Friday, June 10, 2022

It's a wrap! Blueprint 4D 2022 PeopleTools Recap

We just finished the fantastic Blueprint 4D conference, full of great sessions and incredible networking. It is always a pleasure to meet our JSMpros student alumni and connect with members of the PeopleSoft community.

The conference started with a great lineup from Product Strategy, including Paco sharing a broad perspective of what to expect in future PeopleSoft applications, and then focused strategy breakout sessions. It is very clear PeopleSoft is still a top-tier ERP solution. If you are a PeopleSoft developer, here are some things to watch in future releases:

  • New theme for PeopleTools 8.60. We've been watching the steady transition to the Oracle Redwood theme, and it appears the transition is complete.
  • Global Search is visible all the time, not just on homepages. To make room, PeopleSoft moved the page title down a row, in line with the component header.
  • Recent and favorite icons from the 8.59 homepage move up to the left side of the header. To make room, the back button is collapsed to an image.
  • The global actions header is now detached from an optional component-specific header. While the proliferation of dot-dot-dot menus may seem confusing, I'm pleased with the change as it is now visibly clear if a component has custom actions.
  • Configurable search is coming! Configurable search appears to be based on keyword search, which is a viable option if real-time indexing is enabled. Configurable search will be available for both Classic and Fluid. In summary, configurable search lets you configure search fields and list box items, rather than relying exclusively on search record metadata. Besides Configurable Search, using keyword search (Elastic at this time) also allows you to search for transactions from the global search bar, and the global search bar will show transaction search suggestions from your keyword search history.
  • Fluid is getting SQL Search. My interpretation of this new feature is that Fluid will finally leverage search record metadata to build search pages for us just like Classic. This will be a great time saver since current Fluid search strategies include Pivot Grids, Elastic Search, custom search pages, and custom components.
  • PeopleSoft will transition from Elastic Search to OpenSearch to be consistent with Oracle Cloud. No mention of the impact on Kibana. The timing for this is unknown as the 8.60 planned release will use ELK 7.10. Regardless, the change should be transparent as our users use the PeopleSoft search framework, not Elastic directly. Elastic changed the license with 7.11, which is why Oracle is staying with 7.10 for now, and will migrate to OpenSearch, which is based on ELK 7.10. Oracle encourages to continue creating Kibana dashboards, building indexes, etc as the change should be transparent.
  • Future releases of Cloud Manager should support using Data Science to automatically scale up and down based on load and customer-configured thresholds.
  • CSS custom properties (variables) will replace branding macros. I am very excited about this. We just released a YouTube video showing how to apply a hover effect to rows through CSS. As of 8.59, we must hardcode the hover color, border, etc. In the video, I specifically stated these colors are different than 8.57 and earlier, and hard-coded colors could present a maintenance challenge. If we can leverage PeopleSoft CSS variables, we may be able to reduce future maintenance. With each release, we still expect variable changes (new variables, etc.) just as prior releases brought new Branding Macros, but finding and updating the list with future additions should be trivial with a text compare tool.

Campus Solutions

  • PI 24 delivered Drop Zones to the following three components: Personal Details, Biographic Details, and Emergency Contacts. This is fantastic as it allows us to collect additional information about students without customizing the Oracle-delivered pages.
  • Future Fluid components will include Drop Zones and CAF.
  • 2023 planned Fluid releases include Transfer Credit, Degree Progress, Research Activities, and Program Enrollment.
  • Roadmap items include Integration with Student Management Cloud and Student Financial Planning (cloud)
  • Continued WCAG 2.1 enhancements.
  • Continued Classic Plus conversions.

Notes from Sasank's 8.59 PeopleTools session

  • Search: suggestions show history, corporate history, and the menu.
  • For your history and corporate history to appear in the list, you must enable the following indexes: PTSF_RECENT_KW and PTSF_RECENT_MENU
  • For your recent history to appear, you should also enable real-time indexing.

