How to Migrate Custom Soap WSDLs in Oracle WebCenter Content

tekstream blog - custom soap wslds migration

How to Migrate Custom Soap WSDLs in Oracle WebCenter Content

By: Greg Becker | Technical Architect

Oracle WebCenter Content Soap WSDLs can be very useful to expose various WCC services that can be called from a web service request as one of the possible integration methods into WCC. RIDC Java APIs can also be used however in some scenarios, for example where there may not be experienced Java developers on staff, the Soap WSDLs may be the chosen integration method.

A number of out-of-the-box Soap WSDLs available exist that expose common WCC services such as Search and CheckIn. Recently a client that used the ContentFolios component wanted to interact with them using a Web Services approach. Since these particular services are not available out of the box as Soap WSDLs, they needed to be created. We started by creating the new custom Soap WSDLs in a development environment and performed a standard testing cycle.

For more information regarding Customizing WSDL files please check out this link:
https://docs.oracle.com/middleware/12212/wcc/webcenter-content-develop/GUID-4F075EA2-CB06-4A0E-966F-E660B9F58CA7.htm#GUID-E0409C69-9EC8-41FD-9731-EE3382349DE9

After a successful testing cycle, the custom Soap WSDLs need to be migrated to the production environment. After reviewing the Oracle documentation we realized that there isn’t much if any documentation available regarding how to migrate the custom Soap WSDLs from one environment to another. We took a look at the files that are created on the file system when a custom WSDL is created and then came up with the following steps that can be used to handle the migration.

  • Create the new custom Soap WSDLs in your development environment and configure it as you wish:
    TekStream blog Custom Soap 1
  • Next, create a new empty Soap WSDL in your production environment using the exact same name as the one that you created in the development environment:
    TekStream blog Custom Soap 2
  • Copy the file hda from the custom directory in development to the corresponding directory in production. You’ll notice the path below which is typically <domain_home>/ucm/cs/data/soap/custom/:
    TekStream blog Custom Soap 3
  • Choose Action -> Generate WSDLs

TekStream blog Custom Soap 4

Once you perform these steps, the Soap WSDLs should be available in the target environment for use. When the WSDL files are generated, copies of the new custom WSDL file will be moved to a directory within web layout so that they can be downloaded and passed to a developer for use.

I hope that this information is useful for your custom Soap WSDL migration needs. Please ensure that you take a backup of any files that you modify as this approach may not be recognized by Oracle Support, but it has worked as documented for a number of clients. Please contact TekStream if you’d like further information or if you have a similar project need that we can assist with.

Got questions? Contact us today:

[pardot-form id=”14495″ title=”blog – Migrate Custom Soap WSDLs – Greg Becker”]

Overview of Inspyrus Supplier Central

invoice processing

Overview of Inspyrus Supplier Central

By: Mariano Romano | Senior Developer

Inspyrus Supplier Central is a fresh new look for your suppliers to view their invoices, payments, and dynamic discounting capabilities.  Supplier Central provides the following features:

  • Up to 90% reduction in supplier inquiries and other support requirements
    • By using Supplier Central, the supplier can log in and see the status of their invoices with ease
  • Accelerate invoice submissions and related processing by over 5x
    • By allow suppliers submit invoice through the Supplier Central Portal, you give the supplier the power to submit invoices quickly and easily
  • Allows suppliers to easily modify their address and banking information
    • This minimizes the need to make a phone call or send an email

The easy to use interface not only lets suppliers manage one of their customers but multiple customers that are using the Inspyrus platform.

Inspyrus blog - creatubg invoices

Creating invoices

Your supplier will have three different options when creating an invoice.  These options give the supplier flexibility to create error-free invoices using the easy to use interface.

Create Invoice

  • Allows the supplier to create a blank invoice that will need to be populated

Create PO Invoice

  • Allows the supplier to create an invoice with line items filled in based on a select PO

Blog - create po invoice

Flip PO into Invoice

  • Allows the supplier to create a blank invoice but then populate the invoice lines using a PO.

