Thursday Apr 24, 2014

Continuous Release Model for PeopleSoft Interaction Hub

The PeopleSoft Interaction Hub has been on Oracle's continuous release model for some time now.  I still get many inquiries about this release model, though, so a refresher is in order.  The next release is planned to be made available soon after the upcoming release of PeopleTools 8.54.  This version of the Interaction Hub will be release 9.1/Revision 3.  You can read details of the continuous release model for the Hub in the last Statement of Direction and FAQ.  New versions of the Statement of Direction and the Release Value Proposition for the Hub will be published soon.

The current release model does not preclude us from producing a 9.2 or 9.3 release for the Interaction Hub at some time in the future.  For example, PeopleSoft's Campus Solutions product has been on continuous release for some time as well, but they recently announced that they are going to offer a 9.2 release, and this option is open to us as well.

PeopleTools 8.54 Release Value Proposition Now Available

We have just published the Release Value Proposition for PeopleTools 8.54.  It is available on My Oracle Support.  This release of PeopleTools will be a landmark release for PeopleSoft.  It continues Oracle’s commitment to protect and extend the value of your PeopleSoft implementation.  The release provides additional technology options and enhancements that reduce ongoing operating costs; and offers applications users a dramatically improved experience.

User expectations and requirements have shifted over the past few years. Most often, our customers’ employees have expressed a desire to use applications at work more like the ones they frequently use elsewhere. For example, why shouldn’t performing a task, such as updating employee records, submitting an expense report, approving workflow, work more like the tasks they do online every day. 

Customers have told us that their employees are more familiar with online tasks than ever, and that they often connect to company resources while traveling or from home; in many cases, they want to access these resources from their personal devices, such as tablets, smartphones, and home computers. The desire is for enterprise systems to be as intuitive and available as other online resources, such as commercial websites. In fact, many of our customers have begun to merge their internal systems with their commercial presence so that external partners, affiliates, and students can securely access required resources directly from the company’s website.

PeopleTools 8.54 introduces a number of exciting new features that will assist our applications development teams in building powerful, secure, and robust applications for everyone from self-service users to expert power users. PeopleSoft 9.2 enhancements that use this latest release of PeopleTools will be richer and more intuitive to users than ever before. In addition, this release incorporates a number of extremely compelling features for delivering, managing, and maintaining PeopleSoft applications at a much more manageable total cost of ownership (TCO).

The most visible features of PeopleTools 8.54 relate to the graphical UI. With this release we introduce the PeopleSoft Fluid User Interface. Our intention is to present PeopleSoft application content in a highly usable fashion and to leverage the latest advancements in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The result is a user experience that is simple and intuitive, yet highly productive.  Customers that upgrade to PeopleTools 8.54 will also be able to create new Fluid pages. 

The role of reporting has shifted tremendously in recent years. In many cases, it is no longer sufficient to prepare a static extract of data from the system and then print it to paper or publish it online. Today’s technology allows our customers to engage their users with visual charts and graphical analytics that represent what is happening or has already happened. Users can visually discover what they are looking for and then take actions using Related Actions right from the reports themselves.

As with other recent releases, the scope for PeopleTools 8.54 builds additional functionality into the product as a result of direct customer input, industry analysis, and internal feature design. New features, bug fixes, and new certifications found in PeopleTools 8.54 combine to offer customers improved application user experience, page interaction, and cost effectiveness.

Thursday Apr 17, 2014

Lotus Notes Support Deprecation

In the next release of the PeopleSoft Interaction Hub (9.1/FP3), we will be deprecating direct Lotus Notes support as an email option.  Customers that wish to use Lotus Notes in the future can still use our IMAP support.

Here is information on configuring your email system to use IMAP.  Guidance on working with the email pagelet is located here.


