Empowering Flexfields in OAF Pages

Oracle’s Descriptive Flexfields allow implementers to define custom fields to hold unique attributes not available in the standard E-Business Suite data model.

One limitation with flexfields is that the individual segments (fields) cannot be displayed in arbitrary locations in the UI. Thus, their behavior is limited to what you can configure in the Flexfield Setup Form.

But, with some extra effort and a few tricks you can meld these flexfields into the application as if they were standard Oracle fields or had been added through custom development.

In this example, we’ll take a look at how the Opportunity flexfield can be enhanced to provide a more logical layout in the UI.

We start by configuring a 4-segment flexfield:

  • License Type: Since this will have only a few values, we can set the valueset type to “Poplist” which will display as a drop-down instead of List of Values in OAF pages.
  • Reseller: This is a table-validated valueset, pulling a list of reseller-type customers from the TCA base tables. The description shown in blue tip text is the account number combined with the address to help verify the correct party was selected.
  • Primary Contact: This depends on the reseller party selected. Only that organization’s contacts are displayed.
  • Manager Notes: This is a non-validated segment, typically shown as a single-line field in the UI.

Normally, all four of these segments will display one after the other under the Additional Information tab. But in this scenario, we really want Manager Notes to appear in the opportunity header region since this is key information.

To accomplish this, we need to leverage a few tricks in OAF Personalization. First we need to explicitly list the flexfield segments that should be shown in the Additional Information tab since we want to hide Manager Notes.

Then we add a custom multi-line text box to the header region and map it to the same attribute that was used for the Manager Notes flexfield segment. This will now allow users to view and update the flexfield without always navigating to the Additional Information tab; plus it has the added benefit of displaying as a multi-line field instead of a wide single line which triggers horizontal scrolling.

Opportunity page with flexfield personalizations

The Reseller Details button circled in red above is also special. I created this to allow users to quickly navigate to the reseller supporting the opportunity. It opens the customer details page for the reseller selected in the flexfield without having to perform another search, as shown below.

Reseller page called from flexfield button add

The page call includes a bread crumb back to the opportunity for round-trip navigation.