Inspyrus blog - flip PO into invoice

Viewing Payments

Suppliers can also log in and view which invoice has been paid.  This minimizes the amount questions you would be required to answer.

Inspyrus blog - vieweing payments

Viewing Purchase Orders

This page shows all the usable purchase orders per vendor site.  If the purchase order is available, it means that there is one or more purchase order line with an open balance.  This gives the supplier an easy way to create invoices based on a purchase order.

Inpyrus blog - viewing purchase orders

Dynamic Discounting

This page allows your supplier to manage their dynamic discounting settings.  Dynamic discounting allows suppliers to provide discounts in exchange for getting paid early.  Dynamic Discounting provides:

  • Increased early-pay discounts by providing easy to see discounts on invoices
  • Elimination of missed discounts
  • Increase supplier adoption
  • Ability to automatically recognize and apply pre-existing discount terms

Typically, the terms of the agreement are usually determined in advance and managed in this section.

Inspyrus blog - Dynamic Discounting

Conclusion

Provide your supplier with the tools to view and create invoices, review payments, and setup dynamic discounting.  If you are interested in seeing a demo of Supplier Central or the Inspyrus Next Generation AP Automation system, please see more on http://www.inpsyrus.com or contact us by filling out the form below:

[pardot-form id=”14459″ title=”Blog-Mariano Romano-Overview of Inspyrus Supplier Central”]

Project Management: A Team Exercise

project management blog image

Project Management: A Team Exercise

By: Mubeen Bolar | Director, Project Management

The Project Manager is tasked with ensuring an IT project is delivered on time and on budget. Depending on the structure of the team a Project Manager is often someone who has the responsibility to make the project a success, but no authority over the project team members, as they may not report directly to the Project Manager. One of the responsibilities of a Project Manager is to motivate the project team to complete their individual tasks on time and under budget. The cumulative effect of each team member being on track helps the project to be on track, both in terms of timeline and budget.

There are three major areas of project management that should be a shared responsibility across the project team.

  1. Budget
  2. Timeline
  3. Risks

1. Budget:

The Project Manager must make each project team member aware of the budget for the project. The individual actions of a team member can impact the cost by either increasing or decreasing the level of effort on individual tasks. A developer who is aware of the budget should make every effort to work efficiently, taking an approach to implementation that does not increase the level of effort. A developer who is not aware or not responsible can increase the level of effort by either over engineering or developing additional functionality that is not required by the client. Any increase in cost impacts the budget, resulting in the project going over budget.

 

2. Timeline

Timeline and budget go hand in hand. When the level of effort on a task increase, it results in an increase in the cost. Ensuring that the level of effort is under control normally results in the project being on time. There may be some cases when the timeline may not impact the level of effort and cost. This can happen when a team member is on vacation and there is a delay in implementing the task. Clients are sensitive to shifts in the timeline as it impacts their go-live schedule. This can result in a customer satisfaction issue.

 

3. Risk

Risk Management is a team activity. Risks must be identified as early as possible and mitigated to ensure that the project remains on budget and on time. This requires each member of the project team to communicate the emergence of a risk as soon as possible. When a risk arises the project team must come up with steps to mitigate the risk.

 

When a project team takes joint responsibility for Budget, Timeline, and Risks, the chances for success increase. Project Teams often receive compensation in the form of a bonus based on the Profit Margin of the project. This encourages team members to take an active role in controlling the budget, timeline, and risks associated with a project.

Contact Mubeen or TekStream Today

[pardot-form id=”14341″ title=”Blog-Mubeen Bolar-Poject Management: Team Exercise”]

 

Using Oracle Records Management for Content Retention | TekStream

records management content retention

Using Oracle Records Management for Content Retention

By: Brandon Prasnicki | Technical Architect

The Oracle Records Management Solution has a powerful Retention Management Process built within it that handles the lifecycle of your content.  The disposition rule workflow is defined at a retention category level.  When content is ingested into the system, the content item can be tagged with the retention category in the form of a metadata field.  With this assignment the content item will follow the disposition process.