Monday Mar 31, 2014

New Doclet: Administering Search for Content Management Business Attribute Security in PeopleSoft Interaction Hub

PeopleSoft Interaction Hub now implements content search based on content management business attribute security when using the Global Search bar.  It also supports this search within the content management feature. For this purpose, PeopleSoft Interaction Hub delivers new search definitions, search categories, and indexes, which are described in this document.

PeopleSoft Interaction Hub delivers these new search definitions and search categories in addition to the existing delivered search definitions and search categories.  This document is a supplement to the existing search definitions and search categories and the steps for deploying them. For information on the existing search definitions and search categories, refer PeopleSoft Interaction Hub 9.1: Portal and Site Administration, “Understanding Search in PeopleSoft Interaction Hub” and “Administering Search Indexes.”  This document is applicable to customers who have implemented the content management business attribute security (CM002) and are using Oracle's Secure Enterprise Search with PeopleSoft, or customers who are planning to implement the CM002 feature and are using SES.

Friday Mar 21, 2014

Upated Red Paper on Setting up PeopleSoft Interaction Hub with PeopleSoft Applications

This red paper is a practical guide for technical users, installers, system administrators, and programmers who implement, maintain, or develop applications for PeopleSoft systems. The paper discusses how to use PeopleSoft Interaction Hub to federate multiple PeopleSoft content providers (for example, PeopleSoft Human Capital Management [HCM], PeopleSoft Enterprise Learning Management [ELM], and so on) into a single portal system using single signon and the unified navigation feature. With single signon and unified navigation configured, users logging into PeopleSoft Interaction Hub can access HCM and ELM content references, dashboards, WorkCenter pages with remote pagelets, and related content.

This paper discusses the following topics:
  • Configuring single signon for PeopleSoft Interaction Hub and PeopleSoft content providers. 
  • Configuring unified navigation to federate portal registries from PeopleSoft content providers. Includes configuration and usage guidelines for unified navigation.
  • Configuring and synchronizing user roles and user profiles across multiple PeopleSoft content providers. Either the default or the configurable user profile synchronization can be used.  Changes to user profiles can be made in the following components: User Profiles, Distributed User Profiles, Change My Password, Expired Password, and Forgot My Password.
  • Synchronizing user personalization across multiple PeopleSoft content providers.  Changes to user personalizations can be made in My Personalizations, My System Profile, or both.

The previous version of this paper was published in April 2013.

Monday Feb 10, 2014

PeopleSoft Information Portal Updated

The PeopleSoft Information Portal has been updated with a new look, improved navigation, and some new content.  Check it out here. The PeopleSoft Information Portal is a one-stop-shop for all sorts of valuable information on PeopleSoft, including documentation, training, and the new 'Breaking News' section.  An area dedicated to PeopleTools will be useful to all you PeopleSoft technical folks.

Updated Paper on High Availability for Oracle SES

This paper on implementing for high availability for Oracle SES has been updated to include information on cluster scale out.  (Original post from 1/13/2014.)

Friday Jan 31, 2014

New PeopleSoft PeopleTools Training Courses Available

Oracle University has just released several new courses to help you get essential hands-on experience with PeopleSoft PeopleTools 8.53.  Just looking to drill-down on what’s new with the latest release?  Delta courses are available to give experienced developers insight into the new features.  You have an option to take in-class training or avoid travel and train online with Live Virtual Classes.

 Here are the courses offered:

Developing a Contemporary User Experience with PeopleTools and PeopleSoft Interaction Hub
5 Days

PeopleSoft Lifecycle Management/Update Manager Combo Rel 8.53
5 Days

PeopleSoft PeopleTools Installation & Server Admin Rel 8.53
5 Days

PeopleSoft Security Rel 8.53

4 Days

PeopleSoft Query Reporting Rel 8.53

3 Days

BI Publisher for PeopleSoft PeopleTools Rel 8.53
2 Days

If you only need to discover what is new with certain products or subjects, these delta course will be useful:

PeopleTools Server Admin Rel 8.53 Delta/Oracle SES Configuration
1 Day

PeopleSoft PeopleTools Delta Rel 8.52 - 8.53

1 Day

PeopleSoft PeopleTools & Server Admin Delta Combo Rel 8.53
1 Day

You can learn about all of Oracle University's PeopleSoft courses here.

