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March 1, 2013

Conversion in Oracle

Bishnu Prasad Choudhury / / 5

Oracle Conversion

Conversion is to convert something for some destined requirement.
Exactly this is what literally means in Oracle too.
This is converting the business data into specified oracle formats which you need to create in oracle system irrespective of the current source of the data, which can be held by the oracle base tables properly.
For example, you were using a legacy system suppose a plain MS Excel or MS Access or any other system where you maintain your business data. But now you are planning to implement oracle EBS for your business and processes and you need your existing data (legacy data) to be moved into oracle. In this scenario, you cannot simply copy and paste your existing data into oracle system table (base tables). So for this you need to convert the data into oracle format and insert/create those data in oracle system through different process which oracle allows.
This process of converting the legacy data into oracle format and inserting those into oracle system is known as conversion.
Fortunate enough in oracle, as it provides flexibility in the form of interface programs to import the legacy data like customers, Invoices, Sales Orders, Price Lists, Items , etc.
Conversion can be done using two processes
·         Using Interface Programs
You use interface for mass loads, migrations, conversions; you can populate interface tables with many records and then start interface any time, so it's asynchronous; if any record fails, it will stay in the interface tables till either fixed or purged.
·         Using Oracle API
API is used for synchronous tasks, like integrations or web site calls; you normally would only be processing one record at the time and get results right away; also, you would have to handle situations where Error status is returned.

Steps of Conversion

1.       Data Mapping
This is the initial steps where you have to identify the data set and data elements which need to be moved to the Oracle tables as part of conversions. Data mapping tables are prepared as part of this activity. This shows what are the data elements that needed by the target system to meet the business requirements.

2.       Preparing flat file
After mapping of the data elements, it’s time to prepare a flat file taking the data from the old system in ASCII format. The flat file can be of comma separated or pipe delimited or a tab separated file.

3.       Upload the data file into the server
After preparation of the flat file, need to upload the file into the target system i.e. the oracle system. SQL Loader or UTL_FILE utilities can be used to upload the data directly into the custom user defined staging tables. Then the custom programs which are written will run and validate the records from the staging table and will populate in the oracle provided standard interface tables.

4.       Interface Program
Once the interface tables are populated, the respective interface programs will be submitted. This program will validate the data and will derive the values and other information and finally will post those to the standard base tables. For different conversion types, different interface programs are there.

Example to understand the conversion process

Lets do the conversion of Item.
Scenario: In your old system, you have number of Items defined. Now you want those to be created in Oracle system.
·         Organization need to be created in oracle in which you will create these items
·         Code combinations needs to be setup
·         Templates need to be defined
·         Item Status Codes need to be defined
·         Item Types need to be defined
·         First prepare the list of items you need to move from the old system to the Oracle system.
·         Make a list of all items and its attributes which are required for the oracle system.
·         Then prepare a flat file.
·         Upload the records from the file into the custom staging tables.
·         Then validate the data and post the qualified data into the interface tables through the custom programs written.
·         Then submit the Item import interface program, this will take the data from interface table and after validation and extraction of all other values, it will populate in the base table.
Note: There are few mandatory columns need to be filled in the interface table for every conversion type. That needs to be taken care of for error free conversion.
·         Validate Organization
·         Check for valid item type
·         Check for the valid item_id and segments
·         Validate the segment1/item,_id for master org for unique creation
·         Check for valid item status
·         Valid template/attributes
Interface Tables:
MTL_ITEM_REVISIONS_INTERFACE (If importing revisions)
MTL_ITEM_CATEGORIES_INTERFACE (If importing categories)
MTL_INTERFACE_ERRORS (View errors after import)

Base Table:


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