OFA and GL Link Tips, Tricks and Traps

Presented by Mike Banasik and David Fuston

Attendees will learn the advantages and limitations of the three tools (OFA front-end, Express 4GL, and Express Administrator) used by a DBA for design and maintenance of OFA databases. Attendees will gain a detailed understanding of the properties of several catalogs critical to implementing, maintaining, and customizing OFA databases and GL Link.

This presentation will cover the DBA tools and techniques used in customizing Oracle Financial Analyzer (OFA). The background topics to be covered include OFA architecture, how OFA interacts with Express Server and Personal Express, GL link procedures and process, and how OFA structures and catalogs work behind the scenes. The major portion of the presentation will be a discussion of how to maintain the catalogs behind the scenes in Express 4GL, as well as loading data and structures via GL Link and custom data loaders. Some of the structure differences between using Oracle G/L link as a data loader and a standalone OFA application will be discussed. A sample custom data loader program will be shown as a take-home example of optional customizations. The advantages and limitations of using the three Oracle Express tools (OFA front-end, Express 4GL and Express Administrator) in conjunction with GL administrator for performing maintenance and customizations will be demonstrated.

Particular emphasis will be placed on the General Ledger setup, including chart of accounts, key and descriptive Flexfields, segment concatenation, rollup groups, parent/child relationships, and summary accounts. We will discuss the GL Link setup limitations, changing structures over time, and GL to OFA mapping. We will review known GL link issues, bugs, and workarounds.

We will discuss best practices in OFA customization and maintenance. Particular emphasis will be placed on DM.CATALOG (dimensions), LC.CATALOG (local code), MD.CATALOG (models), HI.CATALOG (hierarchies), FD.CATALOG (financial data item) and RL.CATALOG (attributes) showing best practices in customization and maintenance. Examples of adding items to the menu and tool bar will be demonstrated. A technical diagram applicable to Express 6.3 and GL 10.7, 11, and 11i showing the detailed interrelationships among OFA catalogs will be given to each attendee.

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