Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Step by Step - "Hello World" Fluid Application

PeopleTools 8.54 delivers Fluid, a complimentary new user interface designed for mobile and desktop devices (see it in action here). If you don't already have tools 8.54 installed grab Image 008 for HCM or FSCM  (see Doc ID 164184.2 on MOS) and follow this simple step by step guide to create your first Fluid application.  If you know Application Designer then all of this will be familiar.

You'll need access to a PeopleTools 8.54 environment and Application Designer.  I hope some find this useful.

Step 1 - Enable the Fluid Homepage

In the FSCM 008 image and maybe the HCM image the link to the Fluid Homepage is not visible (even though it exists in the Portal Registry).  Follow this video to enable the link .  Basically you just need to create a new content reference link based on the existing Fluid Homepage link.

Step 2 - Create a Fluid Page 

Note the new definition type of Page (Fluid).  However, a Fluid Page is just a Standard type Page with the Fluid checkbox ON in Page Properties / Use. 

You'll be prompted to select a Layout Page.  Layouts (as the name suggests) control the page framework. A Fluid Layout page is a Page of type Layout. For this sample app we'll use a simple, predefined layout called PSL_APPS_CONTENT which gives us a simple, single frame view.

Name the page and SAVE.  It will prompt to copy PeopleCode but this page layout has no PeopleCode so it won't matter what you select here.

Let's put a button and a description field on our page.  When the button is clicked we want to display "Hello World".  So, create a work record and add ACCEPT_BTN and DESCR fields along with some PeopleCode on FieldChange event of the button field.

GRS_FLUID_WRK.DESCR = "Hello World";

Now we'll just set the button link properties to tidy up the display,

Step 3 - Create a Fluid Component

Now we'll create a Component and add the new page.

And now the "magic sauce".... TICK the Fluid Mode property on the Fluid TAB.  It's this property that tells PIA to render this component in Fluid rather than "Classic" mode.

Our sample application won't be displaying any data so we'll set the search record to the commonly used INSTALLATION table.

Step 4 - Add Component to Menu

Save your new component and Add to a menu.  As with all other components the purpose of adding to a menu is to allow permission lists to grant security access.

Step 5 - Register the Component

Now, with the Component open click the Register Component button to invoke the portal registration wizard.

To keep things simple we're going to add our Fluid application to the portal folder PTFL_PEOPLETOOLS. You can of course create your own portal folders to organise Fluid Applications or add them to existing folders.

Again, just to keep things in this walk through simple I'm using the ALLPAGES permission list to grant access for my user (in this case VP1) .

Step 6 - Add the new Application Tile to your Homepage

Access the Fluid Home Page. 

Use the Personalize menu item to add a new Tile to your homepage.

Here's what your new Tile should look like.  The icon and label are set in the Structure & Content / NUI Attributes TAB.  (See Appendix below)

 Click the Tile and test your application.

You may notice that it doesn't seem to matter where on the page you place the fields - the layout will always be the same.  This is because unlike the "pixel perfect" Classic interface the Fluid UI is designed to be "responsive" to the size of the display device and so will control the layout of page objects in a free-flow style.  What's controlling the field sequence on the page is the Field Order.

App Designer shows Description following Button
but Field order has Button following Description and so....

Fluid renders according the the Field order.

Appendix - How to control Tile Display

The Tile contents, Size and Behaviour can be set using the NUI Attributes on the CREF in Structure and Content.  The contents can be either 
  • a static label and icon
  • HTML returned by an iScript
  • results from any component
  • results from a PeopleSoft URL
Tile Caption
Tile Dimensions and Content Controls

1 x 2 size Tile

Friday, 3 October 2014

OOW 2014 - Customer Appreciation Party

Aerosmith..... what can I say,  Started in 1970 - these "older guys" can still sing and play.  Amazing.

Walking through the "magic" gateway to Treasure Island - San Francisco

500 buses (shipped in from over a 100 mile radius) carried 40,000 Oracle customers and partners

And just for the sentimental out there here's the classic  "I don't want to miss a thing" (1996 hit I think).

OOW 2014 Day 3 Fluid Deep Dive

If the overall theme of OpenWorld has been Cloud then within the PeopleSoft product the big theme has been Fluid (and Mobile).

Fluid is a new "complementary" user interface designed for multiple platforms - not just mobile devices like cell phone and tablets but desktops and laptops.   It's not a replacement of the "classic" interface but is just better suited to writing applications for casual and executive users who may be on a mobile devices one day and a dektop the next. The UI is a "responsive" one that adjusts layout for different screen sizes and orientations,  Read more here.

