I have a masters in Accounts with three years of domain experience and strong programming knowledge. I want to know what is the path I need to take to pursue Oracle Financials.

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The answer depends on whether your present company is interested in using Oracle Financial applications, or whether you are looking for a job. There is considerable difference between being a "functional" expert or a programming expert. You can get some information from Oracle at www.oracle.com, and you may wish to register at Oracle Technical Network, www.otn.oracle.com to get information on the applications, although if you have no exposure to Oracle Financials, this may be confusing.

If you have no friends in the Oracle community, see if there is a local chapter of OAUG (Oracle Applications Users Group). The OAUG's purpose is to educate users. If your company is interested in using Oracle, they may want to send some personnel to training at Oracle University or attend an Oracle webinar on the subject.

You could also take Oracle University classes in GL (General Ledger), AR (Accounts Receivable) or AP (Accounts Payable). Some of these classes are available online, if your company or you cannot afford instructor-led classes.

If you are primarily interested in the programming/technical aspects of the financial applications, you may wish to pursue education in the Oracle developer's area... such as programming forms and reports, or using PL/SQL. If this is what you want, you may want to start with an class in relational database modeling, introduction to SQL or PL/SQL, and then an introduction to forms class. Again, these are available at Oracle University, or sometimes in evening classes at your local university.

This was first published in December 2003

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