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No you can not do it by category.
I have the same problem of restricting item lists by catgeories.
An approved supplier may supply items in multiple item categories. So I have defined my line type with each category and was expecting the system to restrict
the items by category.
Is this a functional deficiency in the product (EBS 12) ? How else can I restrict my item list for user-friendliness in data entry of PO ..... ?
If you can define the buyers; purchases for specific categories, you can use category flexfield security rules to enforce security. This will not let the buyers use that category to create purchase orders. I understand the maintenance nightmare, but gives you a way.
Also simple personlization can help.
A buyer can only be associated with 1 default category in EBS ... in our case a buyer can have multiple categories.
So not sure how the category security rules can be applied. Also not sure how simple personalization would resolve this.
Anyway, we have now setup I-Procurement catalog categores and catalog-based procurement seems to be a more user-friendly way to select items in the Buyer Work Center ........