On Tuesday Dave Bain (Director, PeopleTools Product Management) gave a deep dive session on Fluid and I've tried to capture some key points.  I don't know if non-OOW attendees will have access to the PowerPoint slides on but have a look for this one - they are full of useful information  The session was entitled PeopleSoft Mobility Deep Dive: PeopleSoft Fluid User Interface and More  [CON7588]

Fluid was enabled in 8.54 PeopleTools release but (at time of writing) there have been no apps made available yet.   If you have PUM Image (PI) 008 then you have Fluid but there are no Fluid Apps.  I'm going to blog soon on how to create your first fluid app.  Expect the first Oracle built Fluid apps in November for HCM in PI 009 and for FSCM later in 2014.  Most of the Oracle presenters at conference were using their internal pre-release demo images for their presentations.  I have to say... it looks very nice.  So here's some things that may be of interest...

  1. Fluid is PIA.  Fluid pages are served up by the psc servlet.  In fact, a Fluid page is just another component and page.
  2. Pages are "responsive not fixed".  The HTML uses
    tags and CSS to control layout rather than the "classic" which uses
    tags.  A clever(ish) play on words to describe a  Free fLowing User Interface. (I haven't heard this officially... i'm just speculating this was how they derived the name)
  3. Fluid pages are not pixel perfect.  In other words the fields positioned on the page are rendered in a logical free form mode relative to other objects around them and the size of the device rather than absolute positioning.
  4. A page definition in App Designer is either Fluid or Classic. It cannot be both.  (A check box on the page properties controls if it's fluid or not)
  5. You "can" tick this checkbox on for existing classic pages but "you'll have fun" suggests a wry Mr Bain.  "Fluid pages should be created from scratch" he goes onto affirm.

If you have the PUM Image 008 for FSCM then you have PeopleTools 8.54 and therefore the Fluid framework. (not sure if the HCM Image 008 also has this link missing)  Here's how to access it.

Classic vs Fluid

Enable Fluid Home Link in FSCM PUM Image 008

I wanted to start experimenting with the new Fluid user interface in PeopleTools 8.54 and as Image 008 shipped on 8.54 I thought it would be a good place to start.  However, I found that the cref link to the Fluid Homepage was not visible for some unknown reason.

If anyone can shed any light on why this is invisible I'd love to know.  Anyway, with some assistance from my good friend Jim Marion (Jim's PeopleSoft Journal) we discovered that by creating a new link from the delivered link we can get access to the fluid homepage.

OOW 2014 Day 3 Gallery

Exhibition Demogrounds
Always... one of the best place to hangout in between sessions is the demo grounds.  Here Oracle specialists from PeopleTools and Apps hang out to demo features and talk with customers.

Manning a demo pod is hard work so thanks to all the Oracle staff that make this corner of the OpenWorld conference so valuable.  I hope you enjoyed the chocolate I left for you.
Mark Johnston (VM & WebLogic guru) and Keith Collins (IB/MAP/Document/REST developer)
Sesha Veerapanini (Senior Principal Software Engineer/Lead SES developer)
Sesha is responsible for the quite brilliant piece of software integration with Oracle SES.  When SES was first embedded in tools 8.52 a few years ago it's just about all PeopleSoft marketing talked and raved about.  It's instrumental in the "search first" paradigm that many web applications are using these days, There's been a huge uptake of SES in PeopleSoft largely down to the number of customers going to 9.2 (about half the audience in Paco Aubrejuan's PeopleSoft Roadmap session on Monday).  Thanks to Sesha, on Tuesday, I got sorted exactly how Oracle expect users to index document attachments in PeopleSoft.  When I get back to the office I'll be blogging a step by step guide to indexing attachments plus a few little customisations you may want to consider.  Thanks Sesha.

Jim Marion (of Tips & tricks fame

OOW 2014 Day 2 Integration Broker

Dan Cenido is a leading specialist in PeopleSoft Integration Technology.

He spoke with great enthusiasm on the success of the PeopleTools engineers in building a feature rich, standards compliant and highly performing enterprise service system - PeopleTools Integration Broker.

Dan first gave a quick recap on what we have in previous releases

  • In 8.51 we got Documents
  • In 8.52 more standards compliance, scalability and the first cut of REST.
  • In 8.53 REST with JSON response and the URI builder

And now ...In the latest 8.54 release Dan highlighted a number of new features including....
  • a document can now return HTML (I guess this is in there for MAP )
  • Improvements in REST
  • Transaction Tracker ("enables you to track/debug inbound and outbound integrations between the local node and all other nodes defined in the integration network.")
  • Gateway properties can now be saved in the database so when upgrading the file can be recreated easily.
  • Node Lockdown.  This allows you to preserve (lock) properties os a node so when upgrading a Node object from source to target the locked target properties do not get overwritten.