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.


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.


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.

Friday Apr 12, 2013

New Red Paper on Setting Up PeopleSoft Applications with the PeopleSoft Interaction Hub

We've just published a new red paper that I think many customers will find valuable.  The paper is a practical guide for technical users, installers, and system administrators, who implement, maintain, or deploy PeopleSoft applications and systems. It describes 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 other PeopleSoft applications) into a single portal system using single signon and unified navigation.  The paper applies to PeopleSoft Interaction Hub 9.1 Revision 2.

There is guidance for 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.
  • Configuring and synchronizing user roles and user profiles across multiple PeopleSoft content providers.
  • Synchronizing user personalization across multiple PeopleSoft content providers. 

You can get the red paper from Oracle Support here.

This paper supplements other information about the PeopleSoft Interaction Hub.  For example, it does not describe the installation instructions for PeopleSoft Interaction Hub and the PeopleSoft content providers. That information is provided in other documents.

Using the PeopleSoft Interaction Hub as a gateway to all your PeopleSoft applications (as well as other content), provides a rich, web site-based user experience that can rival any contemporary web application.  It makes navigation simpler, quicker, and more intuitive.  It is also more engaging for your users.

This paper should prove especially valuable now that more customers can install the PeopleSoft Interaction Hub under the terms of the new restricted use license.

Friday Mar 29, 2013

PeopleSoft Interaction Hub Release 9.1/Revision 2 Now Available

This latest release of the PeopleSoft Interaction Hub continues Oracle’s commitment to extending the value of PeopleSoft applications. It provides enhancements that enable customers to present a rich, contemporary, web site-based user experience to their PeopleSoft applications users, giving them a new level of usability and productivity for their PeopleSoft ecosystem.  In particular, the new restricted use license of the PeopleSoft Interaction Hub permits many customers to deploy the product with no license cost, so more customers can make the Interaction Hub part of their standard PeopleSoft architecture. The PeopleSoft Interaction Hub is the best means for bringing all PeopleSoft content together and providing the kind of contemporary experience that users demand.

Here are the major enhancements for the PeopleSoft Interaction Hub in Revision 2:
  • Rebranding and new Restricted Use License
  • Full support for the new PeopleSoft Global Search
  • New Style Sheet adoption
  • Red Paper facilitating Single Sign-on between the Hub and PeopleSoft Applications
  • Other User Experience enhancements such as modals for many pagelet types
  • Adoption of PeopleSoft’s Secure by Default initiative
 To learn more about the PeopleSoft Interaction Hub please refer to the following:

PeopleSoft Portal Solutions 9.1 Documentation Home Page
Oracle’s PeopleSoft Hosted Documentation Home Page
PeopleSoft Information Portal and PeopleSoft PeopleTools and Technology Information Solution

Thursday Jan 26, 2012

PeopleSoft Applications Portal 9.1 Feature Pack 1 Now available


Oracle/PeopleSoft is happy to announce the first feature pack release of the PeopleSoft Applications Portal. This is the first release in the new continuous release model, which we believe will enable us to make new functionality and features available to customers faster. We also expect that the new features will be easier to uptake in more fine-grained packages. The release continues Oracle’s commitment to protecting and extending the value of PeopleSoft applications. It provides valuable enhancements that improve the productivity of end users, as well as improvements to help reduce the total cost of ownership. While the feature pack contains many enhancements, in this post we'll highlight the major enhancements, including the following:

  • Unified and seamless navigation
  • Content management
  • Collaboration
  • User Experience/PeopleTools uptake

In addition, there are some collaborative capabilities that are provided by the Applications Portal that will also be enhanced. These enhancements will extend beyond the use of the portal.

The English and Multi-Language CD recuts for the PeopleSoft Portal Solutions 9.1 Feature Pack 1 enhancements are now available on the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud (OSDC).  Physical CD shipments will be ready by January 30, 2012. Documentation updates are also complete and available on OSDC and My Oracle Support.

The recertified upgrade scripts are posted to My Oracle Support here:

PeopleSoft Portal Solutions 8.9 to 9.1 Feature Pack 1 Upgrade

PeopleSoft Portal Solutions 9.0 to 9.1 Feature Pack 1 Upgrade

The Feature Pack recut CD is intended for organizations that are implementing PeopleSoft Portal Solutions 9.1 newly, or are upgrading from an earlier release.  Feature pack enhancements and maintenance through PeopleSoft Portal Solutions 9.1 Maintenance Pack 1, and PeopleSoft Portal Solutions Bundle #6 are included in these recuts.

New Release Model

Instead of large Portal releases that occur every two or three years, Oracle-PeopleSoft is moving the Applications Portal to a new release model based on Feature Packs. Feature Packs are a new delivery mechanism supplementing the existing delivery mechanisms of bundles and maintenance packs.

Feature Packs will consist of a roll-up of new features and updates, and in addition, at the delivery of Feature Packs, Oracle will include the roll-up of capabilities and updates previously delivered in bundles and maintenance packs as well as re-certify upgrades and integrations.

Unified Navigation

Setting up the PeopleSoft Applications Portal for use with other PeopleSoft applications has been a manual process prior to Feature Pack 1 (FP1). For example, using Applications Portal to access PeopleSoft HCM and other application pages, an administrator sets up the node and registry entries for each CREF and assigns the security information manually. To automate this process in Applications Portal, we are providing a Workcenter specifically supporting Unified Navigation. The Workcenter will guide administrators through the process, and bring all the necessary pages together to streamline the process.  The Unified Navigation framework federates all PeopleSoft application nodes in one place so everything can be managed from Applications Portal. Unified Navigation supports systems using PeopleTools 8.50 and above.

Content Management

Content management is an important part of Applications Portal, and the following new features make it more useful and powerful:

  • Configurable WorkCenter for delivering and managing content
  • Securable portal content by business data
  • Update Content usage tracking

The content management WorkCenter offers the ability to more easily manage and consume content, and it also provides the ability to capture and display (in related content) additional contextual information such as ratings, tags, and discussions associated with any piece of content. This enriches the user experience by providing users with additional valuable collaborative information about the content they are viewing. The WorkCenter also makes it easier to navigate among published content items.


A few new features are included to facilitate collaboration and other Enterprise 2.0 activities. This includes improvements to Related Attachments and the calendar.

Related Attachments is a new feature provided by Portal’s Related Links service. This service can be used by any application using the Related Content Framework, enabling users to attach files to virtually any PeopleSoft page or component. The Related Links service is context-sensitive, so related attachments can be keyed to specific data on a page.

Calendars in Portal and Collaborative Workspaces will now support aggregating user tasks, worklist tasks, and action items. This brings all relevant time/date dependent events into a user’s calendar, making them easier to manage and act upon. This consolidated calendar streamlines user event management by enabling users to refer to a single calendar to manage their work.

User Experience--PeopleTools Uptake

Some of the enhancements that are extending the value of the PeopleSoft applications to customers include the following:

  • Authorization as a Service
  • Guidance on branding and creating a rich self-service user experience
  • Global Search

Additional and detailed information is available in

Configuring a Contemporary User Experience in PeopleSoft Applications Portal Red Paper (Doc ID 1399586.1)

Portal Solutions Cumulative Feature Overview Tool [ID 793160.1

PeopleSoft Applications Portal Solutions 9.1 Documentation Homepage (Doc ID 887960.1)

Wednesday Jan 06, 2010

PeopleSoft Portal Solutions 9.1: Multilingual version is Generally Available

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