Oracle Time and Labor

Learn Oracle Time and Labor (OTL) Step by Step for Project Layout

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Learn Oracle Time and Labor (OTL)

what is oracle time and laborIn this article you will learn,  step by step, how to setup OTL from scratch for a project layout.  These OTL setup steps are deigned for beginners so even if you have no prior knowledge, you would be able to configure fully without any problem. This setup can be used for client demo or any POC or for your internal practice and knowledge. At the end of the course if you have any question, do visit our Question and Answer forum and post your questions.

You will also get a dummy BR.100 document that you can keep safely with you to configure any time in future but to know where is that BR.100 you will need to read this whole article first 🙂

What are OTL Layout Styles?

As I mentioned initially in this article we will do a quick sample setup of OTL for a Project Layout,  it’s important for us to understand what is a layout and different types of layouts delivered by oracle.

Below is a typical screenshot of a layout worker will see while entering the time.

Oracle time and labor setup - Timecard

Layout is something which employee (including contractor) will see while entering the time-sheet (time-cards or time entry). The layout will determine what fields you will see and enter values against them. There are many predefined layouts delivered by oracle and one of them is “Projects Layout”.

Table below gives you an idea about the predefined layout styles and the fields available along with them.

OTL Layout Styles What they do?
Projects layout Using this layout, workers can enter their time against projects, tasks, and types. They can click on a Details button to enter comments against each project, task, and type combination.
Payroll Layout Using this layout workers can enter a start and stop time, or a number of hours, for each day of the week for the selected hours type. This layout is suitable for workers who are submitting their time to Oracle HR or Payroll.
Projects with Payroll Layout This layout is similar to the Projects layout except that the list of values for the Type field comes from the alternate name you have assigned to the worker (using preferences) for the Expenditure Elements alternate name type. So when a worker selects a type for a time entry, an element name is also recorded in the time store.
Exception Layout This layout displays one row where the worker can select an hours type and cost center, then enter the number of hours for each day of the week. Use this layout for workers who only need to submit timecards for exception reporting (such as time absent for sickness or vacation).

Okay, so now which the layout are we going to use? answer to this question is “Projects with Payroll Layout”. In this setup steps we will be using the “Projects with Payroll Layout”.

These Layout styles are actually combination of several layouts but at this moment you need not to worry about them. If you are interested to know how to customize these layouts you can read the white paper Oracle 11i and R12 Time And Labor (OTL) Timecard Configuration (Doc ID 304340.1)

Prerequisites to setup Oracle Time and Labor (OTL)

To setup OTL for a project layout we assume you are ready with following items

  1. You have an oracle instance (this is obvious 🙂 )
  2. You have setup your Business group and Core HR is ready
  3. You have few employees with supervisor hierarchy.
  4. Your payroll configuration is also completed.
  5. You have project modules setup for project creation and resource assigning.

Steps to setup Oracle Time and Labor (OTL)

Finally here are the steps to start your configurations. Although few steps are optional or not dependent on each other but still do try them one after another and don’t jump the steps.

Step 01 : Create Elements

Navigation : HRMS Manager » Total Compensation » Basic » Element Description

You will need to create as many elements as you want the tasks to be appeared for workers. These elements will be linked with expenditure type later and will also be given different names. For now create these two elements.

  • Regular Hours
  • Overtime Hours


Element  Name Primary Classifications Type Input Value Name Units Effective from
iAvinash Regular Hours Earnings Non recurring Hours Hours in Decimal format (2 places) 01-JAN-1951
iAvinash Holiday Hours Earnings Non recurring Hours Hours in Decimal format (2 places) 01-JAN-1951

Learn Oracle time and labor (OTL)

Step 02 : Create Element Links

Navigation : HRMS Manager » Total Compensation » Basic » Link

Element links need to be created for every element that you want to attach with employee (basically assignment). This tells the system what all elements are available for any specific assignment. For our case just create the element link for both these elements without associating any criteria.

Just select the element, which we created in previous steps and click on save. Don’t forget to do these for both the elements.

Learn oracle time and labor (otl)

Step 03 : Create Element Set

Navigation : HRMS Manager » Payroll » Elemnt Set

Now create an element set (run set) and add these two elements you created previously.create an element set to setup oracle time and labor (otl)

Step 04 : Create Custom Responsibility

Navigation : System Administrator » Security » Responsibility » Define

This step is optional if you want to use the seeded responsibility but its good and suggestible to create your own custom responsibility. Creating responsibility is the general activity so, I assume you are much aware about the steps you need to follow.

Create two responsibilities as follows

Values Responsibility 1 Responsibility 2
Responsibility Name iAvinash OTL Application Developer  iAvinash Self Service Time and Expenses
Application Time and Labor Engine Time and Labor Engine
From 01-JAN-1951 01-JAN-1951
Data Group Name Standard Standard
Data Group Application Time and Labor Engine Time and Labor Engine
Menu Global OTL Application Developer Time and Expense Self Service Menu
Request Group Global OTL Reports & Processes
Purpose This responsibility is required to setup OTL This responsibility is required for worker to submit timesheet.