If you can't find the course you seek, let OU know!

Monday Jan 13, 2014

Implementing High Availability for Oracle SES 11.2.2.2

A useful new document is available on Oracle support that describes steps to implement High Availability for Oracle SES 11.2.2.2.  This approach uses a 4-node WebLogic Server cluster and 3-node Oracle RAC Database. Get the doc here.

Note: This document does not contain information on ESS cluster scale out.  The document will be updated soon to provide that information.  ESS cluster scale out is an optional step, and customers can set up other portions first.


Thursday Dec 19, 2013

Creating a Launch Pad Experience with the PeopleSoft Interaction Hub and PeopleTools

Post Contributed by Bharathi Mani, PeopleTools

The PeopleSoft Interaction Hub is especially well suited for aggregating PeopleSoft application content and creating a unified user experience.  The Hub provides users with a contemporary web site-based user experience rather than a segmented experience in which applications are partitioned, and users must navigate around different applications to accomplish their tasks.  Using the Interaction Hub, you can align your PeopleSoft user experience with your business processes. 

A practical and common way to provide this unified user experience is to configure the Interaction Hub to serve as a launch pad for your PeopleSoft applications as well as 3rd party or other Oracle content.  A launch pad experience provides users with relevant information required to perform infrequent tasks like Benefits Enrollment as well as some day-to-day jobs while retaining the context of their homepage/dashboard. The volume of information presented to the user can be reduced, providing pre-defined task flows that help present results with more clarity.  The links on the PeopleSoft homepage/dashboard pagelets can be setup to open in modal windows thereby enabling users to perform various types of actions from within the Homepage context.

Many of the techniques described in these scenarios are explained in the red paper Configuring a Contemporary User Experience in PeopleSoft Interaction Hub.

The following is an example of a Launchpad page.  The Interaction Hub can contain many pages (represented as tabs).  In this case, the ‘My HR’ tab described below has an HR News, Self Service accordion menu, Tag cloud, My Events, Company directory, Announcement and My Job Openings pagelet. These pagelets come from different PeopleSoft systems that have been setup using Unified Navigation.  Homepage/Custom tabs are another way of aggregating content and presenting information to the user in a logical way.  The following scenarios describe common task flows initiated from this Launchpad.


Scenarios

The following scenarios describe a user’s interaction with the system along with the techniques used to achieve the experience.  The techniques described below are supported and delivered by PeopleTools. The recommended versions to create this user experience are Interaction Hub 9.1/FP2 and PeopleTools 8.53.

Scenario 1: Open Enrollment

The user clicks on a news article “Open Enrollment” in the HR news pagelet. The article opens in modal window. The HR News pagelet is sourced from the Interaction Hub. The news publication feature delivered by IH has been used to create the content for this pagelet.  The pagelet has been created using Pagelet Wizard and uses a delivered XSL to open links in a modal.  The “Open Enrollment” news article has a link for the user to enroll in benefits.  The user can use this link to enroll or modify their benefits information.  The user completes the transaction and closes the modal to return to the homepage.  (The way to define a modal link is described in the section A Note On Opening Links in Modal Windows at the end of the Scenarios section.

Scenario 2:  Locating Useful Information

Our user now wants to review the company’s policy handbook.  He uses the Tag Cloud pagelet and clicks on the policy tag.  This opens the tag browser page in a modal window. It displays the search results for the content having the tag “policy”.  He clicks on the search result, the modal closes and he is taken to the transaction page displaying the content. After reviewing the content he can get back to the home page by clicking on the ‘Home’ link or on the tab link. The tag cloud pagelet is delivered with the Interaction Hub.

