Gaea provides answers to Oracle WMS MSCA Picking frequently asked questions (FAQ).
Q: What customizations can be made to Oralce WMS MSCA mobile picking? Any examples?
A: Almost all WMS/MSCA pages can be customized to add additional fields, perform different validation logic when leaving certain fields, execute certain business logic, etc. The pick page can also be customized, but with more possibilities and complexities.
Sample pick customizations include capturing additional dimensional fields (e.g. length and width of an item) after a user scans an item, and later on populating those values in the delivery detail, and performing miscellaneous receipt or cycle counting on the fly when there is not enough on hand during a pick.
Q: How can we customize the pick page?
A: There are two techniques to customize the pick page. The first one is to follow the Oracle MWA implementation guide: extend the MWA function class, page classes, and modify the seeded form function to call these new classes.
The second one is a less-known but preferred technique. By inserting a configuration record into one of the MWA configuration tables, the extended page classes can be loaded on the fly. In other words, if you want to add a field to the main pick page, you only need to extend one Java file.
Why it is desirable to use the second technique and to enter uncharted territory will become clear in the following question and answer.
Q: Why is pick customization so important?
A: Three factors made the pick page much more complicated than most WMS/MSCA pages. Firstly, there are half a dozen flavors of picking all performed by the same page. Secondly, all flavors of pick starts with the employee sign-on page to capture data such as equipment and zone, which requires customizing a pick page with the traditional MWA technique to modify at least four more files. Thirdly, the pick page is built on “configurable page” technology, which adds another level of code to understand.
Q: Do we need to look at Oracle Java source code to do the customization? How?
A: Yes, you must read Oracle Java source code in order to proceed with your customization. According to your Oracle apps license, you must contact Oracle to obtain the source code. It usually takes weeks for the request to go through, and you have to tell Oracle not only which file, but also which version of the file (like 188.8.131.52) you will need.
If you are pressed for time, there are general decompiling tools for obtaining Java source files from class files, such as jad. And most of the files related to picking are under $JAVA_TOP/oracle/apps/wms/td/server.
Q: How about PL/SQL source code? Where are those files?
A: In most cases, you will also need to read PL/SQL code (and write your own pl/sql logic). Fortunately, PL/SQL source code is shipped with the Oracle installation, and those files can be found under $WMS_TOP/patch/115/sql and $INV_TOP/patch/115/sql.
Q: Can we modify the Oracle source files to add new fields?
A: No. In most cases, you should not modify Oracle source files, unless you are certain what you are doing is actually fixing bugs that may exist in the Oracle code, which we have occasionally encountered in the past.
Note that future Oracle patches or releases will wipe out your changes, unless you convince Oracle to include your changes (if they are bug fixes that will be generally useful to all customers) in their future code.
Q: We pick lot numbers. Is it possible to customize the page where lot numbers are entered? How?
A: Yes. Use the second customization technique mentioned above. Otherwise, you will have to extend six files to reach this page.
Q: What skills are required to customize the pick page? How do we evaluate whether we or an outside consultant is capable of customizing our pick page?
A: The following skills are mandatory: Java, PL/SQL, Oracle JDBC, MWA developer framework. Knowledge of code under $JAVA_TOP/oracle/apps/wms/td/server, or willingness to read this code, is highly desirable. To evaluate candidates for customizing pick pages, use this FAQ as a checklist.
Q: How long should we plan for developing and implementing pick customization?
A: A typical pick customization (e.g. adding an additional field on the main pick page to capture data), will take four to six weeks for an experienced consultant to complete.
Q: Can the same technique for customizing a pick page be used for other mobile pages?
A: Yes, it certainly can, and is usually easier.
– by Lei Zhang