text input

  • Value ranges

  • Value format specification

  • Security

List of Values

You can use one of the following types of lists to specify the valid values for a segment:

  • Table column

  • Custom list. Also include a sub list.

  • Dependent custom list

If the valid values exist in a table column, use a table value set to specify the list of values. To limit the valid values to a subset of the values in the table, use a SQL WHERE clause. Table value sets also provide some advanced features, such as enabling validation depending on other segments in the same structure.

Use an independent value set to specify a custom set of valid values. For example, you can use an independent value set of Mon, Tue, Wed, and so forth to validate the day of the week. You can also specify a subset of an existing independent value set as the valid values for a segment. For example, if you have an independent value set for the days of the week, then a weekend subset can be composed of entries for Saturday and Sunday.

Use a dependent value set when the available values in the list and the meaning of a given value depend on which independent value was selected for a previously selected segment value. For example, the valid holidays depend on which country you are in. A dependent value set is a collection of value subsets, with one subset for each value in a corresponding independent value set.

For lists of values type value sets, you can additionally limit the valid values that an end user can select or enter by specifying format, minimum value, and maximum value. For list of values type value sets, you can optionally implement value set data security. If the Oracle Fusion applications are running in different locales, you might need to provide different translations for the values and descriptions.

Plain Text Input

Use a format-only value set when you want to allow end users to enter any value, as long as that value conforms to formatting rules. For example, if you specify a maximum length of 3 and numeric-only, then end users can enter 456, but not 4567 or 45A. You can also specify the minimum and maximum values, whether to right-justify, and whether to zero-fill. With a format-only value set, no other types of validation are applied.

Value Ranges

You can use either a format-only, independent, or dependent value set to specify a range of values. For example, you might create a format-only value set with Number as the format type where the end user can enter only the values between 0 and 100. Or, you might create a format-only value set with Date as the format type where the end user can enter only dates for a specific year, such as a range of 01-JAN-93 to 31-DEC-93. Because the minimum and maximum values enforce these limits, you need not define a value set that contains each of these individual numbers or dates.

Value Format

Flexfield segments commonly require some kind of format specification, regardless of validation type. Before creating a value set, consider how you will specify the required format.

The following table shows options for validation type and value data type.

Option Description

Value data type

Character, Number, Date, Date Time.

Value subtype

Text, Translated text, Numeric digits only, Time (20:08), Time (20:08:08).

An additional data type specification for the Character data type for the Dependent, Independent, and Format validation types.

Maximum length

Maximum number of characters or digits for Character data type.

Precision

Maximum number of digits the user can enter.

Scale

Maximum number of digits that can follow the decimal point.

Uppercase only

Lowercase characters automatically changed to uppercase.

Zero fill

Automatic right-justification and zero-filling of entered numbers (affects values that include only the digits 0-9).

Note: You cannot change the text value data type to a translated text value subtype after creating a value set. If there is any chance you may need to translate displayed values into other languages, choose Translated text. Selecting the Translated text subtype doesn't require you to provide translated values.

Value Sets for Context Segments

You can use only table and independent value sets to validate context values. The data type must be character and the maximum length of the values being stored must not be larger than the context's column length. If you use a table value set, the value set cannot reference flexfield segments in the value set's WHERE clause other than the flexfield segment to which the value set is assigned.

Security

When enabling security on a value set, the data security resource name is an existing value set or one that you want to create. The name typically matches the code value for the value set. You cannot edit the data security resource name after you save your changes.

Table-Validated Value Sets and Bind Variables: Points to Consider

After you assign a value set to a flexfield, you can use bind variables in the WHERE clause.

The following bind variables refer to flexfield elements:

  • :{SEGMENT.<segment_code>}

  • :{CONTEXT.<context_code>;SEGMENT.<segment_code>}

  • :{VALUESET.<value_set_code>}

  • :{FLEXFIELD.<internal_code>}

  • :{PARAMETER.<parameter_code>}

Segment Code

:{SEGMENT.<segment_code>}

This bind variable refers to the ID or value of a segment where <segment_code> identifies the segment. Where referring to the ID, the value set is ID-validated. Where referring to the value, the value set isn't ID-validated. The data type of the bind value is the same as the data type of the segment's column.

For both descriptive and extensible flexfields, the segment must be in the same context as the source segment. The source segment contains the WHERE clause. For descriptive flexfields, if the segment is global, then the source segment must be global.

The segment must have a sequence number that is less than the sequence number of the target segment with this bind variable. A matching segment must exist in the current flexfield context.

This bind variable is useful when the set of valid values depends on the value in another segment. For example, the values to select from a CITIES table might depend upon the selected country. If SEGMENT1 contains the country value, then the WHERE clause for the CITIES table might be <country_code> = :{SEGMENT.SEGMENT1}.

Context Code

:{CONTEXT.<context_code>;SEGMENT.<segment_code>}

This bind variable, which is valid only for extensible flexfields, refers to the ID (if the value set is ID-validated) or value (if not ID-validated) of a segment that is in a different context than the target segment (the segment with the WHERE clause).

  • The <context_code> identifies the context and must be in the same category or in an ancestor category. It cannot be a multiple-row context.

  • The <segment_code> identifies the segment. The data type of the bind value is the same as the data type of the segment's column.

Note: The target segment should appear in the UI after the source segment to ensure the source segment has a value. If the target segment's context is a single-row context, the source and target segments must be on separate pages and the target page must follow the source page.

The framework of extensible flexfields doesn't perform any additional validation related to mismatched values for segments defined with cross context bind parameters. Administrators must populate the correct pair of segment values.

This bind variable is useful when the set of valid values depends on the value of a segment in another context. For example, the values to select from a CERTIFICATION table for a segment in the Compliance and Certification context might depend on the value of the country segment in the Manufacturing context.

Value Set Code

:{VALUESET.<value_set_code>}

This bind variable refers to the ID (if the value set is ID-validated) or value (if not ID-validated) of the segment that is assigned to the value set that is identified by the value_set_code. The data type of the bind value is the same as the data type of the segment's column.

The segment must have a sequence number that is less than the sequence number of the segment with this bind variable. If more than one segment is assigned to the value set, the closest prior matching segment will be used to resolve the bind expression. A matching segment must exist in the current flexfield context.

This bind variable is useful when the set of valid values depends on the value in another segment and that segment code can vary, such as when the value set is used for more than one context or flexfield. For example, the values to select from a CITIES table might depend upon the selected country. If the value set for the segment that contains the country value is COUNTRIES, then the WHERE clause for the CITIES table might be <country_code> = :{VALUESET.COUNTRIES}.

Flexfield Internal Code

:{FLEXFIELD.<internal_code>}

This bind variable refers to an internal code of the flexfield in which the value set is used, or to a validation date. The internal_code must be one of the following:

  • APPLICATION_ID - the application ID of the flexfield in which this value set is used. The data type of APPLICATION_ID and its resulting bind value is NUMBER.

  • DESCRIPTIVE_FLEXFIELD_CODE - the identifying code of the flexfield in which this value set is used. The data type of DESCRIPTIVE_FLEXFIELD_CODE and its resulting bind value is VARCHAR2. Note that you use this string for both descriptive and extensible flexfields.

  • CONTEXT_CODE - the context code of the flexfield context in which this value set is used. The data type of CONTEXT_CODE and its resulting bind value is VARCHAR2.

  • SEGMENT_CODE - the identifying code of the flexfield segment in which this value set is used. The data type of SEGMENT_CODE and its resulting bind value is VARCHAR2.

  • VALIDATION_DATE - the current database date. The data type of VALIDATION_DATE and its resulting bind value is DATE.

Flexfield Parameters

:{PARAMETER.<parameter_code>}

This bind variable refers to the value of a flexfield parameter where parameter_code identifies the parameter. The data type of the resulting bind value is the same as the parameter's data type.

Note: You cannot assign a table value set to a context segment if the WHERE clause uses VALUESET.value_set_code or SEGMENT.segment_code bind variables.

Table-Validated Value Set: Worked Example

In an application user interface, you want to display a list of values that allow customers to enter satisfaction scores. The value column name is 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and the value column description is Extremely Satisfied, Satisfied, and so on. Users can pick the appropriate value or description which stores the corresponding name so the name value can be used in a calculation expression.

In this case, you can use the FND_LOOKUPS table as the basis for a table-validated value set. The lookup meaning corresponds to the Value Column Name and the lookup description corresponds to the Description Column Name. The properties of the value set are as follows:

Property Value

FROM clause

FND_LOOKUPS

WHERE clause

lookup_type = 'CN_XX_CUST_SATISFACT_SCORE'

ID column

lookup_code

Value column

meaning

Description column

description

Enable Flag column

enabled_flag

Start Date column

start_date_active

End Date column

end_date_active

Order by

display_sequence

After completing this task, you should have created your customer satisfaction value set for the Incentive Compensation page of your implementation project.

Creating a Value Set Based on a Lookup

  1. From the Setup and Maintenance work area, find the Manage Value Sets task and click the Go to Task icon button.

  2. On the Manage Value Sets page, click the Create icon button.

  3. On the Create Value Set page, enter the following values:

    1. In the Value Set Code field, enter CN_XX_CUSTOMER_SATISFACTION_SCORES

    2. In the Description field, enter Customer satisfaction score.

    3. In the Module field, select Search....

    4. In the Search and Select: Module subwindow, enter Incent in the User Module Name field

    5. Select Incentive Compensation.

    6. Click OK.

  4. On the Create Value Set page, enter the following values:

    1. In the Validation Type field, select Table.

    2. In the Value Data Type field, select Character.

    3. In the Definition section FROM Clause field, enter FND_LOOKUPS.

    4. In the Value Column Name field, enter DESCRIPTION.

    5. In the Description Column Name field, enter MEANING.

    6. In the ID Column Name field, enter LOOKUP_CODE.

    7. In the Enabled Flag Column Name field, enter 'Y'.

    8. In the Start Date Column Name field, enter START_DATE_ACTIVE.

    9. In the End Date Column Name field, enter END_DATE_ACTIVE.

    10. In the WHERE Clause field, enter LOOKUP_TYPE = 'CN_XX_CUST_SATISFACT_SCORE'.

  5. Click Save and Close.

  6. In the Manage Value Sets page, click Done.

Adding Attributes to the Manage Value Sets Page: Procedures

You can add attributes to independent, dependent, and subset value sets. The attributes appear on the Manage Value Sets page where you can store additional information about each valid value. To display attributes on an application page, you must programmatically modify the application.

To add attributes and subsequently view them on the Manage Value Sets page, perform the following steps:

  1. Using the Manage Descriptive Flexfields task, find the FND_VS_VALUES_B flexfield and open it for editing.

  2. Click Manage Contexts.

  3. Create a new context and use the value set code for the context code.

  4. Add new attributes as context-sensitive segments and save the changes.

  5. Deploy FND_VS_VALUES_B to run time.

  6. Sign out and sign back in.

  7. Open the Manage Value Sets page to view the new attributes.

Importing Value Set Values: Procedure

You can import a file containing values that you want to edit or add to a given independent or dependent value set.