PeopleTools Platforms Roadmap

We could summarize the 8.60 platforms roadmap by stating that PeopleSoft has or will certify on platforms supported by the vendors of those platforms at the time of release. For example, 8.60 drops support for Windows Server 2016. A more accurate way to state that is Microsoft dropped support for Windows Server 2016, making it no longer supported by Oracle. Likewise, IE11 is missing from the browser certification matrix. Given the Oracle OpenSearch announcement made by Dave Bain. It was interesting to note PT 8.60 will release with Elastic 7.10, Kibana 7.10, Logstash 7.10. The 7.10 release predates the ELK 7.11 license change. Mark assured us ELK's support policy and end of service dates are irrelevant because Oracle maintains their own version of ELK with their own patches and their own support. In that sense, you might say we are already on Oracle OpenSearch as OpenSearch is a fork of ELK 7.10.

On another interesting note, PeopleTools 8.60 adds Excel from the Office 365 suite to the list of supported Excel versions. As Mark noted, however, this is not necessarily a product/version certification, but a license model, as Office 365 is not a version, it is a subscription license. This could be interesting as Office 365 is always current and doesn't necessarily follow numbered release versions.

Cloud Manager 14 Highlights

  • Data Science for Auto Scaling: Automatically scale up nodes on increased load. Uses Health center to identify anomolies for scaling.
  • Support for custom domain names to Cloud Manager.

Page and Field Configurator Planned Features

  • Allow page changes dynamically as the user updates information in response to FieldChange events.
  • Use system variables as criteria (date, time, etc.).
  • Streamline selection of fields for the administrator.
  • Track changes made by users to pages (change tracker). This will be field and role-based and will store before and after values. Users will be able to view change history through related content associated with the transaction. Page and Field Configurator configuration component will have a button to activate the Related Content on the target component for you. This related content will work with both Classic and Fluid. Note: This does not replace PeopleTools Audit Tables.
  • Page and Field Configurator will track views of sensitive information, logging each time a user accesses that sensitive information. By the way, this is a common feature of the Pathlock/Appsian Security Platform, usually implemented through click-to-view.
  • Changes coming for search pages: ability to change labels and apply default values.
And finally, as the conference wrapped up, Oracle completed its acquisition of Cerner. I'm expecting to hear more announcements at the HIUG Interact conference next week!

Thank you to everyone that shared at Blueprint 4D! Be sure to mark your calendars for May 8-11 for the 2023 Blueprint 4D conference!

At JSMpros, we lead PeopleTools training using the latest releases and up to date curriculum. Be sure to check out our website to see what we are offering next!

Wednesday, June 01, 2022

Join me at Quest Blueprint 4D 2022!

BLUEPRINT 4D
See it. Build it. Do it. Imagine it.

I cannot believe the #BP4D conference starts this weekend! Are you ready? Remember to register for your favorite sessions. There are so many great topics on the agenda. PeopleTools 8.60, the great implementations, and amazing ideas from PeopleSoft customers and consulting partners all at BP4D!

On Wednesday, June 8th, be sure to check out my signature session PeopleTools Tips and Techniques to learn phenomenal new ideas.

Let us know your favorite sessions and topics in the comments section below.

I look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas!

Thursday, April 14, 2022

PTF Chrome Recorder

PeopleSoft Test Framework now records with Google Chrome! As of PeopleTools 8.59.07, Google Chrome replaces Internet Explorer 11 as the PTF recorder. This is great news considering Internet Explorer 11 retires from most Windows operating systems on June 15th, 2022. We took the new recorder for a test drive and have some findings to share with you. Check it out on our YouTube channel.

Be sure to subscribe to our channel so you don't miss future updates!

The biggest changes seem to be the replacement of the "always-on-top" recorder with a side window and a right-click pop-up menu.

Are you ready for June 15th? Details about the new PTF recorder are available in My Oracle Support document 2834568.1. At this time, Oracle plans to backport the Chrome recorder to 8.58.18. The document also shares details about potentially recording with the Edge browser in a future PeopleTools release.

