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Metadata Analysis – The Knowledge Engine for Your Oracle EBS Transformations

Metadata-Analysis1Our software gathers metadata and analyzes your EBS instance(s).

Metadata-Analysis2It then builds a rules and knowledge repository.

Metadata-Analysis3Result: Data in EBS can be transformed without reimplementation.

 

During Metadata Analysis, eprentise software uses a proprietary technique to:

  • “mine” information about your database installation by examining the data dictionaries
  • apply patterns and algorithms of relational databases
  • compare your actual instance(s) against the standard “Gold” versions of EBS it already knows

Along with user-created rules, the knowledge from Metadata Analysis allows eprentise software to perform the functions of copy, merge, filter, and change to any data or data object in the database.

Once rules are created, our software uses what it has learned from Metadata Analysis to generate code to transform the data everywhere in the Oracle E-Business Suite.


    • Makes changes to EBS without loss of history, without reimplementation.
    • Automatic features, no coding, designed for business users.
    • Maintains the relational integrity of the database.
    • Core of the eprentise hd_suite.
    • Analyzes current instance to determine current configuration.
    • Rule template that allows user to identify source data that is to be changed.
    • Automatic code generation to resolve conflicts between source and target.
    • Performs functions of copy, filter, change or merge on the data from a source into a target.
    • Dashboard screen to follow progress of Metadata analysis.
    • Metadata Analysis reports are available once analysis is completed.
    • Built-in knowledge repository of 100,000 + rules.
  • Budget Reduction

    You need to reduce your budget by more than 20% and are looking for ways to save money.

    Problem

    A large automotive company was in financial trouble, and received a bail-out from the US Government. One of the terms of the bail-out agreement was that they reduce spending by at least 20%. Over the years, the company had grown, by acquiring other, smaller companies, but the acquisitions had never become fully integrated, even though they were all using the Oracle E-Business Suite.

    Solution

    After taking a close look at their operation, the company realized that they were maintaining 8 different data centers, and had over 20 instances of Oracle E-Business Suite running.

    They used eprentise Metadata Analysis to identify differences among the systems, and then used FlexField software to implement a single Chart of Accounts. They also used eprentise Consolidation software to identify and resolve configuration differences, other flexfield differences, and resolve duplicates.

    After the consolidation, which maintained the complete integrity of the data, they were down to only 2 instances of Oracle E-Business Suite, and they were able to close 6 of the data centers (they could have closed 7 and kept only 1, but they wanted to keep 2, for redundancy and fail-over purposes). In addition to the obvious money saved in facilities costs, they also realized a significant savings in software license costs, and were able to reduce their IT-related headcount by 30%. After the consolidation, they were also able to reduce their cost of inventories by limiting the parts on hand so that most of their items were ordered just-in-time. They negotiated better terms with their suppliers, and had consistent pricing everywhere in the world.

    Consolidate Multiple Production Instances of EBS Into a Single Instance

    You want to go to a central data center and consolidate your Oracle E-Business Suites into a single instance.

    Problem

    A manufacturing company had 7 different implementations of Oracle E-Business Suite. Each application instance was configured at the plant level and had different product numbers structure, and different business processes that were implemented in their application. They could not consolidate their inventory into a single warehouse because of the different structures. The customer wanted to standardize all products and consolidate the databases into a single data center. They determined that they would save maintenance costs and license fees by having a single global instance, resolve business process inconsistencies, and save operating expenses when all the data resided in a single data center. The instances and the set-up decisions from their initial implementations were not well documented.

    Solution

    The company used eprentise Metadata Analysis to identify differences among the systems. After defining the target instance, the company used FlexField software to implement a single chart of accounts. Finally, the client used eprentise Consolidation software to identify and resolve configuration differences, other flexfield differences, and resolve duplicates across instances before merging all seven instances into the new target environment. They were able to quickly determine common customers, suppliers, and product lines so they were able to streamline their operations, understand their customers better, and leverage common business practices across the enterprise.

    Avoid a Reimplementation

    Oracle has told you that the only way to solve your problem is to reimplement.

    Problem

    Over time, businesses undergo major changes — reorganizations, mergers, or divestitures. They develop new lines of business, set up global operations, or work in different ways to comply with new statutory and regulatory requirements. Similar to many of the companies that use our software, this global security software company was always going through major changes. They had acquired several smaller companies, sold about 15 different divisions, and in general, didn’t have the same business as they did when they implemented Oracle E- Business Suite 12 years ago. The problem is that as their business changed, their EBS was stagnant. In order to keep up with the changes, the security software company maintained thousands of spreadsheets, implemented a data warehouse, and used a middleware product to integrate a variety of systems. There were literally hundreds of people trying to determine what parts of their business were profitable.

