Oracle Applications
My learnings and views on Oracle Applications, Human Resource Management System, Oracle Time & Labor, Oracle Applications Framework, Business Process Execution Language and Service Oriented Architecture.

Whenever it comes to OTL discussions, the following two questions are always on the top:

1. Why do we need to configure the Timecard Layout?

Well, talking of configuration requirement, every business has different requirements which a seeded layout can't fulfill. The standard attributes provided on the seeded layouts are more of as a way for quick testing of the setup and a template for further modification. As an example, on the Payroll Timecard, your business rule might require you to provide Accounting Group or Supervisor or a day by day comments information apart from the Hours Type, Cost Center attributes and the hours value.

Along with business requirements, there might be scenarios to capture extra information to satisfy the legislative rule. One such rule which comes to my mind is Consultant taxation wherein if a person works in a state away from his home state for a specific number of days, he should be taxed as per the worked state rules also. Hence we will have to capture the Location information also while entering the Time and transfer that location information as the Geocode value in one of the input values of the Hours Element. Rest payroll will take care of :)

There are also business requirements where you would like to show/hide some components on the timecard based on the responsibilty or role. This also calls for layout modifications.

2. Are you crazy, do we need to modify the LDT files manually to add/remove/modify any components like LOV, Choicelist, DFF, Text Field etc? Can't I use OAF personalization and extension?

It really sounds crazy enough but this is the real strength of OTL Timecard Configuration functionality. What OTL offers is a way of adding new components on the Timecard, be able to validate those values, save them in the Time Store and transfer to the Receiving Application and all this without writing any code.

All the changes without writing any code? Now this must be sounding good :)
How do we do that? I will be covering it in a separate article.

You can't use OAF personalization and extensions on OTL Timecard matrix.

And I know the OTL enthusiastics will be asking what about the OTLR questions? Another article sometime later.


This article is going to cover the steps required to make changes to OTL Timecard Layouts.

Goals of this exercise are:

1. Add a new field on Timecard Entry page which will allow users to select State value while entering the time. This location information should be stored as Attribute1 of the OHUGLOCATION context in OTL Time Store.

2. Cost Center field is to be removed.

3. State location information should be available to the Approver on Mass Timecard Approval screen and the Workflow notification page.

To keep the changes simple, In this entry I will cover only the steps required for the addition of new Context OHUGLOCATION in the OTL Time Store and the further steps to create/add the corresponding mapping component which will allow this value to get stored in proper place in Time Store without any code change. As we are talking about cost center attribute, its clear that it is a Payroll Time Card.

Before we start changes related to Time Card, have a look at the below image and understand the basic parts of a Time Card.

Step 1. Define a new Context, Segment in OTL Information Type Descriptive Flexfield

  • Navigate to System Administration -> Application -> Flexfield -> Descriptive -> Segments
  • Query for “OTL Information Type” in the Title field.
  • Unfreeze Flexfield Definition.
  • Create a new Context named OHUGLOCATION.
  • Create a segment with values
Name : Location Id
Column : Attribute1

Step 2. Generate Flexfield and Mapping process
  • From OTL Application Developer responsibility, run ‘Generate Flexfield and Mapping Information’ Process with the parameters
Delete Definitions : No
Effective Date : Current Date
  • Other parameters are optional.

Step 3. Mapping Components

Create a mapping component with values as shown in the screenshot

Step 4. Add Mapping component to Deposit Process

In case you want to save the new attribute information in the existing context, segment of the OTL Time Store like Dummy Element Context or Cost Context, then above steps are not required. Similarly, the mapping components can be modified to change the storage location of the time attributes.

We will see the Time Card layout related changes in the next blog entry.


In this article, I am going to show how to add the Hours Type in the Hours choicelist field on the Self Service Timecard. This process requires only a few setups and involves no code or layout change. I am assuming that the basic preferences setup like Timecard Layout, Approval Style, Approval Period, Timecard Period, Application Set, Retrieval Group etc are done.

It is often one of the most basic requirements to enable a different list of Hours type to employee Self Service Timecard based on some criteria like assignment, people group, etc....