The disposition process works as follows:

BP blog behold the legal hold

  1. In general, a content or record item is ingested into the WebCenter Content / Records Management/ Retention Management repository with certain fields (AKA ‘tags’ or ‘metadata’) that describe the content. The content item generally has a filing date or some other date that can be used for defining the retention period of the item.
  2. The item is retained by the system for the defined period of time.
  3. “Something” happens that ends the normal retention period. Either the content item simply met its defied retention end date, or some other user action (‘cutoff’, ‘cancelled’, etc.)  action determines that the disposition approval process should begin.
  4. The disposition approval by the disposition rule approver(s) happens. This can be as simple as a one-step approval to allow the destruction to happen, or it can be complex with multiple steps and prompt the user to first do an approval, create a new revision of a record, notify authors etc.
  5. The defined disposition action occurs. Normally this is Destruction.  However, the Oracle Records Management Solution offers many options for this action including retaining the metadata, only removing previous revisions, archiving to NARA etc.

Now what happens when there is some legal preceding that legally requires your organization to stop the disposition process for some items?

Behold the Legal Hold.  One of the many strengths of WebCenter content management solution is that the Oracle WCC Records Management solution has ‘freeze’ functionality built into the retention management feature.

folder pic bp blog post

 

Freeze (Legal Holds)

Stops all disposition actions and any deletions or updates

 

 

a. Navigate to Records -> Configure -> Retention -> FreezesDefining and applying the legal hold is easy for Records Managers with the appropriate Records rights.

screenshot 1

b. Click ‘Add’ and create the freeze:

screenshot b

Once defined, the freeze can be applied to individual content items from a search (or screen) result, or an entire record folder can have the freeze applied to it.  Within the system, after the freeze (Legal Hold) is applied, you will see a blue pause button indicating the item is held and no further disposition processes will happen.

a. To apply the legal hold, Select the first item and click -> edit -> freeze -> show All Freezes
Select the appropriate freeze and enter a freeze reason. Click OK

screenshot 4screenshot 5

Once the legal preceding is finished, the Records Manager with the appropriate rights, can view the items frozen by this legal hold, and do an unfreeze easily within the system.

TekStream is ready to show you all the features that are available for your retention management and records management solution needs!  Please fill out the form below for a demonstration!

[pardot-form id=”14317″ title=”Blog-Brandon Prasnicki-Oracle Records Retention”]

Defining Your Upgrade and Cloud Strategies: A New Path to Oracle WebCenter Portal

Path Blog Banner

Defining Your Upgrade and Cloud Strategies: A New Path to Oracle WebCenter Portal

By: Kevin Donnelly | Director of WebCenter Portal Consulting

It’s never as easy as the marketing says. Often, a Portal application has so many dependencies that you find yourself stuck in the ground rather than moving up to where you want to be. Priorities lie elsewhere, and you end up with a portal which is up against – or past – end of life, running on old hardware on the verge of being completely unsupported, with no guidance or path laid out on how to successfully move onto a modern platform.

Portal applications are particularly prone to getting caught up in an end-of-life cycle. Typically, a business’s intranet/extranet Portal application serves as a clearinghouse and an aggregation point for a wide variety of different functions – both directly through the Portal, and indirectly through integrations to the backend. This tends to result in the perceived value of upgrades and additional functionality being higher for those endpoints being exposed through the Portal than to the Portal itself; and with any major piece of software, it can fall behind the curve for support. Once that happens, it’s a slippery slope to falling multiple versions behind, paying more for support (or losing support altogether), and turning into a complete legacy portal implementation that no-one wants to touch for fear of breaking the whole implementation.

Unfortunately, crossing your fingers and hoping nothing goes wrong has never been a good IT plan.

If you are in the situation of having a legacy, currently (or soon to be) unsupported Portal implementation, you need to actively consider your path to a more modern, supported, stable platform – both software and hardware. Below are some initial questions typically asked when helping enterprises build their transition path to a more stable Portal implementation.

Infrastructure Approach: On-Premise, Off-Site, Cloud, or Hybrid models?

