Fast Formula is used to configure and send each calendar invite. For the solution to be ‘switched on’, these formulas must be specified in a new user-defined table. Follow the instructions below to ensure that new calendar invites to use the ‘default’ out-of-the-box formula:
- Use an HRMS Administrator responsibility, such as US HRMS Manager. Ensure this is attached to a Business Group into which the product was installed. Refer to Installation for more information.
- Navigate to Other Definitions: Table Values
- Query back the table name XXAS_OUT_EVENT_FORMULA
- Set the effective date to be some date well in the past, e.g., 01-01-2001.
- If you wish calendar invites to be sent out for Absences, create a new row with ‘Absence’ in the ‘Exact’ column and enter the name of the default Absence formula, XXAS_OUT_ABS_EVENT, in the ‘Value’ column.
- If you wish calendar invites to be sent out for Enrollments and Class Time and Location changes, create a new row with ‘Enrollment’ in the ‘Exact’ column and enter the name of the default Enrollment formula, XXAS_OUT_ENR_EVENT, in the ‘Value’ column.
You should only use the out-of-the-box formula when initially configuring the solution for first use. As part of the full implementation, it is strongly recommended you copy the delivered formula and perform the steps above 5 above again with your custom formula.
Review ‘Reply To’ email address
All calendar invites are sent ‘from’ an email address. By default, this is set to ‘Oracle-HR’ by the input ‘From_Email’, set within both Formulas mentioned above. This is not a fully formed email address and should be tailored to a valid email address for your organization. If you are using Workflow notifications, your workflow mailer should already be set up to send emails from such an address; a common choice is ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’.
To guard against this, please change the value of ‘From_Email’ in the formula XXAS_OUT_ENR_EVENT and XXAS_OUT_ABS_EVENT before attempting to use the solution. If you do not set this, there is a chance your organization’s mail server may block calendar invites being sent and you will fail to see any calendar invites being sent through.
Schedule Concurrent Program
Calendar invites are sent out by the concurrent program “Send iCal Events”. You must add this program to your chosen request group and then schedule this program to run on a regular basis. This could be as regular as every few minutes or as infrequent as once per day, overnight.
During testing, you may choose to run this program manually to control when calendar invites are sent.
That’s it! All absences entered or training enrollments booked should now send out calendar invites when the concurrent program above is run. Once you have verified the solution works, you should move on to more advanced implementation steps such as turning off calendar invites for particular absence types or training classes.
The application sends out calendar invites in the industry-standard iCalendar (RFC 2445) format. This format is supported by most calendaring applications, including:
- Microsoft Exchange Server
- iOS Calendar
- Google Calendar
- Windows Calendar
- Windows Live Calendar
A more complete list of supported applications can be found on Wikipedia.
The app supports any application that supports the iCalendar format.
Native Outlook Support
When absence or training events occur, calendar invites appear in your users’ Outlook inboxes as any normal calendar invites would do. There are no attachments to open or calendar invites embedded in existing Oracle Workflow notifications; native Outlook calendar invites appear. The advantage is there is no need for any training or rollout to your workforce to explain how they take advantage of this feature; if your users understand how to accept a calendar invite, they can use this feature.
The following features are delivered to support Absence Management:
- Calendar invite sent to absentee when absence entered through Absence form or when absence entered through Self Service is approved
- Updates to Start Date & Time or End Date & Time send out calendar update
- Canceled absences send out Calendar Removals
- Contents of a calendar invite, e.g., Subject, Body Text, completely configurable by administrators
- Suppress sensitive absence types sending calendar invites, e.g., compassionate leave
- Full Timezone Support
- Calendar invites are viewable by managers and peers if the Outlook calendar is shared
Learning Management Support
The following features are delivered to support Oracle Learning Management:
- Calendar invite sent out to learner when enrolled on a class with status Placed, Waitlisted or Requested
- Internal and External Learners supported.
