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Discoverer Portlets for Sharing 11i OM & Shipping Data with Customers NorCal OAUG 2007 Training Day Event January 17, 2007 Eric Guether Opnext, Inc. eguether@opnext.com Learning Objectives Understand why Opnext implemented a Portal with Discoverer portlets

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Discoverer Portlets for Sharing 11i OM & Shipping Data with Customers

NorCal OAUG 2007 Training Day Event

January 17, 2007

Eric Guether

Opnext, Inc.

eguether@opnext.com


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Learning Objectives

  • Understand why Opnext implemented a Portal with Discoverer portlets

  • Find out some things that Discoverer portlets can and cannot do

  • Learn how to create a shipment tracking link to an external website in a Discoverer portlet – or even in a Discoverer workbook!

  • Receive an overview of Discoverer portlet key setups


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Today’s Speaker: Eric Guether

  • IT Director at Opnext in Eatontown, NJ

  • Manages Opnext’s Oracle EBS 11i system

  • Provides user support for some 11i modules, Oracle Alerts and Discoverer 9i Desktop

  • Member of OAUG and NJOAUG

  • Began career as an accountant and then CPA


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Who Is Opnext?

  • Lasers!

    • Designer & maker of active fiber optic components

  • Spin-off of 2 Hitachi businesses

    • Headquarters in Eatontown, NJ

    • Manufacturing in Yokohama & Komoro, Japan

    • U.S. Sales based in Fremont, CA

  • Global sales to customers such as Lucent, Alcatel, Cisco, Siemens, Kodak, NEC, and Hitachi

  • Running multiorg, single global instance of EBS 11i

    • 11.5.10.2 (CU2) American English with Japanese NLS

    • Financials, OM, Inventory, Purchasing, Cost Mgmt., Discrete MFG & Master Scheduling/MRP


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Examples of Opnext Products

Laser Diode Modules

Transmitters

Receivers

Transceivers

10GbE XENPAK Modules


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Introduction

  • Oracle Portal

    • Provides hubs of information from EBS 11i and other systems

    • Used by many organizations

  • Discoverer

    • Provides users with queries against EBS 11i data

    • Used by many organizations

  • Discoverer Portlets

    • Objects within Oracle Portal to cache and display data directly from Discoverer workbooks

    • Rarely used?


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Business Case: Initial User Request

  • Grant Discoverer Desktop access to external customers & sales reps

    • Allow external parties to run real-time Discoverer queries on open sales orders and recent shipments

    • Arose from frustration: Internal staff was burdened with weekly filtering & exporting of Discoverer data to e-mail to customers


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Business Case: IT Dept. Response

  • Denied the initial request

    • External users would need a Discoverer client installation and VPN access to Opnext’s network

    • Support burden for Opnext’s IT staff

    • Security concerns about customer access to other EBS 11i data

  • Proposed an alternative solution using Oracle Portal

    • Originally Portal 9i

    • Subsequently upgraded to Portal 10gR2 (v 10.1.2.1)


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Business Case: Proposed Solution

  • Public website built from Oracle Portal 9i

    • No client installation or VPN access required

    • Unique Portal ID and password for each external user

  • Use Discoverer portlets to provide OM data from Discoverer 9i worksheets

  • Portlet data would be cached

    • User sees data immediately on Portal page

    • No waiting for the Discoverer query to run

    • Cached data refreshed hourly or daily

    • Date/time of cached data displayed on Portal page


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Internet

Encrypted User Access from Internet

Certificate Authority (CA)

validation

Verisign

Certificate Authority (CA)

validation

SSL-128 bit

Encryption

Internet Client

[Desktop or Laptop]

To Portal

Firewall

Secure policy / NAT translation

Encryption Key





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Open Sales Orders Worksheet

  • Open sales order lines for the customer (not yet ship confirmed)

  • Columns include:

    • Sales Order # and Line #

    • Customer PO #

    • Product and Customer Item #

    • Quantity and Price

  • Queried EBS 11i tables or views include:

    • ONT.OE_ORDER_HEADERS_ALL

    • ONT.OE_ORDER_LINES_ALL

    • APPS.MTL_CUSTOMER_ITEM_XREFS_V



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Current Month Shipments Worksheet

  • Fulfilled shipments with ship confirm date in the current month

  • Columns include:

    • Sales Order # and Line #

    • Customer PO #

    • Product and Customer Item #

    • Quantity and Price

    • Ship Method Code and Waybill

    • Receivables Invoice # (NULL until AutoInvoice runs)

  • Queried EBS 11i tables include:

    • WSH.WSH_NEW_DELIVERIES

    • WSH.WSH_DELIVERY_DETAILS

    • AR.RA_CUSTOMER_TRX_ALL



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Overview of Key Portlet Creation Steps

  • Prerequisites

    • Create new Portal ID for external user

    • Create a new Portal page for the new Portal ID

    • Assign new page as default for new Portal ID

    • Create a user-defined connection [explained later]

  • Highlight region on new Portal page

  • Add Discoverer portlet (undefined worksheet)

  • Select user-defined connection

  • Select workbook & worksheet from EBS 11i database’s Discoverer 9i End User Layer (EUL)

  • Select Discoverer portlet refresh options



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Add Discoverer Portlet

  • Creates an undefined portlet (no worksheet selected)



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Select Worksheet from EBS Database EUL

  • Lists all workbooks to which Portal ID has access via the selected user-defined connection




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Issue: Export from Portal Page to Excel

  • Portal offered no way to export the result set table

  • Browser’s “Save As” functionality was inadequate

  • Highlighting the table and copying into Excel produced weird results

  • Critical enough to kill the project if not resolved


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Resolution: Discoverer Viewer

  • Discoverer Viewer has Export Data functionality

    • Can export its result set table to many file formats, including to Excel XLS format

  • Each Discoverer portlet has an optional link to Discoverer Viewer

    • Link appears in lower left bottom of portlet

      • Link in Portal 10gR2: Analyze

      • Link in Portal 9i: View Worksheet

    • Opens a Viewer page and runs a real-time query of the Discoverer worksheet used by the portlet




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Export Action in Viewer . . .



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Issue: Restricting User Access in Viewer

  • Risk # 1: Could the user remove a worksheet’s conditions in Viewer to see records of other customers?

    • Opnext used worksheet conditions to filter by customer

    • No Risk: Viewer users cannot modify or remove worksheet conditions

  • Risk # 2: Would the security allow the portal user in Viewer to open other database workbooks?

    • Portal 9i users who accessed Viewer 9i via the portlet’s View Worksheet link could open any workbook in Viewer to which their connection had access (not just the worksheet used by the portlet)

    • Opnext’s implemented security relationship limited the user to only the workbook used by his/her 3 portlets


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Solution: Security Relationships

EBS 11i ID

Responsibility

Workbook

Portal ID

US – Portal for Demo

PORTAL_USER

PORTAL – DEMO

DEMO

US – Portal for Customer1

PORTAL – CUSTOMER1

CUSTOMER1

US – Portal for Customer2

PORTAL – CUSTOMER2

CUSTOMER2

Assign Responsibility

Grant Workbook Access

Key to Solution

User-Defined Connection linking Portal ID to Responsibility


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Create One EBS Account for All Portal IDs

  • An EBS user account, PORTAL_USER, created only once – not once per Portal ID


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Create New EBS 11i Responsibility

  • One unique responsibility for each Portal ID

  • Responsibility only has access to Preferences menu


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Assign New Responsibility

  • Assigned to shared EBS user account: PORTAL_USER

  • Used to grant access to Discoverer workbook


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Grant Workbook Access to Responsibility

  • Granted within Discoverer Desktop (EUL in EBS 11i database)

  • Restricts other Portal users from viewing workbook through Discoverer Viewer


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Create User-Defined Connection

“PORTAL_USER” is the EBS 11i user name (EBS ID)


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Create User-Defined Connection (cont.)

