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Oracle® Applications Cloud Extending the Applications
Release 13.2
Part Number E50709-02
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1 Customizing and Extending Oracle Fusion Applications

This chapter contains the following:

Customizing and Extending Oracle Fusion Applications: Overview

Personalization: Explained

Run Time Customizations and Extensions: Explained

Design Time Customizations and Extensions: Highlights

Customization Layers

What You Can Customize and Extend and with Which Tool: Explained

Customizing and Extending Oracle Fusion Applications: Overview

While Oracle Fusion Applications provides robust ready-to-use functionality, there may be areas of the applications that you must change to meet your business needs.

You can:

For customizations and extensions, there are three basic scenarios:

What You Can Change

Oracle Fusion Applications is based on Oracle Fusion Middleware. Most user interfaces are implemented using Oracle Application Development Framework (Oracle ADF) and standard Java technologies. The foundation of the applications includes the service-oriented architecture (SOA) business processes. Business intelligence frameworks provide a number of reporting capabilities. Identity management works at every level to control access. Each of these areas of an application can be customized and extended to suit your business needs.

Additionally, Oracle Fusion Applications is built using a common data model. Because of this commonality, when you make a customization in one area, that customization is available to all objects in the application. For example, if you add an attribute to an object, you can easily add that attribute to the web-based view page, to an associated mobile page, and to any associated reports. Generally, the tools and processes you use to customize one application are the same tools and processes to customize all applications.

Personalization: Explained

Personalization refers to the changes that every user of Oracle Fusion Applications can make to certain artifacts in the user interface (UI) at run time. These changes remain for that user each time that user signs in to the application. Personalization includes changes based on user behavior (such as changing the width of a column in a table), changes the user elects to save, such as search parameters, or composer-based personalizations, where a user can redesign aspects of a page.

For composer-based personalizations, Oracle Fusion Applications includes Page Composer, which allows users to change certain UI pages to suit their needs. For example, they can rearrange certain objects on a page, and add or remove designated content.

Run Time Customizations and Extensions: Explained

Run time customizations and extensions include those that a business analyst can make to Oracle Fusion Applications at run time using browser-based composers and other tools. These customizations and extensions are visible and usable by all or by a subset of Oracle Fusion Applications users. The types of run time customizations and extensions range from changing the look and feel of a page, to customizing standard objects, adding a new object and associated pages and application functionality, changing workflows, defining security for new objects, and customizing reports.

Access to run time customization tools depends on your roles. If you are assigned a role with an administrative privilege, you can access most run time customization tasks.

Note

Some customization tools are available only for specific product families.

With run time customization tools, you can:

Personalizing and Customizing the UI

Both personalization and customization involve using Page Composer to make changes to an application page. For personalization, any user can drag and drop fields, rearrange regions, and add approved external content

For customization, you also use:

Customizing Navigation

Use the Manage Menu Customizations task in the Setup and Maintenance work area to customize the Navigator menu. You can also determine which dashboards to include on the home page (desktop UI only).

For simplified UI, use the Structure page in the Settings functional area to customize the springboard.

Creating and Customizing Objects

Application Composer lets you make more complex run time customizations to Oracle Sales Cloud applications. In addition to customizing pages, you can customize objects and all the artifacts that support them (such as fields, pages, buttons and links, security, server scripts, and saved searches), and can also create completely new objects and artifacts. For more information on defining objects, see Oracle Sales Cloud: Extending Sales.

When new objects are created, you often also create associated work area pages for those objects. Using the Manage Menu Customizations task, you can add those pages to the Navigator menu so that they can be accessed in the same way as standard objects.

When you create a new object in Application Composer, you can define security policies for it. A security policy defines the end user's level of access to the data records of the object. For more information about securing custom objects, see Oracle Sales Cloud: Extending Sales.

Creating and Customizing Business Process Flows for Custom Objects

When you create a new object that is not a subclass of another object, you can also create a new object workflow to manage any business processes associated with it. For example, say you used Application Composer to create a marketing object and you want to create an associated approval flow. From within Application Composer, you can access Business Process Composer and create the process that defines that flow. For more information on using the Business Process Composer, see Oracle Sales Cloud: Extending Sales.

Note

Business Process Composer is not used in Oracle Fusion Human Capital Management.

Adding Custom Attributes to Business Components Using Flexfields

Most business components, except those in Oracle Sales Cloud products, support the use of flexfields to extend the object with custom attributes. Using a flexfield, you can create custom attributes without programming. The flexfield captures data that is related to a specific purpose, such as information about job positions or inventory items. Each attribute is a segment of the flexfield and corresponds to a pre-reserved column in the application database. Roles with administrative privileges provide access for viewing, configuring, and deploying flexfields using tasks available in the Setup and Maintenance work area. The configuration of the flexfield is stored in the Oracle Metadata Services (MDS) repository and preserved across patches and upgrades.

Customizing Reports and Analytics

Oracle Fusion Applications comes with a complete set of reports. You can customize these reports (for example, change the layout) to fit your particular business needs. Additionally, if you customize or create a business object, you can create a new report for that object.