For example, uploading a hundred values may be more efficient than creating them individually using the Manage Value Sets task. However, for just a few values, it may be quicker to perform the relevant tasks.

Importing Value Set Values

To import value set values:

  1. Create a flat file containing the values in the value set that you want to add or update.

    Note:
    • When creating the file, you must specify an existing value set code to which you want to add values or edit existing values. If the value set does not exist, add the value set using the appropriate Manage Value Sets setup task in the Setup and Maintenance work area.

    • The file that you create must adhere to the formatting and content requirements for creating flat files containing value set values.

  2. Upload the flat file to the content repository using the Files for Import and Export page.

  3. Import the file using the appropriate Manage Value Sets setup task in the Setup and Maintenance work area. To import the file:

    1. Click Actions - Import in the Manage Value Sets page.

    2. In the File Name field, enter the name of the flat file you uploaded using the Files for Import and Export page.

    3. In the Account field, select the user account containing the flat file.

    4. Click Upload.

    Note: Alternatively, you can import the file using either of the following methods:
    • Run the Upload Value Set Values scheduled process.

    • Use the Applications Core Metadata Import web service. For more information on the Applications Core Metadata Import web service, see the SOAP Web Services guide for your cloud services.

Requirements for Flat Files to Upload Value Set Values: Explained

You can import large volumes of value set value data from the content repository. To upload value set values to the content repository, create a flat file containing the values in the value set that you want to add or update. You upload these flat files to the content repository using the Files for Import and Export page.

General Requirements

The first line of the flat file must contain the column names for the value set value data, including all mandatory columns, and separated by the '|' (pipe) character. Each subsequent line should contain a row of data specified in the same order as the column names, also separated by the '|' character.

The requirements for creating flat files vary with the type of value sets:

  • Independent value sets

  • Dependent value sets

Independent Value Set

A flat file for uploading values for independent value sets must contain the following mandatory columns:

Column Name Data Type

ValueSetCode

VARCHAR2(60)

Value

VARCHAR2(150)

Enabled Flag

VARCHAR2(1), Y or N

Note: You can also specify optional columns.

Examples:

  • To upload values to a COLORS independent value set with the minimum columns, you can use the following flat file:

    ValueSetCode | Value | EnabledFlag
    COLORS | Red | Y
    COLORS | Orange | Y
    COLORS | Yellow | Y
  • To upload values to a STATES independent value set with more (optional) columns, you can use the following flat file:

    ValueSetCode | Value | Description | EnabledFlag
    STATES | AK | Alaska | Y
    STATES | CA | California | Y
    STATES | WA | Washington | Y

Dependent Value Sets

A flat file for uploading values for dependent value sets must contain the following mandatory columns:

Column Name Data Type

Value Set Code

VARCHAR2(60)

Independent Value

VARCHAR2(150)

Value

VARCHAR2(150)

Enabled Flag

VARCHAR2(1), Y or N

Note: You can also specify optional columns.

Example:

To upload values to a CITIES dependent value set (dependent on the STATES independent value set), you can use the following flat file:

ValueSetCode | IndependentValue | Value | EnabledFlag
CITIES | AK | Juneau | Y
CITIES | AK | Anchorage | Y
CITIES | CA | San Francisco | Y
CITIES | CA | Sacramento | Y
CITIES | CA | Los Angeles | Y
CITIES | CA | Oakland | Y

Additional Optional Columns

In addition to the mandatory columns, you can add the following optional columns for both dependent and independent value sets:

Column Name Type

Translated Value

VARCHAR2(150), for use in value sets that are translatable

Description

VARCHAR2(240)

Start Date Active

DATE, formatted as YYYY-MM-DD

End Date Active

DATE, formatted as YYYY-MM-DD

Sort Order

NUMBER(18)

Summary Flag

VARCHAR2(30)

Flex Value Attribute1 ... Flex Value Attribute20

VARCHAR2(30)

Custom Value Attribute1 ... Custom Value Attribute10

VARCHAR2(30)

Upload Value Set Values Process

This process uploads a flat file containing value set values for flexfields. You can use this scheduled process to upload a file containing values you want to edit or add to an existing independent or dependent value set. This process is useful for adding or updating large volumes of value set value data in an automated or recurring fashion. For example, you can upload a hundred values on a recurring basis when scheduled as a recurring process. This method may be more efficient than using the one-time Import action in the Manage Value Sets tasks in the Setup and Maintenance work area. However, for an ad hoc task of uploading a hundred values, it may be quicker to use the Import action in the relevant tasks.

Run this process from the Scheduled Processes Overview page. You can run it on a recurring basis whenever the flat file in the content repository account is updated.

You must create the flat file containing the values data, and upload the flat file to the content repository using the Files for Import and Export page.

Parameters

Flat File Name

Enter the name of the flat file you uploaded using the Files for Import and Export page.

Account

Select the user account containing the flat file in the content repository to upload.

Translating Flexfield and Value Set Configurations: Explained

When you first configure a flexfield or segment, the translatable text that you enter, such as prompts and descriptions, is stored as the text for all installed locales. You may then provide a translation for a particular locale. If you don't provide a translation for a given locale, then the value that was first entered is used for that locale.

To translate the text for a particular locale, log in with that locale or specify the locale by selecting Settings and Actions - Personalization - Set Preferences in the global area. Then, update the translatable text in the flexfield using the Manage Descriptive Flexfields task, Manage Key Flexfields task, or Manage Extensible Flexfields task. Your modifications change the translated values only for the current session's locale.

After you complete the translations, deploy the flexfield.

You can define translations for a dependent value set or an independent value set, if it is of type Character with a subtype of Translated text. You define the translations by setting the current session to the locale for which you want to define the translation and using the Manage Value Sets task to enter the translated values and descriptions for that locale.

For a table value set for which the underlying table supports multiple languages and for which the value set's value column is based on a translated attribute of the underlying table, you can define translated values using the maintenance task for the underlying table. For more information on using multilanguage support features, see the Oracle Fusion Applications Developer's Guide.

FAQs for Manage Value Sets

What happens if a value set is security enabled?

Value set security is a feature that enables you to secure access to value set values based on the end user's role in the system.

As an example, suppose you have a value set of US state names. When this value set is used to validate a flexfield segment, and users can select a value for the segment, you can use value set security to restrict them to selecting only a certain state or subset of states based on their assigned roles in the system.

For example, Western-region employees may choose only California, Nevada, Oregon, and so on as valid values. They cannot select non-Western-region states. Eastern-region employees may choose only New York, New Jersey, Virginia, and so on as valid values, but cannot select non-Eastern-region states. Value set security is implemented using Oracle Fusion Applications data security.

How can I set a default value for a flexfield segment?

When you define or edit a flexfield segment, you specify a default value from the values provided by the value set assigned to that segment.

You can set the default value for a descriptive flexfield segment to be a parameter, which means the entity object attribute to which the chosen parameter is mapped provides the initial default value for the segment.

You can set the default value to be a constant, if appropriate to the data type of the value set assigned to the segment.

In addition to an initial default value, you can set a derivation value for updating the attribute's value every time the parameter value changes. The parameter you choose identifies the entity object source attribute. Any changes in the value of the source attribute during run time are reflected in the value of the segment.

If the display type of the segment is a check box, you can set whether the default value of the segment is checked or unchecked.

Manage Descriptive Flexfields

Descriptive Flexfields: Explained

Use descriptive flexfields to add custom attributes to business object entities, and define validation for them.

All the business object entities that you can use in the application are enabled for descriptive flexfields. However, configuring descriptive flexfields is an optional task.

Context

A descriptive flexfield can have only one context segment to provide context sensitivity. The same underlying database column can be used by different segments in different contexts.

For example, you can define a Dimensions context that uses the following attributes:

  • ATTRIBUTE1 column for height

  • ATTRIBUTE2 column for width

  • ATTRIBUTE3 column for depth

You can also define a Measurements context that uses the same columns for other attributes:

  • ATTRIBUTE1 column for weight

  • ATTRIBUTE2 column for volume

  • ATTRIBUTE3 column for density

Segments and Contexts

Descriptive flexfield segments are of the following types:

Segment Type Run Time Appearance

Global segment

Always available

Context segment

Determines which context-sensitive segments are displayed

Context-sensitive segment

Displayed depending on the value of the context segment

In the figure, a descriptive flexfield has one context segment called Category for which there are three values: Resistor, Battery, and Capacitor. Additionally, the descriptive flexfield comprises two global segments that appear in each context, and three context-sensitive segments that only appear in the specific context.

An example that displays how context segment serves as
a category for the attributes, whether resistor, battery, or capacitor.
Global segments are always available. However, context-sensitive segments
are available depending on context.

Application development determines the number of segments available for configuring. During implementation, configure the flexfield by determining the following:

  • Attributes to add using the available segments

  • Context values

  • The combination of attributes in each context

Value Sets

For each global and context-sensitive segment, you configure the values permitted for the segment. Based on it, the values that end users enter are validated, including interdependent validation among the segments.

Protected Descriptive Flexfield Data

Application developers may mark some data configurations in a descriptive flexfield as protected, indicating that you can't edit them.

Planning Descriptive Flexfields: Points to Consider

Once you have identified a flexfield to configure, plan the configuration in advance. Compile a list of the UI pages and other artifacts in your deployment that are affected by the configuration. Verify that you are provisioned with the roles needed to view and configure the flexfield. View the flexfield using the Highlight Flexfields command in the Administration menu while viewing the run time page where the flexfield appears. Plan how you will deploy the flexfield for test and production users. Review the tools and tasks available for managing flexfields, such as the Define Flexfields task list, Manage Sandboxes, and Highlight Flexfields for adding and editing flexfield segments.

Planning a descriptive flexfield can involve the following tasks:

  1. Identify existing parameters.

  2. Identify existing context values and whether the context value is derived.

  3. Identify custom attributes and plan the descriptive flexfield segments, segment properties, and structure.

  4. Plan validation rules.

  5. Plan initial values.

  6. Plan attribute mapping to Oracle Business Intelligence objects.

Identify Existing Descriptive Flexfield Parameters

Some descriptive flexfields provide parameters that can be used to specify the initial value of a descriptive flexfield segment. The parameter is external reference data, such as a column value or a session variable. For example, if a flexfield has a user email parameter, you can configure the initial value for a customer email attribute to be derived from that parameter.

Review the list of available parameters in the Derivation Value field in the Create Segment page for a descriptive flexfield. If you decide to use one of the parameters to set an initial value, select that parameter from the Derivation Value drop-down list when you add the descriptive flexfield segment.

Evaluate Whether the Context Value Is Derived

The context value for a descriptive flexfield might have been preconfigured to be derived from an external reference. For example, if the context is Marriage Status, then the value might be derived from an attribute in the employee business object. When the context value is derived, you might need to take the derived values and their source into consideration in your plan.