One driving force behind changes and migrations of legacy software (Portal or not) has always been underlying hardware changes. It’s no coincidence that changes to the support of underlying server software aligned with a number of legacy software migrations. This was seen when Microsoft’s Support for Windows Server 2008 ran out, and it appears to be ramping up again as Oracle’s Solaris 10 leaves Premier Support in less than 9 months. Other considerations are hardware life – owning a physical server means that there will be times when purchasing new servers are necessary – and the simple support appetite for continuing to hardware in-house. More and more companies are looking at a Cloud infrastructure to host their software needs, but question if it’s a good overall fit.

When working with someone to help build that transition path, we find the best by using a solid justification based in true cost and functionality. This includes not just the immediate costs of migration to a new platform, but the ongoing cost of the infrastructure, support of the platform, software licensing (which often differs between on-premise, virtual, and Cloud environments!), and future hardware/software purchases or renewals.

From a functionality perspective, it is important to look at all of your options to be sure you are choosing what best fits your needs. First, choose a category – choose Cloud when you want to get out of the business of owning hardware, and Hybrid when there are applications which can’t move off-premise, etc. What the Oracle Cloud offers is different than what you will get at AWS or Azure; and even within any of these there are significant different options which will result in very different certifications, costs, and maintenance/administrative controls and experiences.

Portal Application Support Approach: Lift and Shift, Migrate, or Rebuild?

As with infrastructure decisions, a good application roadmap requires due diligence and strong planning. One of the characteristics of Portal implementations is that no two are exactly alike – because no two are serving quite the same audience, or have exactly the same needs. That being said, many of the same underlying questions and scenarios continually repeat themselves. There is a tendency to think that since your particular implementation is unique, that the problems you face are unique as well – and that is rarely the case. The first step to planning the future of your existing Portal implementation is taking a good look at not just the current implementation, but your current needs – how have your business needs changed since this was put in place? What new business problems or challenges may have come up? What functionality may no longer exist in a new version or product that would still need to be handled? Is there an absolute need to stay on a particular release due to compatibility issues in the short or long term; and how can that balance with other requirements?

Once the end stage is determined, a good roadmap will be sure to cover the entirety of the path to get your Portal implementation where it needs to be. Environment planning (Dev / Test / Staging, etc.) can give you a path to get a toe in the water of a new infrastructure; but those needs often change drastically in a Cloud or Hybrid environment. Are you planning with the support needs of the current Portal in mind? Are you fully mapping your functionality and your content? The plan also needs to consider the quirks of the legacy system – what customizations and integrations can be reused? How can you migrate the legacy content into a new system?

In the table below, there are a number of common legacy Oracle-based Portal implementations that we’ve worked with, built roadmaps for, and performed migrations on – whether lift-and-shift to a Cloud or Off-Premise environment, or as a fully new Portal implementation. Each of these has some similarities of approach, but also their own challenges to overcome, regardless of the destination.

Portal SoftwareCurrent VersionSupport StatusCommon Implementation Characteristics
WebCenter Portal Server WebCenter Spaces11.1.1.9.0 (August 2015)Premier Support (ends Dec 2018)• Content and Document Management done via integration with WebCenter Content • Search provided by Secure Enterprise Search or via WebCenter Live Search • Integrations to other Fusion Middleware Platforms • Custom Applications provided via ADF Task Flows • Customized User Interface via Skins and Templates • “Deep” extension of out-of-box tooling typically via replacement rather than extension
WebCenter Portal Framework11.1.1.9.0 (August 2015)Premier Support (ends Dec 2018)• Content and Document Management done via integration with WebCenter Content • Applications typically included many custom ADF Task Flows • Functionality typically implemented via custom code • Pages were often built within the application and deployed rather than via web tooling
WebLogic Portal10.3.7 February 2016Premier Support (ends Dec 2018)• Most functionality implemented through custom integration and development • Application functionality typically the primary focus of the Portal • Java-based development; typically very customized with complex portlets/applications
Oracle Portal (11g/10i)11.1.1.6.0 December 2011 10.1.4 September 2005Sustaining Support (Indefinite)• Heavy custom development, including the PDK and JSR and standards-compliant portlets • Often PL/SQL applications are integrated through out-of-the-box portlets • Generally tight integrations with other Oracle backends
WebCenter Interaction10.3.3 December 2011Sustaining Support (Indefinite)• Integrates to a variety of backends, including custom web applications (Java, .NET and other) • Identity integration typically to an Active Directory or LDAP environment, although users are often managed directly through the Portal • Typically a long-standing portal implementation, exposing diverse applications to its user base • Search indexing in the 10.3.3 version will need regular rebuilds and is often an issue
AquaLogic Interaction6.5 MP1 June 2008End of Life• ALI 6.5 is fully out of support, so typically companies will have either good internal knowledge of the system, or it has remained stable for some time. • Integrates to a variety of backends, including custom web applications (Java, .NET and other) • Identity integration typically to an Active Directory or LDAP environment, although users are often managed directly through the Portal • Typically a long-standing portal implementation, exposing diverse applications to its user base

