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Flexfields Concepts

2005 KPIT Cummins Infosystems Limited

We value our relationship

Topics to be covered

. Why do we need Flexfields?


. Overview of Flexfields
. Basic business fields satisfied by Flexfields
. Components of the Flexfields
. Value sets
. Types of Flex Fields
. Key Flexfields
. Descriptive Flexfields
. Difference between Key Flexfields and Descriptive Flexfields
. Limitation of Flexfields

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Flexfield :Purpose and Application

. Flexibility to implement code structure


. Flexibility to capture Additional Information

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Why do we need Flexfields?


Every organization has individual business requirements.
In legacy systems we overcome these problems by various solutions
such as modifying a form or altering a table.
Oracle apps provides most of the functionalities common to all types
of organization
There are specific business needs in exceptional cases that are not
functionally mapped in Oracle apps.
Oracle does not support large scale customization of the forms and
reports that are part of its applications.
Flexfields help us in overcoming this difficulty.

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Overview of Flexfields

As the name suggests, a flexfield is a Flexible Field.

A flexfield is a field made up of segments (which are actually


table columns). Each segment has a name that can be assigned,
and a set of valid values.

There are two types of flexfields in Oracle Applications: Key


flexfields (KFF) and descriptive flexfields (DFF).

Using key and descriptive flexfields, you give end users the ability
to customize your application to match their business needs,
without programming.

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Basic Business Needs satisfied by Flexfields


They are intelligent fieldsfields comprised of one or more
segments, where each segment has both a value and a meaning.
They rely upon your application to validate the values or the
combination of values that you enter in intelligent fields.
They have the structure of an intelligent field change depending
on data in your application.
They capture additional information if you so choose.
They customize data fields to meet your business needs without
programming.
We can query intelligent fields for very specific information.

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Components of Flexfields
Flexfields consists of the following parts

.Value sets Value sets is a a set of values used in the parts of the flexfields
Segments - Each segment of the Flexfield represents a characteristic of the entity.
Structures - Structures are combination of logically related or grouped segments.
For example, consider the location of workstation at KPIT Cummins Infosystems
Ltd.
HB04B001W
This location is actually a structure which can be broken up into the following
segments

H
Office Location

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Building Location

B 04 B
Level/Floor

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001W
Wing

Workstation Location

Features of the components of Flexfields


Validating Segments This can be done by attaching each segments
with Value Set.
Segments can be restricted to appropriate length and data type by
using value sets.
Segments can be defined mandatory / non-mandatory.
Prompt & segment value description can be also given.
We can define multiple structures for one type of Flexfield which
offers us even more flexibility. For example For different Regions
like UK, India, US we can define different structures.

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Value Sets
Values Sets are used throughout the applications.
Value set can be defined for segment of the flexfield
They require a Value Set Name and description.
They allow you to choose Format Validation.
They provide size and value limitations.
They provide method for validation.

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Types of Flexfields
Oracle Applications uses two types of flexfields,
1)Key flexfields
2)Descriptive flexfields.
A key flexfield is a field provided by Oracle which you can
customize to enter multisegment values such as part numbers,
account numbers, and so on.
A descriptive flexfield is a field you customize to enter additional
information for which your Oracle Applications product has not
already provided a field e.g optional informatiom such as
Passport or Visa details for an employee ,country-specific
information such as PAN card No (in India) or Social security No
(in the US).

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Key Flexfields

Features of Key Flexfields(KFF)


KFFs are mandatory.
KFFs are used by the application as unique identifiers.
KFFs share common information across many applications .
KFFs are defined at the global level.
KFFS are defined at the beginning of the implementation by the
functional consultants.
Once KFFS are defined and Frozen,it is difficult
to modify them

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Key Flexfields

A key flexfield represents an intelligent key that uniquely


identifies an application entity.

Each key flexfield segment has a name you assign, and a set of
valid values you specify. Each value has a meaning which can be
specified.

A key flexfield provides with a flexible code data structure that


users can set up however they like using key flexfield segments.

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Key Flexfields

Key flexfields let you satisfy the needs of different customers as


per their business practices, without having to reprogram the
application.

For each segment one can also define valid values for each
segment, as well as crossvalidation rules to describe valid
segment combinations.

Oracle General Ledgers Accounting Flexfield is an example of a


key flexfield used to uniquely identify a general ledger account.

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Key Flexfields

You could use the Item Flexfield in an inventory application to


uniquely identify inventory parts. It could contain such segments
as product class, product code, size, color and packaging code.

You could define valid values for the color segment, for example,
to range from 01 to 10, where 01 means red, 02 means blue,
and so on.

You could even specify crossvalidation rules to describe valid


combinations of segment values.
For example, products with a specific product code may only
be available in certain colors.

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Key Flexfields

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A Flexfield Segment Is a Single Sub-field of a Flexfield


Each segment is a single column of a table.
Flexfield segments are usually validated against a set of valid
values, called a value set.
Key Flexfields Identify an Entity
Key flexfields serve as an intelligent primary key, where each
segment contains meaningful information.
Key flexfields are integral parts of a form. They appear as normal
fields until the flexfield window pops up.
Often the segment descriptions also appear on the form
in a concatenated-values field.

