World


We are on the verge of the season that fills us all with a combination of anticipation, delight, and a little dread. Am I speaking of Christmas? Of course not! I’m talking about the days when we apply year-end updates to our JD Edwards applications. That’s right, folks…it is time to start planning our downloads of updates so that we can run our year-end financial documents.

Oracle has just posted its release schedule for this year’s downloadable updates. Here is what we have in store:

  • World updates for W-2s — November 2007
  • World updates for 1099s and T4s — November 2007
  • EnterpriseOne updates for W-2s and T4s — November 2007
  • EnterpriseOne updates for 1099s — December 2007

As usual, Oracle will post the updates on the Oracle/PeopleSoft Customer Connection web site. Once you enter the site via your userid and password, just click on Updates and Fixes, then on EnterpriseOne and World Update Center.

In case you have not heard, Oracle has relaunched the once-popular Advisor series of webcasts on topics of interest to JD Edwards customers. The webcasts, which were running full tilt back when JD Edwards was part of PeopleSoft, were shelved once Oracle acquired the latter company. Recently, however, Oracle revived the series and is using it to educate customers on topics ranging from product costing to multi-currency payments to compliance issues.

While the EnterpriseOne team will hold a handful of webcasts in the coming months, the World team has over two dozen events planned for this year. This includes a series of webcasts in December that will cover year-end processing topics. If you’re a World user, you will probably find at least several of the events in the following list to be well worth attending.

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Last week, Oracle sent an email to its customers that included some important information for both EnterpriseOne and World users. Without further ado, here’s what the company had to say.

EnterpriseOne 8.12 Gets an Update. JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 8.12 Update 2 is now generally available. The update contains all Electronic Software Updates (ESUs) and Application Software Updates (ASUs) completed between April 2006 (when Oracle first shipped the release) and May 29, 2007. The update is available through Oracle’s Electronic Product Delivery web site or by contacting your local Customer Care Center.

A Leap Year Reminder for World. All World users should verify that their general accounting fiscal date patterns are set up with 29 days for February 2008 to ensure that transactions are posted correctly. While World’s calendars automatically adjust to the leap year, the fiscal date patterns must be manually adjusted. If you have questions about how to do this, contact Oracle Support at (800) 289-2999.

Speaking of World, remember that the new A9.1 release is now available for download from a password-protected site. If you do not have a login and ID for this site, contact Oracle Support at the number above to get one.

Has your company ever tried to calculate the savings it could realize if it could make more effective shipping decisions? Since most JD Edwards customers are heavy shippers of unfinished supplies and finished goods, many of them could realize significant benefits from more intelligent systems for automating transportation-related business processes. As such, it did not surprise us to find a JD Edwards user that is reaping big savings from Oracle Transportation Management (OTM), a solution that Oracle acquired when it purchased G-Log in 2005. Fortunately for us, the customer — Minnesota-based Land O’Lakes — was willing to let us write a case study about its OTM deployment. This article tells you how you can get that case study and learn from the company’s experience.

Of course, Land O’Lakes is not the only company that is deploying offerings like OTM. However, what makes Land O’Lakes interesting is the fact that Oracle is increasingly encouraging JD Edwards customers to deploy OTM and other applications from its growing stable of acquired vendors. To make such deployments more appealing, the software giant is developing technology offerings to integrate some of its applications with JD Edwards software. While such offerings are still in their infancy, they have the potential to significantly expand the functionality that can be easily integrated with EnterpriseOne and World. That potential should expand as Oracle ramps up development of its Application Integration Architecture.

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Recently, SearchOracle.com conducted a survey of 683 professionals who make IT decisions at Oracle shops. When the study participants were asked about their plans for implementing a service-oriented architecture (SOA) at their site, a full 84% said that they have not implemented a SOA on any level. When the “have no SOA” participants were asked if they plan to implement a SOA in the future, 48% said they plan to implement one within the next three years. However, the remaining 52% said that they did not know if or when their companies would take the SOA leap. If you do the math, this means that around 44% of all Oracle customers have no plans for implementing a SOA.

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publicspeaking.jpgWould you like to get a free ticket to this November’s Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco? You can if you don’t mind doing what many people rank as the thing they fear the most next to dying…speaking in public.

If you laugh in the face of such fears, then submit a proposal to Oracle for a presentation about EnterpriseOne or World that you are willing to make at OpenWorld. The following announcement comes from the OpenWorld organizers and tells you exactly how to submit your proposal. If you are not the public speaking type, you can register for OpenWorld starting on June 26 and pay your entry fee. The choice is yours. That said, here is the announcement.

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If you are like most JD Edwards users, you run your EnterpriseOne or World applications on at least one IBM hardware or software product. If you do, you owe it to yourself to get to know the people at the IBM Oracle International Competency Center. They are a great resource for helping you size and tune your applications for IBM environments.

I’m not bringing this up to be some sort of marketing shill for IBM (I assure you that the company is not paying me). I’m telling you about the Competency Center because it just came out with a handy directory to some of its best system sizing and tuning guides. These guides have great technical content in them that you just won’t get from Oracle’s other technology partners. Feel free to download the resources directory from this web site and see for yourself.

I just read a new report from my colleagues at Andrews Consulting Group that I would recommend to any JD Edwards professional. The report, Why You Need a Data Warehouse, explains how a properly designed data warehouse can improve query, reporting, and analysis of JD Edwards data by orders of magnitude. I’ve posted the report on our Research and White Papers page where anyone can download it. I encourage you to do so.