If you are running on any of these platforms and are looking to move to a modern platform and/or a Cloud-based implementation; feel free to reach out to TekStream Solutions for a conversation, or check out the TekTalk webinar replay: Upgrading WebCenter Portal to the Cloud.  We’d be happy to talk to you about your plans for Portal migration, and how to best put you on the path to success.

[pardot-form id=”13937″ title=”Blog-KevinDonnelly-Path”]

Hey Inspyrus AP Automation! Can My JDE Come Out To Play?

Inspyrus JDE Integration

Hey Inspyrus AP Automation! Can My JDE Come Out To Play?

By: Marvin Martinez | Senior Developer

So you’re interested in AP Invoice Automation but have found that there is not much support for your JDE ERP amongst the automation crowd? Fortunately, Inspyrus Invoice Automation plays well with various ERPs, one of which is JDE, allowing for full integration with this ERP.

Inspyrus Invoice Automation is fully compatible with various ERPs, including EBS, PeopleSoft, and JDE. The integration is seamless from the user’s perspective as the Inspyrus Invoice Automation Solution will execute this integration behind the scenes, relaying business validation errors and messages to the user and automatically importing invoices into the ERP of your choice. This has the added benefit of allowing users with various ERP skillsets to work with a unified user interface that is ERP-agnostic. Note, in the image below, that the ERP being integrated has no real bearing on the user interface and shields the user from the burden of dealing with the ERP directly. All of the functionality is provided via the user interface which streamlines and facilitates many ERP actions.

JDE

Once the solution is configured, PO matching, invoice processing, and approval routing all work similarly, regardless of what ERP the solution is integrated with. One may ask, however, “how is this all done?” Aren’t EBS, for example, and JDE distinctly different ERPs? They are distinctly different but, as a robust invoice automation tool, Inspyrus Invoice Automation can be configured quickly to work with any of these ERP systems with a few streamlined configuration steps.

First, the Inspyrus invoice validation procedures are quickly configured to work with the JDE BSSV (Business Service) web services, up to and including JDE 9.2. These services are used by the Inspyrus solution to validate invoices according to the validations and rules defined by the JDE instance. Any errors returned by these BSSVs will be displayed in the Inspyrus solution so that they may be corrected before processing can complete.

Second, the Inspyrus solution is configured to use the database of the JDE instance. This configuration is streamlined and implemented by default with the most common scenarios for retrieving vendor, purchase order, tolerance, and additional data. You might ask, “What if our JDE instance does not fit these common scenarios?” Rest assured! The solution is easily configurable to retrieve the data in accordance with a specific JDE instance’s configuration. All of the above information can be rapidly and efficiently configured to retrieve relevant business data from wherever it exists in the JDE instance. Have specific codes in a different place to distinguish a 3-way PO from a 2-way PO? No problem! Inspyrus has you covered.

Finally, and potentially most importantly, the Inspyrus solution, now communicating with the JDE instance’s database, can be easily configured to leverage the existing approval hierarchies configured in JDE. This integration allows for real-time changes to the approval hierarchy to be reflected in the Inspyrus solution. Approvals within the Inspyrus user interface are streamlined (even allowing for email approvals) and tracked for easier reporting, along with a multitude of other metrics.

