Monday, November 23, 2009

Production Upgrade complete... hack obsolete!

It had to happen. I've moved away from very retro hardware requirements and a couple of hacks to something much simpler, and more applicable to "modern" computers ie. those with USB ;-)

No. 8 wire solution no longer needed ... luckily the wires aren't that thick :-)



Bonus points to Readers that guess the application of this stuff!

Catch ya!
This is a post from Gareth's blog at


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Thursday, November 19, 2009

My Oracle Support - Metalink to MOS survey results

Ouch! Metalink to My Oracle Support Survey Report.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Revisited: Search Engine Plugins for Firefox to get directly to specific Oracle Patches, MOS Notes, Bugs

Revisited: Following the upgrade from Metalink to My Oracle Support (MOS) I've updated the Note and Bug search engines (files oranote.xml and orabug.xml) per my prior post.

Revisited again 30-NOV-2010: Following the ARU change I've updated the Patch search engine (file orapatch.xml) per my prior post.

Navigate directly to a specific Oracle Patch, MOS/Metalink Note or Bug, speeding things up & sidestep that Flash! You gotta know the Patch/Note/Bug number you wanna get to:

Catch ya!
This is a post from Gareth's blog at


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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Bye Bye Metalink, Hello MOS - My Oracle Support. Fingers crossed for continued HTML content!

Disclaimer: This page may become out of date very quickly!

Only a couple of days of Metalink access left, with the change over to full My Oracle Support due on Friday - 6 November 09.

For me this is a somewhat sad occasion. Metalink has been around for such a long time, and has been a great companion, it will be a shame to see it go.

We now herald in the era of MOS (My Oracle Support). And of course, with any shiny new thing, there have been discussions and more discussions. With that debate there has been some good feedback, some negative. To be honest I'm a bit nervous about this change. I'd be keen to know why the APEX interface of Metalink is on the out, when APEX was just brought in for the latest Oracle Store, and with some very sexy functionality on the horizon. The answer is sure to be a double edged sword ;-)

At the end of the day MOS as I've seen so far just doesn't tick all the boxes for me. That will hopefully change. Hopefully soon. My biggest gripe of course would be Flash versus HTML. Given Oracle's current catchphrase "Open. Complete. Integrated." I'd have thought Flash would be a little further down the list than HTML for many of the MOS components. One issue related to this can be summed up by the following screenshot. The eagle-eyed amongst you will spot the problem in the following picture:

… with the issue being the Firefox "Find" not finding "Font" when it was present many times on the MOS search results presented. A bit of a hassle that something I use regularly ain't gonna work. Guess I'll need to have two sessions up, one Flash, one HTML.

Fortunately, it seems an HTML interface will still be available according to Note 841061.1, with limited functionality including SR Management? BUT WAIT ... while I was writing this post I got another MOS related announcement... No SR Management??? Hmm, this is specific to "On Demand" functionality. Fingers crossed for SR Management through the HTML only interface!

The HTML option will not support the following On Demand functionality:

  • Service Request management
  • Change Request Management
  • Viewing performance reports

And there are some other little things that will probably come out in the wash, like email notifications no longer linking directly to an SR:



Oh, and of course, let's hope the powers that be manage to keep the gremlins away...

Exception Gremlin:

I/O Gremlin:

Error 1088 Gremlin:

Internal Gremlin:

Well ... I guess we'll find out where we stand in a couple of days!

Catch ya!
This is a post from Gareth's blog at


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Monday, November 02, 2009

HTML Formatting issues in EBS R12 XML Publisher Remittance Advice Emails aka. Use Inline CSS Styles in BIP

Apologies for the cryptic title on this one. The issue is a simple but subtle one ... and if you're not an eBusiness Suite customer, but interested in the BIP HTML formatting part, please read on as the discussion may be relevant.