To determine whether the context value is derived, access the Edit Descriptive Flexfield task to view the list of configured context values for the flexfield. The Derivation Value field in the Context Segment region displays a list of available parameters. If context values have been preconfigured, see Oracle Applications Cloud Help for product-specific information about the use of those values.

Plan the Segments, Segment Properties, and Structure

Identify the custom attributes you need for a business object to determine the segments of the descriptive flexfield. Determine the segment properties such as the prompt, display type, or initial value.

The structure of the descriptive flexfield is determined by its global, context, and context-sensitive segments. Plan a global segment that captures an attribute for every instance of the business object. Plan a context for segments that depend on a condition of situation applying to a particular instance of the business object. Plan context-sensitive segments to capture attributes that are relevant in the context.

There is only one context segment available for descriptive flexfields. If you have more than one group of custom attributes where you could use the context segment, you will have to pick one group over the others, based on your company's needs and priorities, and add the other custom attributes as global segments.

Plan Validation Rules

Define each segment's validation rules and check if value sets exist for those rules or you must create new ones. If you must create a value set, you can create it either before configuring the flexfield or while creating or editing a segment.

When determining a segment's validation rules, consider the following questions:

  • What is the data type - character, date, date and time, or number?

  • Does the segment require any validation beyond data type and maximum length?

  • Should a character type value be restricted to digits, or are alphabetic characters allowed?

  • Should alphabetic characters automatically be changed to uppercase?

  • Should numeric values be zero-filled?

  • How many digits can follow the radix separator of a numeric value? In base ten numerical systems the radix separator is decimal point.

  • Does the value need to fall within a range?

  • Should the value be selected from a list of valid values? If so, consider the following questions:

    • Can you use an existing application table from which to obtain the list of valid values, or do you need to create a custom list?

    • If you are using an existing table, do you need to limit the list of values using a WHERE clause?

    • Does the list of valid values depend on the value in another flexfield segment?

    • Is the list of valid values a subset of another flexfield segment's list of values?

Plan Initial Values

For every segment, list the constant value or SQL statement, if any, to use for the initial value of the custom attribute.

Plan How Segments Map to Oracle Business Intelligence Objects

You can extend descriptive flexfields into Oracle Transactional Business Intelligence (OTBI) for ad hoc reporting purposes. Determine the descriptive flexfield segments to be made available for reporting, and select the BI Enabled check box accordingly on the Manage Descriptive Flexfields page. You must run a process to extend the BI enabled segments into OTBI. For more information about extending the BI enabled segments into OTBI, see the Setup and Configuration chapter in the Oracle Transactional Business Intelligence Administrator's Guide.

Depending on the reporting needs, you may map similar context-sensitive attributes from different contexts to the same attribute in OTBI. For example, there may be a segment tracking the Product Color attribute in different contexts of a context sensitive descriptive flexfield. You can use segment labels to map these context-sensitive attributes together by defining a segment label and updating the BI Label list accordingly.

Managing Descriptive Flexfields: Points to Consider

Configuring descriptive flexfields involves managing the available flexfields registered with your Oracle Applications Cloud database and configuring their flexfield-level properties, defining and managing descriptive flexfield contexts, and configuring global and context-sensitive segments.

Every descriptive flexfield is registered to include a context segment, which you may choose to use or not.

In general, configuring descriptive flexfields involves:

  1. Creating segment labels for business intelligence enabled flexfields.

  2. Configuring global segments by providing identity information, the initial default value, and the display properties.

  3. Configuring the context segment by specifying the prompt, whether the context segment should be displayed, and whether a value is required.

  4. Configuring contexts by specifying a context code, description, and name for each context value, and adding its context-sensitive segments, each of which is configured to include identifying information, the column assignment, the initial default value, and the display properties.

The following aspects are important in understanding descriptive flexfield management:

  • Segments

  • Adding segments to highlighted descriptive flexfields

  • Usages

  • Parameters

  • Delimiters

  • Initial Values

  • Business Intelligence

Segments

You can assign sequence order numbers to global segments and to context-sensitive segments in each context. Segment display is always in a fixed order. You cannot enter a number for one segment that is already in use for a different segment.

Value sets are optional for context segments and follow specific guidelines:

  • The value set that you specify for a context segment consists of a set of context codes.

  • Each context code corresponds to a context that is appropriate for the descriptive flexfield.

  • The value set must be independent or table-validated.

  • If table-validated, the WHERE clause must not use the VALUESET.value_set_code or SEGMENT.segment_code bind variables.

  • The value set must be of data type Character with the maximum length of values being stored no larger than the context's column length.

  • If you don't specify a value set for a context segment, the valid values for that context segment are derived from the context codes. The definition of each context segment specifies the set of context-sensitive segments that can be presented when that context code is selected by the end user.

  • For reasons of data integrity, you cannot delete an existing context. Instead, you can disable the associated context value in its own value set by setting its end date to a date in the past.

  • You can configure the individual global segments and context-sensitive segments in a descriptive flexfield. These segment types are differentiated by their usage, but they are configured on application pages that use most of the same properties.

Adding Segments to Highlighted Descriptive Flexfields

When you highlight flexfields on a run time page and use an Add Segment icon button to create a segment, the segment code, name, description, table column, and sequence number are set automatically. If you use an Add Segment icon button to configure descriptive flexfield segments, you cannot use an existing value set. Value sets are created automatically when you add the segments. You can enter the valid values, their descriptions, and the default value or specify the formatting constraints for the value set, such as minimum and maximum values.

Depending on display type, the value set you create with the Add Segment icon button is either an independent value set or a format-only value set. The table shows which type of value set is created depending on the segment display component you select.

Display Component Value Set Created with Add Segment

Check Box

Independent

Drop-down List

Independent

List of Values

Independent

Radio Button Group

Independent

Text Field With Search

Independent

Text box

Format Only

Text area

Format Only

Date/Time

Format Only

Tip: After you add a context value, refresh the page to see the new value.

Usages

Descriptive flexfield usages allow for the same definition to be applied to multiple entities or application tables, such as a USER table and a USER_HISTORY table. Descriptive flexfield tables define the placeholder entity where the flexfield segment values are stored once you have configured the descriptive flexfield. When you configure a flexfield, the configuration applies to all its usages.

Parameters

Some descriptive flexfields provide parameters, which are attributes of the same or related entity objects. Parameters are public arguments to a descriptive flexfield. Parameters provide outside values in descriptive flexfield validation. You use parameters to set the initial value or derivation value of an attribute from external reference data, such as a column value or a session variable, rather than from user input. Parameters can be referenced by the logic that derives the default segment value, and by table-validated value set WHERE clauses.

Delimiters

A segment delimiter or separator visually separates segment values when the flexfield is displayed as a string of concatenated segments.

Initial Values

The SQL statement defining an initial value must be a valid statement that returns only one row and a value of the correct type.

You can use two types of SQL statements:

  • SQL statement with no binding. For example, select MIN(SALARY) from EMPLOYEES.

  • SQL statement with bind variables. You can use the following bind variables in the WHERE clause of the SQL statement.

    • :{SEGMENT.<segment_code>}: Identifies a segment in the same context.

    • :{CONTEXT.<context_code>;SEGMENT.<segment_code>}: Identifies a segment in a different context. The context must be in the same category or in an ancestor category, and it cannot be a multiple-row context.

    • :{VALUESET.<value_set_code>}: Identifies the closest prior segment in the same context that is assigned to the specified value set.

    • :{FLEXFIELD.<internal_code>}: Identifies a flexfield.

For more information about using bind variables, see the help for value sets.

Business Intelligence

Selecting a global, context, or context-sensitive segment's BI Enabled check box specifies that the segment is available for use in Oracle Business Intelligence.

When the flexfield is imported into Oracle Business Intelligence, the label you selected from the BI Label drop-down list equalizes the segment with segments in other contexts, and maps the segment to the logical object represented by the label.

Enabling Descriptive Flexfield Segments for Business Intelligence: Points to Consider

A descriptive flexfield that is registered in the database as enabled for Oracle Business Intelligence (BI) includes a BI Enabled setting for each of its segments. When a global, context, or context-sensitive segment is BI-enabled, it is available for use in Oracle Business Intelligence.

The following aspects are important in understanding BI-enabled flexfield segments:

  • Flattening business components to use BI-enabled segments in Oracle BI

  • Equalizing segments to prevent duplication and complexity in the flattened component

  • Mapping attributes of flattened business components to logical objects in Oracle BI

  • Managing the labels that map segments to logical objects in Oracle BI

After you deploy a business intelligence-enabled flexfield, use the Import Oracle Fusion Data Extensions for Transactional Business Intelligence process to import the flexfield changes into the Oracle Business Intelligence repository. Users can make use of the newly-generated attributes in business intelligence applications. For example, a user can generate a report that includes attributes added by the descriptive flexfield. For additional information about logical objects and import, refer to the Oracle Transactional Business Intelligence Administrator's Guide.

Flattening

When you deploy a business intelligence-enabled descriptive flexfield, the deployment process generates an additional set of flattened Application Development Framework (ADF) business components in addition to the usual ADF business components and ADF faces run time artifacts that are generated during deployment. The flattened business components include attributes for business intelligence-enabled segments only. Flattening means each custom column in each context shows up as an attribute in an Oracle Business Intelligence folder.

Flattened components include one attribute for the BI-enabled context-segment, and one attribute for each business intelligence-enabled global segment. For BI-enabled context-sensitive segments, consider the following:

  • If you assigned a label to the segment, the flattened components include an additional single attribute representing segments with that label.

  • If you didn't assign a label, the flattened components include a discrete attribute for each BI-enabled context-sensitive segment in each context.

Mapping to Logical Objects in Business Intelligence

You can simplify reporting by representing similar segments as a single logical object in Business Intelligence.

If you assign a label to any set of context-sensitive segments that serve the same purpose in different contexts, you can consolidate or equalize the segments into a single attribute. This prevents duplication and the extra workload and complexity that result from the flattening process. For example, a United States context might have a Passport segment and a Canada context might have Visa segment. If you assign the NationalID segment label to both the Passport and Visa segments, they are equalized into the same NationalID attribute in the flattened business component.

Non-labeled context-sensitive segments aren't equalized across context values, so the flattened components include a separate attribute for each context-sensitive segment for each context value. It may not be possible to equalize similarly labeled segments if they have incompatible data types or value set types.

Assign a label to a global segment, context segment, or context-sensitive segment to map the corresponding attribute in the flattened components to a logical object in Oracle Business Intelligence. Using labels to map segments to BI logical objects minimizes the steps for importing the flexfield into Oracle Business Intelligence.

Note: Assigning a label to a context-sensitive segment serves to equalize the attribute across contexts, as well as map the equalized attribute to business intelligence.

Managing Labels

You may assign a predefined label (if available) to segments or create new labels for assignment, as needed. Specify a code, name, and description to identify each label. In the BI Object Name field, enter the name of the logical object in Oracle Business Intelligence to which the segment label should map during import. Specifying the BI logical object minimizes the steps for importing the flexfield into Oracle Business Intelligence and helps to equalize context-sensitive segments across contexts.

