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Nilesh Pawar

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Understanding Common Lookups in Oracle HCM

04-Oct-2021 02:33:00 / by Nilesh Pawar posted in Oracle, hcm


  • The HR department has to maintain personal, legislation-specific, and organization-related data for all employees in their HR applications. It is crucial to properly manage and store this data as it will be used for reporting. Furthermore, this data will also be used by other applications like payroll and outbound interfaces.


    Oracle HCM Cloud offers all such data fields and their values out of the box, which helps customers adhere to the legislative rules and properly maintain the data. Oracle offers its customers the flexibility to manage values for these data fields by using the functionality of lookups.

    Lookups hold a list of values that appear for various fields within an application.

    There are three categories of lookups:

    1. 1. Standard lookups

    2. 2. Common lookups

    3. 3. Set-enabled lookups

    What are the Common Lookups in Oracle HCM?

    Here are some essential details about common lookups.

    Common lookups are predefined lookups that allow users to add new values or enable/disable existing values. These are generally maintained by admin users.

    To enter a value for the fields within the application, a user can select any one of the values from the available list. There are predefined lookup types available for various fields in the application.

    For example, 'Assignment Category' is one of the fields on the employee's assignment screen that contains a list of values. The list of values that appear for this field comes from lookup. The lookup type for this is 'EMP_CAT'.

    Duplicate lookup codes are not allowed in the lookup type.

    Lookup Customization

    Oracle Fusion contains certain predefined lookups that you cannot disable values for or add new values to. However, there are a few lookups that allow you to disable values and also add some new values. So, it all depends on the lookup configuration level, as it helps you check what level of customization is possible for a lookup type.

    There are three different types of common lookups available in Oracle Fusion that decide the customization for the lookup:

    1. 1. User lookup – This is a flexible type of lookup; you can add new values and enable/disable the existing values to it.

    2. 2. Extensible lookup – In this type of lookup, you can add new values but cannot disable the existing values.

    3. 3. System lookup – System lookup does not allow you to add or disable the existing values.

    Lookup Type and Its Components

    Lookup Type – Here, you can add values to the lookup. Note that this field name will appear on the setup screen and not on the application screen, where users usually make an entry into the application.

    Meaning – This is the name of the field that users will see on the screen, where they will add the value.

    Module – This is the name of the module to which this lookup belongs. It might be named as HR or Absence.

    Lookup Configuration level – As explained in the above section, lookup configuration has three values:

    • User

    • Extensible

    • System

    We can add values, known as lookup codes, in each lookup type.

    The lookup codes consist of:

    Lookup Code – This signifies the value of each code that we have added. It is not visible to the users but it is used to uniquely identify values added to the lookup type.

    Display Sequence – This is used to mention the sequence of values they should appear in, for the users to select. It can be 1, 2, 3, etc.

    Enabled – The Checkbox helps you to enable or disable any particular lookup code.

    Start Date and End Date – You can specify a date range for each lookup code to make it available only within that range for users to select. If this is left blank, then it is always available for users.

    Meaning – This term will appear in the list of values on the UI for a specific field, which the user can see and select from the drop-down menu. It is associated with the lookup code.

    Tag – Tag is used for localizing the lookup code. For example, if we put +GB as Tag then this value will appear only for Great Britain localization; and if we put –GB, then it will not appear for Great Britain. If we leave this blank, it will appear for all areas.

    You can create a new lookup type or enable/disable values by using the task under Setup and Maintenance -> Manage Common Lookups

    Here is an example for lookup type 'EMP_CAT':

    Business Case

    If any customer based in GB wants to enable the 'Transgender' value for 'Gender', which is already present in the lookup type, they can navigate to the Manage Common lookups task. Since the lookup type for Gender is 'Sex', select the value 'Transgender' in the lookup codes section, and in the tag column enter '+GB'. Click on Save and Close.

    To get all the details of lookups in the application, simply use the below query:

    Select * from hcm_lookups;

    So, this is how common lookups in Oracle HCM capture information for employees and provide the flexibility to manage value in these data fields.

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