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Enabling

Enterprise Command
Center (ECC)
for EBusiness Suite 12.2
By Gustavo Gonzalez · October 8, 2018
WHY ANOTHER
REPORTING TOOL?
In an informal conversation with our head of finance,
I mentioned the possible announcement of this prod-
uct a few weeks before GA, and his first reaction was
asking: “Why another reporting tool?”. It is an awful
truth that IT departments over the last few years have
explored many reporting tools on different
technologies and we’re still doing it.
But this is different, and bear with me on this blog to learn why
I think this is not just another “reporting tool”.

The vision of ECC is to add visibility and optimize the work of


E-Business Suite users by enhancing the way they work and accel-
erating their day-to-day activities. I would think ECC as a starting
dashboard with the right information to take action and go straight
to the documents or transactions. The rich graph and easy use of
refinements - filters, and a powerful search. But why don’t you take
a look into the details on how to get it to work and if you still have
questions don’t miss our session

LET’S GET DOWN TO WORK ON GETTING ECC TO WORK


Now let me share our experience implementing ECC at IT Convergence and the feedback from
our users which can help you to start thinking on getting this to work at your organization.
You can use the existing server for Apps as part of the installation Our instance is release 12.2.6 so we applied the container patch
for ECC but it is recommended to use a new server, and that’s what 28045200:R12.ATG_PF.C (ATG Consolidated Patch for ECC V1
we did. We built a Virtual Server with 8vCPU, 32 Gb of RAM and a support in 12.2). After that we applied the following patches
100 GB of storage. When we started the deployment, the infra- 28050532:R12.FIN_PF.C (FIN Consolidated Patch for ECC - V1) and
structure team named the new server for ECC with more than 30 28574967 (Upload for ECC QI). One more thing, before starting this
characters and we did not notice that until the creation of entries process we had to upgrade the database to 11.2.0.4 as part of the
in the FND_NODES failed. Yes, this is something that it is enforced pre-requisites. Make sure you have that release or higher before
across the board by FND but you need to consider at the time starting.
you’re requesting a server to the infrastructure team to avoid back
Once all the patches were applied and ECC installed, you need to
and forth.
make sure the EccConfig.properties file has the appropriate param-
In terms of specifications for the server side, there’s a quick table eters for your EBS environment, which is done during installation
for sizing the cores and required memory at the MOS note. You time as you follow the install instructions.
need a minimum of 2 cores, 32 Gb of memory and 80Gb of stor-
age. As your E-Business Suite has more users and more records,
you would have to scale your cores and memory up to 4 Cores and
4 Gb of memory top.

Enterprise command Center 1


The first test you have to make is at http://<ECC_HOST_
NAME>:<ECC_ADMIN_PORT>/console where you’re going to
be able to setup the source. Remember you only need to test
from here but otherwise the installation will create the source db
connection during install process. You will select ebsdb, test and
move to the next step which will be the integration between ECC
and E-Business Suite running the envSetup.sh script, and when
prompted, select option 5, Integrate With EBS.

The last part of the installation is the application of patches to


updated Oracle E-Business Suite artifacts to the Oracle Enterprise
Command Center Framework.

ECC uses Solr which is a popular open


source enterprise search platform from the
Apache Lucene project and you can diag-
nose any issues with that at <ECC_HOST_
PROTOCOL>://<ECC_HOST_NAME>:<ECC_
PORT>/core_ecc

Enterprise Command Center comes for a series of modules and


right now it is available for Fixed Assets, Account Receivables,
Account Payables, Asset Management, Order Management and
Inventory Management and for each module there’s new concur-
rent program to load its product-specific data. The first time (or
maybe more in the future depending on changes you’ll do) you will
be running a full load.
For example, as shown in the picture, the “Payables Command
Center Data Load” has 3 parameters. The Load Type Parameter
you can select between a “FullLoad” or “IncrementalLoad” and the
Log Level as shown in the Picture. This concurrent program will
trigger another concurrent called “ECC Run Data Load” which will
be running the different data sets (which I will explain later). You
can view the Log of this concurrent request which will display the
sqls as well as status message of how many documents were
processed successfully or failed.

Enterprise command Center 2


Once you have completed this load there
are some System Administrator’s activities
that need to be perform in order to enable
the users and also the ECC Developer.

The Enterprise Command Center pages and regions as well as The roles we used are:
the ECC Administrator and ECC Developer responsibilities are not • Oracle Receivables (AR) - Receivables ECC Access Role: UMX-
included in the standard shipped responsibilities. ECC have creat- |AR_ECC_ACCESS_ROLE
ed Oracle User Management roles and permission sets to provide
• Oracle Payables (AP) - Payables Command Center Access Role:
access to these Enterprise Command Center pages and regions
UMX|AP_ECC_ACCESS_ROLE
through role based access control (RBAC).
And we assigned them to some standard and custom responsibili-
You can have the flexibility to control who has access to Enterprise
ties we have assigned to our users.
Command Center pages and regions by adding the new product
specific roles to responsibilities, to other roles, or directly to If you have to assign many, there’s a script
individual users. UMX_ENDECA_RBACAuto.sh that with a simple .csv file will
make your life easier.

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ADMINISTERING AND DEVELOPING ON ECC
These two new responsibilities will help to run, The “Schedule Function”, which is the only one new in there,
monitor, and tailor Enterprise Command Center. allows you to define the periodicity on which you’ll be running the
“ECC Run Data Load”
Let’s start with ECC Administrator. It only has 3 functions:
I have not used it here since you can run the concurrent requests
• View Requests • Submit Requests • Schedule from your System Administrator responsibility as described above
but it is handy based on your segregation of duties.
I have not used it here since you can run the concurrent requests
from your System Administrator responsibility as described above
but it is handy based on your segregation of duties.

The other new responsibility is “ECC Developer” and there are a


few new concepts in here.
The home screen has all the applications, which right now
on version 1 is just 3 (Assets, Payables and Receivables) because
we applied the Financials container patch and you can add
more later on.

If we have to define the concept of an application, I would say that,


it is a group of “Data Sets” and “Pages”.
The “Data Sets” will be defined by “data”, basically a SQL, that will
be pulling rows from E-Business Suite which is included in a given
Package and procedure.
For example: there is a data set called “ap-trx” that comes with the
tool out-of-the-box and have a defined load type for metadata load,
incremental load and for full load. As you can see in the picture,
this is called through a Package (AP_ECC_UTIL_PVT) and a proce-
dure name (GET_ECC_DATA_LOAD_INFO).

Enterprise command Center 4


On a second tab, you’ll select the security rule which will be taken
from the standard security rules that you have on EBS for your
users. The security handler is based on a package called
“AP_ECC_DATASECURITY_PKG_PUB” and the function
“GetFilterAttributeValues”.

Once you have pulled the data set you can define the metadata
which are the details of it. ¬You’ll be able to add the different attri-
butes (or columns from your data set) and different characteristics
of it. The definition is important because it will drive the behavior
in ECC of that field - for instance, if it would be searchable or how
the refinement - which is how ECC calls the parameters- will be
displayed.

You can also add “Calculated Attributes” with operators.


We can see a few examples for “Past Due” as well as a
“Percentage Calculation” in the picture to the side.
There is also an option of adding buckets, such as the discount
buckets determining the start and end of each bucket.

There is also a definition of the associations, which is basically


how the data will be connected through the different sources and
will allow to drill through.

Enterprise command Center 5


Within this “ECC Developer Responsibility”, you can execute a sub-
mission of a Data Load as well as monitor and track the Data Load
in the “Data Load Tracking” option.

The last option of the menu is an Export/Import functionality which


I think will be very handy for moving Applications from one environ-
ment to another as well as sharing within the community since this
product is free and open for E-Business Suite users.

Enterprise command Center 6


HOW EASY IS TO ADD A NEW FIELD TO ECC?
We’ll explain later on how easy is to create a new KPI or view in ECC from a user’s perspective, but as usual we
will have users that will request for new fields that are not in the existing data sets. If that’s the case, then you’ll
have to have some PL/sql skills in order to add a field into the datasets.
For example, if you want to add the Payables Invoice Description This is very important when modifying the source.
(field AP_INVOICES_ALL.DESCRIPTION), you’ll have to open the
Once you’ve done so, you’ll go to the ECC Developer responsibility
package AP_ECC_UTIL_PVT and modify the procedure GET_ECC_
and refresh the fields and add the additional column by copy and
DATA_LOAD_INFO. Inside the procedure there’s a query of the new
paste the column name to the attribute field adding the details that
view AP_ECC_INSTALLMENTS. You’ll add in the select of that view
you’d like to have there for the ECC tool.
the column “ai.description” and you’ll go all the way up to make
sure the package compiles correctly and you’re not changing the
granularity of the results.

HOW THE USERS WILL WORK WITH ECC?


