When Cool Technology Isn’t

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When Cool Technology Isn’t

By: William Hageman | Consulting Services

Sometimes technology outsmarts its creators to the detriment of the end user. Recently we ran into a situation where a very clever piece of software was just flat out used one too many places.

We had an 11g Imaging client using WebCenter Enterprise Capture, (WEC), go live in 15 countries simultaneously. Part of the ROI to the client was WEC’s ability to let end users capture and index locally.  So day one we had documents being indexed in over a dozen time zones. Other than a few rogue, (read ancient), scanners being problematic the roll out was painless.

A few days later we started receiving reports from the Brazil office that the Invoice Date the users claimed to be entering during the Indexing cycle was showing up in downstream applications as the day before. Had to be operator error, right? But they claimed it always happened. The home office looked at the invoices they were indexing, no problem. Then Australia chimed in with the problem, happening consistently. So I tested it on our internal systems, consistent changing of the Invoice Date occurred. After a quick note to revise our test scripts to actually look at the Invoice Date, the hunt for the cause began.

I’ll skip to the end game, locations in earlier time zones than the main office, and data center, experienced the issue whereas those in later, or the same, did not. This is where slick technology being used where it shouldn’t be comes in to play. WEC is very browser aware, using the locale and time settings of the local client system when displaying data and labels. To facilitate this time and dates are stored on the central server in Zulu, Greenwich, time. This allows that time or date to show correctly no matter where the data is brought up and shown on any WEC application. Cool. But…

The end users entered the Invoice Date from a calendar control. When they picked a date, say February 15th, in the Brazilian time zone, (Z -02), it was stored in the browser as 2015-02-15T00:00:00 but was written back to the server, in a US time zone, as 2015-02-15T02:00:00, (Zulu). But when read by the WEC Commit application the date was converted to 2015-02-14T20:00:00, (Z -06). OK if it only is used again by another WEC client but when committed out to WebCenter Imaging, (WCI), neither WCI nor the server knew what time zone it came from so it got committed as the 14th. Ooops!

After a conversation with Oracle it became evident that there was no “Good” fix. And since it was a “Cool” feature, albeit having gone rogue in this case, it wasn’t considered a bug that needing fixing.

The solution presented below has been working around the globe for over 6 months.  It is ugly and crude and I don’t believe it will work with the server being in Europe or Asia, (anywhere Zulu +), without modification. It simply shifts all datetime fields, with the exception of ScanDate, to being 6 in the morning. This time needs to be modified when used to reflect the WEC server’s greatest difference from Zulu.  Remember daylight savings time if applicable. To use the earlier example the Brazilian time of 2015-02-15T00:00:00 gets written back to the server as 2015-02-15T08:00:00, (6AM plus Brazil’s -02 shift). When pulled up at the US time zone server by WEC Commit the datetime becomes 2015-02-15T02:00:00. WCI gets it as 201-02-15. Not the least bit slick but it is working for the client. If the server gets moved, read DR, to a different time zone things will get slewed.

Caveats aside, it is possibly the only way to circumvent the “Cool” internationalization feature that is used a little too much in WEC. Plus it is a good example of several uses of the JavaScript in WEC and may spark a better idea on your part. Just be careful where you use this cool technology.

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Extend Your Oracle WebCenter Imaging Automated Invoice Processing Solution with TekStream’s Reporting Package

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Extend Your Oracle WebCenter Imaging
Automated Invoice Processing Solution

with TekStream’s Reporting Package

By: Carl Dion | Senior Solution Architect

If you have an Oracle WebCenter Imaging based automated invoice processing solution that was built using the Oracle Financials Image Processing Solution Accelerator as a foundation, TekStream Solutions can easily extend your solution with a robust reporting package.  This TekStream Accelerator Reporting Package will provide significant value to your AP management team.  AP management will have:

  • Tracking of system and user actions and comments throughout the life cycle of an invoice in an Accelerator … from:
    • Capture (scanning and import), to
    • Forms Recognition, to
    • Permanent filing in WebCenter Imaging, to
    • The invoice processing workflow, to
    • Invoice creation in Oracle Financials and
    • Subsequent invoice payment
  • Instant visibility to the history of system and user actions and comments for an invoice throughout the process
  • A permanent record of the history of system and user actions and comments associated with the invoice; filed in WebCenter Imaging as a PDF document that is easily accessible by management and auditors.
  • Dashboards providing real time visibility into the status of the automated invoice process and the financial information the process contains, including such information such as:
    • Number/value of invoices in process and location in process
      • AP resource backlog
      • Quantity, value and aging details per approver
      • Value of invoices in process
      • Number/value of invoices per key suppliers
    • Process choke points
    • Average processing time / time to payment
  • Reconciliation of invoices captured versus invoices inserted into EBS and invoices deleted or marked as duplicate.