What are customers saying? If your site disables Chrome extension installation, then you may experience challenges with the new Chrome recorder. It appears to self-install and run when launching the PTF recorder. You may find limited details about the Chrome extension issue in MOS doc 2648652.1.

With Event Mapping, Drop Zones, and other customization isolation solutions, PTF is more important than ever! Since we no longer customize directly, compare reports don't identify potential impacts. PTF regression tests are how modern PeopleSoft developers locate isolated customizations issues. Are you ready to learn more? Check out our live and recorded PTF courses online! Do you have a team you would like to train? Contact us with the details, and let's get something scheduled.

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Announcing PeopleSoft Fluid Day 2022!

Announcing PeopleSoft Fluid Day 2022 with all new Content! Join us online Thursday, May 19th for a full-day PeopleSoft education experience. Filled with Fluid development tips and best practices, we designed this opportunity to help you build better solutions faster. Space is limited so register now!

Register Now!

With the rapid pace of change in the IT industry, it is imperative that we keep our skills sharp. That is why I'm inviting you to reserve May 19th, 2022 to sharpen your PeopleSoft skills so you can develop better solutions faster and with less effort. Save time and money while increasing customer satisfaction by learning new techniques for building intuitive, mobile and desktop-friendly solutions. Learn how to use responsive and adaptive design to make the best use of screen real estate regardless of device type. Discover new ways to present information that communicates effectively with our users. Reduce the amount of time spent training users by creating intuitive experiences.

Here are some of the topics we will cover:

Fluid Page Design

  • Experience the key development differences between Classic and Fluid
  • Learn adaptive versus responsive design techniques
  • Understand Fluid Search Strategies
  • Leverage the PeopleSoft Fluid style library to create solutions without writing CSS.

Extending Oracle-delivered Solutions

At Fluid Day 2022, we will show you some fantastic examples of using Drop Zones and Event Mapping to isolate customizations.

Testing Strategies

Learn strategies for testing mobile and desktop solutions. With Drop Zones and Event Mapping, regression testing is more important than ever!

JavaScript and CSS

PeopleSoft wrote all the JavaScript and CSS required to build Fluid solutions, which means you don't have to write your own! We'll show you how to leverage Oracle's web assets. If you want to write your own, this session will give you some great ideas. We have examples that show you how to incorporate custom CSS and JavaScript into your Fluid designs.

Data Visualizations

A modern, intuitive user experience is an experience that communicates effectively. Learn simple CSS and JavaScript techniques to build an effective user experience.


Register now to reserve your seat for this dynamic one-day event on Thursday, May 19th. Registrants receive 60-days access to the recording, a copy of the Q&A roster, and sample code downloads.

Take advantage of this opportunity for only $447 per person. If you have a group of 10 or more, contact us at info@jsmpros.com for a quantity discount.

Register Now!

Thursday, March 03, 2022

A Simple Classic to Fluid Conversion

Oracle published a fantastic document describing how Oracle converted from Classic to Fluid. This very educational document is available at Doc ID 1984833.1. Oracle's solution makes sense for Oracle because it offers customers a choice: migrate to Fluid or stay Classic. As customers, do we need to offer that same flexibility? If so, then Oracle's approach is fantastic. I find most customers are either Fluid or Classic (or some derivative thereof), and when we convert a component to Fluid, it stays Fluid. We don't, for example, have part of an organization using a Classic version while another part of the organization uses the upgraded Fluid version. With that in mind, we developed a simpler approach to Fluid conversion: the in-place conversion. This stands in contrast to the clone-and-recreate approach. We put together a playlist with several videos describing our approach:

Be sure to subscribe to our channel so you don't miss future updates!

Want to learn more? Check out our vast Fluid training library, including recorded and live virtual events, online!

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Where is that Content Reference?

