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Journal Unoti's Journal: Oracle Apps

I've been learning Oracle Apps for the last few months. I'm no newbie to large application software, but I'm still struggling through a miasma of bizarre releationships between tables. If I want a list of our customers in the state of Washington, I've got to wade through no fewer than 12 different tables. The structure of the tables defies reason and goes squarely into the absurd: customer accounts, parties, customer sites, customer site uses, contact preferences... it's totally out of control. You need all of those and more to get a simple customer list.

Getting even the simplest information out is like pulling teeth. I've been working to make a few easy views that show information in a logical, consise way. This has turned out to be a major undertaking, but I've now got a solid reporting infrastructure built. We can now do most of the reporting we need from two views, a customer and an invoice detail view.

Why Oracle doesn't ship with views that do these simple tasks is beyond me. To get total sales for a given time period is a view that takes up a page of code with case statements and whatnot. A view that we created here, and debugged over a period of months to get it to work right with returns and discounts. I asked the Oracle consultants if they had a view like that, and they said no. "You don't? Doesn't everyone need that kind of thing?" Not really, they said. "Come on, I just need to know what we sold, when, and to who... you're telling me people don't ask for that?"

"We've done many implementations, and people don't usually ask for that," was the reply. I'm just stunned.

Experienced Oracle Apps developers I've talked to don't really see this lack of good views in Oracle as a problem. All the people I've talked to just have these informal cut-and-paste libraries of code to do different things they cobble together as needed. I'm stunned that there's not more standardization and simplicity for doing tasks that every business out there would need to do.

I could be missing something, but I think I'm not. I've learned that when I see things differently than 5 other people, that doesn't mean I'm the one that's crazy. More than once I've felt like I'm the crazy one in a room full of people, only to learn later that they're all the ones that are wrong.

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Oracle Apps

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