The TekStream Reporting Package has been designed as an external element of Enterprise Capture, WebCenter Forms Recognition, WebCenter Imaging and the Accelerator BPEL process that can easily be added to a new or existing WebCenter Imaging based Accelerator solutions.  This enables the package to be easily integrated with Accelerator solutions that are typically customized to meet the unique and specific needs of each client.

In addition, this Package ties together the disparate databases of Enterprise Capture, WebCenter Forms Recognition, WebCenter Imaging and BPEL.  Further, it monitors the Oracle Financials database for invoice status and payment information.

Key features of the Package are:

  • Reporting Data Table and Sensors
  • Invoice Process Trace History
    • Accessible on demand by end users from the familiar AXF Task Viewer
    • Presenting a history of who touched the invoice from capture, through Forms Recognition and into the workflow;  when they touched it; what actions they performed; and comments they recorded
    • PDF Audit Document
      • A permanent record of the Process Trace History; filed in WebCenter Imaging alongside the respective invoice; with a link under the paperclip for the respective invoice in EBS
      • Payment Status Information
        • Paid/voided
        • Payment Number
        • Payment Date
        • Invoice Process BAM Dashboards
        • Workflow Instance Tracing Enhancements
          • Aids for the WebCenter Imaging system administrator when troubleshooting

Included with the Package is a complete set of documentation, including the fully documented data model, to allow client’s to access the data and export it for creation of reports using Excel, Crystal Reports, Cognos or other reporting tools.  The documentation will also allow clients to easily develop Oracle BAM (Business Activity Monitor) dashboards and reports.  Further, it can be easily integrated with Oracle’s Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition to feed reporting data into the larger corporate business management mechanisms.

TekStream’s WebCenter Imaging team has over 60 years of experience implementing the WebCenter Imaging and related products to provide client’s effective high value document imaging and workflow solutions that provide significant benefits to client business operations.  This expertise will enable us to rapidly and effectively assess your Accelerator reporting requirements, install and extend the TekStream Reporting Package as necessary, and help your AP management team rapidly achieve operational benefits.

In closing, there is work to do to implement the TekStream Accelerator Reporting Package.  But the work will be well worth the effort.  Your AP management team will welcome the management assistance the TekStream Reporting Package offers them.  It will provide immediate short term benefits and will serve as a platform for you to extend the reporting to best meet your AP management team’s needs.  The most effective approach to adding effective reporting and auditing functionality to your Accelerator based automated invoice processing solution is to contact us at TekStream Solutions.  We will be pleased to work with you and your AP management team to improve their ability to effectively manage their Accelerator based invoice processing solution.

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Webinar: What is Oracle Documents Cloud Service?

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Oracle Documents Cloud Service

Webinar: June 11, 2015 | 1:00 PM EST

In today’s world, your employees need instant access to the content that drives your business. Whether they are at their desk, on the go, or working remotely, the ability to easily and securely access and collaborate on business content is one of the keys to being a nimble enterprise. Oracle Documents Cloud Service, an enterprise content collaboration solution, gives you the file sync and share capabilities your employees need while providing the control and security your IT organization requires.

Oracle Documents Cloud Service lets you easily store your business content in the cloud, securely access it from anywhere, and share it with your colleagues and partners in real time. With a fast, intuitive web interface and easy-to-use desktop and mobile applications, employees can view and collaborate on files even when offline, keeping your organization running efficiently and your employees staying productive from any location.

 

ENTERPRISE-GRADE FILE SYNC AND SHARE IN THE ORACLE CLOUD

Key Features:

  • Cloud-Based File Sharing and Collaboration
  • Desktop Sync for Windows and Mac
  • Mobile Apps for iPad, iPhone and Android Devices
  • Enterprise-Grade Security, Control and Administration
  • APIs for extending applications with content collaboration

Key Benefits

  • Increase Collaboration and Productivity
  • Empower Mobile Employees
  • Content-Enable Business Applications
  • Improve Control and Management of Content, even in the Cloud

Register for the webinar today!

Thursday / June 11, 2015 / 1PM EST

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Live Oracle Event: Introducing Oracle Documents Cloud Service

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Live Oracle Event: Introducing Oracle
Documents Cloud Service

A recent survey shows that 89 percent of business managers believe their employees need 24/7 access to core business systems to implement their business strategy. But are current file sync and share solutions up to the mark?

Join Oracle Chief Information Officer and SVP, Mark Sunday, Senior Oracle Product Management and customer executives for a live webcast on Documents Cloud Service – an enterprise-grade, secure and integrated cloud-based content sharing and collaboration offering from Oracle. Find out how your organization can standardize on a corporate/IT-approved cloud solution while meeting the varying business needs of Marketing, Sales, Customer Service, HR, Operations and other departments.

Learn how Oracle Documents Cloud Service is uniquely positioned to:

  • Power anytime, anywhere secure access across Web, mobile and desktop
  • Mobilize enterprise content without creating information silos
  • Drive enterprise-wide collaboration with IT-sanctioned security and controls

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