Blog | Oct 31, 2014

Vacation Rules Are Not Just for Vacation Anymore!

Vacation Rules Are Not Just for Vacation Anymore!

Submitted by Donna Martin, TriCore Applications Support Analyst

Did you know that the “Vacation Rule” functionality in Oracle is simply a method for automatically forwarding requests for approval from one recipient to another?  Similar to setting up an “out of office” email response, Oracle will forward requests for workflow approvals to another recipient as designated in the Vacation Rule.  This rule can be used for any planned – or unplanned – absence in which the original recipient would be unable to respond to a request for approval. 

The Vacation Rule functionality was set up to be used by users responsible for approving documents/processes in Oracle such as Purchase Orders, Expense Reports or Payables Invoices – to name a few.  When an approver goes on vacation or has any planned absence, they can delegate or transfer their response to someone else so the request is not held up during that time.  For some businesses, if the absence is for an extended time, this can bring a halt to critical business processes if approvals are not completed.

What does a Vacation Rule do?  Simply put, Vacation rules are a workflow related method of automatically forwarding a request for approval to another approver in the absence of the intended approver.  These rules are easily set up in Oracle, can be for a given type of approval request, and for a designated period of time.  When viewing the approval workflow it will show the approval notifications being forwarded to the recipient named in the rule.  These can be set up in advance, or from a current date and forward.

The functionality to set up a Vacation Rule can be accessed from the user’s worklist or notification screen.  Please see the information below on how to set up a vacation rule.

To create a rule, access your worklist and click on “Vacation Rules”.  If this is your first time creating a rule, you will receive the following message:  “You have not setup any vacation rules.  Please use the Create Rule button to create a new vacation rule”.  To set up the new rule, click on “Create Rule”

There are three simple steps to creating a rule.

 

STEP 1
Select the type of notification you would like to create your rule for.  If you would like ALL notifications forwarded, accept the default of “ALL” for the Item type.  Otherwise, select from the LOV which types of notifications you want forwarded.  You can create a separate rule for each item type if you’d like them to go to different people. 

The LOV will list all notification types you have received in Oracle.  For example, if you have never received a request for an expense report, that item type will not be present.

Select the Item type and then click “Next” to proceed to the next window.

STEP 2

 

Enter in the Start and End dates for the rule.  A personal message such as “Please approve on my behalf while I am on vacation” can be added in the Message box.  This message will show in the approval windows as well as on the email received

Enter in the Start and End dates for the rule.  A personal message such as “Please approve on my behalf while I am on vacation” can be added in the Message box.  This message will show in the approval windows as well as on the email received

Select to “Delegate” or “Transfer” your notification to the selected employee:

If a notification is Delegated, it allows the chosen recipient to approve the notification regardless of any other Oracle setup (hierarchy or AME Rules) because the recipient is approving “on behalf of” the original approver.  The workflow will show that the notification was approved by the original intended approver.

If you Transfer the notification it means you want the recipient to have complete ownership and responsibility of the approval.  However, keep in mind that if the notification is Transferred, then the new recipient must have approval authority defined in Oracle in order to be able to approve it.  If they do not, then the approval follow the current hierarchy until it finds an approver with the applicable approval authority – or it will fail with the error “No approver found”.   Therefore, be sure to select a proper recipient if you are transferring the notification.  Ultimately, once approved, the workflow will reflect the name of the actual approver and not the name of the original intended approver.

Click “Apply” to activate your new rule

The vacation rule can be deleted or modified at any time by selecting the “Update” or “Delete” icons.  The Status will show whether or not the rule listed is active or inactive.