    Solution

    At first, the company was told that their only choice was to reimplement their EBS. They were told that a reimplementation would take two years and about 50,000 hours of consultants. They didn’t like this option both because of the time involved and the costs. They were worried about the skill levels of the consultants, whether they would be able to accurately create what their future state would look like, and the project generally going over budget with the scope continually changing as the business changed. Instead, they decided to purchaseeprentise Reorganization software to reorganize their existing EBS, resolve duplicates, and as an ongoing solution to accommodate the ongoing changes of their business and the resulting underlying changes to the setup of the EBS environment. eprentise produces software that reliably enables organizations to adapt existing systems to meet ever-changing business conditions. At the heart of the eprentise solution is a rules-based engine containing actions (copy, merge, filter, and change) and built in integrity rules that can be combined to affect changes to a relational database environment. The eprentise software provides testable, repeatable, rules-driven results, without custom coding.

    By allowing applications to be changed to meet your changing needs, eprentise provides the ability to recognize the financial rewards of business and technology initiatives quickly and reliably.

    Change Your Calendar in E-Business Suite

    Problem

    A pharmaceutical company has been acquired. The old company used a fiscal 4-4-5 calendar (so period 1 ended on January 28) and the new parent company uses a monthly calendar (with period 1 ending on January 31).

    Solution

    Using eprentise Reorganization software’s Calendar Change module, the acquired company changed the start and end dates of each of their GL periods. eprentise created unposted journal entries to add all the transactions from January 29-31 to period 1 and subtract them from period 2. It did the same for all the periods in the year. After changing the start and end dates for the GL periods, they used eprentise to synchronize the Fixed Assets calendar, the project accounting calendar, and the inventory calendar to the GL calendar. Everything tied out to the penny with the new calendar.

    Integrate Your E-Business Suite with an Acquired Suite

    You have just acquired a company who also uses Oracle E-Business Suite.

    Problem

    A global manufacturing company running Oracle E-Business Suite recently acquired a smaller competitor who also uses OEBS. They needed to Standardize Oracle Financial and Manufacturing Applications from both companies so that they could operate as a single company. They needed to quickly identify the differences in data between systems, standardize and consolidate data from the merged company, determine common customers, suppliers, and product lines so duplicates can be resolved, and obtain an accurate view of current and future operating requirements.

    Solution

    The company used eprentise Consolidation software to consolidate the two systems. eprentise Metadata Analysis generated a report listing all the differences in database objects and in the set-up data. The parent company’s E-Business Suite was identified as the target. After changing the chart of accounts and the calendar for the acquired company, the business users decided how the data was to be merged into the target. The company standardized all configuration data and resolved duplicates for all master data using eprentise Data Quality software. All transaction data from the acquired company was synchronized with the cleansed master data and moved into the target database. The history from both companies was preserved. There was no coding, and the instances were merged and went into production within 180 days of the acquisition.

    They identified the benefits as being able to operate as a combined entity quickly. They captured the economies of scope and scale and leveraged the combined information resources, reduced the cost of internal support services, and achieved process efficiencies and business synergies quickly.

    Inventory Consolidation

    You are acquiring a new plant and want to consolidate the inventory into your existing inventory.

    Profile

    A manufacturing firm recently acquired a plant and needed to integrate the new inventory with its own. Not only did the inventoried products need to be added to the new system, but the historical data from the acquired plant was necessary in order to allow the acquiring company to continue to provide accurate forecasting data to management.

    Solution

    The company used eprentise Reorganization software’s MSM Inventory Organizations module to consolidate their inventories into a single warehouse as well as to consolidate their inventory organizations. They were able to reduce their warehouse costs by 35% and their inventory costs by 25%.

  • Is eprentise a software solution or a consulting solution where you write custom code?

    The eprentise solution is software. However, the eprentise team will be needed to help the customer use the software, at least during the initial runs. The eprentise team’s role is product usage guidance and product technical support, based on over 20 years’ experience with the E-Business Suite and having developed eprentise software. eprentise software includes the fundamental functions of metadata discovery, comparison, and analysis, plus data copy, filter, change, and merge. The eprentise team understands how to interpret the metadata analysis and instance comparison reports, and then, based on the analysis results, plans which of the software operations the customer needs to execute.

    Business and technical people who have seen brief eprentise demonstrations have told us the user interface is clear, uncluttered, and easily understood. You will not need specialist IT resources or consultants to run the software or to write extensions.

    The eprentise team works with your team to determine the best approach to get the desired results.

    How does eprentise software work? How are you sure that you are not compromising the integrity of the database?

    The key to eprentise is the Metadata Analysis process. Metadata Analysis discovers and documents the internals and architecture of your E-Business Suite environment. The discovery process includes looking at all the relationships in the database, applying recognition patterns to classify the data into different categories, and then matching what it finds with the data built into eprentise’s knowledge base about the E-Business Suite. After Metadata Analysis “learns” about your environment, it creates rules that direct eprentise software in the methods and sequences for making changes to the database. eprentise then verifies that the rules it created are valid. It does that by checking each rule against every row of data. Once a rule is verified as not compromising the data integrity, it is added to eprentise’s rule repository. Business users identify the changes they would like to make to the E-Business Suite by defining a “target”. The structure of the target determines the code that eprentise generates to execute the rule.