Step 1. Create Elements and make sure that the Earnings Type is defined and one of the input values is "Hours". I am defining a regular and an overtime earning element. Earning type selection will decide a lot of things when we come to Time Management Rules like overtime, shift calculation etc.

Step 2. Link the elements to proper payroll.

Step 3. Create the Element set as per your requirement to build different sets of Hours Types.

Step 4. Run the Generate Flexfield and Mapping Information concurrent request. This process will take the Element Set created in the previous step.

Step 5. Create the Alternate Names. Here you can provide your custom, readable names to elements which will appear as hours type. Like I have given the name Shiv Regular Earning to element Shiv Regular. Make sure that records in Alternate Name section are enabled.

Step 6. Attach the above Alternate name to the Self Service Timecard Alternate Name Set Defined for a User node in the preference tree.

Step 7. Create an Eligibility Rule to attach the above preference to the test person.

Step 8. Login with the test person's credential and check the Hours Type list of values. Both the hours should be visible now on the Hours Type choicelist.


In its first year, the HCM and Beyond brought together the audiences of both OHUG and Quest in one event. Attendees benefited from a strong educational and networking agenda that let them expand not only their expertise in Human Capital Management, but learn more about everything from the technical aspects of their ERP systems to tips and techniques for working within the other modules their organizations have employed.

Two of my papers were selected for presentation during the event

33320: Timecard Structure and OTL Data Model

OTL, a tool rather than a product, is based on HXC and HXT schema. It is designed on a complex hierarchical data model and displays one of the best usages of DFF. Understanding of timecard structure is essential for OTL implementation & integrati

* Difference between HXC and HXT schema, corresponding usage should be understood.
* Show what is Timecard data structure and how it leverages the DFF to make a generic datastore.
* Show all methods to enter time & flow of time information till it gets into receiving application.

33290: OTL Self Service Timecard Configuration Tips & Tricks

Oracle Time & Labor is the single point of entry for requirements of time capture, validation, management and approval. OTL offers time entry via a highly configurable & flexible web interface to meet the varying business needs of diverse industries.

* Demonstrate the configuration capability to add new components on timecard. No code change required.
* Show the setup required to process the added components & transfer to the receiving application.
* How easy it is to meet Day to day requirements to include components like LOV, Choice List, DFF etc.

More details along with the presentations can be seen on


Oracle Time and Labor is very flexible when it comes to time entry methods. It has a solution for almost all the different scenarios you can think of. Lets go through them one by one:

Employee Self Service: A very straight forward and simple web based interface to enter timecard. Superb example of a custom rendering engine on top of the OA components which renders timecards based on the layout LDT flat files. Adding, modifying a component on the timecard is very simple and can be achieved through the modification of layout LDT file.

Authorized Delegate Self Service: A new feature added recently to imitate the timekeeper functionality in Self Service. It is based on HRMS security profile and provides a mechanism where a person can enter timecard for a set of people assigned to him. It is not an alternate solution to timekeeper functionality and is recommended to be used for scenarios where smaller number of subordinates is required to be handled through an Authorized Delegate.

Time Keeper: The perfect solution for scenarios like shop floor where you need a timekeeper to maintain and enter time for large number of people. It is a PUI form based interface and provides a mechanism for fast mass timecard entry and edit functionality. It is one of the most complex forms in the whole Oracle Apps where each and every component of the form is determined and created at runtime which is completely configurable based on OTL preferences. Literally saying, the static form is empty and the runtime form is having one of the most complex structures among all the Apps forms.

Disconnected Time Entry aka Spreadsheet: One of the features of OTL which allows to create timecard based on the provided spreadsheet (excel file) and a very important one where you get timecard data in the form of spreadsheets from the users who don’t have access to EBiz Application.

PUI Form based Timecard: The only interface where timecard data directly goes to HXT schema i.e. it has to have the OTLR rules enabled and the corresponding time management policies setup properly. This is the interface where you can see the exploded timecard data and corresponding rate values as per the rules setup.