- Location and Training Centre included in Calendar invite if set at class or session level
- Embed details of resources, like Trainers and Rooms, within the calendar invites
- Canceling or deleting an enrollment sends out a Calendar Cancellation to the learner.
- Updating enrollment to move learner to another class or updating enrollment status sends out appropriate calendar updates.
- Update to Class Start Date & Time, End Date & Time, Timezone, Location or Training Centre will send out calendar invites to all learners enrolled in the class
- Full Timezone Support
- Full support for Sessions: Learner enrolling in a class with sessions will receive a separate invite for each session
- Update to Session Start Date & Time, End Time, Timezone, or Location will send out calendar invites to all learners enrolled in a parent class
- Deleting a session sends out Calendar Removals to all learners enrolled in the class
- Full support for Resources: contacts for any resource will receive a calendar invite when the resource is booked.
- Update to Resource Booking Start Date & Time, End Date & End Time, Timezone, Status, Trainer Role or Contact will send out a calendar invite to the resource contact
- Canceling a resource booking sends out Calendar Removals to the resource contact
- Suppress calendar invites being sent for enrollments into classes with particular Delivery Modes, e.g., configure that bookings for eLearning will not appear in a learner’s calendar
- Contents of a calendar invite, e.g., Subject, Body Text, completely configurable
- Calendar invites are viewable by managers and peers if the Outlook calendar is shared
Configure your Calendar Invites
The application uses an advanced engine that leverages the power of Oracle Fast Formula to dynamically build the structure of your calendar invites. ‘Out of the box’ formula delivers standard calendar invites but you can use Fast Formula to uniquely determine what to put in the following calendar invite fields:
- Body (supports HTML)
- Public or Private
- Send invite or Do not Send invite based on your own rules
- RSVP (send accept or decline response to training organizer)
Additionally, if you update an absence multiple times in a short space of time (i.e., before the “Send iCal Events” concurrent program is run), only the latest update will be sent (without this the recipient would receive lots of out-of-date invites calendar invites).
Implementing calendar integration
This section describes the high-level steps required to implement calendar integration.
5-Step implementation checklist
Use the following simple 5 step checklist to record which parts of the calendar integration you wish to use. Some steps below are required, some are optional.
Step 1: Verify Oracle System Settings (required)
Oracle must be able to access an SMTP Email Server. If you already use Oracle Alerts or Oracle Workflow to send mails to your workforce, then you are ready to configure this solution.
Step 2: Set Profile Options (required)
This Solution delivers several profile options which you are required to set before the solution will send out calendar invites.
Step 3: Schedule Concurrent Program (required)
Calendar invites are sent out in bulk by a concurrent program. You can schedule this to run as frequently or infrequently as you wish but calendar invites will not be sent unless this program is run. You must also add the program to a request group before you are able to run it.
Step 4: Copy Delivered Fast Formula (required)
The solution will work ‘out of the box’ with the pre-delivered Fast Formula. However, it is recommended you create copies of these formulas which you will then modify to meet your requirements.
Step 5: ‘Turn on’ Fast Formula (required)
No calendar invites will be sent out until you specify which Fast Formula should be used. You do this by specifying which formula you wish to use in a newly delivered user table. This is the final step you need to perform to enable Calendar invites to be sent out.
Optional implementation tasks
The following tasks help you tailor the solution to your specific requirements but are not required. You should verify the basic configuration of the setup before performing any of the steps below.
Configure Absence Types (optional for Absence integration)
If you are using the solution to send out calendar events for particular types of absence, e.g., holidays, then you can specify which absence types should not send out these events.
Configure Timezone Support for Absences (optional for Absence integration)
Timezone support will ensure that absences show correctly when a user changes timezone or moves into or out of daylight saving. Depending on your existing configuration, you may already have absence timezone support enabled.