If no labels are assigned to a BI-enabled segment, or the BI Object Name on the assigned label doesn't exist in business intelligence, you must manually map the segment to the desired logical object when importing into Oracle Business Intelligence.

In addition, context-sensitive segments without labels cannot be equalized across context values. The flattened components include a separate attribute for each non-labeled context-sensitive segment in each context.

Importing to Oracle Business Intelligence Repository

After you deploy a business intelligence-enabled flexfield, import the flexfield changes into the Oracle Business Intelligence repository to make use of the newly flattened business components in business intelligence and then propagate the flexfield object changes. When you import the metadata into the Oracle Business Intelligence repository, you must do so as the FUSION_APPS_BI_APPID user.

To import flexfield changes into the Oracle Business Intelligence repository in Oracle Cloud implementations, run the Import Oracle Fusion Data Extensions for Transactional Business Intelligence process. For additional information about import, refer to the Oracle Transactional Business Intelligence Administrator's Guide.

Note: When you import a flexfield into the Oracle Business Intelligence repository, you see both <name>_ and <name>_c attributes for each segment, along with some other optional attributes. The <name> attribute contains the value. The <name>_c attribute contains the code of the value set that the value comes from, and is used for linking to the value dimension. You must import both attributes.

Manage Extensible Flexfields

Extensible Flexfields: Explained

Extensible flexfields are like descriptive flexfields, with some additional features.

  • You can add as many context-sensitive segments to the flexfield as you need. You aren't restricted by the number of columns predefined and registered for the flexfield.

  • You can configure a one-to-many relationship between the entity and its extended attribute rows.

    • A row of data can have multiple contexts associated with it.

    • A row of data can have multiple occurrences of the same context.

  • You can configure attributes in groups to form a context so that the attributes in the context always appear together in the user interface.

  • You can use existing hierarchical categories so that entities inherit the contexts that are configured for their parents. Contexts are reusable throughout categories.

  • Application development has registered some extensible flexfields to support view and edit privileges. For such flexfields, you can specify view and edit privileges at the context level to control who sees the attributes and who can change the attributes' values.

When you configure a context for multiple rows per entity, the segments are displayed as a table.

Unlike descriptive flexfields, the extension columns corresponding to extensible flexfields segments are part of extension tables, separate from the base application table. Unlike descriptive flexfield contexts, the set of attributes in an extensible flexfield context remains constant and doesn't differ by context value.

An extensible flexfield describes an application entity, with the run time ability to expand the database that implementation consultants can use to define the data structure that appears in the application.

Extensible flexfields support one-to-many relationships between the entity and the extended attribute rows.

To get a list of predefined extensible flexfields, open the Setup and Maintenance work area, and use the Manage Extensible Flexfields task.

The following aspects are important in understanding extensible flexfields:

  • Usages

  • Categories

  • Pages

  • Security

  • Protected Extensible Flexfield Data

Usages

As with descriptive flexfields, you can define multiple usages for an extensible flexfield, which enables several application tables to share the same flexfield.

For example, a flexfield for shipping options can be used by both a Supplier table and a Buyer table. In addition, you can associate a context with one, some, or all of the flexfield's usages. Thus, with the shipping information example, you can associate a warehouse context with the Supplier usage, a delivery location context with the Buyer usage, and a ship-via context with all usages.

Usages include security information for applying no security to user access or enforcing view and edit privileges. Some product-specific extensible flexfields have specialized usage fields beyond those for security.

Categories

You can configure multiple extensible flexfield contexts and group the contexts into categories. All extensible flexfields have at least one category. For some extensible flexfields, you can configure a hierarchy of categories. A child category in the hierarchy can inherit contexts from its parent category.

You can define categories for extensible flexfields, and you can associate any combination of contexts with a given category.

For example, the Electronics and Computers category hierarchy might include a Home Entertainment category, which in turn might include an Audio category and a TV category, and so on. The Home Entertainment product might have contexts that specify voltage, dimensions, inputs and outputs. Contexts are reusable within a given extensible flexfield. For example, the dimensions context could be assigned to any category that needs to include dimensional information.

Pages

Extensible flexfields let you combine contexts into groups known as pages, which serve to connect the contexts so they will always be presented together in the application user interface.

Each application page corresponds to one extensible flexfield category, with a separate region of the page for each associated context.

Security

When you configure a flexfield, you set the privileges for a context at the usage level by selecting actions for the view and edit privileges of a context usage.

When an end user performs a search, the user interface displays only the attribute values of the contexts for which the user has view privileges. The user is able to perform a search using all attributes for all contexts, regardless of view privileges.

If end users access a context through a web service, an exception is thrown if they perform an action for which they don't have privileges.

All extensible flexfields have a base data security resource. Some data security resources for extensible flexfields are preconfigured with actions that you can use to specify access privileges. If no action is preconfigured, a security administrator can create actions and policies to support access control on the extensible flexfield attributes.

Some extensible flexfields have a translatable option; these flexfields also have a translation data security resource.

Protected Extensible Flexfield Data

Application developers may mark some data configurations in an extensible flexfield as protected, indicating that you can't edit them.

If an extensible flexfield is partially protected, then you can't edit the protected portions of the flexfield's configuration. For example:

  • If an extensible flexfield context is protected, you can't edit its:

    • Context details

    • Context segments

    • Context usages

  • If an extensible flexfield page is protected, you can't:

    • Edit the page details or delete the page

    • Edit the contexts associated with the page

Note:
  • There is no restriction on page references to protected contexts. Custom pages you create may contain any context, whether protected or not.

  • There is a restriction on category references to protected contexts. If a context is protected, you can't add it to or delete it from any category.

Planning Extensible Flexfields: Points to Consider

Once you have identified a flexfield to configure, plan the configuration in advance. Compile a list of the UI pages and other artifacts in your deployment that are affected by the configuration. Verify that you are provisioned with the roles needed to view and configure the flexfield. View the flexfield using the Highlight Flexfields command in the Administration menu while viewing the run time page where the flexfield appears. Plan how you will deploy the flexfield for test and production users. Review the tools and tasks available for managing flexfields, such as the Define Flexfields task list, Manage Sandboxes, and Highlight Flexfields for adding and editing flexfield segments.

Planning an extensible flexfield can involve the following tasks:

  1. Identify a hierarchical structure of categories.

  2. Identify existing context values.

  3. Identify custom attributes and plan the extensible flexfield segments, segment properties, and structure.

  4. Plan validation rules.

  5. Plan initial values.

  6. Plan security.

  7. Plan attribute mapping to Oracle Business Intelligence objects.

Category Hierarchy Structure

Existing category hierarchy structures provide the framework for planning what segments to add to an extensible flexfield as custom attributes of an entity.

Some Oracle Fusion applications provide user interfaces to create and manage an extensible flexfield's category hierarchy.

Contexts and Existing Context Values

If related custom attributes can be grouped together, plan adding the attributes as a context of segments, and plan the order in which the attributes should appear.

Some extensible flexfields have preconfigured context values. Region headers displayed in a the user interface page or pages that contain the flexfield segments identify existing contexts. Using the Manage Extensible Flexfields task, find and open the flexfield for editing to view the list of configured context values.

See product-specific information for guidance in using preconfigured context values.

Plan the Segments and Segment Properties

List all the custom attributes that you want to add as extensible flexfield segments.

For each segment, define properties, including the indexed property.

Plan Validation Rules

Define each segment's validation rules and check if value sets exist for those rules or you must create new ones. If you must create a value set, you can create it either before you configure the flexfield or at the same time that you create or edit a segment.

When determining a segment's validation rules, consider the following questions:

  • What is the data type - character, date, date and time, or number?

  • Does the segment require any validation beyond data type and maximum length?

  • Should a character type value be restricted to digits, or are alphabetic characters allowed?

  • Should alphabetic characters automatically be changed to uppercase?

  • Should numeric values be zero-filled?

  • How many digits can follow the radix separator of a numeric value? In base ten numerical systems the radix separator is decimal point.

  • Does the value need to fall within a range?

  • Should the value be selected from a list of valid values? If so, consider the following questions:

    • Can you use an existing application table from which to obtain the list of valid values, or do you need to create a custom list?

    • If you are using an existing table, do you need to limit the list of values using a WHERE clause?

    • Does the list of valid values depend on the value in another flexfield segment?

    • Is the list of valid values a subset of another flexfield segment's list of values?

Plan Initial Values

For every segment, list the constant value or SQL statement, if any, to use for the initial value of the custom attribute.

Plan Security

Determine what privileges to set for view and edit access to context attributes, such as providing all end users with view access but only managers with edit access.

If your security restrictions apply to several contexts, you can create generic actions. At a minimum, create the generic actions for the base data security resource. If the flexfield has a translatable option and you plan to use translatable contexts, then also create the generic actions for the translation data security resource. For example, if the Item flexfield supports the translatable option and has a data security resource ITEM_EFF_VL in addition to the base data security resource ITEM_EFF_B, then create actions for both data security resources, such as EDIT_NONTRANS_ATTRS for ITEM_EFF_B and EDIT_TRANS_ATTRS for ITEM_EFF_VL.

If your security restrictions are more fine-grained, such as needing to secure each context with a different privilege, then you can create more fine-grained actions.

Plan Which Segments Map to Oracle Business Intelligence Objects

If an extensible flexfield has been enabled for Oracle Business Intelligence, you can make the attributes available for use in Oracle Business Intelligence applications.

Managing Extensible Flexfields: Points to Consider

Configuring extensible flexfields involves managing the available flexfields registered with your application database.

The following sequence describes how to configure extensible flexfields:

  1. Configuring contexts by creating each context segment and the context-sensitive segments for each context segment, and providing the following for each segments:

    1. Identifying information

    2. Column assignment

    3. Initial default value

    4. Display properties

  2. Configuring context usages and usage security by selecting actions to which users should have access:

    • View

    • Edit

    • None, if no special privileges should be enforced.

  3. Configuring categories and category details.

  4. Associating contexts with a category.

  5. Creating logical pages for a category.

The following aspects are important in understanding extensible flexfield management:

  • Contexts and pages

  • Categories

  • Initial values

  • Adding segments to highlighted extensible flexfields

  • Indexed segments

  • Security

  • Deployment

Contexts and Pages

Each context is displayed to end users as a region containing its context-sensitive segments. You can specify instruction help text to display instructions that explain how to use the region and its attributes to end users. Instruction help text is displayed at the top of the context region. A context can be defined as single row or multi row. Single row contexts are the same as descriptive flexfields contexts. A single row context has only one set of context-sensitive segments. A multi-row context enables you to associate multiple sets of values with the same object instance.

For example, for a BOOK table, you could create a multi row context named chapters that contains a segment for chapter and a segment for number of pages. Multiple chapters can then be associated with each book in the BOOK table.

For contexts that store multiple rows, you can uniquely identify each row by having the values in each row form a unique key.

If flexfield has a category hierarchy, then you can leverage the hierarchy to reuse contexts for similar entities, such as similar items in a product catalog.

