Friday Jun 20, 2014

Configuring HTML Email Approval to Meet Your Needs: What Organizations Need to Know About Configuring HTML Email Approval and How to Use It

Today's workforce is fundamentally different and no longer limited to the office.  Mobile devices are integral companions in today's modern work life.  HTML Email Approvals provide the always-connected manager an effective method of monitoring and staying on top of approval requests. For example, a manager is often required to approve last minute requests such as vacation, sick, maternity leave, expense report, promotion, or other tasks while he is away from his office.

PeopleSoft HTML Email Approvals facilitates the mobile managers the ability to review and take approval actions without the need to log into their system to perform the tasks. The HTML approvals are delivered templates that enable the PeopleSoft application to send, receive, and process emails with interactive content.  The managers will be able to take approval actions without having to connect through the firewall/intranet or log into a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to access the PeopleSoft system.

The HTML approvals can be access from any email client (e.g. Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird) and using various devices (e.g. laptop, smart phone, or tablet).

HTML Email Approvals

HTML Email Approvals works in conjunction with PeopleSoft Approval Workflow Engine (AWE).  The approval email is generated when a user triggers an action such as submitting a vacation request (see Figure 1).  The action is processed using our PeopleSoft Integration Broker.  When the manager opens the email, the manager will be able to approve, deny, or push back on the pending request.  The process is transparent to the everyday manager and the transaction is securely updated using PeopleSoft single sign-on and Integration Broker.

Figure 1 HTML Email Approvals Process Flow

The following table contains the HTML Email approvals templates delivered for releases 9.1 and 9.2:

 Financials/Supply Chain Management
 Human Capital Management
 Self Service Invoice Job Opening
 Receivables Job Offer
 Service Procurement Absence Request
 Control Budget Journal Extended Absence Request
 Purchase Order Promote Employee
 Treasury Settlements Transfer Employee
 Journal Reporting Change
 Voucher Performance Document
 Credit Invoice
 Service Work Order
 Requisition
 Time Report
 Expense Report
 Cash Advance
 Travel Authorization


Benefits of Implementing HTML Email Approvals

Content-Rich Email: HTML Email Approvals allows you to provide consistent usability that is content rich to enable users to make well-informed and accurate decision (see Figure 2).  Approval options such as Approve, Deny, or Push Back are actionable within the email.  The email can also provide quick links into PeopleSoft.

Figure 2 Example of Request Absence HTML Email

Access on the Go: HTML Email Approvals can be access from any email client and using various devices.  There is no need to connect into your intranet or Virtual Private Network (VPN).  The approval actions are taken directly within the email.

Security: We use your PeopleSoft security to authenticate and encrypt the information that is sent through the email server to ensure your data is protected.

Configurability: The delivered templates are highly configurable.  You can add or remove content as needed to better fit your business needs and provide optimal user experience (see Figure 3).  You can convert your existing text email templates into HTML email templates.  PeopleSoft plans on delivering additional templates.  Customers can leverage the delivered documentation to guide you through the HTML Email configuration process.

Figure 3 Example of How to Edit an HTML Template

Best of Both Worlds: Customers will have the option to continue using the classic text email template or start using the HTML email templates.  We deliver the HTML Email Approvals configuration disabled by default.  This provides customers flexibility to decide when and which transaction to use the HTML Email Approvals.

Additional Information

For more details on how to download and apply this new functionality please check the following Doc IDs  1577468.1 and 1585801.1 in My Oracle Support (MOS).

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.

About

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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