Scenario 3:  Updating Dependent Information

The user now wants to review and update his dependents information.  He clicks on the Dependent/Beneficiary info link in the self service pagelet.  This is an HCM pagelet that uses custom XSL to display an accordion menu.  The Dependents link opens a modal.


The user reviews the information and updates the information for one of his children.


He completes the transaction and closes the modal to return to the homepage.

Scenario 4:  Getting Help

The user now has a question on benefits for dependents. He clicks on the HR Help Desk link in the help pagelet, whose source is the CRM application.  It opens a modal with the Help Desk search page. He enters the keyword “dependent” and gets the search results.


He selects the desired search result, reads, and then closes the modal to get back to the home page.


The “HR help desk” pagelet is an HTML based Pagelet Wizard pagelet.

Scenario 5:  Quick Navigation Using Related Actions and Embedded Analytics

The user would now like to review the Job opening and closing trends in his organization.  The “My Job openings” pagelet has related actions to display this information. Related actions can be configured using the PeopleTools Related Content framework.


He clicks on the Job Opening Open and Close Trend related action. It opens a modal displaying the pivot grid chart.


The user clicks on the ‘Age Band’ bar to see the related actions menu. He then clicks on the Detailed View related action to get the details of the job openings.


He reviews the information and closes the modal to return to the homepage.

A Note On Opening Links in Modal Windows

In scenarios 1, 3, and 4, we have described user flows where PeopleSoft content is opened in modal windows.  To achieve this, customers can use third party Java Script libraries such as the jQuery-based ThickBox to open PeopleSoft content pages (PSC) inside a modal window.  PSC refers to PeopleSoft URLs that use the portal content servlet to render the content.  When displayed in a modal, the content will be rendered without the header information.  The figure below shows the Personal Information Summary page rendered as a PSC. The URL will take a form like this: http://<<server address>>/psc/hrms/EMPLOYEE/HRMS/c/ROLE_EMPLOYEE.HR_EE_PERS_INFO.GBL

The same Personal Information Summary page when rendered as a PSP (PeopleSoft Portal page) is shown below. The URL will take a form like this:  http://<<server address>>/psp/hrms/EMPLOYEE/HRMS/c/ROLE_EMPLOYEE.HR_EE_PERS_INFO.GBL

We do not recommend using modals for displaying content such as WorkCenters, Dashboards, PeopleSoft Portal pages, pages using a template that is different from the default template, or Collaborative Workspaces.

Most techniques allow modals to be styled using CSS. For example, ThickBox uses its own style sheet on top of the jQuery user interface style sheet, which is the case for most types of plug-ins.  We suggest using modals for simple pages.  Don't use modal with nested modals or nested pages and complex interactions like related actions or related content from the modal window.  Simple pages are more effective as a user interface technique and cleaner from a technology perspective. The customer is responsible for licensing the third party software. Also, note that this is considered a customization and the customer is responsible for development and testing.

Other Mechanisms for Creating a Single Pane Experience

WorkCenters, Dashboards, and Activity Guides can be used with the Interaction Hub in a complimentary way.  They can appear as tabs in the Hub, thus enabling the user to use the Hub for its proper purpose, and these other features for their intended purpose.  After doing the typical HR Self-Service tasks, the user wants to get down to daily work, and uses WorkCenters and Dashboards for that.  He navigates to these pages using the tabs.

WorkCenters

WorkCenter framework is a feature that was delivered in PeopleTools 8.51. WorkCenter pages are a type of configurable PeopleSoft page that enable you to offer access to related transactions, analytics data, query results, and other PeopleSoft resources from one central location. You can organize the elements on WorkCenter pages based on processes, roles, or other business requirements that are specific to your organization. When carefully designed, WorkCenter pages bring together the PeopleSoft elements that your users access most when performing the tasks that comprise their primary responsibilities. As a result, WorkCenter pages promote productivity by minimizing the time users spend navigating between tasks. When users access WorkCenter pages, they are presented with pagelets, which contain links to components, analytics, query results, and other PeopleSoft resources. 

