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1) The hamburger menu has been replaced by "verical elipses" - or a diet and vegetarian friendly "pea" menu.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


Chris Cavett said…
I agree, Graham, that it's somewhat disappointing that the use of Classic Plus requires a customization. I'd got the impression from the demos at OOW last year that it would just work. I guess that's why Oracle use the Safe Harbor statement everywhere!

I also recall something about "we're just calling it 'Classic Plus' for now" implying that there might be a different name by release date. Looks like they decided to stick with "Classic Plus". I like it!
Unknown said…
Great post Graham. Thanks for sharing your findings. +1 on the Classic Plus setting being at the app designer level. It would be sweet if they made it a PCode function that you could enable via Page Activate Event Mapping. Boom!
Graham said…
@Chris: I would imagine PeopleSoft developers are having the same fun with the Classic Plus stylesheet as they had with the move from 7.5 to 8.0. They have to visit every page and make sure it still works. They have the added complexity of making it work with BOTH Classic Tangerine style AND Classic Plus we have a choice to turn it ON or OFF.

As for the name.... notice in App Designer the checkbox isn't called "Apply Classic Plus theme".... it's actually labelled "Apply Fluid like theme for Classic". But PeopleBooks use the term Classic Plus
Graham said…
@Rob: As soon as I saw it was a 1980's style checkbox to enable it the first thing I went looking for was a PeopleCode function to set it. But.... then I pondered on what I would do with such control in PeopleCode. PeopleSoft have published a list of components that they have "reworked" for classic Plus and then go on to say "To prepare a component for classic plus styling, PeopleTools and PeopleSoft application development teams have reworked some of the page controls on each of the pages within the component."

This means that in many/most/some cases I can't just simply turn it ON. Maybe a PeopleCode function isn't quite so useful. What do you think?

Unknown said…
@Graham, Yes, I agree that if page alterations are typically required before a Classic Plus page renders properly, then a PeopleCode Function is probably not very useful. Overall, the Fluid technology has been very well received by our clients and is a huge leap forward for PeopleSoft. Classic Plus should be a quick answer to converting the remainder of the application en-masse to fluid-looking, albeit not responsive, and create a unified look and feel. But, if page changes are still needed with Classic Plus, then would it even make sense to use CP when the redevelompent time could be spent on making a page fully fluid instead? What do you think? Is there a place for Classic Plus, assuming page alterations are needed?