This year has seen unprecedented disruption and uncertainty in the global economy. Some of our customers are thriving, while many are struggling. One consistency is that customers are doing more with less.
JD Edwards EnterpriseOne (E1) is a business-critical application for nearly all customers, and it needs to be maintained and supported. This article highlights how we are helping customers maintain, operate, and improve efficiencies in their E1 system using User Defined Objects (UDOs).
User Defined Objects
We have worked hard with customers to find cost-effective solutions, providing lasting value for their organizations. UDOs are the best place to start when looking to maximize value from your EnterpriseOne instance.
UDOs are modern E1 development objects, available since E1 version 9.2. These UDO objects stand in contrast to traditional E1 objects because UDOs facilitate quicker development of solutions when compared to their traditional counterparts. UDOs have also been designed to work ‘on top’ of the existing E1 traditional objects. This means that ESUs and cumulative updates will not overwrite changes you’ve implemented using UDOs.
The following table lists types of UDOs, along with the minimum Tools Release in which it is included.
Helping JD Edwards customers do more with less using UDOs
We’ll take a look at these important ways that UDOs can enable efficiencies:
- Solutions through process improvements
- Reduce third-party software and reduce maintenance fees
- Reduce Oracle licensing costs by implementing UDOs.
1. Solutions through process improvements
Businesses can use UDOs to improve and replace existing processes. Higher yield returns can be seen when focusing on complex cross-functional solutions. Using UDOs, like a dashboard displaying a wholistic view of a customer, can provide the end user accurate and timely information critical to decision making. For example, a Customer Service Manager user could utilize a composite page which displays information regarding Invoices, credits, returns, deliveries, fees, T&Cs etc. in a dashboard style of view. Although these datapoints come from various modules, an architect can easily plug in the applicable UDOs into the composite page to create a tailored view.
Businesses can use UDOs to eliminate manual integration processes across multiple systems. Examples of these manual processes include: a user in finance manually extracting a bank transaction log and then transposing it into E1, or a warehouse manager extracting a manifest from the logistics company and manually updating this in E1. The source data, in these scenarios, are normally extracted as a CSV from other systems and initiated by the end user. Rather than manually entering data into E1, users can use an Excel plug-in and UDOs to transfer data while maintaining all the security, governance and process controls already in place.
An optional step would be to automate the extraction of the CSV file using Orchestration UDOs. This solution could be configured to allow the user to execute manually, or better yet, schedule the job to run using the same criteria the end user would. The benefit is that no traditional E1 development is required, only configuration and orchestrations, to get this working.
UDOs, in the form of orchestrations, are very effective for enabling Mobile Applications. For example, field users respond to work orders, which are usually tied to charging the customers. They fill out the paperwork order and an invoice is eventually generated from A/R. Mobilizing this process shrinks the time the between when the customer signs the work order and the invoice being sent to less than 15 minutes. The high-level steps to accomplish this using UDOs;
- Create an iPad application that allows field technicians to add parts and labor to work orders.
- Allow access to camera to scan bar codes to identify customer assets, parts to place on work order, and keep an inventory on work vehicles.
- App can also provide support for an electronic signature, enabling the technician to capture it quickly and easily.
New Lines of Business
UDOs can be used to support new lines of business, for example when a company acquires a competitor and now must integrate into their JDE system. The new employees can use the existing system to some degree after training, but there are some processes of the purchased company that require some modification. Modifying the system using traditional development on the E1 standard code put the existing process at some risk. Using UDOs, which are a layer on top of the standard code, you can configure the new process without risk of harming the existing one while maintaining data integrity from both companies.
2. Reduce third-party software and reduce maintenance fees
JD Edwards licensing (version 9.2 and up) includes a no-code development solution, Orchestration Studio. Orchestration Studio is Oracle’s answer to a no-code and configuration-driven ERP market. With the Orchestration Studio you can easily string together logic that allows you to manipulate data and processes using a drag-and-drop methodology.
Below are three examples of using UDOs to drive value.
Integrate your best-of-breed solutions
- SaaS or on-premise integrations can be accomplished without additional middleware
- Reduce or eliminate existing integration software to save licensing costs
- Create new integrations to existing software to drive efficiency (digital transformation)
- Orchestrations can be designed with data validated prior to successful completion which eliminates future problems with data corruption
Create customized user portals without the need for complicated middleware
- Can be deployed within JDE to leverage user authentication or external of JDE, using a different authentication method
- Maintenance costs for third-party vendor solutions are expensive (can be upwards of $50K per year)
- The solution uses Orchestrations as APIs to create the logic required for the mobile application
- The Java/Web team to develop the front end using the Orchestration APIs to read/write data to E1.
3. Reduce Oracle licensing costs by implementing UDOs.
For a user who has both the OneView Report (OVR) license and an E1 module license, there are options to reduce license costs. The OVR licenses are less expensive than regular module licenses and they come licensed with specific E1 applications(P*) which were developed for creating reports.
OneView Reporting for Inquiry-Only Needs
OVR is a feature that allows users to create Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) reports using E1 data and some pre-built integration. When developing these reports, you start by accessing the OneView button from a specific application(P*), and the view associated with the form is used as the base dataset. Limitations existed in that the views used by applications were not adequate for some reporting needs and so specialized E1 applications were developed on views that had many columns for various tables.
These applications display a large amount of data and are well-suited if you want to create an OBIEE style report or a UDO Analytic component.
For inquiry-only users, instead of using the regular E1 applications to view data, use the OneView Apps and shed the normal license.
- Even though the OVR app itself is not tailored to an ‘inquiry’ role, using UDOs allow you to restrict and hide all the “noisy” fields
- You can also use the pre-built and delivered analytics components and UX-One pages from Oracle without the main module license
- If those options don’t work, you can create customer dashboards, visualization charts, and applications all using that one OVR application to satisfy your Inquiry user needs.
An important note is that this works best for reducing licenses for inquiry-only style of users.
Renegotiating your licensing can also help you save on maintenance fees. If you are purchasing new seats, this option can have significant benefits.
Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for an initial discussion of how UDOs could benefit your organization.