Tuesday, 20 June 2017

5 Things on first sight of PeopleTools 8.56

5 Things in 8.56
Here are my initial 5 thoughts about the new PeopleTools 8.56 release that became Generally Available last week.

I have a native install of the HCM 022 Image running on Microsoft Windows and so the first thing I had to do was upgrade this to 8.56 before I could start to play.  Using the PeopleTools 8.56 DPK method this was quite a straight forward 3 step process -
  1. Uninstall old versions of Tuxedo and WebLogic,
  2. install 8.56 PeopleTools files with mid-tier deployment
  3. use CA to upgrade target database

So here's my initial 5 things on 8.56...

1) The hamburger menu has been replaced by "verical elipses" - or a diet and vegetarian friendly "pea" menu.  I think I like it.

The new "pea" menu

2) I'm going to have to re-write my blog on Fluid search pages as  SetSearchDialogBehavior no longer works with with Fluid.  This is probably a good thing. If it doesn't work in Fluid now then it must have "worked" (done something)  in previous versions, whatever it did may not have been useful and presumably the fact that it does nothing now in 8.56 means that's good.... I'll let you know once I work out what and why.

3) Classic Plus.  This is a new stylesheet that can be applied to Classic pages to make them look more like Fluid pages. This is limited to look only and Class Plus styles pages will not be responsive to the device like Fluid is.  Nevertheless, this is still a very useful feature especially when users are switching between Fluid and Classic pages.

It's enabled globally in Branding System options and then takes effect for all components which are set to use Classic Plus.  This setting is at component level and requires a change in Appplication Designer for each component that you want to have rendered in the new stylesheet. For simple pages this setting may not need any other work but for complex pages it's likely some page layout adjustment may be needed.  Clasic Plus has already been enabled for things like Process Monitor and Report manager. Disappointed that this requires a customisation to the component to enable albeit a simple one.

I enabled it for Project Session Administration component (PSPTCOMPAREADMIN) and everything seemed to work and look just fine.  See the next 3 screenshots.

Classic Page Before

Set Component to use "Fluid like theme" (aka Classic Plus) 

Same page now with Classic Plus style

I'm expecting that upcoming application update images will start to contain application pages that have been adjusted to work with Classic Plus.

4) Event Mapping is now available on Page Activate and FieldChange event level.  Excited about this as it has huge potential for all us Selective Adopters out there.  I'll be putting this one through it's paces over the next few weeks and will report back what I find.  Event Mapping is another awesome innovation from the PeopleTools team that can help to reduce customisations.

5) Multiple instances of Change Assistant can now be installed and run on the same workstation.  And.... they can be on different tools versions (as long as the minimum tools version is 8.56).  I know... there's always a gotcha.

So much more is packed into this PeopleTools release including ElasticSearch, Unified Navigation without Interaction Hub, Tile Wizard improvements, new Fluid templates, new PTF features, new PUM analytics, and more. I'll be writing about my favourites over the coming months.  Make sure you book a place on the free Cedar Consulting PeopleTools 8.56 New Features Masterclass scheduled for later this year.  Contact us here,

Thursday, 1 June 2017

5 Things about Page Composer Developer Registration (Part 1)

Page Composer is currently used by Fluid Approvals for rendering AWE Workflow transactions in Fluid.  Using Page Composer you can change the Fluid Approval pages - adding or removing fields, change field layout and style for any device form factor.  What makes Page Composer so powerful is the underlying data structures defined in "Developer Registration"- found in Enterprise Components > Page Composer > Developer Registration.

1) There are 3 "moving parts" to Fluid Approvals

a) AWE Process Definition - This is not new and has always existed since AWE first appeared.  This means if you have an AWE definition and you want to surface your approval transaction in Fluid then you're already part way there.
b) Developer Registration - (Enterprise Components > Page Composer Administration)- This is a developer tool used to define compositions.  A composition describes what transaction data/fields to make available to your Page Composer when you come to define (or compose) your Fluid Approval page.
c) Page Composer - (Enterprise Components > Page Composer) - This a developer/functional tool used to build a Fluid Approval page using fields defined in the Composition.

