Feature Authorizations

This week at InFocus, I presented a session titled, “Keys to the Techno-Functional Vault – JDE Resources for New Analysts/Power Users”.  I was so happy to see the response – a full room, all sorts of questions, and people saying, “Thank you!  I NEEDED this.”  I know you did, friend, because I did, too.  Full disclosure: my first foray into JDE was as a super user.  And, for a while, I felt pretty dang super.  I knew A LOT about Order to Cash – sales order entry, sales order activity rules, sales order shipping, sales order header to detail, sales update, sales invoice…okay,  I’ll stop.  You get the picture.  But then – then I became a JDE business analyst.  And I felt like my super powers weren’t enough anymore.  Not only was I expected to learn other modules (hello, HCM!), but I found out that there was a whole hidden, subterranean section of JDE that was completely foreign to me.  I give up – what does “OMW” stand for?  You want me to turn on logging and run that UBE locally?  How should I know the length limit of the Description 1 field?  What was a cache and how did I refresh it?

I panicked.  And then, gradually, I learned.  Some experienced JDE analyst friends gave me some info.  I badgered my CNCs into explaining the deployment server vs the enterprise server, and Server Manager, and row security.  I became a master of the My Oracle Support search.  I read things, I tested things, I even guessed sometimes.  And I LEARNED.  But I’ll never forget how inexperienced or uninformed I felt at first.  I wanted to know how to configure JDE to make it as powerful as possible.

Oracle has started to make it easier for analysts and power users to configure system functionality via applications, instead of some technical tool that we don’t have access to.  E1 Pages, BI Publisher, CafeOne – they’re all configurable by analysts using a web client.  You don’t need a developer or a CNC.  You are the BA master.  Seize your destiny!  (Sorry, I got a little excited there…)  Anyway, this blog series will cover the Feature Authorizations functionality, which controls the new UI features like Auto Suggest, UDC Drop Downs, Hover Forms, and Change Confirmation.  Although the application comes with some of the features predefined and already enabled, its power lies in understanding how to change or update them yourself, to really boost their capabilities.

Today’s highlighted Feature – Auto Suggest

P958973 – Feature Definitions:

Features must be defined in this application before you can turn them on within applications and make use of them.  JDE is shipped with some of the features already defined and associated to a data item or an application.  For example, Auto Suggest is already configured for the AN8 – Address Book number, as JDE_ABAutoSuggest.  An auto-suggest business view V0101AS is associated to the feature.  Auto Suggest views are specifically created to use within Auto Suggest, with limited columns.  When enabled within a form (more on that later), simply typing the first few characters of a name will search the entire Address Book, and return a list of possible matches.  The more you type, the more it narrows the search.  You’ll also notice a complementary record for JDE_ABAutoSuggest_Off.  This feature definition is used to disable Auto Suggest on the Address Book field, and can be used as an override within a certain application or version.  All highly configurable, user-friendly, and frankly, just cool.

But now let’s supercharge Address Book Auto Suggest.  What if you are working in P4310 – Purchase Order Entry, and you only want Auto Suggest to look for Vendors?  Customers, Employees, Business Units, etc. just muddy the waters and make the result lists too long.  How can we limit to just a certain search type?

By creating a custom Auto Suggest business view, and creating a new Feature Definition, we can narrow the results, and make Auto Suggest even more powerful.

Step 1 – Create a custom table with 1 field – Search Type – and enter records for each search type that you want to use.  (Example: V).

Step 2 – Create a custom Auto Suggest business view (see Oracle doc ID 1480526.1 for basic instructions on Creating an Auto Suggest Business View), combining your new table and the Address Book table – F0101.

Step 3 – Promote the view/generate the table (either on your own, or ask your tech team for help)

Step 4 – Create a new Feature Authorization in P958973.  Name it something like CUSTOM_VendorABAutoSuggest.  Associate data item AN8, and your new custom view, using the vanilla JDE feature as a guide.

Step 5 – If you like, create the opposite (CUSTOM_VendorABAutoSuggest_OFF), to have the flexibility to turn off the Vendor Auto Suggest if desired.

P958974 – Feature Authorizations:

Once features are defined within Feature Definitions, they can then be enabled or disabled in Feature Authorizations.  Again, Oracle has provided a powerful application for power users and analysts to turn on these features, without package builds or technical tools.  The Feature Authorizations are specific to an environment, and can be enabled for a user, a role, or *PUBLIC.  Then, you can narrow their use to certain Forms, Objects, or even Product Codes.  For example, let’s associate our new CUSTOM_VendorABAutoSuggest to all Procurement applications:

Step 1 – Add a new Authorization, and enter the Environment and Role.  Don’t forget the “J” for the web environments!  (Example: JPY910, *PUBLIC)

Step 2 – Enter your custom feature – CUSTOM_VendorABAutoSuggest

Step 3 – In the Product Code field, enter “43”, the system code for Procurement.

Important tip – Keep in mind that JDE has several Product Codes for each system area.  So, to make sure we enable our Feature for all of them, enter additional records for 43A, 43B, 43BW, 43C, 43E, 43Q, and 43S. 

Now, launch P4310 (cache may need to be refreshed first), and begin to add a PO.  The Supplier field should have a small gray arrow in the bottom right corner, denoting that Auto Suggest is active.  Begin typing the first few letters of a vendor name, and the Auto Suggest window will appear, showing only V search types.

At this point, feel free to pat yourself on the back, and then go show this to your Procurement staff.  Once they use it, beware; they’ll start asking you to work some more Feature Authorization magic.  Check back soon for the next post in this series – Change Confirmation, including a real-world example for using it.  In closing, I’d like to say thanks to the JD Edwards Product Development team.  By developing applications to control configuration, they’ve empowered process owners and functional analysts, and relieved developers and CNCs from having to administer features that fall within the functional realm.  Now go create some Auto Suggest features, and remember how super you are!