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The best thing about Collaborate 2007 was how little dramatic news there was for JD Edwards customers – and how wonderful that was. Our community has seen more than its share of excitement over the past ten years, so the period of relative peace and tranquility we have now entered is very welcome. Oracle is not ignoring us; instead, it has made the pragmatic (and appropriate) decision to leave us largely alone for the time being.

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A few weeks ago, I posted an article about a tool I’ve created that makes it easier for EnterpriseOne and World users to balance their general ledger (GL) against perpetual inventory. I also posted a screen shot of the solution, which all of us at Andrews Consulting Group call RapidReconciler. The problem is, that screen shot is now obsolete! I’ve just completed work on a new interface for RapidReconciler that is much easier to use. Today, I’m going to share parts of that interface with you. I welcome any questions or feedback you might have about what I’ve done.

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A couple of weeks ago, someone asked me, “We are upgrading to EnterpriseOne from World and have some programs that run on our AS/400 to extract data. Is there a way for us to call these programs from EnterpriseOne?” Upon hearing this question, I just smiled and thought, “Sure you can do that.” In fact, it is easier than most people would think. Just use the business function in EnterpriseOne called Execute External Program. This function lets developers call a program external to EnterpriseOne from within the EnterpriseOne architecture.

Sound difficult? It’s not, and here’s a step-by-step way to do it. I encourage you to try it.

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After months of waiting, JD Edwards World users can celebrate an important milestone in the transformation of their applications. This morning, World General Manager John Schiff officially unwrapped World A9.1, a new version of the enterprise application suite, to a packed room of customers. World A9.1 features about 1,300 enhancements in three major categories.

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Will you be at Collaborate next week? A bunch of us from Andrews Consulting Group (ACG) and Global Systems Integration (GSI) will be. Besides roaming the floors like everyone else, we will be hosting two booths on the exhibit floor and making several presentations. Here’s a quick rundown on what we are doing and where you can find us.

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rapidreconciler-fig-5.jpgAt the end of every month, the blood pressure of thousands of JD Edwards professionals rises several points. Why? Many times, it’s because their CFOs are pounding the table asking why they can’t balance their general ledger (GL) against perpetual inventory.

Several years ago, I looked at the inventory reconciliation headache and started asking questions. Why does a process that should take a few days end up taking several weeks? And why are the integrity reports in World and EnterpriseOne so inadequate to the task? Those questions led me to develop a solution to the problem. I’m going to talk about that solution at Collaborate ’07. If you’re going, I invite you to see me. I’ll be presenting on Thursday at 9:45AM at Session 23770. I’ll also be at the Andrews Consulting Group/GSI Booth 718 in the exhibit hall if you want to talk.

If you are not going to Collaborate, keep reading. I’ll give you a high-level overview of the solution.

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If you are on the verge of purchasing a server to support your World or EnterpriseOne applications, I have a one-word suggestion for you…WAIT!

Why am I saying this? If I told you now, IBM would have to kill me. So in the interest of self-preservation, let me simply say that Big Blue will make an announcement next week that will affect a lot of server purchase decisions among JD Edwards users. When that happens, I will post further information on this site. I will also point you to a column I am writing for MC Press Online that will provide further details on the announcement.

Feeling intrigued? That’s good. This is one announcement you will want to know about before you write your next check for a server.

Andrews Consulting Group has just published a new study of Oracle’s strategy for EnterpriseOne and World. The paper, “The Transformation of JD Edwards Applications”, is based on months of discussions that Andrews Consulting Group held with Oracle executives. It is now available for download from this site.

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If you couldn’t attend the big Applications Unlimited shindig that Oracle threw on January 31, you can still get your hands on some good JD Edwards content that came out of the event. Oracle just posted the slide presentations that Lenley Hensarling (General Manager for EnterpriseOne) and John Schiff (GM for World) gave during breakout sessions at the event. Here are the URLs for the slides.

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Oracle hosted an electronic party last week to announce the availability of new releases for all of its application products including EnterpriseOne and World. The high profile event was held in New York City on January 31 and broadcast to over 3,000 people at meeting sites around the world. The event was webcast to those who cared not to travel.

The event was all about celebration and education. The fact that nothing new of consequence was announced or introduced did not dampen the excitement of Oracle’s executives and did not seem to concern the audience. During an interview with analysts later in the day, Oracle development executive John Wookey admitted that the availability of all these new releases at approximately the same time was a coincidence. However, Wookey also made important revelations to us about the Fusion Application timetable for JD Edwards users that were not part of the scripted event.

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This morning, Oracle gave its business partners a sneak peek at what it will be telling customers at its big January 31 “Applications Unlimited” announcement next week. Oracle will be using the event…which will be held in New York and at other locations across the world…to talk about five new versions of its applications that it is shipping. That includes JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 8.12 and World A9.1.

While EnterpriseOne 8.12 has been on the market for several months, World A9.1 has yet to be unveiled. That makes the January 31 event something of a “coming out party” for the product. To give you an idea of what Oracle will be telling World users next week, here is a slide that I managed to capture from the partner webcast.

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Nowadays, most JD Edwards users know something about Oracle’s Applications Unlimited (AU) strategy that it announced in April 2006. However, I’ve been surprised — indeed, shocked — at how most people fail to recognize one of the most important implications of the strategy.

To understand what I’m talking about, allow me to provide a little background information. Under AU, Oracle will support and enhance its JD Edwards, E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft Enterprise, and Siebel product lines indefinitely. The vendor will develop new releases of these products and continue to certify them on the latest releases of third-party products that support them. For instance, Oracle will continue to certify EnterpriseOne and World on new releases of IBM’s DB2 database and WebSphere middleware.

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