18 – Customer Setup

    You create customers so that you can properly record and account for sales transactions, as well as all other attributes of your selling relationships. Recording a sales transaction requires that a customer, stored as a party in Oracle Trading Community Architecture, has an account as well as an account site. Consequently, to understand the role of a customer in the context of your trading community, you should also understand other concepts such as party, customer account, and account site.

  • Party: An entity that can enter into a business relationship, such as buying and selling, and can be of the type Organization or Person. A party exists separately from any business relationship that it enters into with another party. For example, Vision Distribution could be a party within your trading community.
  • Customer: A party, either an organization or person, with whom you have a selling relationship. This selling relationship can result from the purchase of products and services or from the negotiation of terms and conditions that provide the basis for future purchases. For example, a division of Vision Distribution could become one of your customers.
  • Customer Account: A customer account represents the attributes of the business relationship that a party can enter into with another party. The account has information about the terms and conditions of doing business with the party. For example, you could open a commercial account for purchases made by Vision Distribution for its internal use and a reseller account for purchases made by Vision Distribution for sales of your products to end-users.

    You can create multiple customer accounts for a party, to maintain information about different categories of business activities. For example, to track invoices for different types of purchases, you can maintain an account for purchasing office supplies and another account for purchasing furniture.

    You can also maintain multiple customer accounts for a customer that transacts business with more than one line of business in your organization.

    Information about a party such as profile, addresses, and contacts can be shared across a party’s customer accounts. In addition, you can also maintain separate profiles and contacts, along with the contacts’ contact addresses and contact points, for each customer account.

  • Sites/Addresses:
    • A location is a point in space described by an address.
    • A party site is the location where a party is physically located. Every party has only one identifying address, but a party can have multiple party sites.
    • An account site is a party site that is used in the context of an account. An account can have multiple account sites.
    • A customer address is an account site that is used for billing, shipping, or other purposes.
  • Relationship:
    • A party relationship is a party’s role in the context of another party. Party relationships can be either seeded or user defined. Examples include, affiliate, subsidiary, partner, employee of, or contact of.
    • An account relationship is established between different accounts of a party to allow sharing of billing, shipping, and pricing information.
  • Contact: A person who communicates for or acts on behalf of a party or customer account. A contact can exist for a customer at the account or address level. A person usually acts as a contact for an organization, but can also be a contact for another person. For example, an administrative assistant could be the contact for an executive.

Process Flow

This diagram shows the process flow for managing, searching, creating, and updating customer information.









    Bill To







    Ship To







Order Management


Customers à Standard





United States


6200 Windhaven Parkway





Postal Code




Business Purposes


Bill To

Payment Terms

EOM 60

Price List



Ship To



Ship Method

UPS-Air-2nd Day Air

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