The most powerful feature of Oracle Applications is the Flexfield feature. I t can be defined as “A flexfield is a field which contains sub-fields or segments” . There are two types of flexfields, Key flexfield (KFF) and descriptive flexfield (DFF). Both flexfields contain segments where each segment has a name and set of valid values.

DFF is used to capture descriptive information. As Oracle has provided maximum fields to capture information on each screen but few companies still want to capture more data on certain screen but in a different way. For example on Oracle Assets you want to capture computers detailed information like RAM, HDD, CDD, Mother board etc. So one way for Oracle was to add such fields on the form for you but just think that Oracle Applications is not specific to computer companies.

Here there is a need of DFF. I t is context sensitive and for each context value different fields would be available. Just for understanding let me give another example as DFF is bit confusing. A company requirement is to capture different detail of computer parts CDD, RAM, HDD, Monitor for each will have different sort of info,

CDD: Make, Speed

Monitor: Make, Size, Serial no

So in the context value when the user will select CDD two fields Make, Speed will be displayed for input while on select of Monitor Make, Size and Serial no. I hope it would be enough for understanding DFF.

1. Locating Descriptive Flexfield (DFF) on the Form

In this topic we will define a DFF on Paybles Invoice Distributions form. The first question is how we can know which DFF is for that form. So we will discuss that how to locate a DFF on a form.

1.1. Open the Invoices form,

Payables: Invoices > Entry > Invoices

1.2. Search any entered invoice so you can move in the form or enter a new one.


1.3. Click on Distributions (button).


1.4. Open the Examine from Menu: Help > Diagnostic > Examine.

1.5. Provide the APPS password if prompted.


1.6. Note the value of Block D_SUM_FOLDER field and click the LOV button of Block field.


1.7. Select $DESCRI PTI VE_FLEXFI ELD$ and click OK (button).


1.8. Locate D_SUM_FOLDER here it is D_SUM_FOLDER.DI ST_DF and click OK (button).


1.9. Note the value displayed I nvoice Distribution (Payables) . Here the Invoice

Distribution is DFF name and Payables is the name of application.


2. Defining Descriptive Flexfield (DFF)

2.1. Open the Segments form,

Payables: Setup > Flexfield > Descriptive > Segments

Or Sys Admin: Application > Flexfield > Descriptive > Segments

2.2. Search for Application Payables and Title Invoice Distribution.


2.3. Elements defined as Global Data Elements will be for each transaction so we can also call that these will be used as header. Soon you will know.

2.4. Enter the information in the required fields.



2.5. I have assigned Value Set 16 Characters so the length will be of 16 characters. I f you will not assign Value Set then a warning message will appear that it will truncate the field. I have created only one element so you can create more.

2.6. Save the data.


2.7. In the second line enter Freight as code and then click Segments (button).

2.8. Enter the following information.

NumberNameWindow PromptColumn


2.9. Save the data.

2.10. Now we will define for Imports.


2.11. Click Segments (button).

2.12. Enter the following information.

NumberNameWindow PromptColumn
20Shipment NumberShipment NoATTRIBUTE13
30Expense HeadExpense HeadATTRIBUTE15
40Expense Sub HeadExpense SubheadATTRIBUTE2


2.13. Save and close this form.

2.14. Create another line for Insurance.


 2.15. Click Segments (button).

2.16. Enter the following information.

NumberNameWindow PromptColumn
10Name of InsurerName of InsurerATTRIBUTE1
20Nature of PolicyNature of PolicyATTRIBUTE2
30Next Premium DueNext Premium DueATTRIBUTE3


 2.17. Save and close this form.

2.18. On the main form create a line for Rent and enter the following information.

NumberNameWindow PromptColumn
40Monthly RentMonthly RentATTRIBUTE4
50Lease TermLease TermATTRIBUTE5


2.19. Save and close this form.

2.20. On the main form create a line for Utilities and enter the following information.

NumberNameWindow PromptColumn
10Type of ExpenseType of ExpenseATTRIBUTE1
20Period of ExpensePeriod of ExpenseATTRIBUTE2
30Meter NumberMeter NumberATTRIBUTE3
40Telephone NumberTelephone NumberATTRIBUTE4


2.21. Save and close this form.

2.22. On the main form create a line for Vehicle Running and enter the following information.

NumberNameWindow PromptColumn


2.23. Save and close this form.


2.24. Enable Check box Freeze Flexfield Definition and save. The DFF definition will be compiled.


2.25. Click OK (button).

3. Entry in Defining Descriptive Flexfield (DFF)

3.1. Open the Invoices form,

Payables: Invoices > Entry > Invoices

3.2. Create a new invoice.


3.3. Click Distribution (button).

3.4. Enter the required information.


3.5. Click the field labeled [ ] .

3.6. Here Customer Invoice No is our Global and this will be entered for all type of expenses.


3.7. Click the Select the Expense Type field.


3.8. Select Insurance (or any which you want to enter information for) and enter the

information in the fields displayed for that Expense type.


Note: As we have not assigned any Value Set so here we can see that our fields length is truncated and we need to scroll.

3.9. Here I have selected Utilities and the fields are displayed which were defined for