The Inspyrus Invoice Automation solution is extremely versatile on many fronts. One of these fronts is ERP integration. The fruits of the AP Invoice Automation tree should not be restricted to certain ERPs. The Inspyrus Invoice Automation solution is fully positioned to not only make, but keep true, to that claim. JDE customers, your AP Invoice Automation solution is calling! Contact us for more information on automating your invoice processing!

[pardot-form id=”13913″ title=”blog-marvinmartinez-JDEInspyrus”]

Using Records Management Solutions To Handle WebCenter Content Requirements

Retention

Using Records Management Solutions To Handle WebCenter Content Requirements

By: Brandon Prasnicki | Technical Architect

Oftentimes there are requirements customers have that have the feel of customizations, but actually can be handled by out of the box functionality with Records Management (or in the simplest WCC form this feature can be referred to as ‘Retention Management’) functionality. Oracle WCC has a records management solution that has features that are obvious (disposition, audit, metadata history, etc.), but it also has some features that may be useful for core WCC requirements that might otherwise be costly customizations. Here is a list of a few of three of these common requirements:

  1. Global updates via the UI
    1. WebCenter Content Management solution (with records management disabled): can do this with folder propagation and archiver but anything query based via the UI is a customization
    2. Retention Management solution: A Global Updates submenu within the main Records menu is available when the appropriate RM rights are assigned
  2. Security Restriction based on Revision, Metadata updates and Delete
    1. WebCenter Content Management solution (with records management disabled): there would need to be some custom component that would hook into service to see if user had a role that allowed revisioning and/or metadata updates to restrict beyond normal RW access. Also a UI customization to disable the checkout/check-in would be needed.
    2. Retention Management solution: RM restriction flags can be set on the definition of a category, and when content is assigned to this category via metadata, the restrictions are in place. Then the appropriate RM rights can be assigned to these users with special permission to perform these functions. *Note that records categories don’t need to have disposition assigned, and categories can be assigned by deriving the xCategoryID field with a profile rule.
  1. Review
    1. WebCenter Content Management solution (with records management disabled): Some customization to trigger a scheduled event based on a review date and query, or some basic workflow needs to be manually generated
    2. Retention Management solution: There is out of the box functionality that marks an item ‘vital’ and users responsible to do the review are emailed assigned to do the review with a review action.

 

  1. Global updates

Global updates is an out of the box feature available in records management for users that have the ‘search and update’ and ‘no security’ RMA right.

retention management 1

When RMA rights of ‘Search and update’ and ‘No Security’ are assigned to a role, these users will see a new records menu item called ‘Global Updates’ where they can use a query based form to update values en masse.

retention management 2

When building the query, you can preview the results and even schedule the run if it is a large job.

retention management 3

  1. Security Restrictions

When creating a retention category, the following security restrictions are available:

retention management 4

The restrictions can be defined as follows:

  1. Restrict Revisions: All content in this category cannot be revisioned by users whom do not have the RMA Right of Record.Revise (even if they have WCC write access).
  2. Restrict Deletes: All content in this category cannot be deleted by users whom do not have the RMA Right of Record.Delete (even if they have WCC delete access and are author).
  3. Restrict Edits: All content in this category cannot have the metadata updated by users whom do not have the RMA Right of Record.Edit (even if they have WCC write access).
  4. Transfer or Accession to NARA (AKA ‘permanent’): No revisions, deletes, edits are allowed even for users with these RMA rights.

retention management 5

         3. Review

When the Records management solution is leveraged (Retention Management is enabled), there are new fields on the form that are available. Simply check the vital flag and fill out the reviewer and period information, and this user will get an email to review the item!

retention management 6

TekStream is ready to show you all the features that are available for your retention management and records management solution needs! Please fill out the form below for a demonstration!