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Example of a Key Flexfield

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Example of a Key Flexfield

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Usage of Key Flexfields

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Usage of Key Flexfields


The example above describes that Company A has different
accounting structure than company B. As seen, Company A has five
segments while company B has only four accounting segments.
While capturing such type of information into KFF, it needs two
separate structures for Company A and Company B which contains
five and four set of segments respectively.
Below is the example of few Oracle Applications and different KFFs
available under each of them

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Key Flexfields
The Oracle Applications products provide many key flexfields as integral
parts of the products.
Here is a table listing all the key flexfields in Oracle Applications, ordered
by the application that owns the key flexfield.
other applications may also use a particular flexfield

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Descriptive Flexfields
Features of Descriptive Flexfields(DFF)
Descriptive fields are not mandatory
Descriptive flexfields provide customizable expansion space
on your forms.
Though the fields on an Oracle Applications form are more than
enough to capture all the possible information from the user
perspective, but still the users can feel the need of capturing
additional information.
A descriptive flexfield gives you room to expand your forms for
capturing such additional information.
Descriptive flexfields help us to capture adhoc information in
the form.
Provides easy & powerful way to extend Oracle Apps features

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Descriptive Flexfields

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A Field Made Up of Sub-fields


Flexfields appear in a pop-up window on a form.
Flexfields are implemented as a set of database columns, with
one column for each segment.
The brackets [ ] indicate the presence of a descriptive flexfield.
When the cursor reaches the brackets, the descriptive flexfield
pops open.
If the descriptive flexfield is not enabled, the cursor skips over
the brackets.

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Descriptive Flexfields

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A Field Made Up of Sub-fields


Flexfields appear in a pop-up window on a form.
Flexfields are implemented as a set of database columns, with
one column for each segment.
The brackets [ ] indicate the presence of a descriptive flexfield.
When the cursor reaches the brackets, the descriptive flexfield
pops open.
If the descriptive flexfield is not enabled, the cursor skips over
the brackets.

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Example of Descriptive Flexfields

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Oracle Apps supported Descriptive Flexfields

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Usage of Descriptive Flexfields

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Usage of Descriptive Flexfields

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Usage of Descriptive Flexfields

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Usage of Descriptive Flexfields

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Difference between DFF and KFF


KFF captures mandatory business information like
company,account etc. where DFF captures additional business
information like name of companys MD etc.
KFF is displayed as text item while DFF displays like [ ]
KFF does not provide additional space for storing additional
information while DFF provides.
KFF is stored in Segments while DFF is stored in attributes.
KFF is unique identifier and DFF is used to store information

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Limitations of Flexfields
Once Key Flexfield is created it can not be deleted or modified
easily.
In customize form we can not create DFF or KFF.

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Definitions

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Values, Validation and Value Sets


Your end user enters a segment value into a segment while
using an application. Generally, the flexfield validates each
segment against a set of valid values (a value set) that are
usually predefined.

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Types of Value Sets


None Validation is minimal
Independent

Input must exist on previously defined list of values.

Dependent
Input is checked against a subset of values based on a prior
value.

Table Input is checked against values in an application


table.
Special

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Value set uses a flexfield itself.

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Types of Value Sets


Pair

Two flexfields together specify a range of valid values.

Translatable Independent Input must exist on previously defined list


of values; translated value can be used.
Translatable Dependent Input is checked against a subset of values
based on a prior value; translated value can be used.

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Validating Input Using Value Sets

Category
COM

__

Item

COM

FURN

Computer

876

Monitor

755

876
Item

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APPL

Item Information _________

Category

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value set

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value set

933

Validation Type None


Values are checked for expected data type,
length, and so on.
Values are not checked against an approved values list.
Examples include credit card number, street address, phone number.

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Independent Value Sets

Category
COM

__

Item

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APPL

Item Information _________

Category

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value set

COM

Computer

876

Monitor

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FURN

Dependent Value Sets

Category

COM

value set

Item

Computer

APPL

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755

Modem

876

Monitor

933

Printer

320

Microwave

560

Appliances

FURN

value set

Furniture

876

Washer

877

Desk

154

Table

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Refrigerator

Bunk Bed

Table-Validated Value Sets

Customer

table
Region

Name
Acme

Computers
North Bay Foods
Midwest Grain
Southern Milling
Rockies Mining

Cities_West

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value set

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Western
Eastern
Eastern
Southern
Western

City
San

Jose
Boston
Chicago
Charleston
Denver

WHERE
REGION

San

Western
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Jose

Denver

Value Sets
Value Set Options
Set Options

Format Type

Validation Type

Name

Format Type

Independent

Description

Maximum Length

Dependent

Security Available

Precision

None

LongList Enabled ?

Alphabetic Characters?

Table

Uppercase Only?

Special

Right-justify Zero-fill
Numbers?

Pair

Minimum Value
Maximum Value

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Validation Types: Summary

Type

List

of Values
Available
No

None

Values

Stored
In

N/A

Independent

Yes

AOL*

Table

Dependent

Yes

AOL*

Table

Table

Yes

Application

Special/Pair
Translatable

Depends

on value set

Depends

on value set

Yes

AOL*

Table

Yes

AOL*

Table

Independent
Translatable

Dependent

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Table

Predefined Value Sets


Choosing a predefined value set limits the necessary
maintenance of values.
Most predefined value sets are table-validated value sets.
A useful value set is Yes_No, containing the values Yes and
No.
Never alter value sets provided by Oracle Applications,
especially the SRS value set.

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Steps in Defining Value Set

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Valueset Type: None

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Valueset Type: Independent

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Valueset Type: Dependent

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Valueset Type: Table

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Valueset Type: Table

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Values for Independent Valueset

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Thank You

2005 KPIT Cummins Infosystems Limited

We value our relationship