Set the context to translatable so that free-form text entered by end users is stored in the language of the user's locale, and different translations of that text can be stored in other languages. Segments in the translated contexts should utilize format-only value sets for storing free-form, user-entered text.

Set the context security to give an end user view or edit access to a context. The context's task flow and region appear in the user interface only for users with view access. With edit access, an end user can edit the context's attribute values. With no action specified for a usage, no special privileges are enforced through the context's configuration.

Define logical pages to group contexts together in the user interface. For a given category, you may create one or more logical pages. You may add one or more of the category's associated contexts to each of the category's logical pages.

You can specify:

  • The sequence of the contexts within each page.

  • The sequence in which the logical pages appear.

  • Instruction help text to display instructions that explain how to use the page to end users. Instruction help text is displayed at the top of the logical page, preceding all of its context regions.

Categories

A category is a grouping of related data items that can be considered to belong together. You can associate any combination of contexts with a given category. Extensible flexfields with more than 30 categories must be deployed as a background process.

A category hierarchy logically organizes a set of categories. For example, the Electronics and Computers category hierarchy might include a Computer category and a Home Entertainment category, which in turn might include an Audio category and a TV category, and so on.

A category can be a child or sibling of an existing category. The hierarchy can be as simple or as complex as desired, with any combination of zero or more sibling categories and zero or more child categories. If no category is defined, the data items are grouped under a single predefined default category.

Each category has associated contexts that store relevant information about a data item in that category. For example, a Home Entertainment product has contexts that specify Voltage, Dimensions, Inputs and Outputs. Contexts are reusable within a given extensible flexfield. Then, the Dimensions context could be assigned to any category that needs to include dimensional information.

If a hierarchy includes child categories, each child category inherits the contexts from its parent category; for example, the Home Entertainment category inherits Voltage and Dimensions from the Electronics and Computers category.

Each extensible flexfield is associated with a particular category hierarchy. Consider category hierarchies to be defining framework for extensible flexfields and their contexts. A category hierarchy specifies which contexts are valid for each category.

An extensible flexfield can include multiple contexts which you define to support a given category. These contexts can be suitable for various purposes, but within a particular category, some contexts might be considered to be related to, or dependent on, each other. You can combine these contexts into groups known as logical pages, and determine the sequence in which the pages appear. This serves to connect the contexts so they will always be presented together and in a particular order in the application user interface.

For example, the Home Entertainment category might have an Electrical Specifications page that contains the Voltage, Inputs and Outputs contexts, and a Physical Specifications page that contains the Dimensions and Form Factor contexts.

Initial Values

The SQL statement defining an initial value must be a valid statement that returns only one row and a value of the correct type.

You can use two types of SQL statements:

  • SQL statement with no binding. For example, select MIN(SALARY) from EMPLOYEES.

  • SQL statement with bind variables. You can use the following bind variables in the WHERE clause of the SQL statement.

    • :{SEGMENT.<segment_code>}: Identifies a segment in the same context.

    • :{CONTEXT.<context_code>;SEGMENT.<segment_code>}: Identifies a segment in a different context. The context must be in the same category or in an ancestor category, and it cannot be a multiple-row context.

    • :{VALUESET.<value_set_code>}: Identifies the closest prior segment in the same context that is assigned to the specified value set.

    • :{FLEXFIELD.<internal_code>}: Identifies a flexfield.

For more information about using bind variables, see the help for value sets.

Adding Segments to Highlighted Extensible Flexfields

When you highlight flexfields on a run time page and use an Add Segment icon button to create a segment, the segment code, name, description, table column, and sequence number are set automatically. If you use an Add Segment icon button to configure extensible flexfield segments, you can't use an existing value set. Value sets are created automatically when you add segments. You can enter the valid values, their descriptions, and the default value or specify the formatting constraints for the value set, such as minimum and maximum values.

Depending on display type, the value set you create with the Add Segment icon button is either an independent value set or a format-only value set. The table shows which type of value set is created depending on the segment display component you select.

Display Component Value Set Created with Add Segment

Check Box

Independent

Drop-down List

Independent

List of Values

Independent

Radio Button Group

Independent

Text Field With Search

Independent

Text box

Format Only

Text area

Format Only

Rich Text Editor

Format Only

Date/Time

Format Only

Tip: After you add a context value, refresh the page to see the new value.

Indexed Segments

You can designate an extensible flexfield segment as indexed so that it's one of the selectively required attributes a user can use in an attribute search. If you indicate in the Manage Extensible Flexfield UI page that a segment should be indexed, the column representing the segment must be added to the database index. Commonly, a database administrator (DBA) adds columns to the database index.

When an extensible flexfield with indexed segments is deployed, search task flows are generated along with the other flexfield artifacts and specify the indexed attributes as selectively required. In the deployed extensible flexfield's search task flow, an end user must specify at least one of the indexed attributes in the search criteria. This prevents non-selective searches, which could cause performance issues.

For example, if you index the memory and processor attributes and ensure that the corresponding columns in the database are indexed, a user can search an item catalog for computers by entering processor or memory or both as a search criteria. No search is performed if an end user enters an attribute that isn't indexed as a search criterion.

Security

An extensible flexfield's base data security resource typically has a name with an _B suffix. The translation data security resource is a view of a translation table that typically has a name with an _VL suffix.

If a flexfield supports the translatable option and has a translation data security resource, make sure that you create the action for the appropriate data security resource.

  • If you create a context-specific action for a nontranslatable context, add it to the base data security resource.

  • If you create a context-specific action for a translatable context, add it to the translation data security resource.

Deployment

You can only deploy extensible flexfields using the Manage Extensible Flexfields task. You can deploy extensible flexfields offline as a background process and continue working in the session without having to wait for the deployment to complete. You can queue up several extensible flexfields and deploy as a background process. The flexfields are deployed, one at a time, in the order that you deploy them to the queue. You must deploy extensible flexfields with more than 30 categories as a background process.

You can remove an extensible flexfield from the deployment queue with the Cancel Background Deployment command. When an extensible flexfield is deployed in a background process, its offline status indicates that the flexfield is in a background deployment process. A flexfield's offline status is cleared and it's deployment status updated when the background deployment process has completed.

Note: The Offline Status column refreshes when you perform a new search in the Manage Extensible Flexfields task.

Enabling Extensible Flexfield Segments for Business Intelligence: Points to Consider

An extensible flexfield that is registered in the database as enabled for Oracle Business Intelligence (BI) includes a BI Enabled setting for each of its segment instances. When a segment instance is BI-enabled, it's available for use in Oracle Business Intelligence.

The following aspects are important in understanding BI-enabled extensible flexfield segments.

  • Flattening business components to use BI-enabled segments in Oracle BI

  • Mapping attributes of flattened business components to logical objects in Oracle BI

After you deploy a business intelligence-enabled flexfield, use the Import Oracle Fusion Data Extensions for Transactional Business Intelligence process to import the flexfield changes into the Oracle Business Intelligence repository. Users can make use of the newly-generated attributes in business intelligence applications. For additional information about logical objects and import, refer to the Oracle Transactional Business Intelligence Administrator's Guide.

Flattening

When you deploy a business intelligence-enabled extensible flexfield, the deployment process generates an additional set of flattened business components for use in business intelligence. The flattened business components include attributes for business intelligence-enabled segment instances only.

If you assigned a label to a segment, the flattened components include a single attribute representing all segment instances with that label. If you didn't assign a label, the flattened components include a discrete attribute for each BI-enabled segment instance in each structure.

Importing to Oracle Business Intelligence Repository

After you deploy a business intelligence-enabled flexfield, import the flexfield changes into the Oracle Business Intelligence repository to make use of the newly flattened business components in business intelligence and then propagate the flexfield object changes. When you import the metadata into the Oracle Business Intelligence repository, you must do so as the FUSION_APPS_BI_APPID user. To import flexfield changes into the Oracle Business Intelligence repository in Oracle Cloud implementations, run the Import Oracle Fusion Data Extensions for Transactional Business Intelligence process. For additional information about import, refer to the Oracle Transactional Business Intelligence Administrator's Guide.

Tip: When you import a flexfield into the Oracle Business Intelligence repository, you see both <name>_ and <name>_c attributes for each segment, along with some other optional attributes. The <name>_ attribute contains the value. The <name>_c attribute contains the code of the value set that the value comes from, and is used for linking to the value dimension. You must import both attributes.

Managing Extensible Flexfield Categories: Points to Consider

Categories are a way of extending the number of context-sensitive segments for a flexfield beyond the columns reserved for flexfield segments.

An Items extensible flexfield has a category for each item and each category can have one or more contexts. The laptop item belongs to the Computers category. Since extensible flexfields are mapped to separate extension tables, not just to columns as with descriptive flexfields, the thirty reserved columns on the extensible flexfield table let you define up to thirty context-sensitive segments for each context.

If you add a Dimensions context to the Computers category, thirty segments are available. But if you need to add more than thirty attributes, create another context and associate it to the same category. You could now add an Electronics Attributes context to the same Computers category in which you create another thirty segments.

You can continue creating more contexts and adding them to the Computers category. In this way your laptop computer item can be extended with as many attributes as you need, because it is mapped to a category and you can keep adding contexts to that category.

A descriptive flexfield on an items table with thirty columns reserved for segments can only have a single context. Once you configure the columns for that one context, you cannot create any more segments.

Predefined and Preconfigured Categories

How you structure the flexfield configuration depends on how categories are defined for the flexfield. If the extensible flexfield is preconfigured with one category, associate all your contexts and pages with that category. If a product-specific extensible flexfield is preconfigured with several categories, associate your contexts and pages with those categories. If the extensible flexfields provide user interfaces for configuring multiple categories, associate a context with more than one category using inheritance.

Some products provide an activity or task for creating and maintaining categories for an extensible flexfield. See product-specific information to determine if you can create categories for the flexfield.

You can view a flexfield's category hierarchies by using either the Highlight Flexfields feature or the Manage Extensible Flexfields task to find and open the flexfield for editing.

Disabling Categories

While configuring an extensible flexfield, you can disable a category. The Enabled column in the Category table of the Edit Extensible Flexfield page, indicates which categories are enabled.

Note: When you deploy an extensible flexfield that has a disabled category, that category and its descendant categories aren't deployed. Contexts and their segments are deployed only if they belong to at least one enabled category.

Contexts

Group similar custom attributes into contexts. The group is displayed together in a region. The region's header is the context value.

If a category hierarchy exists for the flexfield, then you can leverage the hierarchy to reuse contexts for similar entities, such as similar items in a product catalog.

The figure shows the Item Extended Attributes flexfield, which uses the category hierarchy feature to reuse contexts. The flexfield's Electronics and Computers category contains contexts for compliance and certification, voltage, and materials and substances. The TV and Video subcategory and the Computer Products subcategory inherit the Electronics and Computer contexts in addition to having their own contexts. The Materials and Substances context belongs to both the Electronics and Computer Products category and the Tools, Auto, and Industrial Products category.

