08 November 2008

Learning about Oracle APPS internals - Part I

How can I learn more about Oracle APPS (Oracle Applications) and from where? a normal question for every beginner but also for experienced professionals.

Oracle made available documentation about their products through Oracle Technology Network and Metalink. The first source contains documents mainly as pdf files, while Metalink provides richer content and it’s easier to use, however in order to access it, your company has to purchase an Oracle Support Identifier.

In Metalink, Oracle Applications’ documentation is grouped under eTRM (Electronic Technical Reference Manuals) section, while the pdf documents can be found under Oracle 11i Documentation Library, and many of them, especially for older versions, can be found also on the web, and revealed with a simple search by using tables' name or file’s name.
Both sources are by far incomplete, there are many gaps, not to forget that many of the Oracle implementations involve also some customization, information about these changes could find maybe in the documentation made during implementation/customization process.

Lately have appeared many blogs on Oracle Applications internals, and even if many of them resume by copying some material from Metalink or other documents, there are also professionals who respect themselves.

People can learn a lot by checking the objects that unveils the APPS internals, APPS.FND_TABLES providing the list of tables used, while APPS.FND_VIEWS provides the list of views, the problem with the later being that can't be done a search using the field that stores views' script, but the data can be exported to a text file and do the search in there (it won’t work to export the data completely to Excel). In time developers arrive to intuit how the views could be named, so a search on their name could help narrowing down the search.

Other professionals might be willing to help, so often it's a good idea to post questions on blogs, forums or social networks for professionals. Not all the questions get answered so rather than waiting for indirect enlightment, it’s better to do some research in parallel too.

There will be cases in which none of the specified sources will help you, most probably you'll have to reengineer Oracle Applications' internals by studying various business scenarios, and in this case the experimented users could help a lot.

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