[pardot-form id=”13891″ title=”Blog-BrandonPrasnicki-RecordsManagementSolutions”]

BPM Document Integration with Content Management Framework Folders

Business process management

BPM Document Integration with Content Management Framework Folders

By: John Schleicher | Sr. Technical Architect

Oracle BPM (workflow) of both BPMN and BPEL flavors offers document integration as basic functionality as well it should. Human workflow is inherently tied to documents that support the activity in question. To provide this capability workflow accommodates documentation (aka attachments) in task based schemas and within the User Interface forms that support it. Workflow programs can pass documentation to tasks by carrying them in the schema as files or URL references. The BPM form documentation component then exposes those documents for viewing and allows for the addition and deletion of the same.

The default storage of the documents is made within the underlying workflow database schema but administrators can configure the workflow engine to leverage the content management data store as an alternate location. Information about this can be found in the SOA Administrator’s guide and numerous blogs.

The content storage alternative offers storage improvements over the original configuration but still is fairly limited in ability as compared to interacting with documentation within the content system itself. Though the ability to view existing documents, add or delete documents and define a few optional criteria exists with the BPM based user interface, more sophisticated elements of content such as managing revisions or viewing history are not available. You can also search for content documents and attach them to the workflow through the BPM attachments UI component. This may offer some integration but ultimately requires the users to be accessing both content and BPM interfaces in a fairly disjoint fashion to be somewhat effective. Shouldn’t there be a more effective mechanism?

When faced with a requirement to migrate a manual workflow system based on file folders the answer became obvious. If the workflow documentation was segregated into logical folders within content (basically into framework folders) then workflow could access the content UI based on that workflow associated folder. So instead of using the existing BPM document component, the URL specifying the framework folder was substituted as a go button or link in the BPM form which would render the content UI for that folder with the document listing. Adding new documents can likewise be provided by another go button tying it to the Add capability of the content URL so the users can click a button, add a title, browse and upload a document to the folder and workflow.

There was initially some concern over the lack of a document listing on the BPM form. The concern was easily allayed however by the common activity of separating the tabbed content document listing from the BPM form and simultaneously displaying it on a dual monitor system. Power users have ready access to the document listing with this configuration (as shown in the below diagram). Also the separation of the listing offers more real estate for the rest of the form. For my case I extended the comments component into the vacated space formerly reserved for the list of documents.

There are other benefits to leveraging the content UI straight from workflow. The first of course is the ability to leverage document versioning. Secondly, document access beyond the workflow lifespan is easily possible, as well as applying search metadata against the folders and documents to allow non-workflow association to be realized. For the out of the box workflow/content integration when workflow is complete, how do you get to those documents? For the direct integration outlined here, you are already creating the folder, so you can also apply some metadata for searching folder contents and you have the ability to find workflow documentation well beyond the life of the workflow.

This new configuration has some coordination required between workflow assignees and content roles. Workflow users require sufficient privileges to view, add/delete, and update content. This administration is simple enough and can be tied to the framework folder that is associated with the root element for the workflow activity.

So what could be classified as a drawback? For one, the simplistic ingestion of documents into the storage requires a bit more programming. The workflow system (whether BPMN or BPEL) must now leverage the UNIVERSAL_CREATE mechanism of content’s GenericSoapPort webservice to create logical folders for the workflow and then create/upload any documents coming into the workflow. The logical folders must be oriented around a unique key to be able to reference the folder throughout the workflow as the form must provide the specific folder’s URL for access of documentation. Also applying metadata for post workflow searches is a small overhead as well. So ultimately this is a little more complicated than the original but not prohibitively so.

So I have outlined a relatively straightforward integration of Oracle BPM and Content storage for workflow documentation. If your BPM project is aligned on folders or another logical key it may be an option for your documentation access.

BPM Workflow tab adjacent to Content Framework Folder Listing

BPM Workflow

Have more questions? Contact TekStream today!

