Extend Business Processes with New PeopleSoft Forms and Approval Builder Capabilities
By Mark Rosenberg on Jan 03, 2012
Released in early 2011, PeopleSoft Forms and Approval Builder is a tool for business analysts to develop and deploy electronic forms that facilitate and extend organizations’ business processes. Forms and Approval Builder enables the replacement of paper and email-based forms with auditable, electronically approvable transactions that look and act like a PeopleSoft application page. In PeopleSoft Enterprise Components 9.1 Bundle #2 2011, you will find several new Forms and Approval Builder capabilities that help you quickly and inexpensively tailor business processes.
To seamlessly copy data from a form to an existing PeopleSoft transaction and thereby eliminate dual data entry, Forms and Approval Builder now offers you the option to map fields within a form to PeopleSoft Component Interface Properties. This feature is designed to streamline and tailor transaction flows. For example, you could use this feature to provide salespeople a form for submitting essential new deal information to the contract administration team. After receiving a completed form from the sales team, a contract administrator could review the form and push a button to automatically populate data fields in the existing PeopleSoft Contracts contract entry component with values from the form. In most organizations there are dozens, if not hundreds, of other opportunities to extend business processes with the Forms and Approval Builder.
Taking advantage of this new capability simply requires an analyst, who has some familiarity with PeopleSoft Component Interfaces, to use the new facility in Forms and Approval Builder to map a form’s fields to fields in one or more existing Component Interfaces.
Form usability is further enhanced with the new Section field Use Type, which provides you with an HTML editor to enable the creation of form section rules, section headers, and images. You can now guide your users through completing each section of the form by entering inline headers and instructions.
Simplifying Navigation of a Form with the use of Form Headers and Form Sections
Utilize the new Dynamic Prompting Capabilities.
When people enter appropriate data on a form, everyone’s life is easier. Improving the quality of what people enter often involves being able to limit the options for a prompt field based upon a selection made in a previous field. Well, Forms and Approval Builder has been enhanced with support for dynamic prompting, which allows you to control the data that appears in a prompt based upon the selection of other text, code, or prompt field values.
For example, if a user selects a business unit from a prompt on one of your custom forms, you can limit the Project IDs shown in the next prompt to only those within the selected Business Unit. Then, you can limit the Activity IDs shown in the Activity ID prompt to only those belonging to the selected Project ID and Business Unit. This new functionality makes your custom forms behave like a real application, not like a static paper form.
Enhanced security is provided by giving you the option to lockdown the data in a form either after it has been submitted, after it has been approved, or not at all. This security gives you the flexibility to tightly manage processes that require it and offer more interactive collaboration for forms where control is not a priority.
Since there is no additional cost for Forms and Approval Builder, it could make a lot of sense for your organization to start using it in your PeopleSoft HCM and/or FSCM 9.1 environments today.