Create responsibility to setup oracle time and labor

Step 05 : Attach profiles to custom responsibility

Navigation : System Administrator » Profile» System

Now you will need to assign some standard profiles with these responsibilities. Again this is the general activity so I am not going to explain much here. Just assign these profile values to both the responsibilities we just created in the previous step.

Profile HR:User Type HR: Security Profile HR:Business Group
Profile Values HR with Payroll User iAvinash Business Group iAvinash Business Group

Note : You will need to select your own security profile and business group As per your current Core HR setup.

Step 06 : Run “Generate Flexfield and Mapping Information”

Navigation : OTL Application Developer » View » Request

Now switch your responsibility to newly created responsibility “iAvinash OTL Application Developer” for setup and run the program “Generate Flexfield and Mapping Information” with following parameters. You will use the element set created in previous steps.

Generate Flexfield and Mapping Information

Step 07 : Create OTL Time categories

Navigation : OTL Application Developer » Time Categories

Time category is used to categories your time and you can use these categories for reporting purpose or further validation. One time category may contain several other time categories also. For example, we can define a time category for absence and within that we can have two other categories called Sickness and Vacation.

There are many predefined categories delivered by oracle like Premium Hours, Non-Worked Hours, Billable Hours, Non-Billable Hours, and Total1 through Total10. Total1, Total2, and Total3 are used by the predefined timecard layouts to display totals on the timecard summary and approval summary pages. So we will need to add our two elements in predefined time category “Total1” so that the sum of them are added into the total.

When you are on “Time Categories” window query for “Total1” and add following two values/elements

  • Regular Hours
  • Overtime Hours

Oracle time and labor setup - time categories

Step 08 : Create OTL Time Entry Rules

Navigation : OTL Application Developer » Time Entry Rule » Define Time Entry Rules

Validating the time entry submitted by employee is one of the top priority of every organization specially when clients are charged based on these hours. Time entry rule helps here to automate the process. For example what would you say if an employee mistakenly entered 42 hours for any single day. You don’t want to validate such human mistakes manually, rather you would like to have an automated validation process that will warn employee in such scenarios.

You can enforce when these time entry rules should be applied, either while entering the time sheet or while submitting for approval.

Although you can write many complex formula to validate your time entry, for this sample setup we will use a seeded formula that will stop employee entering more than 24 hours in any single day.

For the same please create following two time entry rules

Name Description Usage Formula Formula Input From Global
Max 24 hours – Save iAvinash Max 24 hours – Save Save Seeded formula for Period Maximum One Day
01-JAN-1951 Yes
Max 24 hours – Submit iAvinash Max 24 hours – Submit Submission / Resubmission Seeded formula for Period Maximum One Day
01-JAN-1951 Yes

Oracle time and labor setup - time entry rules

Step 09 : Create OTL Time Entry Rule Groups

Navigation : OTL Application Developer » Time Entry Rule » Define Time Entry Rule Groups

As the name itself suggests you can combine all or as many as rules you created in the previous steps (time entry rules) under one umbrella and decide what would be the outcome if these rules are executed. You can assign one of these outcome

  • Error
  • Warning
  • Reason
  • Business Message

For our example we will use “Error” when someone enters more than 24 hours in any day.

Create Time Entry Rule Group as shown in the image below

Oracle time and labor setup - Time Entry Rule Group

Step 10 : Define Approval Styles

Navigation : OTL Application Developer » Approval » Define Approval Styles

Remember OTL still doesn’t support AME so all your approval needs to be customized through workflow. For our example we will keep it auto approved that means as soon as worker submits the time card it will be auto approved without any approval required.

So create a approval style as shown in the image below.

Oracle time and labor setup - Approval Style

Step 11 : Define alternate name

Navigation : OTL Application Developer » Alternate Names » Alternate Name Definition

As we mentioned in the beginning the element you created earlier can be given alternate name in OTL and can also be linked with project Expenditure type.  The alternate name you define here will be appeared as a task in the OTL time card for workers. By the time you must have run the program “Generate Flexfield and Mapping Information” mentioned in the step 06 and completed the same without any error or warning.

Alternate name definition

Oracle time and labor setup - Alternate Name Definition

The values you see on “OTL Alternate Names DFF” will be pulled from project side. So please make sure Expenditure Type and corresponding System Linkage Functions are defined properly and you are selecting the right one. They need not to be exactly same as shown in the image above. You may need to consult your Project team.

Step 12 : Retrieval Rule

Navigation : OTL Application Developer » Deposit / Retrival Process » Define Retrieval Rule

Data (time card) submitted by employees through OTL is available to other applications also like your HR, Payroll and Project application, they will use these data for further processing. Using Retrieval Rule you control when the OTL data will be available to other applications. There are predefined retrieval rules for Oracle HR, Oracle Payroll, and Oracle Projects, which you can use if you do not have any specific requirement.