2) Page Composer is used to define a Fluid page for Approvals. This is known as a Composition.  All Fluid Approval pages use the same component and page definitions - namely COMPONENT.EOAWMA_MAIN_FL along with it's main pages PAGE.EOAWMA_MAIN_FL, PAGE.EOAWMA_TXNHDTL_FL and PAGE.EOAWMA_TXNLDTL_FL.  I strongly advise not to meddle with these definitions as they are very complex, tightly bound to existing Compositions and also liable to change through PUM Updates as new features are added and the inevitable defects are fixed. Think of this component as a template used in a mail merge.  The template has a fixed set of "sections" in which there are a fixed set of "field placeholders" of various types which are available if you need them.
The template COMPONENT.EOAWMA_MAIN_FL has 3 main pages
  • Main (Summary). This is what you see when you click the Approval tile .  Approval transactions, shown on the right, are actually rendered using a sub-page PAGE.EOAWMA_RSLT_SBF (main page is PAGE.EOAWMA_MAIN_FL).
  • Header Detail. This is the page you see if you click one of the approval transactions. (PAGE.EOAWMA_TXNHDTL_FL)

To keep this blog post digestible I'm just going to describe some characteristics of the Main Summary page.  Lookout for a blog post on the "wonders" of the Header Detail page in the very near future.
  • The EOAWMA_RSLT_SBF has 2 sections that are available (technically there are 3 but the third is a special case used for handling the Mas Approval function).
  • If the Section bound to a HTML field on the Page (see Page Registration Section Definitions below) then Page Composer allows you to drag and drop fields into the section.  You can also define the number of columns that will displayed which can help with field and field label alignment.
3) The Developer Registration tool is used to create a Registration that is based on this template.   Each Registration is bound to an AWE Process Definition. In fact the Registration name must be the same as the AWE Process Definition.  The Registration is also associated with a Component (think of this as the template) Actually, there's only Approvals available at the moment so you have to specify COMPONENT.EOAWMA_MAIN_FL here.  PeopleSoft Enterprise Components team have other Registration Types available here (namely Email HTML Page, Email Rich Text Email and Stand-Alone HTML Area) but to-date only one example of a Component Type , Approvals, has been delivered.

4) Each defined Registration has a set of Sections for each form factor (X-Large, Medium, Small, etc).  Each row in the Registration is a Section for a particular Form Factor.  Each Section has the following attributes:
  • one or more Application Source Records.  These records provide the transaction data that will become available to the Page Composer tool when building an Approval page.
    Application Source Records
  • Page Reserved Field.  This is the method used to reference specific HTML, Link and Button fields on the physical page.  Each Section is bound to one and only one field (referenced by Object Name) on the page.  Finding the correct Page Reserved Field can be a bit tricky. There's a little bit of trial and error and copying other delivered Registrations required but suffice to say that if you try and define a Section on a Page and use the wrong Page Reserved Field the Registration component will throw an error at save time.  
    Page Reserved Field binds Section to Physical Page
  • Composition Key Fields.  These are used to bind your section to the underlying AWE Xref Record.  
    Composition Key Fields

CLICK TO VIEW - Relationships between Page Composer, Registration and Approval Summary

5) How to add a field to the Approval Main (Summary) Page using Page Composer
I'm going to tackle some more involved use cases in future blogs such as adding new fields into Registrations, adding hyperlinks into Header Detail sections and adding custom business logic (PeopleCode) to events in the Approval Pages.

However, for now I'll just walk through a simple Page Composer change to add a new field to the summary row of the AddressChange Composition.

1) Open Page Composer (Enterprise Components > Page Composer)
2) Enter Definition = Approvals and Search
3) Select AddressChange Composition
4) Under the Pages TAB select Approval Summary to show the Main Summary sections (this should be the default view).
5) Under the ToolBox TAB select Fluid Approval View (AAV) Record to show all available fields.  AAV is just an alias for the Record specified when you create the Registration.
6) Find the AAV:Empl Id field and drag and drop the field from the left pane to the Address Change Approval Summary Section.
7) Save the Composition
8) Open the Approvals tile to view the resulting change.
9) The video below demonstrates this and adds a 2 column option for controlling layout.