Customizing Help

If you have the appropriate job roles, then you can customize the help files in Oracle Fusion Applications Help. You can also determine which help files to show in specific help windows. Use the Manage Custom Help page to maintain both predefined and custom help files. You can open this page from any help window, or from the help site itself.

Aside from help files, you can also customize help that appear on the UI, for example hint text.

Design Time Customizations and Extensions: Highlights

Design time customizations and extensions include complex changes that require deployment into the runtime environment. Design time customizations and extensions are most often done by developers and are not available in Oracle Cloud implementations.

Design Time Customizations and Extensions Resources

Customization Layers

Customization Layers: Explained

Oracle Fusion Applications contains built-in customization layers that allow you to make customizations that affect only certain instances or users of an application. Before you create customizations, select the layer to which you want your customizations to be applied. Most of the tools that you use to create your customizations provide a dialog box where you can pick the layer for your customizations. You must be careful to choose the correct layer.

Available Layers

The exact customization layers available for an application depend on that application family. For information on product-specific customization layers, see assets with the Customization Layer type in Oracle Enterprise Repository for Oracle Fusion Applications (http://fusionappsoer.oracle.com). Use product-specific layers appropriately as documented.

However, all applications have the following customization layers:

Note

If you are not given the option to choose a layer before you customize, then by default your customizations are made to the site layer.

Layer Hierarchy

These layers are applied in a hierarchy, and the highest layer in that hierarchy in the current context is considered the tip layer. With the default customization layers, the user layer is the tip layer. If customizations are done to the same object, but in different layers, at run time, the tip layer customizations take precedence. For example, if you customize in the site layer using Page Composer and hide a region, and a user personalizes the same page to have the region displayed, then the user layer will take affect for that user at run time.

Where Customizations and Layer Information Are Stored

Customizations you make are not saved to the base standard artifact. Instead, they are saved to an Extensible Markup Language (XML) file that is stored in an Oracle Metadata Services (MDS) repository. This XML file acts like a list of instructions that determines how the artifact looks or behaves in the application, based on the customization layer. The customization engine in MDS manages this process.

Because customizations are saved in these XML files, when Oracle Fusion Applications is patched or upgraded, the base artifacts can be updated without touching your changes. The base artifact is replaced, and when the application is run after the patch or upgrade, the XML files are simply layered on top of the new version. You do not need to redo your customizations.

Customization Layers: Examples

The following scenarios illustrate how customization layers work so that the correct customizations or personalizations are available at run time to the appropriate users.

For example, the Sales application has a layer for job role. When you customize an artifact, you can choose to make that customization available only to users of a specific job role, for example, a sales representative.

Customization

You want to customize the Sales home page by removing the Quick Create panel, but only for users with the Sales Representative role. Before you make your customization, you first select the layer in which to make your customization, in this case the role layer whose value is Sales Representative. When you make your customization by removing that pane from the page, an XML file is generated with the instructions to remove the pane, but only in the role layer, and only when the value is Sales Representative. The original page file remains untouched. The customization engine in MDS then stores the XML file in an MDS repository.

Now, whenever someone signs in to the application and requests an artifact, the customization engine in MDS checks the repository for XML files that match the requested artifact and the given context, and if there is a match, it layers the instructions on top of the base artifact. In this example, whenever the Sales home page is requested (the artifact) by someone who is assigned the role of Sales Representative (the context), before the page is rendered, the customization engine in MDS pulls the corresponding XML file from the repository, layers it on top of the standard Sales home page, and removes that pane. Whenever someone who is not a Sales Representative signs in (for example, someone with the role of Sales Manager), the XML file with your changes is not layered on top, and so the Quick Create panel is displayed.

This figure shows how the customization XML file is applied to the base document and is visible only to a sales representative.

Application of XML files at run time to determine
visible customizations

Personalization

All users of Oracle Fusion applications can personalize certain pages using the Personalization menu. Users can move elements around on a page, hide elements, and even add available elements to their page. When they do this personalization, the customization engine in MDS creates an XML file specific to that user, for the user layer.

For example, say User 1 (who has the role of Sales Representative) personalizes the Sales home page. There will then be an XML file stored in the repository, noting the changes that user made. When User 1 signs in, as in the previous example, the customization engine in MDS pulls the XML file with the sales representative customizations from the repository and layers it on top of the standard Sales home page. In addition, the engine pulls the XML file with the User 1 personalizations, allowing the user to see the personalization changes along with the Sales Representative changes. When other Sales Representatives log in, they do not see the User 1 personalization changes, as shown in this figure.

Application of XML files at run time to determine
visible personalizations

Selecting Customization Layers to Include: Examples

When you use the dialog box to select which customization layer to customize, you can also include lower layers, to view customizations from those layers while you customize.

The following scenarios explain what happens based on your selected layers. For these examples, the available layers are Site, Territory, and Job Role.

What You See While Customizing

You choose to edit the Job Role layer and select Sales Representative as the value for that layer. You also choose to include the Territory layer and select Southwest as the value. The Site layer is automatically included because it applies to everyone.

