When I started working on a requirement to customize a screen for an Oracle MSCA requirement the first thought that came to my mind was... What is Oracle MSCA ? How does this app work? How does it integrate with oracle application? What is the architecture?Most importantly where the hell is this documented? Which API's do I use? Where do I find setups? What is a barcode? Why is it so confusing?
What is Oracle MSCA?
Oracle MSCA stands for moblile supply chain applications. It is based on MWA framework or Mobile Wireless Applications Framework. This framework enables mobile devices like bar code scanners/rfid devices to interact and transct in Oracle Applications.
This is a set of applications deisgned speceficially to be used in the warehouse/shopfloor to carry out tasks using mobile devices such as scanning guns in conjunction with Oracle Applications like WMS/Receving/Manufacturing etc.
For example :
You need to receive goods that you have purchased. When the goods arrive it would be an arduouos task to actually sit and enter all the information with regards to the Item Number/ASN/Quantity etc for each item being received. It would be much easier if you could just scan a barcode and automate the data entry process.
This is precisely the rationale behind all the MSCA applications.
Bar code Technology
Bar codes encode letters and numbers into a concise, simple format (sequences of vertical bars and spaces of variable widths) that machines can read.
Bar code scanners read bar codes and conver them into strings that Oracle Applications uses to directly populate fields, the overhead and chance of human data entry is nearly eliminated.
What devices are used for the applications and how do they interface with Oracle Applications?
All devices used are industrial bar code guns/rfid devices. These can be from a variety of suppliers or makes and need to be certified for use with Oracle Applications.
Mobile Application Architecture
MSCA is a composite of INV/WMS/QA applications which leverage data entry using mobile/rfid/wireless devices.
This architecture clearly requires the following components:
Data Stream indicator
The data stream indicator is an ASCII character that the MWA server uses to identify the scanning input stream. This is by default set to 28(CTRL+\) and can be changed by modifying the default_key.ini file under $INST_TOP/admin/install.
data stream indicator would need to be pre-fixed(also called preamble)
to any data stream/string that the bar code reader reads. This data
stream indicator tells the mwa server that this is a scanning stream and
is interpretted appropriately to populate fields.
In my next article more about: