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.
- 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.