While you are customizing in Page Composer, you see customizations that apply to sales representatives in the Southwest territory, based on what was defined for each layer and which is the highest layer with customization for a specific artifact.

What Your Customizations Apply To

No matter what you see while customizing, the customizations you are making apply only to the edit layer, Job Role.

For example, a field is hidden in the Site layer but displayed in the Territory layer for Southwest. No customization exists for the field in the Job Role layer for Sales Representative.

Because Territory is higher than Site, you see the field displayed while you are customizing in Page Composer. However, you choose to hide the field as part of your customization, in which case, that customization applies to the Job Role layer, for sales representatives.

Users with other job roles in the Southwest territory might still see the field. However, because Job Role is a higher layer than Territory, the field is hidden for all sales representatives in any territory, unless a layer higher than Job Role applies to any of these users and has the field displayed.

What You Can Customize and Extend and with Which Tool: Explained

There are many scenarios for which you can customize and extend Oracle Fusion Applications. The following tables identify for each scenario the artifacts that you can customize or create in Oracle Fusion Applications, and what tool you use:

The following tables identify for each scenario the artifacts that you can customize or create in Oracle Fusion Applications, and what tool you use:

Note

The following tables list the types of customizations and extensions that business analysts can make. For more information about design time customizations and extensions by developers and administrators, see the Oracle Fusion Applications Extensibility Guide for Developers.

Note

Design time customizations and extensions are not available in Oracle Cloud implementations.

Page Customization

This table shows some types of customizations you can make to pages and the corresponding tools to use.

Note

While you can customize pages in Page Composer and Application Composer, only certain pages are configured to allow it. If the customization that you want to make is not available in Page Composer, then developers can use JDeveloper to make the customization (not available in Oracle Cloud implementations).


Customization

Tool

Add, move, delete, show, or hide components on a page.

Page Composer

Change a page layout.

Page Composer

Create a site-level search for all users.

Page Composer

Customize a page title.

Page Composer

Customize a task list menu.

Page Composer

Customize dialog box content.

Page Composer

Add fields, buttons, and links to a standard page (Oracle Sales Cloud).

Application Composer

Customize attributes for a flexfield on a page.

Page Composer

Customize properties for user interface (UI) components on a standard page.

Page Composer

Customize properties for UI components on a standard page (Oracle Sales Cloud).

Application Composer

Customize the UI Shell template.

Page Composer

Customize a text string wherever it appears across all pages.

Customize User Interface Text page

Customize the look and feel of simplified pages.

Appearance page in the Settings functional area

Change the announcements on the simplified home page.

Announcements page in the Settings functional area

Branding Customization

This table shows some types of customizations you can make to use your own branding logo, and the corresponding tools to use.


Customization

Tool

Customize the UI Shell template.

Page Composer

Change the logo and application name in simplified UI.

Appearance page in the Settings functional area

Customize report layouts.

Oracle BI Publisher

Object Customization

This table shows some types of customizations you can make to objects and the corresponding tools to use.


Customization

Tool

Customize objects (Oracle Sales Cloud).

Application Composer

Add an attribute to a business object using flexfields (not Oracle Sales Cloud).

Setup and Maintenance work area

Create objects (Oracle Sales Cloud).

Application Composer

Add a business object page to the Navigator menu.

Setup and Maintenance work area

Add custom object work area pages to the Navigator menu (Oracle Sales Cloud).

Application Composer

Add validation to an object (Oracle Sales Cloud).

Application Composer

Customize saved searches for a custom object (Oracle Sales Cloud).

Application Composer

Customize object workflows for an object (Oracle Sales Cloud).

Application Composer

Create object workflows for an object (Oracle Sales Cloud).

Application Composer

Business Process Customization

This table shows some types of customizations you can make to business processes and the corresponding tools to use.


Customization

Tool

Create a BPMN process in a BPM project.

Business Process Composer

Create a BPMN approval process in a BPM project (Oracle Sales Cloud).

Application Composer

Customize custom BPM projects.

Business Process Composer

Customize custom BPM projects (Oracle Sales Cloud).

Application Composer

Security Customization

This table shows some types of security customizations you can make to objects and the corresponding tools to use.


Customization

Tool

Add data security to a custom object.

Setup and Maintenance work area

Grant access to custom objects (Oracle Sales Cloud).

Application Composer

Enable elevated privileges customization.

Application Composer

Business Intelligence Customization

This table shows some types of customizations you can make to business intelligence analytics and reports, and the corresponding tools to use.


Customization

Tool

Create report layout.

Oracle BI Publisher

Customize report layouts.

Oracle BI Publisher

Customize style templates.

Oracle BI Publisher

Create a report.

Oracle BI Publisher

Translate a report.

Oracle BI Publisher

Create a report subject area (Oracle Sales Cloud).

Application Composer

Customize analytics.

Reports and Analytics pane

Help Customization

This table shows some types of customizations you can make to help and the corresponding tools to use.


Customization

Tool

Customize text that is displayed when the user hovers over a button, link, icon button, or tab title.

Page Composer

Customize help files and determine the help links to show on help windows.

Oracle Fusion Applications Help