Query “Projects” as shown in the image below, you should get one record, if not, just create one retrival rule as given below

Oracle time and labor setup - Retrieval Rules

Step 13 : Define Retrieval Rule Groups

Navigation : OTL Application Developer » Deposit / Retrival Process » Define Retrieval Rule Groups

Retrieval rules are grouped under one retrieval rule group, which you can assign to groups of people via preferences (later in this article).

(Group) Name Name Retrieval Process
Projects and Payroll Retrieval Rule Group Projects and Payroll – Approved Projects Retrieval Process
  Payroll and Projects – Approved BEE Retrieval Process
Projects and Purchasing Retrieval Rule Group Projects Projects Retrieval Process
Purchasing Purchasing Retrieval Process

For our case search or create a retrieval rule groups “Projects and Payroll Retrieval Rule Group”

Oracle time and labor setup - Retrieval Rule Groups

Step 14 : Define Preference Hierarchies

Navigation : OTL Application Developer » Preferences

This is one of the important step in OTL configuration. These preferences are actually rules to govern how system will behave when workers submits their time cards, what are the restriction they will have, what are the fields they going to see and much more.

Creating preferences tree or branch is tricky specially if you are doing it for first time. Below are the steps to create Preferences tree and add preferences to a branch. First make yourself familiar with these steps.

To create a new branch in the Preferences tree

  1. In the Preferences window, right mouse click on Preference Tree node and select New.
  2. Enter the branch name in the Name in Tree field.
  3. Save your work.
  4. Close the Preference Tree node and reopen to view the new branch.

To add preferences to a branch

  1. Select the node to which you want to add preferences, right mouse click, and select New.
  2. In the Name in Tree field, enter a name for the preference.This name can reflect the value you are going to select. For example, if you are going to select the value HRMS for the Time Store Application Set preference, you might use the name HRMS Application Set.
  3. Save your work and select your new preference in the tree by selecting the node’s name.
  4. Select a value in the Preference field. The corresponding preference values flexfield displays.
  5. Select the preference value(s) and choose OK.
  6. Select the Editable by user option to enable the employee to edit this preference.
  7. Select the Display to user option to enable the user to view this preference
  8. Save your work.
  9. Repeat steps 1 to 7 to define additional preferences for the branch.
  10. Save your work.

Explaining the behavior and functionality of each preference would not be possible so I am going to attach a word document that will describe all possible preference you will need to create for this sample configuration.

Oracle time and labor setup - Preferences

Step 15 : Define Eligibility Criteria

Navigation : OTL Application Developer » Preferences » Eligibility Criteria Tab

In this window you link the preferences created in the previous steps to People, Location, Assignment, Organization, Position etc. That way the preferences created will be applicable to only specific set of people. You can give Precedence to each rule so that they are executed in the order.

For our example create only one Eligibility Criteria as per the image given below.

Oracle time and labor setup - Preferences - Elegibility Criteria

Step 16 : Create organization

Navigation : HRMS Manager » Work Structures » Eligibility Criteria Tab

Employee associated with normal organization cannot fill time sheet straight forward. That organization must have following two classifications.

  • Project Expenditure/Event Organization
  • Project Task Owning Organization

You also make sure you have entered required information for these classification. You may need to take help of you project team to fill following information.

  • Project Expenditure/Event Organization » Related Organization » Give your operating unit
  • Project Task Owning Organization » Project Type Class Information » Give “Yes” for all values

Oracle time and labor setup - Organization

Step 17 : Almost done

At this point of time your OTL setup is completed but make sure you have also completed following steps before submitting a time card.

  1. An employee record exist with all necessary information captured like Job, Costing, Legal Employer etc.
  2. You have assigned correct organization to worker, which has all the classification mentioned in the previous step.
  3. You have assigned a project to this resource.
  4. You have  created a login information user account and assigned the responsibility “iAvinash Self Service Time and Expenses”
  5. Make sure you also run the program “Security List Maintenance”, just in case.
  6. Run the program “Generate Flexfield and Mapping Information” one more time, just in case.

Create your time card (submit time sheet)

Navigation : iAvinash Self Service Time and Expenses » Time » Create Timecard

We have configured OTL successfully for project and now it’s time to submit our first time card, excited right!!

Select the period and then start entering your details as follows

Oracle time and labor setup - Time card

Dummy BR100 to setup OTL for project

As promised, here is the dummy BR.100 to setup OTL for project. Please dont forget to let us know how did you like this article.

[button color=”blue” size=”medium” link=”” icon=”” target=”true”]Download Dummy BR.100 to Setup OTL[/button]

Additional Resources

OTL Interview Questions

Here are few OTL interview questions

  • What is the difference between OTL and OTLR?
  • What are the different predefined layouts delivered by Oracle?
  • What are the main oracle tables pertaining to OTL?
  • How do you transfer data from OTL to Payroll and Projects?
  • How do you restrict worker from entering negative hours in time card?
  • Can you link your absence with OTL, if yes, how do you do that?

If you have answer of these questions or if you want to post some additional question, please visit our question and answer section now!!

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