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Under-utilized features of Email Communication for Purchase Orders

Communicating Purchase Orders to suppliers as PDF documents via email has been around for quite some time but there are some features that I find are under-utilized and are often not presented to customers.  

For example, did you know that you can have every PO copied to a generic email address?  What about attaching documents to the email such as Terms and Conditions or any other files?

Create a backup copy of PO Communication email

Oracle has the capability to send a copy of the email communicating the PO to supplier by sending a copy of the email to an internal email address.  This provides you the ability to forward a copy of the email if the supplier did not receive the original copy.  The backup copy of the email can also be used for internal reference.

Use the profile option PO: Secondary Email Address to identify the email address to which the copy of the purchase order should be sent.  Typically organizations set up a generic address such as

Include Terms and Conditions in the PO Communication email

Oracle has the capability to attach a separate Terms and Conditions document to the email that is sent to the supplier.  This is useful as typically terms and conditions are controlled by an organization’s legal department and they want to retain control over not only the wording, but the look and feel. Oracle will include the Terms and Conditions document as an attachment to the email.

Use the profile option PO: In File Path profile to identify the UNIX directory where the terms and conditions file will be placed.

Use the profile option PO: Terms and Conditions filename to identify the actual filename for the terms and conditions file.

Attach documents to the PO Communication email

From R12 onwards, buyers can send attachments such as drawings, specifications, design documents, project plans, etc. along with the purchase order.  The buyer has always been able to upload various types of files (PDF, MS-Word, MS-Excel, jpegs, etc.) to the PO and flag them as “To Supplier” attachments.  However, they weren’t automatically sent along with the PO communication.  Previously only text attachments were communicated as a part of the PO.

In R12, Oracle will zip all the “File” type attachments flagged as “To Supplier” into a single file.  The compressed file is then attached to the email communication and sent to the supplier along with the Purchase Order document and if applicable, the Terms and Conditions file.

There are two options that need to be set under the Document Control section of the Purchasing Options screen.

Email attachment Filename – Use this field to identify the name to be used for the zip file that is generated with all the “To Supplier” files.  By default this value is set to “”.

Maximum Attachment Size ( in MB) – Use this field to set limits on the size of attachments that you want to send via your email system.  If the zip file is larger than the maximum allowable size then the PO communication will be sent without the attachment and both the buyer and the supplier will receive a notification alerting them of the fact that the attachments were not communicated.


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