New user 'X' needs access to 'Y.' Piece of cake, right? At least it was in Classic. The entire PeopleSoft navigation model stems from Content References. The classic "Navigator" and bread-crumb menus rendered the "Structure and Content" hierarchy. Finding content references under the classic model was trivial because the online visual rendering matched the "Structure and Content" portal registry hierarchical model. After finding a Content Reference, we could review the menu/component combination as well as existing permission lists to derive a solution.

What about Fluid? Most Fluid components exist somewhere in "Structure and Content." The question is, "Where?" The Fluid navigation model consists of homepages, dashboards, tiles, navigation collections, activity guides, and WorkCenters. And we can add any Content Reference to any one of these definitions. There is no structure. We use two tools to help us find Content References:

  1. Enterprise Components > Find Object Navigation
  2. SQL
If you know the menu/component combination or the CREF ID, you can look up the path using Enterprise Components > Find Object navigation. This is very helpful.

Unfortunately, many Fluid content references share the same component, a framework component such as PT_FLDASHBOARD or PT_AGSTARTPAGE_NUI. Everyone has access to these components. Let's consider the Personal Details tile on the HCM Employee Self-Service homepage. The menu/component combination is exactly the same as Payroll. Both use a framework component. What differentiates one tile from the next is the additional URL parameters. So we put together a SQL statement to help us locate content references by URL fragment. The following SQL is Oracle-specific. Notice the URL in the WHERE clause. Replace that URL with your own. Since this SQL uses regular expressions to filter CLOB data, be sure to regex escape special characters.

There is one other way to find a CREF ID. If the target is a Fluid Dashboard, then you may visit PeopleTools > Portal > Dashboards > Manage Dashboard Pages. The properties link shows both the parent folder and the dashboard's CREF ID.

Are you interested in learning more about PeopleSoft Fluid administration and development? Check out our website for live virtual and on-demand recorded PeopleSoft Fluid training.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Hiding Tiles

At a conference several years ago, a friend and I were discussing PeopleSoft Fluid. Fluid was new at the time, so my friend was sharing his vision for making Fluid better. One of his ideas was to dynamically hide tiles. For example, if an employee has an Onboarding event, show the onboarding tile. Likewise, if a student has holds or "To Do's," then show a tile. I thought this was a fantastic idea and came up with a few ways to make this happen. If you are using PeopleTools 8.54 through 8.58, here are some options:

  • Use Dynamic Role Rules to add/remove a role that grants access to the target tile. This is the easiest approach and the most adopted method for dynamic access to tiles. For this to work properly, a tile should be marked as required.
  • Use Event Mapping to hide a tile. The PeopleSoft tile homepage is a cleverly formatted Fluid DIV Grid. Each tile represents one row in a grid. Through PageActivate Event Mapping, we can selectively show or hide rows by setting a row's Visible property. As you iterate over the list of rows, evaluate criteria and set the row's visbility accordingly.

What about 8.59? Why did I recommend these strategies for 8.58 and earlier and not 8.59? There is a new PeopleTools 8.59 feature that lets you configure a tile's visibility. Tammy Boyles from Oracle Product Management shared about how HCM uses this new feature last month. Here are the steps:

  1. Create an App Class that extends PTGP_APPCLASS_TILE:API:TileAppFilter.
  2. Put your conditional logic in the IsTileVisible method, returning True to show or False to hide.
  3. Add the content reference attribute TILEAPPFILTER to your tile's content reference.
  4. Open the appropriate homepage content reference and mark the tile as required.

Once you configure a TILEAPPFILTER attribute, the tile will no longer show in the "Personalize Homepage" list of available tiles, so users may no longer add or remove this tile. Therefore, a tile that has a TILEAPPFILTER attribute must be marked as required.

Do you want to see an example? Join us on November 18th, 2021 for Configuration Day 2021 to see this and many other new 8.59 features in action.

At JSMpros, we teach PeopleTools topics like this every week. In fact, this specific topic is part of our continuously updated Configure, Don't Customize course. Be sure to check out our website for more information about this and many other PeopleTools topics.