Category Hierarchy

The table shows an example of category hierarchy for an extensible flexfield.

Display Name Code Description

Electronics and Computers

PROD_ELECTRONICS

Electronics and Computers

  • TV and Video

PROD_TV_VIDEO

Television and Video

  • Computers

PROD_COMPUTERS

Computers

Office Products and Supplies

PROD_OFFICE_PRODUCTS_SUPPLIES

Office Products and Supplies

Tools, Auto, and Industrial

PROD_TOOLS_AUTO_INDUSTRIAL

Tools, Automotive, and Industrial

Sports and Outdoors

PROD_SPORTS_OUTDOORS

Sports and Outdoors

To store voltage information for all electronic and computer items, associate a Voltage context with the Electronics and Computers category. Both the TV and Video subcategory and the Computers subcategory then inherit the Voltage context from the parent Electronics and Computers category.

Configuring an Item Extended Attributes Flexfield: Example

The Item Extended Attributes flexfield provides segments for extending the Item business object. In the Manage Extensible Flexfields task, you configure your product business object to include a Technical Specifications logical page in the user interface for the Electronics and Computers category of items.

In this example, your configuration of this flexfield groups custom attributes into the following contexts:

  • Materials and Substances

  • Compliance and Certification

  • Voltage

Scenario

The following list shows an example plan for custom computer attributes for the Item Extended Attributes flexfield. In this example, the Electronics Information page is inherited from the parent Electronics and Computers category.

  • Page: Electronics Information

    • Context: Compliance and Certification, single row

      • ISO 14001 (International Organization for Standardization for an Environmental Management System)

      • ENERGY STAR (energy efficiency guidelines)

      • ROHS (Restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment)

    • Context: Voltage, single row

      • Minimum voltage

      • Maximum voltage

      • Current type

    • Context: Materials and Substances, multiple rows

      • Material

      • Contain recyclate

      • Percent unit mass

  • Page: Computer Information

    • Context: Processor Specifications, single row

      • Manufacturer

      • CPU type

      • Processor interface

      • Processor class

      • Processor speed

      • Cores

The following table summarizes key decisions for this scenario.

Decisions to Consider In This Example

Which extensible flexfield is available for configuring a hierarchy of categories?

Item Extended Attributes flexfield

Collecting Technical Specifications

Your product inventory pages for electronics and computers require a technical specifications page. Your product inventory pages for furniture require a furniture specifications page and an assembly instructions page. Items in both the electronics and computer category, and in the furniture category, share attributes for specifying materials and substances.

The figure shows a Technical Specifications logical page in the user interface for the Electronics and Computers category, with attributes in the context of Recovery and Recycling, Compliance and Certification, Operating Conditions, and Materials and Substances. The Materials and Substances context is configured for multiple rows so your users can select all the materials and substances required to make a single product, displayed as attribute values in a table.

Technical Specifications logical page in the user
interface for the Electronics and Computers category, with attributes
in the context of Recovery and Recycling, Compliance and Certification,
Operating Conditions, and Materials and Substances. The Materials
and Substances context is configured for multiple rows so your users
can select all the materials and substances required to make a single
product, displayed as attribute values in a table.

Analysis

You use logical pages to arrange how the contexts appear in the user interface. Use a context to store all the materials and substances required to make a single product. You can configure a context to store multiple rows per entity. The multiple rows are displayed in a table, as for the Materials and Substances context.

The Technical Specifications logical page contains the attributes for the four contexts.

  • Recovery and Recycling

  • Compliance and Certification

  • Operating Conditions

  • Materials and Substances

In the figure, the Furniture category is configured to include a Furniture Specifications logical page and an Assembly Instructions logical page. The two categories (Electronics & Computers and Furniture) share the Materials & Substances context.

A chart shows the Furniture category configured
to include a Furniture Specifications logical page and an Assembly
Instructions logical page. The two categories (Electronics and Computers,
and Furniture) share the Materials and Substances context.

Configure Security for the Item Flexfield Configuration

The following table shows an example of data security policies for the Item flexfield.

Data Security Resource Policy Role Actions Condition

ITEM_EFF_B

A

VOLTAGE_SPEC

edit_nontrans_voltage_ctx

All values

ITEM_EFF_VL

B

COMPLIANCE_SPEC

edit_trans_compliance_ctx

All values

ITEM_EFF_VL

C

COMPUTER_SPEC

edit_trans_attrs

ComputerCategoryFilter

ITEM_EFF_VL

D

TELEVISION_SPEC

edit_trans_attrs

TVCategoryFilter

The following table shows the privileges for three of the flexfield's contexts.

Context Edit Privilege View Privilege

Voltage

edit_nontrans_voltage_ctx

NONE

Compliance and Certification

edit_trans_compliance_ctx

NONE

Materials and Substances

edit_trans_attrs

NONE

In this example, anyone can view the contexts' attributes, but the edit privileges are restricted as follows:

  • Voltage: Editable only by voltage specialists.

  • Compliance and Certification: Editable only by compliance specialists.

  • Materials and Substances: Only computer specialists can edit these attributes for items in the computer category. Only television specialists can edit these attributes for items in the TV category.

In this example, the Materials and Substances context is secured by a generic action with a condition applied to restrict access by category. Voltage and Compliance and Certification are secured by actions specific to each context.

FAQs for Manage Extensible Flexfields

Why did the extensible flexfield context not appear at run time?

If a deployed extensible flexfield context doesn't appear in the user interface, verify that the context is associated with one of the category's pages defined for the extensible flexfield.

Manage Key Flexfields

Key Flexfields: Explained

Key flexfields provide a means to capture a key such as a part number, a job code, or an account code. A key flexfield consists of one or more segments, where each segment can have a meaning.

For example, a part number 10-PEN-BLA-450 might correspond to a black pen from supplier #450 sold by division #10 (office supplies). Behind the scenes, the application uses a unique number, 13452, for this part, but the user always sees the 10-PEN-BLA-450 part number.

The following aspects are important to understanding key flexfields:

  • Architecture

  • Segments and segment labels

  • Structures

  • Segment and structure instances

  • Combinations

  • Dynamic combination creation

  • Security

Key flexfields aren't optional. You must configure key flexfields to ensure that your applications operate correctly. You configure and maintain key flexfield definitions with the Manage Key Flexfields task. To get a list of predefined key flexfields, open the Setup and Maintenance work area, and use the Manage Key Flexfields task. For information about specific key flexfields, see the help for the product where the associated business component is implemented.

Architecture

Flexfield metadata is stored in the flexfield metadata tables. When you configure a key flexfield, you define metadata about the key flexfield covering aspects such as:

  • Segments are in a structure

  • Structures in the flexfield

  • Value sets in each segment

Based on the flexfield metadata, actual part numbers are captured at run time as a combination of segment values and stored in a combinations table. A combinations table contains all the segment columns for a flexfield, a unique ID column, and a structure instance number column. The structure instance number column differentiates multiple arrangements of the segment columns. For example, a part number containing multiple segments can be represented by a key flexfield. A part number key flexfield has a corresponding combinations table. In that table, the flexfield stores a list of the complete codes, with each segment of the code in a column, with the corresponding unique ID and structure instance number for the code. When users define a new part number or maintain existing part numbers in the parts catalog, they directly maintain rows in the combinations table.

The foreign key table contains a different business entity than the combinations table. For example, the business entity in the foreign key table is order lines or invoice lines that contain foreign key references to parts for ordering. Any number of foreign key tables can reference a particular entity represented by a key flexfield.

Segments and Segment Labels

A key flexfield contains segments and a segment label identifies a particular segment within a key flexfield. Segment labels are defined and made available by the product development. A segment contains the following details:

  • A prompt

  • A short prompt

  • Display width

  • The sequential position of the segment within the key flexfield structure

  • The range type

  • Column name of the attribute being stored by the segment

  • A default value set

  • A label for the segment

Applications identify a particular segment for some purpose such as security or computations. Segment name or segment order cannot reliably identify a segment because key flexfield segments can be configured to appear in any order with any prompts. A segment label functions as a tag for a segment.

For example, the requirement is to identify which segment in the accounting flexfield contains balancing information and which segment contains natural account information. A segment label determines which segment you are using for natural account information. When you define your accounting flexfield, you must specify which segment label apply to which segments. Some labels must be unique, and cannot be applied to more than one segment in each structure. Other labels are required, and must be applied to at least one segment in each structure.

A segment label helps a user searching for segments, such as the Cost Center label for all segments across key flexfields that store a value for the cost center.

Structures

A key flexfield structure definition includes the number of segments and their order.

In some applications, different users like to see different segment structures for the same flexfield. A key flexfield can have multiple structures if registered to support more than one structure.

The flexfield can display different fields for different users based on a data condition in your application data, such as the value of another field entered by the user or the user's role. For example, the correctly formatted local postal address for customer service inquiries differs based on locale. A postal address key flexfield could display different segments and prompts for different users based on a location condition in your application data, such as the user's role or a value entered by the user.

Each structure can have one or more segments. Thus a segment is a child of a structure. To store a particular segment, such as Cost Center, in two different structures, you must define the segment separately in each structure. Each structure may have one or more structure instances. Each instance of a structure shares the same number and order of segments, but differs in the values or value sets used in validating the segments.

Structure and Segment Instances

You can define multiple configurations of a key flexfield structure. These structure instances have the same segment structure, in the same sequence order. They differ primarily in how each segment is validated. You define a structure instance for each key flexfield and each key flexfield structure instance.

The segments in a key flexfield structure instance are segment instances. A segment instance is a segment with a specific value set assigned to it. If a key flexfield is registered with a tree structure, you can specify a tree code for a segment instance.

Combinations

A combination is a complete code, or combination of segment values that makes up the code, that uniquely identifies an object.

For example, each part number is a single combination, such as PAD-YEL-11x14 or 01-COM-876-7BG-LTN. In these combinations, the hyphen is the segment separator. If you have ten parts, define ten combinations. A valid combination is an existing or new combination that can be used because it's currently active and doesn't violate cross-validation or security rules. A combination has different segments depending on the flexfield structure being used for that combination. Any combination is associated with only one particular flexfield structure.

Many applications refer to a key flexfield combination by using the name of the entity or the key flexfield itself. For example, Assets uses the asset key flexfield and refers to one of its combinations as an asset key or asset key flexfield. In another example, Oracle Fusion General Ledger refers to combinations of the accounting flexfield as account or GL account.

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 (an account combination ID) for that code. Then, other tables in the application have a column that stores just the unique ID for the code. For example, you may 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 lets you 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. Typically, one combinations page maintains the key flexfield, where the key flexfield is the representation of an entity in your application. Maintain individual combinations, such as part numbers in the combinations page.

Dynamic Combination Creation

Dynamic combination creation is the insertion of a new valid combination into a combinations table from a page other than the combinations page. Dynamic combination creation may be enabled at the following levels.