    What are the component parts of the software?

    Here are the main functional components of the eprentise software. Each plays its part in transforming the data in an E-Business Suite instance according to your specifications.

    Project Administration. A project administration function creates projects, and associates projects, eprentise users, and E-Business Suite instances. Instances are either sources or destinations (targets). The destination of a project is always a single application database instance. At the end of the project, the software populates the destination instance.

    Metadata Engine. The metadata engine discovers, stores, and analyzes the current metadata and configuration within your E-Business Suite instances. The engine also looks at the data to determine whether the actual content follows the rules and constraints called for in the metadata. eprentise maps the metadata (structures of and relationships between data), the actual data (identifying duplicates and applying standards), the business rules, and the business processes. Then it generates code to enforce changes.

    Configuration Analysis. Configuration Analysis is a part of Metadata Analysis. It documents the set up parameters in the E-Business Suite. For every set-up, Configuration Analysis details every value that has been set up. For example, Configuration Analysis shows the operating units that have been set up, how many sets of books or ledgers have been created, the status of each open period, and the value sets used for each flexfield. The purpose of Configuration Analysis is to identify the “as-is” state of E-Business Suite before transforming the data. Depending on your application, you may have to run Configuration Analysis multiple times during a project.

    Rules Tester. The Rules Tester is also a part of Metadata Analysis. eprentise validates everything it learns about your environment by testing each rule or constraint against every row of data in your E-Business Suite database instance in order to identify which rules are “broken”. A rule or constraint is considered broken if, for example, a foreign key relationship doesn’t refer to a valid value in another table, or if a unique constraint pulls in duplicate values, or if there is a null value in a primary key or foreign key constraint.

    Rules Templates. You use templates to create high level operations on an E-Business Suite database. You fill in the templates using E-Business Suite data presented in pull-down selection lists, functional selection items, and data you enter. There are numerous built-in rules templates for operations like changing a calendar’s period dates, changing an inventory organization’s valuation accounts, merging a set of books, filtering data, resolving duplicates, and moving a legal entity. These templates are used in a specified order to achieve the results you want.

    Four Data Operations. There are four basic types of eprentise rules: copy, filter, change, and merge. When you run a rule, the eprentise software copies, filters, changes, or merges data from one or more source application instances into a destination. Rules may be combined to perform more complex functions. For example, an instance consolidation project will use many rules of each operational type to resolve differences and anomalies between two database instances, so that the end result (a) meets the business requirements, and (b) provides a complete, consistent, and correct single instance of E-Business Suite.

    Rules Engine. The rules processing engine runs the rules you create with the rules templates. When there is a difference between the source application and the destination, the software automatically performs all actions necessary to move the source into the destination. eprentise makes changes in a particular sequence, maintaining all the database constraints. That preserves data integrity, which results in complete, consistent, and correct data that is aligned with the business processes.

    What happens after I run eprentise and transform my E-Business Suite instances?

    Your destination (target) E-Business Suite instance looks and functions according to how you have defined the new target. The process is that you will define what result you want to achieve, and eprentise generates the code to achieve the result. All desired history from the source has also been transformed in line with the target that you have defined. The changed E-Business Suite looks like it was set up according to your target definition since the original implementation. In the case of a consolidation, it looks as though you had always operated within a single environment. You may optionally decide to retain a copy of the source environment until your reconciliation and audits are completed. The database is functionally and technically consistent and correct.

    How do eprentise and FlexField software affect change management processes and systems for regulatory compliance (Sarbanes-Oxley)?

    When your change management people become familiar with how eprentise works and what the business users will “ask” it to do, then they should be able to determine how to set up change requests and approvals, and monitor or verify completed changes. All changes made by eprentise are thoroughly documented. If eprentise creates a journal entry, the new journal entry includes the original journal and a description of why the journal was created. The metadata analysis and configuration analysis provide an accurate “before” picture of the environment. They create reports all the way through the transformation process that show which data was selected for change and what changes were made.

    Doesn’t Oracle E-Business Suite documentation say not to use Oracle database tools to modify Oracle Applications data?

    The eprentise development team thoroughly understands the relationships in E-Business Suite and has designed and implemented a variety of checks to make sure that the eprentise software does not compromise the integrity of the database as it transforms the data. We designed eprentise and FlexField software specifically so companies could make changes to their E-Business Suite that were previously not possible without a reimplementation.

    Click here for an analysis of Oracle software technical support policies.
    Oracle does provide guidelines for extending, enhancing and augmenting EBS and eprentise follows the guidelines.

     

     

  • eprentise Product Datasheet

    eprentise Product Datasheet

    Download PDF
    eprentise software copies, filters, changes, and merges data from one or more Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) sources into a defined EBS target. An underlying eprentise engine (Metadata Analysis) analyzes the data structures, relationships, and other database objects. Once the Metadata Analysis is complete, rule templates are used to generate the code required to change, filter, merge, or copy source data to the desired target data. In the process, the source and target may be compared, standards may be applied, duplicates identified and resolved, and differences in business processes reconciled.