“US – Portal for DEMO” is the EBS responsibility


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Issue: Shipment Tracking Hyperlink

  • On Current Month and Prior Month Shipments portlets, change the FedEx, UPS, or DHL tracking number in the “Waybill #” column to a hyperlink to the shipping carrier’s website

  • Not part of initial requirements

    • Requested during user testing

  • Dilemma: How to add a Tracking Link URL column to the cached result set of a Discoverer portlet?


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Resolution: FILE Item Type in Workbook

  • New item “Tracking Link” created in Discoverer Admin and added to Discoverer Desktop workbook

  • Content type of new item set to FILE [default = <None>]

  • Data type set to Varchar

  • Formula:

    • Uses “Ship Method Code” in DECODE to determine external web address

    • Concatenates tracking # from “Waybill” column



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“Tracking Link” Item Formula

DECODE(Ship Method Code,

'UPS','http://wwwapps.ups.com/WebTracking/processInputRequest?HTMLVersion=5.0&sort_by=status&tracknums_displayed=5&TypeOfInquiryNumber=T&InquiryNumber1='||"Waybill"||'&AgreeToTermsAndConditions=yes&track.x=42&track.y=11',

'FEDEX','http://www.fedex.com/Tracking?tracknumbers='||"Waybill"||'',

'DHL','http://track.dhl-usa.com/TrackByNbr.asp?ShipmentNumber='||"Waybill"||'',

NULL)



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Portlet with Tracking Link

  • Click triangle (1st click)


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Portlet with Tracking Link (continued)

  • Mouse over URL and click (2nd click)


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Portlet with Tracking Link (continued)

  • Tracking website pops up in new browser window


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Solution Worked in 9i But Not in 10gR2

  • FILE item type solution worked well “as is” with Portal 9i portlets and Discoverer 9i (Desktop, Viewer & Plus) . . . and even with Discoverer Desktop 10gR2

    • 9i Portlets treated Tracking Link values as hyperlinks

  • Solution did not work when migrated to Portal 10gR2

    • Solaris OS Server: Needed to apply Patch 5231969 for FILE item type hyperlink to work on 10gR2 portlets

      • Begged Oracle for 5 months for the Solaris patch

    • Linux OS Server: Patch 5231969 does not work for 10gR2 portlets on a Linux server

      • Waiting for 3 months for a Linux patch from Oracle

      • Oracle bug # 5713987


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Alternative Functionality in 10gR2

  • Drill Link to Internet URL

    • New hyperlink functionality added to Discoverer Viewer & Plus 10gR2

    • Not added to 10gR2 portlets!

      • Oracle bug 4969310

      • To be resolved in Portal version 11.1.1


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Additional Resources

  • Configuring Application Server 10gR2 For Discoverer Portlets, Mark Rittman [http://www.rittman.net/2005/03/04/configuring-application-server-10gr2-for-discoverer-portlets/]

  • Oracle Business Intelligence Discoverer Administration Guide, Chapter 18, “Using Discoverer with components of Oracle Application Server” [Oracle Discoverer 10g Release 2 doc # B13916-04]

  • OracleAS Web Cache 10g (9.0.4) FAQ[Metalink note # 270154.1]

  • How To Tune Discoverer 10g (9.0.4) Portlets To Avoid Refresh Problems[Metalink note # 266540.1]


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Additional Resources (continued)

  • Discoverer Portlets Fail To Refresh With Error 'Could not get a free session‘ In PTM5_CACHE Table[Metalink note # 303231.1]

  • Oracle 10g Discoverer (9.0.4) Best Practices for Performance and Scalability Information[Metalink note # 266818.1]

  • Oracle Business Intelligence Discoverer Plus User's Guide – 10g Release 2 (10.1.2.1), Chapter 10, “How to create drill links to Internet URLs” [Oracle Discoverer 10g Release 2 doc # B13915-04]