Level Of Dynamic Combination Creation Controlled By:

Flexfield

Application development

Each usage or reference to the key flexfield

Application development

Structure instance

Administrators and implementation consultants

Other

Administrators and implementation consultants

If your key flexfield or certain usages or references of the key flexfield don't permit dynamic combination creation, you may control whether dynamic combination creation is enabled for each structure instance. If enabled, a user can enter a new combination of segment values using the flexfield window from a foreign key page. For example, when entering a transaction, a GL user can enter a new expense account combination for an account that doesn't yet exist. Your application creates the new account by inserting the new combination into the combinations table behind the scenes. 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 isn't the underlying table for the foreign key page.

Planning Key Flexfields: Points to Consider

Your first step in planning your key flexfields is to determine which key flexfields your application requires.

Your plan should include:

  • The purpose of the key flexfield

  • The number and length of its available segment columns

  • Whether your key flexfield allows more than one structure

  • Whether more than one structure must be defined

  • The number, order and length of your segments for each structure

Consider the following aspects in planning flexfields:

  • Before you begin

  • Access to flexfield-related tasks

  • Restrictions

  • Validation rules for flexfield segments

Before You Begin

Once you have identified a flexfield to configure, plan the configuration in advance. Compile a list of the UI pages and other artifacts in your deployment that are affected by the configuration. Verify that you are provisioned with the roles needed to view and configure the flexfield. View the flexfield using the Highlight Flexfields command in the Administration menu while viewing the run time page where the flexfield appears. Plan how you will deploy the flexfield for test and production users.

Review the tools and tasks available for managing flexfields, such as the Define Flexfields task list and Manage Sandboxes.

If you plan to use value sets, create them before configuring the key flexfield. You cannot create value sets for key flexfields at the time that you add and configure key flexfield segments.

Access to Flexfield-Related Tasks

To access tasks for configuring flexfields and value sets, you must be provisioned with roles that entitle you to access the tasks in the Define Flexfields task list or tasks for managing product-specific flexfields. Contact your security administrator for details. For information about product-specific flexfield tasks, such as Manage Fixed Assets Key Flexfields, consult the product-specific documentation in Oracle Fusion Applications Help.

Restrictions

If you plan to use value sets, create them before configuring the flexfield.

Plan your key flexfield configuration to scale to your enterprise needs. For example, if you expect to disable old cost centers and enable new ones frequently, plan a larger maximum size for your cost center value set so that you can have more available values. One thousand available values for a 3-character value set provides more room for changes than 100 available values for a 2-character value set.

Note the code name of the flexfield you intend to configure so you can find it easily in the Define Flexfield task list or tasks for managing product-specific key flexfields.

In some cases you can customize how the flexfield appears on the page.

See Oracle Fusion Applications Help for specific products to determine any restrictions on using product-specific key flexfields.

Reporting

If you want to report on your data by certain criteria or sub-entities, such as account number or project or region, consider making that sub-entity a distinct segment, rather than combining it with another sub-entity, so that you can categorize and report on smaller discrete units of information.

Managing Key Flexfields: Points to Consider

Consider the plans for a key flexfield, security, and resulting run time pages when configuring key flexfields.

Planning

Plan structures carefully and allow for future needs. Don't change the number, order, and maximum length of segments once you have acquired flexfield data.

Structure Delimiters

A delimiter separates the segments when they appear to end users. The delimiter value of a structure specifies the character used to visually separate segment values when the key flexfield is displayed as a string of concatenated segments in the UI.

Choose the delimiter value of your key flexfield carefully so that it doesn't conflict with the flexfield data. For example, if your data frequently contains periods, such as in monetary or numeric values, don't use a period as your segment separator. Any character you expect to appear frequently in your segment values or descriptions isn't a good choice for the delimiter. If you change the configuration of a key flexfield, such as the delimiter, the change affects the previously stored key flexfields with that structure.

Security

Oracle Fusion data security enforces value set security.

Within key flexfields, value set security applies to the selection of the individual segment values in the segment list of values. When selecting a key flexfield segment value from the combinations table, data security allows display of only the combinations whose segment values you have access to. Applications development controls whether or not value set security rules propagate to the foreign key table. By default they do.

Run Time Pages

Application development determines the user interface (UI) pages used to render flexfields. The types of key flexfield UI pages are as follows:

  • Combinations pages where the underlying entity objects use the combinations table itself

  • Foreign key pages where the underlying entity objects contain a foreign key reference to the combinations table

  • Partial usage pages where some or all of the key flexfield's segment columns are in a product table

The same key flexfield can be used in different ways on different pages.

A page with a foreign key reference has a base table or view that contains a foreign key reference to a combinations table with the actual flexfield segment columns. This lets you manipulate rows containing code combination IDs (CCID).

A page with partial usage of a key flexfield presents segments that are defined on a product's transactional table in addition to being defined on a combinations table. In the case of a partial usage page, it is possible that only part of the configuration is visible. This enables the key flexfield to behave more like a descriptive flexfield.

A code combination maintenance page or combinations page presents the combinations table. This enables directly creating and maintaining code combinations. The combinations table contains all key flexfield segment columns and a unique ID column.

A typical application has only one combinations page. An application might not have a combinations page if it doesn't support maintenance by administrators.

A page containing a search region enables end users to select which attributes of the key flexfield view object to use as criteria to search for flexfield metadata.

For example, you can configure seven segments for the Account key flexfield. In a foreign key reference page, end users see the typical key flexfield picker with all seven segments where they can search for combinations. In a partial usage page using the same key flexfield, end users potentially could see only a single segment such as the Cost Center labeled segment, or they might see multiple segments but displayed as individual segments rather than as a picker for choosing combinations.

For more information on key flexfield pages, see the Oracle Fusion Applications Developer's Guide.

Key Flexfield Structures: Explained

A key flexfield structure arranges the segments of a key so that you can reuse a single key flexfield in multiple combinations of the same segments or a subset of those segments. Multiple instances of a single structure can accommodate differences in the value sets assigned to the structure's segments.

The structure determines the following aspects of a key flexfield:

  • The segments to include

  • The order of the segments

  • Segment labels on the included segments

  • Properties for each segment applied to the instances of the segments in an instance of the structure

Managing Key Flexfield Structures

All the segments defined for a key flexfield are available to be included in a key flexfield structure.

You can define as many segments as there are defined segment columns in your key flexfield combinations table. Ensure that you add segments in the order that your key requires. Once deployed, the order cannot be changed.

Enable segments to indicate that they are in use. A flexfield doesn't display disabled segments in run time. To protect the integrity of your data, disable a segment if you have already used it to enter data.

Key Flexfield Structure Instances and Segment Instances: Explained

A key flexfield structure can have one or more alternate structure instances.

The instances of a key flexfield structure share the following aspects of the structure:

  • The same set of segments

  • The same arrangement of segments

  • The same properties at the segment and structure levels

The differences among structure instances include whether dynamic combination creation is allowed. Likewise, at the structure instance level, differences among segment instances are based on the following:

  • Value set

  • Default type and default value

  • Tree code

  • Whether the segment is any of the following:

    • Required

    • Displayed

    • Enabled for business intelligence

    • Optional or required as a query criterion

For example, you can use one group of value sets for the US and another for France.

The following figure shows two structures instances for a part number structure.

A part number key flexfield has multiple possible structures.
A given structure has multiple possible instances. And a given structure
instance has segment instances that differentiate it from other structure
instances.

The structures differ in the number of segments and the segment separators used. The structure instances of a structure share all properties defined for that structure. However, the structure instances may vary if the properties are defined at the structure instance or segment instance level. For example, the value set assigned to the segment instances.

Query Required Segment Instances

You can designate a key flexfield segment instance as query required to make it a selectively required attribute. A user can use it a key flexfield combination search. If you indicate on the Manage Key Flexfields UI page that a segment instance requires indexing, add the column representing the segment to the database index. Commonly, a database administrator (DBA) adds columns to the database index.

Following deployment, the combination picker of the key flexfield displays the query required attributes as selectively required. An user must specify at least one of the query required attributes in the search criteria. This prevents unnecessary searches that could cause performance issues.

For example, you mark the cost center and account attributes as query required and ensure that the corresponding columns in the database are indexed. A user can search for combinations by entering cost center or account or both as search criteria. No search is performed if a user doesn't enter at least one query required attribute as search criteria.

Tip: Index the Structure Instance Number column on your combinations table to improve run time performance.

Dynamic Combinations

If a key flexfield supports dynamic combination creation, you can select to enable this feature by selecting Dynamic Combination Creation Allowed. As a result, users enter values at run time that produce new account combinations for the flexfield. If Dynamic Combination Creation Allowed isn't enabled, new valid combinations can only be entered using the combinations table for the flexfield.

Trees

You may define a tree code for the value set assigned to the segment instance. When you assign the tree code to the segment instance, tree hierarchy search operations are available on the segment values.

For a segment instance to be based on a tree, the following must be true.

  • Application development registered the key flexfield with a tree structure. The tree structure may be fixed across all segments in the flexfield, or may vary across segments.

  • A tree code for that tree structure exists.

  • The tree code includes tree versions containing the values of the value set assigned to the segment instance.

  • You assign the required tree code directly to the segment instance.

If these conditions are satisfied, different segment instances that use the same value set can be assigned the same or different tree codes. They use a different hierarchy definition over the same values.

Cross-Validation Rules: Explained

You can control the creation of new key flexfield code combinations by defining cross-validation rules. A cross-validation rule defines validation across segments and enforces whether a value of a particular segment can be combined with specific values of other segments to form a new combination.

The table compares segment validation to cross-segment validation:

Type of validation Type of control

Segment validation

Controls the values you can enter for a particular segment

Cross-segment validation

Controls the combinations of values that administrators and end users can create for key flexfields

Note: You can use cross-validation rules for any key flexfield that has cross-validation enabled. See the documentation for your key flexfield to determine if it supports cross validation.

Cross-validation rules prevent the creation of combinations with values that shouldn't coexist in the same combination. For example, your company requires that all revenue accounts must have a specific department. Therefore, account combinations that have revenue account values, such as all values between 4000 and 5999, must have a corresponding department value other than 000, which indicates no department is specified. You can define cross-validation rules that disallow creation of combinations with incompatible segments, such as 4100-000 or 5000-000.

Alternatively, suppose your accounting key flexfield has an Organization segment with two possible values, 01 and 02. You also have a Natural Account segment with many possible values, but company policy requires that Organization 01 uses the natural account values 001 to 499 and Organization 02 uses the natural account values 500 to 999. You can create cross-validation rules to ensure that users cannot create a general ledger account with combinations of values such as 02-342 or 01-750.

The following aspects are important to understanding cross-validation rules:

  • Rule Definitions

  • Enforcement

  • Timing

Rule Definitions

Cross-validation rules consist of the following information:

Rule Feature Purpose

Name

Uniquely identifies cross-validation rules in a deployment.

Description

Helps administrators identify the purpose of the rule.

Error message

Explains why the attempted combination violates the rule.

Start Date, End Date

Indicates the period of time when the rule is in effect.