In the Oracle eBusiness Suite Release 12 there is an out-of-the-box solution for sending Payables Remitttance Advice notices via Email. The program is "Send Separate Remittance Advices" and is integrated into the Payments Process. The standard solution utilizes XML Publisher under the covers, but (at the time of writing) has been coded to force HTML output for the Email content and uses its own delivery mechanism, rather than a more flexible bursting one that could attach PDFs to emails. Now, this means there are a couple of limitations with the output format for these Remittance Advice notices:

  1. The out-of-the-box HTML generated by XML / BI Publisher uses CSS Stylesheets as opposed to Inline CSS. This causes formatting issues with some specific Email Clients (such as GMail) as described by this "old" but still relevent post. This is the main focus of this article and I'll give details of a workaround.
  2. The use of HTML means from a document printing perspective a pixel-perfect format is tough to achieve.
  3. Images e.g. Company Logos, need to be referenced in the HTML and hence need to be publicly accessible on a web server. This also means that when Supplier's receive the Remittance Advice emails will probably not have the images displayed by default and they'll get the "some pictures have been blocked to help prevent the sender from identifying your computer ... click here to download images" or similar spam/tracking warnings.

So the out-of-the-box solution has these gotcha's until such time as it uses a "fixed-format", "all content embedded in email" delivery method such as attaching a PDF to the email with the advice details...

BUT WAIT, there may be workarounds.

For Issue 1. we can tell XML / BI Publisher to embed Inline CSS rather than CSS Stylesheets using the following undocumented XML Publisher configuration. Place the following configuration in the xdo.cfg file and put it in eBusiness Suite $XDO_TOP/resource directory. Usual caveats apply; please test this before rolling to Production. Also be aware that this may affect all HTML output, with output file sizes likely to increase.

<config version="1.0.0"  xmlns="">
    <!-- html-css-embedding valid values  embed-to-element | embed-to-header | externalize -->
       <property  name="html-css-embedding">embed-to-element</property>

For Issue 2. one trick is to place your formatting inside a Table and fix the width / height to that which you require. This may take a smidgen of tweaking, but at least you can get something that looks and prints nicely.

For Issue 3 ... well, I'm still working that one - no workaround from Support yet to embed the images in the HTML. Will keep you posted. UPDATE: Enhancement request (ER) Bug 9834226 has been raised for the issue of inability to embed images in Remittance Advice.

Hope this helps.

Catch ya!
This is a post from Gareth's blog at


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Concurrent Program parameters in XML / BI Publisher Template - eBusiness Suite

Just a short post with a note of how to get Oracle eBusiness Suite Concurrent Program Parameters into the output on an XML Publisher RTF Template.

There are two simple options, given an example parameter with token P_ORG_ID:

1. Add the concurrent program parameter as a field in the XML - this may be easier / necessary when you get to bursting or similar. Refer to the parameter using the usual <?P_ORG_ID?> RTF syntax.

2. Add the parameter using the param@begin syntax at the top of your RTF file:


And then refer the the value using dollar notation:


Catch ya!
This is a post from Gareth's blog at

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BI / XML Publisher 5.4pt start-indent problems in XSL-FO blocks on EBS Check Format recursive template

So you've just finished the first cut of your funky BI Publisher Check (Cheque) format template, and you feel pretty accomplished:

  • Logos, tables, non-preprinted stationary: Yes
  • Magnetic ink on printer loaded and ready to go: Yes
  • MICR font: Yes
  • Conditional signatures: Yes
  • Void check handling: Yes
  • Fixed Row Enumeration filler in tables via recursive templates: Yes

And then it all goes pear shaped … Doh!
Your filler recursive template does a dance to the right, indenting 5.4pt at a time.

With the cause in the XSL-FO template something like this: start-ident="5.4pt"

Well, you aren't the first person, or second to hit this, thanks theFurryOne for prompting this post. There is a workaround ... or two. You could edit the XSL-FO and replace the 5.4pt text with 0.0pt, but then you'd need to work with XSL-FO templates rather than RTF.

Alternatively you could put the following magic in the first cell of the filler recursive template:


And a bit of a re-jig on the recurvsive sub template alignment. For example:

And we're rockin and rolling - no XSL-FO template needed, "pure" RTF:

Catch ya!
This is a post from Gareth's blog at


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