Tuesday Jan 03, 2012

Extend Business Processes with New PeopleSoft Forms and Approval Builder Capabilities

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.

Copy Form Data to an Existing PeopleSoft Transaction via the Component Interface Field Mapper

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.

Insert Form Section Rules, Headers, and Images.

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.

Lockdown the Form after Submission or Approval

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.

Start Using It Today

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.

Monday Jun 13, 2011

Finally...a Paperless Office with PeopleSoft Forms & Approval Builder

You know what it’s like. Your desk is covered in paper. You were sure you filled out that form that your manager requested last week, but really, it could be anywhere in your office. You can’t remember if you submitted it, let alone where it is. Maybe it’s already on your manager’s desk somewhere? You also wish you had a copy of the last form you submitted so that you could check what you had previously asked for, but you have no hope of finding that one!

PeopleSoft applications are helping to make paper and email-based forms a thing of the past so that you will know what was submitted, when it was submitted, and who approved it. We recently released Forms and Approval Builder as a part of Common Components 9.1. Forms and Approval Builder allows you to build electronic forms that are configurable by business analysts, enabled with approval workflows, and immediately deployable and auditable to enable you to replace paper and email-based forms. Forms and Approval Builder is currently available, at no additional charge, to all PeopleSoft 9.1 customers. It was part of the FSCM Feature Pack March 2011, and it is also available in the Enterprise Components 9.1 Common Objects Bundle 1 2011 for use in any PeopleSoft 9.1 Pillar, including, of course, HCM. It does require PeopleTools 8.51.03 or greater.

Form Design

PeopleSoft Forms and Approval Builder enables business analysts to create electronic, routable forms without having to use PeopleSoft Application Designer. A typical form can be designed and in use within 30 minutes and requires no writing of code.

The intuitive wizard guides you step by step through establishing a form. Options include adding instructions to the form, similar to what you would find on the back of a paper form; adding attachments to the form for users to read, submit, or both; and being able to create your own fields on the form. These fields can be plain text, numbers, date and time, yes/no, fields that prompt against existing PeopleSoft records, and code fields. The code field type enables you to build a list of items on the fly that a person who is filling in the form can select from when perusing the drop-down list. You can create these user prompt values in the code fields without having to enter them in a standard PeopleSoft record beforehand.



Adding fields to the form. Fields can be placed in one or two columns on the screen.

 

Fields can be organized into one or two columns on the page, and every field on the form has the option of being made required to ensure that users thoroughly complete the form.

You specify the location of the form in the PeopleSoft Main Menu through an easy-to-navigate folder hierarchy, and you select the flow of approvers that the form will follow using the approvers from within the Approval Workflow Engine.

There is also the ability to make forms available for limited periods of time.

Efficient and Effective Forms Management for your Organization

Knowing how many of each type of form are in the system and their approval status is essential in monitoring your business processes. PeopleSoft Forms and Approval Builder comes with its own summarization table, enabling you to see at a glance how many forms of each type have been created and how many forms are in each approval status. This central Form Management repository also enables you to activate and deactivate your forms within the system in one place, eliminating the need to go back into the design of each form and activate it.

The ability to find a particular form in an instant is also important in supporting efficient operations. Forms are searchable by subject, form type, priority, due date, and approval status to eliminate the need for searching through piles of paperwork.

Easy to Navigate Forms Available to Your Users When they Need Them

Any given form may be accessed through either the central forms repository or the link you designate for it in within the PeopleSoft Menu navigation. Users open a blank form; enter the required information; download, read, fill in, and upload attachments; and submit their form for approval.

Forms are available to the approver instantly, and approvals are also available as soon as they are granted.



Previewing the Approval Workflow for the form.

Finally, because the Forms and Approval Builder utilizes the existing infrastructure of the Approval Workflow Engine and the Supplemental Data Framework, your forms and approvals are migrated like all other application data during an upgrade between PeopleSoft Releases.

The paperless office is finally a reality! View the Transfer of Information Presentation at Oracle University today.

Thursday Apr 07, 2011

PeopleSoft Time and Labor 9.1 Adoption of AWE and HCM Delegation

Prior to Release 9.1, Time and Labor was designed to retrieve all rows requiring approval for employees based on the user's row security. If a user has row security permission to the employee and appropriate component access, the user will be able to approve the employee's time.

 

The Approval Workflow Engine (AWE), also known as Approval Framework, is the framework providing capabilities to create, execute, and manage your approval processes. AWE is the PeopleSoft standard for any applications wanting to support workflow. AWE is use by over 25 applications within PeopleSoft.

 

Adopting AWE enables Time and Labor to take advantage of the flexible framework and standardize to current standards within PeopleSoft. Customers have full control to configure their own approval process and take advantage of the different approval actions such as approve, deny, or push back. These approval actions and statuses are displayed in an easy to read approval status monitor. The framework incorporates workflow functionality to send email notifications and/or create and update worklists.

 

The benefits of using the AWE include the ability to:

  • Approve or deny individual line items in a transaction.

     

  • Approve and deny multiple transactions at the same time.

     

  • Include multiple approvers for individual steps.

     

  • Assign additional approvers and reviewers during the approval process.

     

  • Approve, deny, or push back approvals.

     

  • Reassign approval tasks to another approver.

     

  • Use worklist and email notifications. 

Additionally for HCM customers, the HCM Delegation Framework is integrated with the AWE. The AWE recognizes when a transaction needs to be routed to a proxy instead of the original manager and documents the routing as such. The Delegation Framework also uses the AWE to handle the delegation request itself, for example when a manager requests one of his direct reports to be a proxy, the AWE actually handles that accept/reject process.

 

Starting with Release 9.1, the Time and Labor design was modified to retrieve all rows requiring approval for employees based on the User List that is associated with the Approval Process ID defined within the Workgroup or Time Reporting Code.

 

The User List determines the Operator ID to route the approval. Row Security Permission no longer plays a role in allowing approval and, although a user has row security to the employee and is able to bring up the employee's timesheet or payable time, the user will no longer be able to take approval actions unless AWE designates the user as the pending approver.

 

We recently posted the HCM 9.1 Time and Labor AWE and Delegation Red Paper and a Frequently Asked Questions document. The goal of these documents is to provide education on this topic and answers to common questions from customers. These documents will serve as a living document and will be continually updated on a quarterly basis.

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This blog is dedicated to topics focused on PeopleSoft Applications, including Human Capital Management, Financials, Enterprise Service Automation, Asset Lifecycle Management, Procurement, Supply Chain and Customer Relationship Management.

For information about legislative updates to our PeopleSoft Applications see the PeopleSoft Legislative Updates Blog.

For information about PeopleTools see the PeopleSoft Technology Blog.

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