An example of using the WorkCenter to provide a single pane guided process is the Life events Activity Guide (displayed in a WorkCenter) in the HCM 9.2 application:


Here the user launches the WorkCenter by selecting the “Life Events” link in the HCM Benefits menu. The registration for a life event such as marriage, birth, adoption, or divorce consists of a number of steps that the user must perform. These steps are encapsulated in an Activity Guide pagelet available in the left frame of the WorkCenter. The user clicks on the links on the pagelet or uses the navigation bar at the top of the transaction area to access and complete the various steps in the process.  The links in the Activity guide pagelet open in the target frame on the right hand side.  The PeopleTools Activity Guide feature can be used to create and publish an Activity Guide pagelet.  The WorkCenter can be configured to have multiple pagelets on the left frame that open the links in the right target frame.

By using the WorkCenter the user...

  • Is able to retain the context of the Life event process
  • Is able to see the status of the various tasks

The WorkCenter left frame can contain any type of pagelet such as a Navigation Collection or PS Query based pagelet.

An example of a WorkCenter with a navigation collection pagelet is the “My Learning” WorkCenter that is available from ELM. In this WorkCenter,clicking on the links in the pagelet will open them in the target pane.


WorkCenter Dashboard

A WorkCenter dashboard is an extension of the WorkCenter, where the starting page is a dashboard that can be used to display pagelets containing key decision support information that is relevant to the tasks performed when using the WorkCenter.  An example is the Contracts WorkCenter Dashboard delivered by PeopleSoft FSCM.


The PeopleSoft 9.2 Contracts WorkCenter gives contract administrators a tool to help them understand, prioritize, and execute their work significantly faster than ever before. The WorkCenter enables users to access various pages and keep multiple windows open while doing their daily work.

The Contracts dashboard is a collection of information summaries that enable users to monitor different objects and data. Multiple grids display various data, such as Top Five Contracts, Most Recent Contracts, and metrics. Users can select and edit required contracts from the Dashboard.

Thursday Oct 31, 2013

Secure Enterprise Search 11.2.2.2 Now Available for PeopleTools 8.53

We are pleased to announce that Oracle Secure Enterprise Search (SES) 11.2.2.2 is now available to PeopleSoft Customers on PeopleTools 8.53.  The minimum PeopleTools Patch Version Required to adopt SES 11.2.2.2 is PeopleTools 8.53.06.  This version of SES provides some important benefits for PeopleSoft Customers, particularly in the areas of platform support, distributed architecture support, and RAC support.  You can get all the details on this update on My Oracle Support.  This MOS document lists the fixes and configurations needed for PeopleTools certification of SES 11.2.2.2.

For other useful information on PeopleTools and SES, see this Oracle forum.

Wednesday Oct 30, 2013

Did You Miss Open World? View this Roadmap Presentation

If you were unable to attend Oracle Open World in September, you missed out on some important PeopleSoft messages.  Don't despair!  You now have a chance to receive an update on PeopleSoft’s presence at Oracle OpenWorld 2013 and the key messages delivered there.

You can view the “PeopleSoft Update and Roadmap” webcast found here on the Quest Users Group site.  (Note: this is available with a FREE subscriber account.  Anyone can sign up here at no cost.

This webcast recording presents the significant adoption and momentum behind PeopleSoft 9.2.  Viewers will also learn about the new release model for continuously delivering new capabilities to PeopleSoft customers at a lower cost enabled by the new PeopleSoft Update Manager.  There are also compelling live demonstrations of the major investment areas for PeopleSoft including a new PeopleSoft user experience enabling mobile solutions as well as In-Memory PeopleSoft applications.

You can also review all presentations in the Oracle Open World 2013 Content Catalog.

