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Register Descriptive Flexfields

Register your flexfield after adding the descriptive flexfield columns to your table and registering your table. You must register a descriptive flexfield before you can use it in an application.

Use this window to provide information about your descriptive flexfield. Give your flexfield a name and associate it with an application and a database table. Also specify which table column you want to use as a structure column.

Register Descriptive Flexfields Block

Forms and flexfield routines use the combination of application name and flexfield name to uniquely identify your flexfield.


An application installer sees this application name when defining your descriptive flexfield in the Define Descriptive Segments window. Use this application name when you use flexfield routines to call your descriptive flexfield from your forms or programs.


Use this name when you use flexfield routines to call your descriptive flexfield from your forms or programs.


Flexfields displays this unique title at the top of the flexfield window when your users enter your descriptive flexfield. An application installer can modify this title using the Define Descriptive Segments window.

Table Name

Enter the name of the table that contains your descriptive flexfield columns. Your table must already exist in the database, and it should already have columns for your descriptive flexfield segments, as well as a structure column. These segment columns are usually called ATTRIBUTE1, ATTRIBUTE2, ..., ATTRIBUTEn.

You must register your table with Oracle Applications before you can use it in this field.

Structure Column

Enter the name of the column, such as ATTRIBUTE_CATEGORY, in your table that your flexfield uses to differentiate among descriptive flexfield structures. Your descriptive flexfield uses this column to let your users see different descriptive flexfield structures based on data supplied by the form or the user. You must have a structure column even if you only intend to use one descriptive flexfield structure.

Context Prompt

Enter a default context field prompt that asks your user which descriptive flexfield structure to display. Depending upon how your application installer defines your descriptive flexfield, your user may or may not see a context field as part of the descriptive flexfield pop-up window. Descriptive flexfield windows display this context field prompt if the installer allows the end user to override the default context field value.

If your application installer defines it, the context field appears to the user as if it were simply another flexfield segment (with the prompt you specify here). Your user enters a value in the context field, and other descriptive flexfield segments pop up based on that value. The installer can modify the context field prompt using the Define Descriptive Segments window.

Detail Buttons

Reference Fields Choose this button to open the Reference Fields window where you select possible reference fields for your descriptive flexfield.
Columns Choose this button to open the Columns window where you enable table columns for your descriptive flexfield segments.

Reference Fields Window

Use this window to specify any form fields that might serve as descriptive flexfield reference fields. Your flexfield can use values in one of these fields (context field values) to determine which flexfield structure to display.

An installer using the Define Descriptive Segments window can choose to use one of these window fields to obtain the context field value for your descriptive flexfield.

You should specify all form fields that contain information an installer might use to obtain a context field value. For example, the descriptive flexfield in an application form may be used to capture different information based on which country is specified in a field on that form, or based on a name specified in another field. In this case, both the country field and the name field should be listed as potential reference fields, and the installer can decide which reference field to use (or neither).

An installer typically defines different structures of descriptive flexfield segments for each value that the reference field would contain. Though the installer does not necessarily define a structure for all the values the reference field could contain, a field that has thousands of possible values may not be a good reference field. In general, you should only list fields that will contain a relatively short, static list of possible values, such as a field that offers a list of countries.

A good reference field usually has a defined List of Values. You should not list fields that could contain an infinite number of unique values, such as a PO Number field. Often the business uses of the particular form dictate which fields, if any, are acceptable reference fields.

You may specify additional fields to be available as reference fields even after you have registered your flexfield.

Attention: This zone will not be included in a future release of the Oracle Applications. An installer will be able to use any field of the form (that contains the flexfield) as a reference field.

Field Name

Enter the name of a reference field your flexfield can use to obtain context field values.

Enter the actual (hidden) Oracle Forms name of the field, rather than the boilerplate name of the field (the field prompt). Do not include the block name. The Define Descriptive Segments window displays this field name in a list an installer sees when defining descriptive flexfield segments.

This field must exist in the same block as the descriptive flexfield. In addition, if you call your descriptive flexfield from several different forms or zones, the same field must exist in all form blocks that contain this descriptive flexfield.


Since the actual Oracle Forms field names often do not match the boilerplate prompts for your fields, we recommend that you enter the visible field prompt as part of your description of your context reference field so an installer can easily tell which field to define as the reference field for your descriptive flexfield.

Columns Window

Use this window to specify the columns your descriptive flexfield can use as segment columns. When you navigate into this block, this window automatically queries up most of the columns you registered when you registered your table.

If you have recently added columns to your table, you should reregister your table to ensure you see all your columns in this zone. This window does not display the table column you specify as your structure column in the Descriptive Flexfield zone.

If your table contains columns with names ATTRIBUTE1, ATTRIBUTE 2, ATTRIBUTE3, and so on, those columns are automatically Enabled. To use other columns for your flexfield segments, you must set explicitly enable them.

For example, if you have more than one descriptive flexfield, your second descriptive flexfield may be a protected descriptive flexfield with different segment column names such as TAX1, TAX2, TAX3 and TAX4. In this case, you would enable TAX1, TAX2, TAX3 and TAX4 and disable ATTRIBUTE1, ATTRIBUTE 2, ATTRIBUTE3, and so on for your protected descriptive flexfield.


Indicate whether this column can be used as a segment column for your descriptive flexfield. If you enable a column as a segment column for a descriptive flexfield, you should not enable the same column for another descriptive flexfield that uses the same table.

Any columns you enable here appear when an installer defines segments using the Define Descriptive Segments window.

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