Automatic or Manual? The Person Number Generation Conundrum in Oracle HCM

Every person record in Oracle HCM Cloud has a person number irrespective of the type of person, whether it is an employee, a contingent worker, a dependent or any other types. The person number is the person record’s unique identifier and is created at the enterprise level. It can be allocated automatically or entered manually when you create a new record.

There are three types of Person Number Generation methods available under Manage Enterprise HCM Information

1. Manual

If you want to manually enter the person number while creating a person record, this is the best option. When it comes to  Data Migration, keep the person number generation to Manual so that we can load migrated persons with their exiting person numbers from the legacy system.

For example, if you want to load the person record with the legacy person number EBS-10056, we need to create a Worker.Dat file in the following format. METADATA|Worker|SourceSystemId|SourceSystemOwner|EffectiveStartDate||StartDate|PersonNumber|ActionCode MERGE|Worker|00150320|SSO_EBS_DM|1991/05/22|||EBS-10056|HIRE

2. Automatic prior to submission

This is the default method for person number generation. It creates and displays the person number while creating the person records (even before you save that person record). The downside of this method is that it may create gaps in the person number sequence if the record is cancelled after the person number is generated in the system.

For data migration, keep the PersonNumber field on the worker record blank.

METADATA|Worker|SourceSystemId|SourceSystemOwner|EffectiveStartDate||StartDate|PersonNumber|ActionCode MERGE|Worker|00150320|SSO_EBS_DM|1991/05/22||||HIRE

3. Automatic upon final save

This method generated person numbers without any gaps in the sequence, as it generates the number only after the person record has been approved. The downside of this method is that the same number sequence will be continued without a break, even if any contacts have been created for the person while creating the person record.

If you want to change the person number generation method you can do it even if you have existing data, but be very careful. You can change from Automatic prior to submission method to the Automatic upon final save method and change it back again. You can also change from the automatic method to the manual method and vice versa.

While doing Data migration it will be good to start with the manual method, load the data and then switch to one of the automatic methods, so that you can automate the number generation for new persons, starting from the last legacy person number plus one, thus maintaining the legacy number sequence. Of course, this is practical only when it is a brand new system without any records.