[pardot-form id=”13871″ title=”blog-BPMDocumentIntegration-johnschleicher”]

 

Tips and Tricks for Improving Supplier Extraction with Inspyrus Invoice Automation

Tips and Tricks for Inspyrus

Tips and Tricks for Improving Supplier Extraction with Inspyrus Invoice Automation

By: Karla Broadrick | Technical Architect

The Inspyrus Invoice Automation solution utilizes WebCenter Forms Recognition (WFR) to identify the supplier on an invoice. WFR extracts the supplier by identifying all of the addresses on the invoice image. It then uses a fuzzy matching algorithm to compare the addresses on the invoice to those in the supplier pool generated from the ERP vendor data.

If WFR is able to confidentially identify the vendor associated with the invoice, it will be identified in the Inspyrus UI with no further verification needed by the end user. If, however, WFR is not confident it has identified the correct vendor, the end user will be required to review and validate or correct the chosen vendor in the Inspyrus UI.

In many years of implementing this tool, supplier extraction is consistently one of the most common reasons an invoice must be corrected. Fortunately, there is usually an explanation for the issue that can be resolved. In this article, we explore tips and tricks to diagnose and correct supplier extraction failures.

1. Poor Image quality

Image quality is critical to successful extraction of any field in WFR. If the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) fails to recognize the text of the vendor address correctly, this can cause the supplier to not be recognized. Image quality issues can usually be addressed by enforcing the following guidelines for images: images should be 300 dpi, black and white (not greyscale). They should be original images (not copies of previously printed images or electronically printed images). They should contain little to no handwriting.

2. Duplicate Supplier Addresses

In the ERP, there are multiple entries of the same address across different suppliers, supplier sites, and/or operating units. WFR is unable to distinguish which address is the “correct” one since all addresses are the same. All addresses are assigned the same confidence level and they system is unable to determine which should be chosen. In this case, supplier maintenance is needed to clean up supplier sites. Each supplier site should be a unique pay site address. Additionally, determining the operating unit at the point of ingestion can help with this issue.

3. Supplier Addresses too similar to the invoice Bill To or Ship To address

Typically the Bill To and Ship To addresses on an invoice are internal addresses. These are required to be excluded from the supplier pool that is used to processed general invoices. The query to the WFR view xx_ofr_suppliers_v should be modified so that ONLY external suppliers are included. Typically this is done by filtering on the vendor type and excluding those with a type of “Internal”. However, any criteria can be defined in the view. Often, supplier maintenance is needed to correctly categorize internal suppliers as such.

If Intercompany invoices are processed this will require additional configuration so that they are properly recognized.

4. ERP supplier address does not match the address on the invoice

The supplier address in the ERP system does not match any of the addresses listed by the vendor on the invoice (either in the header or the Remit To address). The best way to address this is to correct the address for the vendor in the ERP system so that it accurately reflects the invoice.

5. Remit to address is outside the address zone

This problem can be the most difficult to resolve.

OOTB, WFR only looks at vendor addresses on the first page of the image. This cannot be changed, it is mandatory that the vendor address must be on the first page of the document. This means that the first page of the image must be the first page of the invoice. Any supporting documents such as shipping documents, etc should be (if at all possible) attached to the record directly in Inspyrus instead of emailed in with the invoice image. If they must be included in the same image as the invoice, they should be placed after the invoice.

In addition to the first page requirement, WFR only looks at preconfigured zones of the first page to identify the vendor address. It does not look at the entire page. OOTB, WFR looks at the top 25% and bottom 20% of the page. While it is possible to modify this zone, it is advised to do so with extreme caution. Changing these recommended settings can have unintended side effects across the larger sampling of vendor invoices.

6. Supplier name found in the ERP database is very different from that found on the invoice

The vendor extraction performs a “fuzzy match” against name and address information found in the ERP database against what is found on the invoice. However, if the supplier name is drastically different this can cause the extraction to fail to have enough confidence to extract a valid match. Updating the supplier name in the ERP to match the invoice should resolve this issue.

Learn more about Invoice Automation in the Cloud for Oracle ERP by signing up to attend a 30 minute TekTalk webinar hosted by TekStream Wednesday June 21st at 1:00 EST.

Having trouble identifying the cause of your supplier extraction issues? Contact TekStream for assistance.

[pardot-form id=”13841″ title=”Supplier Extraction with Inspyrus – Karla”]