Configure Oracle Learning Management Delivery Modes (optional for OLM integration)
If you are using the solution to send out calendar events for class and session bookings, then you can specify that selected Delivery Modes do not trigger an event being sent. For example, you may decide ‘Classroom-based training’ triggers an event being sent whereas ‘eLearning’ does not.
Configure Oracle Learning Management Resource Types (optional for OLM integration)
If you are using the solution to send out calendar events for resource bookings, then you can specify that selected Resource Types do not trigger an event being sent. For example, you may decide to send calendar invites to Trainers and contacts for Venue and Rooms but not to send calendar invites for Equipment or Books required for a class.
Personalize Calendar Invite (optional)
The default calendar invites sent out show basic information such as the sender of the invite, the type of absence being booked, the location of training, the enrollment status, etc. You can optionally tailor the content of the calendar invite to suit your preferences.
Detailed implementation steps
This section details the steps you need to perform to configure calendar integration.
Enable Database Access to your SMTP Server
This is described in the Quick Start Guide - Enable Database Access to your SMTP Server.
Set Profile Options
This is described in the Quick Start Guide - Set Profile Options.
Copy Fast Formula
This solution delivers an out-of-the-box formula that enables you to be up and running quickly. However, it is likely that you will wish to change the default behavior to suppress certain absence types or delivery modes from being processed or to change some of the calendar's invite contents such as the Sender, Subject, or Body text.
To do the above, you are required to make simple modifications to the Fast Formula. There are separate formulas for Absence and Learning Management. Applaud recommend that you take a copy of the delivered formula and then modify your copy. The following formulas are the ones delivered by default:
|Internal Learner Enrollments||XXAS_OUT_ENR_EVENT|
|External Learner Enrollments||XXAS_OUT_CUST_ENR_EVENT|
Later patches and updates to the application may deliver newer versions of the formula above, in which case you will lose any changes you make to them. For this reason, it is recommended that you modify copies.
Once you have created a copy of each formula, you will need to configure it for use.
Enable Fast Formula for use
This is described in the Quick Start Guide - Enable Fast Formula for use.
Schedule Concurrent Program
Calendar invites are sent out by the concurrent program Send iCal Events. You must add this program to your chosen request group and then schedule this program to run on a regular basis. This could be as regular as every few minutes or as infrequent as once per day, overnight. During testing, you may choose to run this program manually to control when calendar invites are sent.
Calendar Invites will not be sent until this Concurrent Program is run.
Switch off Absence Types
By default, all absences except suspension or gardening leave will send out a calendar invite. You may wish to suppress this functionality for other types of absence. For example, you may wish to only send calendar invites for Annual Leave. To disable the functionality, you are required to modify the Absence Fast Formula.
As recommended above, you should take a copy of the default formula, XXAS_OUT_ABS_EVENT, and modify the copy. Once you have copied the Fast Formula, follow the steps below:
- Navigate to Write Formula screen
- Query back the formula name and press the ‘Edit button’
- In the formula text displayed, find the following section:
/* +-------------------< SECTION 4: MAIN LOGIC >----------------------------- + This contains logic that adjusts the Outputs according to certain conditions. For example, the below excludes suspension and gardening leave, and flags all but annual leave as 'Private'. */ /* Exclude invites for suspension or gardening leave. You can update this section to exclude invites being sent for other types of absence. */ If upper(Absence_Type) like '%SUSPENSION%' Or upper(Absence_Type) like '%GARDENING%' Then (Send = 'No')
- Modify the above criteria to include or exclude absence types as you require. For example, if you only wanted to send out calendar invites for Annual Leave you could modify the above criteria as follows:
if upper(Absence_Type) not like '%ANNUAL%LEAVE%' Then (Send = 'No')
- Press the ‘Verify’ button, close the window, and then press ‘Save’. Note: Ensure you press the ‘Save’ button after verifying the formula; it is easy to forget to do this and lose your change!
- Your formula has been modified and will now only send calendar invites for Annual Leave.