PDA: Oracle Time & Labor also has functionality to let users enter time information with the use of a mobile phone or a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA).

Punch Machine / Time Capture Devices: OTL provides a set of PUBLIC APIs which enables to write interface for any Punching Machine or Time Capture Device. hxctsdp.pkb is the package which contains public API for timecard creation/manipulation. The API provide the functionality to add individual Time Building Blocks off any scope (DAY or DETAIL, including their associated attributes), to an existing timecard, to update existing Time Building Blocks with their associated attributes, to delete a complete timecard or a specific Time Building Block and its attributes from a timecard.

Apart from these time entry methods, a generic data flow and related processes is shown in the above diagram.


OTL Schema : HXC ? HXT ? Both HXC and HXT ? What is the confusion between C and T ?

A similar doubt was raised on the HRMS OTN forum which prompted me to put up this article.

Well, pretty simple and in the simplest terms unless you are using OTLR [OTL Rules], all the timecard data will be in the HXC schema. Only when you are using OTLR, the HXT schema comes into picture. It contains the exploded version of timecard data as per the time management structures and policies like shift, work plan, rotation plan, shift differential, premium interaction, premium eligibility, overtime calculation, hour deduction policy etc.

Upon timecard submission, the data gets stored in the HXC schema. Once all the validations/approvals are done and timecard is ready for transfer process, the “Transfer Time from OTL to BEE” process is run. Generally Transfer process will push the qualifying data to the BEE table from HXC tables. But in case the OTLR is enabled, the Transfer process will explode the time data as per rules setup, create premium element entries and push the detailed data to HXT schema. Now one can review details such as overtime and premiums on the professional forms Timecard window. At this stage, “Validate for BEE” and “Transfer to BEE” processes are required to be run to push the data to BEE tables.


Oracle Time & Labor [OTL] is always knows as a product which is completely different from most of the EBIZ products both in terms of functionality and technicality. To start off, first of all lets try to see OTL more of as a Tool rather a product which will make the understanding process easier for many why this, what that, why only in OTL ... sort of questions.

For those who are still wondering what is OTL, it is the single point of Time Entry solution available in the Oracle E-Business Suite. OTL is a tool which allows you to capture, validate, approve and store the time information. Now this time information is of no use for OTL itself, it needs to be utilized by another application for which it has a meaning. That's where we have the concept of Receiving Application, the one which provides the attributes against which time is captures and then further processed once the time details are tranferred to this Receiving Application. OTL currently has out of box integration with Oracle Human Resources (HR), Oracle Internet Expenses, Oracle Project Resource Management, Oracle Payroll, Oracle Projects, Oracle Enterprise Asset Management and Oracle Procurement. It provides a set of public API's which can be used for developing custom integration with other products. More on this on a future entry ...

Coming to User Interface front of Oracle Time and Labor for Time Entry purpose, there are many different options available:
1. Self Service : Web based HTML form. Pretty flexible and configurable.
2. PUI Forms.
3. Timekeeper : The mass time entry method.
4. Disconnected Time Entry through Spreadsheet.
5. Customs user interfaces can be supported with the help of public API's. This provides the option of OTL integration with a variety of Punch machines and other hardware.

So what would you expect from a product (did i say product or tool !!!) which is so versatile...

Much more details coming on the later entries. A couple of useful links which might come handy on starting with OTL are :


Home page
Data Sheet


  • Timecard Configuration 11.5.10+ : Metalink Note 304340.1
  • Timecard Configuration : Metalink Note 227603.1
Useful Metalinks
  • Oracle OTL HXC TimeStore Deposit API : Metalink Note 223987.1
  • OTL11i.sql : Metalink Note 255982.1
  • Oracle Time and Labor (OTL) Mandatory Patches : Metalink Note:214886.1
  • APIs in Oracle Time & Labor : Metalink Note 216773.1
Punchout Machine
Old prodcuts replaced by OTL
  • Oracle Internet Time also known as OIT and iTime. OIT is desupported as of 31-OCT-2004.


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