An intelligent key is a code made up of sections, where one or more parts may have meaning. An intelligent key "code" uniquely identifies an object such as an account or a part or a job. Intelligent keys are useful in applications because they are usually easier for a user to remember and use than a unique number. For example, a part number of PAD-YEL-11x14 is much easier to remember than a unique part number of 57494. However, unique ID numbers are easier to maintain in a relational database application because only one column is required for the ID number, while multiple columns would be required for an intelligent key (one for each section or segment of the code). The Oracle Applications use key flexfields to represent intelligent keys with unique ID numbers. That is, an end user sees and works with an easy-to-remember intelligent key code, while the Oracle Applications only need to store a hidden unique ID number in most tables.
Attention: Throughout this guide we use the "Part Number Key Flexfield" in our examples and graphics. We use this example because it helps to illustrate the uses and behaviors of key flexfields without requiring any specialized accounting, human resources, or manufacturing knowledge. However, there is no actual "Part Number Key Flexfield" in the Oracle Applications, and you should not confuse it with the System Items Flexfield (Item Flexfield) used by many Oracle Applications products such as Oracle Inventory.
Types of Key Flexfield Forms
Other Key Flexfield Features
Planning your Key Flexfield
Key Flexfield Structure Planning Diagram