Your users will see a new function within the responsibility
that the system administrator has assigned previously.
I’ll use the Payables example, which has a very similar behavior Note: for security purposes the Supplier Name has been changed
for Receivables and Fixed Assets. The standard function name is to Supplier ID. This also a good way to show how you can custom-
“Payables Command Center” and if you’re using a standard menu ize what is coming out of the box.
it will be assigned top of the functions of your responsibility.

The Payables ECC will open in the tab called “Supplier Balance” and
the object types that you’ll see are described in the picture to the side.

ECC comes with an out of the box page which will help you to get started
very quickly without any training. Using the “hamburger” you can collapse
the search and refinements for a full screen of the information components.

The search capability is great and you can literally search for any word and it
will go through all the attributes that you selected as “searchable” in the ECC
Developer and refreshing all the screen with the results applying the search.

Dynamically will also be applying the refinements, which are the parameters,
displaying the results with an outstanding performance on how it refreshes.

Most of the attributes displayed in the different components of ECC will have
some action depending on the definitions. Some of the attributes will become
a refinement, allowing you to drill down.

Enterprise command Center 7


In the screenshot to the side, we’re selecting the biggest supplier
by amount, which is given by the bigger size of the font.

And ECC will automatically add it as a refinement.

Scrolling down, we’ll see a “Detailed Insight” of the information and


we will have a few options.
If you hover the mouse on top of the columns, you’ll see the option
to “Refine” or “Navigate to the form of that document”. In this case
by clicking on the Invoice Number you’ll navigate to the Invoice
Workbench screen in EBS for that particular invoice number.
As you can notice, there’s an icon floating at the bottom right of the
screen which will allow you to “Add components” in the ECC.
By clicking there you’ll have a new section at the right of the screen
with the different components that you can add to ECC. Each com-
ponent will have its own configuration based on the attributes.

Please keep in mind that once you have selected the changes,
you’ll have to scroll all the way down for a preview or saving
the changes.

Enterprise command Center 8


For each component there are some options at the top and
I’ll describe some. The three dots allow you to change the chart
display as well as some grouping dimensions as well as
metric and sorting.

The wheel will expand the screen to the right with all the
configuration properties:

The arrows will maximize the component for a better display.


And you could also remove the component by clicking the “x” icon.

Enterprise command Center 9


At IT Convergence, we did a proof of concept with a
small number of key users and the overall feedback
was very positive.
“ I really like ECC, because it is easy to use. It is great to have ever “ For the AP team ECC will be a practical launch pad. Users with
thing in the same place, apply filters and jump into the transac- more than 5 years working with EBS might stay with the old navi-
tions from the same place. It is so easy that I do not need training gation, by jumping straight into the forms and will be demanding
to start working with ECC right away” to get their engagement using ECC. I need to think what could
Account Payables, IT Convergence drive them here. Instead, for a new user that is starting with EBS,
ECC will be helpful because everything is in a single screen”
“ I’d suggest adding the ability to export from the “Detailed Insight” Operations Director, IT Convergence
or a copy and paste of the sheet to MSC Excel because it will save
me a lot of time. Even more being able to export or copy some of “ ECC is more a dashboard with relevant metrics and summarized
the Graphs would be helpful too” information rather that a ‘get things done’ tool. I believe this would
Business Systems Analyst, IT Convergence be a great add-on with customizable options for the Senior Manag-
ers to get information in an easy to use, straightforward solution ”
Controller, IT Convergence

Conclusion
This is “Version 1” of Enterprise Command Center, which we under- But, in our opinion this is not a necessary a barrier because
stand give us some areas with room for improvement such as more every EBS customer can start building their own Command
content for other modules, and a few features that will make it even Centers with just a few steps and some PL-sql knowledge as
more engaging for the users such as exporting to spreadsheets. shown on this post.

We believe the product is ready for start using it NOW on these Bottom line, it is a great addition to E-Business Suite and if you’re
modules and the adoption of customers will drive the pace of the interested seeing a live demo and discussing details on how to get
E-Business Suite Development Team to deliver more rapidly new it to work at your organization, visit us at Oracle OpenWorld Booth
content and Command Centers for the rest of the product families #2713 or attend the sessions:

WRITTEN BY
Gustavo Gonzalez
Gustavo Gonzalez is an Oracle ACE Director and IT Convergence’s
Chief Technology O􀂣cer and has led our internal Oracle team since
2006. Prior to that, Gustavo worked as an Oracle end-user at compa-
nies such as Danone and Nike.

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