Tuesday Oct 15, 2013

Video 'How-To' Available for Activity Guides

PeopleTools provides a feature called Activity Guides that enable our application developers and customers to create guided processes for users.  Activity Guides are especially useful to walk users through infrequently performed self-service tasks, but are also beneficial for power users that perform complex administrative functions.  Here is an example of an activity guide delivered by the HCM applications for a self-service activity.  PeopleSoft delivers several guided processes out-of-the-box, but it's important to understand that customers can easily create their own activity guides for unique requirements or processes in their enterprise.  To illustrate how simple it is, we've created a video that shows how to create a simple activity guide.  This will get you on the road to creating your own.

Wednesday Oct 02, 2013

Oracle PeopleSoft Publishes User Experience Guidelines

PeopleSoft has introduced many new features in recent releases that provide a rich, contemporary, intuitive user experience.  The frameworks for these features are provided in PeopleTools, and PeopleSoft applications teams have delivered many great instances, particularly in 9.2.  Although our applications teams are delivering a great deal, PeopleTools enables customers to modify delivered instances or create their own to support unique requirements of their enterprise.  If customers do that, they will benefit from applying common user experience guidelines to the things they produce. 

To support customers in those efforts, the PeopleSoft Applications User Experience team is excited to announce the release of the PeopleSoft User Experience (UX) Guidelines. The UX Guidelines contain information about the usage of key PeopleSoft components to create highly usable, efficient, and productive experiences for Oracle customers.



Several PeopleSoft customers participated in a survey in December 2012, which helped identify the following topics. These topics are covered in the first release of the guidelines:

  • Dashboard
  • WorkCenter
  • Guided Processes (Activity Guides)
  • Pivot Grids
  • Pagelets
  • Related Content
  • Related Actions
  • Modal and Mouseover Windows
  • Grids

Why do we need UX guidelines?

With PeopleTools 8.53 and the 9.2 PeopleSoft Applications, you will see more modern and visually appealing features delivered by PeopleSoft. With the help of UX guidelines, customers and partners can not only design and tailor their own user experience but also ensure consistency with features designed by PeopleSoft. The UX guidelines explain each topic in detail, display relevant images and provide usage guidelines. 

UX Guidelines Examples

The following is an excerpt from the WorkCenter section:


The image below shows part of the Dashboard section:



Usage guidelines have been provided for all the other topics as well.  PeopleSoft UX Guidelines will enable customers to design and tailor the ultimate user experience for their organization.  Following the guidelines will ensure consistency across applications. The guidelines would also help in choosing the right pattern for any scenario.  These guidelines will be periodically updated as PeopleSoft introduces new capabilities.

You can mail your feedback and suggestions to mrudula.sreekanth@oracle.com

Friday Sep 20, 2013

Oracle Open World is Here!

This weekend kicks off a big week for PeopleSoft at Oracle Open World.  In PeopleTools, we have a lot of great sessions prepared for you.  The subjects for our sessions are wide ranging, but here are a few:

  • Technology roadmaps
  • Sessions on platforms, performance and life-cycle management including the new PeopleSoft Update Manager and virtualization
  • Security
  • User experience advances
  • Mobile
  • Reporting
  • Testing
  • Getting up on our latest releases: 9.2 apps and 8.53 PeopleTools.

In addition, you'll hear from several customers on their successes with PeopleSoft technology.  We are also bringing back the popular 'Meet the Experts', hands on labs, and panel discussions.  Be sure to visit us on the Demo floor as well.

Of course there a some great keynotes and other general sessions, that, while not specific to PeopleSoft, will be of interest to PeopleSoft customers.

Visit this page for a pretty comprehensive list of PeopleTools and related sessions.

About

This blog provides information to the PeopleSoft community, about PeopleSoft Technology, otherwise PeopleTools.

For information about PeopleSoft see the PeopleSoft Strategy Blog.

For information about PeopleTools 8.53 and 8.54 see the PeopleTools Patch Updates.

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