Enabled

Determines whether the rule is enforced.

Condition filter

Determines the conditions under which an enabled cross-validation rule should be evaluated.

Validation filter

Determines the validation that the rule enforces when that condition is met.

When the event specified in the condition filter is applicable, the validation filter condition must be satisfied before the combination can be created. If the event specified in the condition filter isn't applicable, then the combination is considered to pass the rule and the rule won't be evaluated even if it is enabled.

Note: If you don't specify any statement in the condition filter, then the condition is always true and the rule is always evaluated.

Enforcement

Cross-validation prevents creation of invalid combinations by administrators using maintenance pages and end users using dynamic insertion in foreign key pages.

Enabled rules are enforced when there is an attempt to create a new combination of segment values. Disabled rules are ignored. Deleting the rule has the same effect, but you can re-enable a disabled rule.

Timing

When users attempt to create a new combination, the key flexfield evaluates any cross-validation rules that are enabled and in effect.

Note: Cross-validation rules have no effect on combinations that already exist. The flexfield treats any existing invalid combinations that pre-date the rule as valid.

If you want to prevent users from using previously existing combinations that are no longer valid according to your cross-validation rules, manually disable those combinations using the combinations page for that key flexfield.

When defining a cross-validation rule, specify a start and end date to limit the time when the rule is in effect. The rule is valid for the time including the From and To dates.

Cross-Validation Rules: Points to Consider

When you need key flexfield combinations of segment values validated across segments, you can optimize your cross-validation rules to improve the experience of administrators and end users.

Consider the following when defining cross-validation rules:

  • Filters

  • Rule Complexity

  • Maintenance

Filters

A cross-validation rule includes a condition filter and a validation filter.

The rule is evaluated using the following logic: If the condition filter is satisfied, then validate that the validation filter is satisfied.

  1. The condition filter describes the event under which the rule will be evaluated. If the event specified in the condition filter isn't applicable, then the rule won't be evaluated even if it is enabled.

  2. When the event specified in the condition filter is applicable, the validation filter condition must be satisfied before the combination can be created.

For example, if your organization has determined that a certain company value, Operations, cannot use a specific cost center, Marketing, you can define a cross-validation rule to validate your combinations.

  1. The rule evaluates the company condition filter.

  2. When company is equal to Operations, the rule evaluates the cost center validation filter.

  3. When cost center is equal to Marketing, the rule prevents a combination from being created.

  4. The error message you defined for the rule displays to inform the user that the attempted combination violates the rule.

Note: This rule doesn't affect the creation of combinations with Marketing cost center and company values other than Operations.

Rule Complexity

For optimal performance and ease of understanding, define several simple validation rules instead of using one complex rule. Simple validation rules let you provide a more specific error message and are easier to maintain over time.

Avoid rules that control validation across more than two segments, where possible. While you can define cross-validation rules that span two or more segments, keep in mind that it becomes more difficult to interpret cross-validation error messages and correct invalid key flexfield combinations as your rules encompass more segments.

Maintenance

To maintain consistent validation, review existing key flexfields when you update your cross-validation rules. Regardless of your current validation rules, Oracle Fusion Applications accept a key flexfield combination if the combination already exists and is enabled. Therefore, to ensure accurate validation, you must review your existing combinations and disable any combinations that don't match the criteria of your new rules.

Tip: To keep this type of key flexfield maintenance to a minimum, decide upon your cross-validation rules when you first set up your key flexfield structure. Define cross-validation rules before creating combinations and before combinations are used in transactions.

If you want to prevent users from using previously existing combinations that are no longer valid according to your cross-validation rules, disable those combinations using the combinations page.

Creating a Cross-Validation Rule: Example

Create cross-validation rules to prevent specific combinations of segment values in account combinations. For example, you can prevent a particular cost center from being combined with a specific company value. Cross-validation rules only affect the creation of new account combinations.

Scenario

Your company, InFusion America Inc. doesn't have a marketing department. Create a cross-validation rule to prevent InFusion America Inc. company value 01 from being combined with marketing department value 300 in an account combination.

  1. Navigate to the Setup and Maintenance work area. Search for and select the Manage Cross-Validation Rules task.

  2. Select the chart of accounts for InFusion America and click Add Row.

  3. Enter a unique rule name, such as IFAM01 and a description, such as Do not combine Marketing department, 300 with InFusion America company 01.

  4. Specify an effective starting date of today and enable the rule.

  5. Click the Condition Filter icon and enter Company equal to 01. The cross-validation rule evaluates if company 01 is entered, and if so, then the validation process continues to evaluate the rule.

    Note: If you don't specify a statement in the condition filter, then the rule is always evaluated.
  6. Click the Validation Filter icon and enter Cost Center is not equal to 300. When the rule is evaluated, an account combination must contain a cost center other than 300 before it can be created.

  7. Enter the error message: Cost Center 300 is not allowed with Company 01. The message displays in the relevant user interfaces and processes when an account combination can't be created because it violates the rule.

  8. Click Save and Close.

Enabling Key Flexfield Segments for Business Intelligence: Points to Consider

A key flexfield registered in the database as enabled for Oracle Business Intelligence (BI) includes a BI Enabled setting for each of its segment instances. When a segment instance is BI-enabled, it's available for use in Oracle Business Intelligence.

The following aspects are important in understanding BI-enabled key flexfield segments.

  • Flattening business components to use BI-enabled segments in Oracle BI

  • Equalizing segments to prevent duplication and complexity in the flattened component

  • Mapping attributes of flattened business components to logical objects in Oracle BI

  • Managing the labels that map segments to logical objects in Oracle BI

After you deploy a business intelligence-enabled flexfield, use the Import Oracle Fusion Data Extensions for Transactional Business Intelligence process to import the flexfield changes into the Oracle Business Intelligence repository. Users can make use of the newly-generated attributes in business intelligence applications. For additional information about logical objects and import, refer to the Oracle Transactional Business Intelligence Administrator's Guide.

Flattening

When you deploy a business intelligence-enabled key flexfield, the deployment process generates an additional set of flattened business components for use in business intelligence. The flattened business components include attributes for business intelligence-enabled segment instances only.

If you assigned a label to a segment, the flattened components include a single attribute representing all segment instances with that label. If you didn't assign a label, the flattened components include a discrete attribute for each BI-enabled segment instance in each structure.

Mapping to Logical Objects in Business Intelligence

You can simplify reporting by representing similar segments as a single logical object in Business Intelligence. If you assign a label to segments that serve the same purpose in different structures, you can consolidate the segments into a single attribute. This prevents duplication and the extra workload and complexity that result from the flattening process. For example, an organization may have more than one definition of its key accounting flexfield to support different requirements for accounting reporting. A US Accounting Flexfield structure may have a segment called Subaccount to track project expenditures. The same type of information may be tracked in a UK accounting flexfield structure with a segment called Project. Equalize these two segments to create a single list of values for reporting.

Non-labeled segments aren't equalized across context values, so the flattened components include a separate attribute for each segment for each structure. It may not be possible to equalize similarly labeled segments if they have incompatible data types or value set types.

Assign a label to a segment to map the corresponding attribute in the flattened components to a logical object in Oracle Business Intelligence. Using labels to map segments to BI logical objects minimizes the steps for importing the flexfield into Oracle Business Intelligence. Assigning a label to a segment serves to equalize the attribute across structures, as well as map the equalized attribute to business intelligence.

Managing Labels

You may assign a predefined label (if available) to segments or create labels for assignment, as needed. Specify a code, name, and description to identify each label. In the BI Object Name field, enter the name of the logical object in Oracle Business Intelligence to which the segment label should map during import. Specifying the BI logical object minimizes the steps for importing the flexfield into Oracle Business Intelligence and helps to equalize context-sensitive segments across structures.

If no labels are assigned to a BI-enabled segment, or the BI Object Name on the assigned label doesn't exist in business intelligence, you must manually map the segment to the required logical object when importing into Oracle Business Intelligence. In addition, segments without labels cannot be equalized across structures. The flattened components include a separate attribute for each non-labeled segment in each structure.

Importing to Oracle Business Intelligence Repository

After you deploy a business intelligence-enabled flexfield, import the flexfield changes into the Oracle Business Intelligence repository to make use of the newly flattened business components in business intelligence. Then propagate the flexfield object changes. When you import the metadata into the Oracle Business Intelligence repository, you must do so as the FUSION_APPS_BI_APPID user.

To import flexfield changes into the Oracle Business Intelligence repository in Oracle Cloud implementations, run the Import Oracle Fusion Data Extensions for Transactional Business Intelligence process. For additional information about import, refer to the Oracle Transactional Business Intelligence Administrator's Guide.

Note: When you import a flexfield into the Oracle Business Intelligence repository, you see both <name>_ and <name>_c attributes for each segment, along with some other optional attributes. The <name>_ attribute contains the value. The <name>_c attribute contains the code of the value set that the value comes from, and is used for linking to the value dimension. You must import both attributes.

Key Flexfields: Example

A key flexfield can capture expense account information.

Scenario

When entering details for each expense, the user specifies an account to which the expense is charged.

Entering Expense Accounts

A user interface for entering expenses gives the user the option of selecting an expense account that identifies the cost center and other details needed for processing the expense.

Analysis

The expense account field is a foreign key reference to a code combination (EXPENSE_LINES.EXPENSE_ACCOUNT = ACCOUNTS.CCID).

Code Combinations Table for Entering Accounts and Employees

The code combinations table supports entering account information, such as for expense accounts.

The figure shows the origin in the code combinations table of the account specified by the user. The code combination ID record stores the information of the key flexfield segments used to assemble the expense account based on the key flexfield configuration.

The figure shows the expenses table, the code combinations
table picking up the code combination ID from the expenses table and
supplying the project number to the expense account key so that a
user can enter the expense account in an expense details user interface.

The combinations page, which is the maintenance page for the key flexfield, is for managing rows in the combinations table. In this example, managing the combinations means adding or editing account numbers that adhere to the key flexfield metadata rules.

The figure shows the code combination details for the example expense account reflected in the flexfield configuration and the code combinations table.

The figure shows the combination details user interface
where the code combinations table is maintained and the combination
details that result from the code combinations table.

If dynamic combination creation isn't enabled, then when entering an expense line, the user can only select an account that already exists in the ACCOUNTS (combinations) table. If they require an account that doesn't exist, they must consult with the appropriate application administrator who can add the account to the combinations table.

If dynamic combination creation is enabled, then when entering an expense line, the user can either select a pre-existing account, or type in a new account that is created dynamically on the fly in the ACCOUNTS (combinations) table. Once the new combination is created, the same user can refer to it on the expense line.

When managing employee information, the user specifies the cost center that the employee belongs to. The cost center field corresponds to a single, labeled segment of the Account Key Flexfield and has metadata defined such as the allowable value set for that segment.

In this figure, instead of specifying a cost center ID reference to an account, only the Cost Center segment is used and the value is stored directly on the employee table.

The figure shows the combinations details and how they
appear in the Employee Details user interface.