Collaborate ’09 Recap – A Federal Spin

Posted on 12-May-09. Filed under: Events, News, R12 | Tags: , , , , , |

Now that I’m back in Denver, here’s a recap from the Collaborate ’09 conference in Orlando that I thought would be helpful to share.  I definitely enjoyed seeing friends, meeting new ones and taking in as much information as I could during the conference.  Being responsible for three different presentations was a bit more than I would have preferred (especially with a newborn and a 3 year-old at home, along with supporting a pretty demanding project cutting into the prep time), but it seemed that the presentations went well and were favorably accepted.  Thanks to everyone who came to them and please don’t hesitate to contact me with any follow-up questions.  The presentations are available here.

Here’s an attempt at sharing some of the past week’s events, announcements and information of Federal relevance (with a few other items) that I picked up.  The link to the Oracle Collaborate 09 Media Kit, which provides press-releases and additional info on a number of these items is available here.

E-Business Suite 12.1 Released – 12.1 (12.1.1) was made Generally Available on Monday, May 4th.  12.1 brings a variety of new capabilities to the table, but for the Federal community, the biggest news with 12.1 is the important step forward in the long awaited “Projects Federalization“.  12.1 now provides the capability to create the required USSGL Budgetary postings from PA Agreements/Fundings, Revenue and Costs.  Projects has never provided USSGL Transaction Codes or any other solution for creating these entries and this gap has been a long-time Federal Top-Ten enhancement request.

Other top 12.1 new features include:

-Practically all standard Oracle Reports now can be generated through BI Publisher (v 12.0 = 852 seeded BI Publisher templates, v 12.1 = 2600+ seeded templates)
-PA Agreement Definition Enhancements
-PA Agreement “Date Effective” Funds Consumption controls for revenue and invoicing
-The association of PA Agreements with AR receipts (to handle Unfilled Order with Advance Scenarios) and flexibility in controlling the proper accounting for associated revenue (e.g. drawing down the advance instead of recognizing a receivable and having to manually adjust)
-Revised AP Third Party Payment capability which provides the capability for associating a “Remit to Supplier” on an Invoice
-The capability to maintain line-level transaction balances for AR Invoices
-Additional standard data elements in Purchasing to support FPDS-NG reporting
-A bunch of new features in Sourcing including enhancements to capabilities for segregating Cost vs Technical proposal evaluations (“Two-Stage Evaluation for RFPs”)
-Secure Enterprise Search right out of the box (think of being able to use a Google-like search from any OAF page (i.e. your home page) & getting links to take you straight to the documents).  This capability is available for implementation in earlier EBS versions, but for 12.1, its available straight out of the box.
-Enhanced BI Publisher integration with OAF pages through the capability of a new Print button/link (or capability to add) on any OAF page, that will allow the initiation of BI Publisher requests (so for example, in iProc, then users don’t have to launch the JRE & submit a normal concurrent manager request just to print a hard-copy of a requisition)
-OAF Flexfield references: This brings the capability of core forms Context-Sensitive Reference Field-type functionality to OAF forms.
-Diagnostics Upgrades
-The capability to see record history in OAF pages (e.g. created by, last updated by)
-A variety of OAF personalization enhancements
-Announcement of the Application Change Management Pack (this is a new Oracle Enterprise Manager component available to assist with patch, customization, setup/config management, etc. across instances).
-iSetup enhancements
-E-Business Suite Native SOA Enablement (less need for the use of adapters)
-Enhanced User Management (UMX) reporting

Of course there’s more, but that’s probably enough to start with.  The 12.1 software is now available on edelivery.oracle.com, the 12.1 documents are available from OTN and Support Note 790942.1 is a good starting point for 12.1 resources.  I look forward to sharing more info on 12.1 over the next few months.  I actually was working on getting a 12.1 instance up & live during the event, but ended up needing to do more patching than I’d initially anticipated (I was hoping a quick, flawless rapid-install would be all that was needed) to support the latest Forms/Application Server version, so I wasn’t able to get it done yet.  But hopefully in the next few weeks, I can start playing with it hands-on and I’ll work to share what I find.

Per Oracle, the paperwork for FSIO certification of 12.1 has already been submitted.  Since nothing changed fundamentally and we’re only talking enhanced functionality here, this should be just a paperwork drill, so hopefully FSIO won’t wait too long in providing the go-ahead on 12.1 (it only makes things better, so why hold anything up).

BI Apps 7.9.6 Released – This is the latest version of the BI Apps content for OBIEE.  I blogged about this here for a bit more detail. I found it interesting to see in a couple sessions (even in Charles Phillips’ keynote) that the new Federal Financials Analytics were specifically called out on the slides or by the speaker.  Besides the Federal Financial Analytics, BI Apps 7.9.6 now provides Projects Analytics, in addition to other various enhancements.

11i10, 10gR2 DB and other software Extended Support fees waived for another year – Typically, Oracle provides premier support for a platform for 5 years and then starts to up the price if entities don’t upgrade, charging extra for “Extended” and “Sustaining” support.  Believe it or not, 11i10 has already been out for almost 5 years and although the 11i10 premier support had already been extended through Nov 2010, now 11i10 premier support has essentially been extended through 2011.  So, organizations that haven’t upgraded yet, can still get the same level of support through most of 2011 without having to pay extra fees for the Extended support.  10gR2 DB Extended support fees are waived through July 2011.

The Oracle messaging at the conference was pretty clear.  It was pretty much “We understand the current economic climate and know organizations don’t want to embark on large projects that take a while to show ROI, so here are the offerings we want to push that are smaller projects and result in a quicker ROI”.  Oracle was pushing BI Apps, the User Productivity Kit (UPK), Secure Enterprise Search (SES), the Application Integration Architecture (AIA) Process Integration Packs (PIPs).  The latest release of Beehive (Oracle’s new collaboration tool announced at OpenWorld last fall) was also announced.

A couple other nuggets I thought I’d pass along:

-Oracle is working on building integration with Federal Financials and the Hyperion Budget Planning/Formulation product.  So then, that should make for a potentially slick integration between the Budget Planning & Budget Distribution side of things.  It sounds like integration is also being built with HR Apps to facilitate the position budgeting integrated capability

-With all the talk about enhanced integration & AIA, I asked one of the Advanced Procurement speakers from development about if there are any plans to enhance the flexibility of the Purchasing APIs.  Of course he didn’t get specific, but mentioned that increased openess of the APIs is definitely on the roadmap.

-Regarding Fusion Applications, it seems that the Public Sector is on the back-burner for Fusion Apps.  So the apps will become available for commercial before being able to support all the specific Public Sector requirements.

Hope that gives a decent overview for now.  I’m sure I’ve got some other stuff in my head that I just can’t think of at the moment.  There are a bunch of other blogs I’ve seen talking about Collaborate announcements/events such as the Triora Group Blog, so be sure to Google for additional info or feel free to comment here if there’s anything else to share or if you think I can help with.

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One Response to “Collaborate ’09 Recap – A Federal Spin”

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Кeep this going please, great job!


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