What is the difference between Workcenters, Dashboards, and the Interaction Hub?
By Matthew Haavisto on Oct 08, 2012
Oracle Open World has just concluded. Over the course of the conference, we presented several sessions covering different aspects of the PeopleSoft user experience, including Workcenters, Dashboards, and the PeopleSoft Interaction Hub (formerly known as the PeopleSoft Applications Portal). Although we've produced collateral on these features and covered them in sessions, it became apparent at the conference that customers still have many questions about the these products, including how they are licensed, how they are installed, what their various purposes are, and how they can be used together synergistically.
Let's Start with Licensing and Installation
As you may know, we've extended the restricted use license (RUL) for the Interaction Hub. This grants customers with PeopleTools 8.52 licenses the right to install the Interaction Hub for free for use as specified in the Tools license notes. Note that this means customers receive a restricted use license for the Interaction Hub that doesn't cost them an additional license fee, but it is a separate product, not part of PeopleTools or PeopleSoft applications, and is a separate installation. This means customers must provide the infrastructure to install and run the Hub, just like any other application. The benefits of using the Hub to unify your PeopleSoft user experience can be great. PeopleSoft applications have not yet delivered instances of the Hub with their products, though they may in the future.
Workcenters and Dashboards, on the other hand, are frameworks provided by PeopleTools. No other license is required, and no additional installation of a separate product is needed (apart from PeopleTools and PeopleSoft applications). PeopleSoft applications are delivering instances of the workcenters and dashboards with their products. Some are available now, and more are coming in future releases. These delivered workcenter and dashboard instances require no additional licenses, and no additional installations beyond Tools and the applications that provide them. In addition, the workcenter and dashboard frameworks provided by PeopleTools can be used by customers to build their own workcenters and dashboards, and it's quite easy and simple to do so.
What are Their Differences? What Purposes do they Serve?
Workcenters, Dashboards and the Interaction Hub appear somewhat similar. They all contain pagelets, and have some visual characteristics in common. However, their strengths and purposes are very different, and they were designed to provide different benefits to your PeopleSoft ecosystem.
Workcenters and Dashboards have the following characteristics:
- Designed for specific roles
- Focus on the daily tasks of those roles
- Help to streamline the work performed most often
- Personal view of my work world
- Makes navigation and search easier and quicker, particularly for transactions and decision support
- Reports and data needed for day-to-day work
- Personalizable, but minimal
- Delivered by PS Apps, but can be altered by customer for their requirements
- Customers can create their own
- Workcenters can be used for guided processes
The Interaction Hub is designed to aggregate content from multiple applications, and is is used to unify the user experience of those applications. It offers a rich, web site-based user experience, and is often used to provide access to infrequently performed activities like benefits enrollment, payroll inquiries, life event changes, onboarding, and so on.
- Full-featured and robust
- Centrally administered
- Pushed to large audience
- Broad info like Company News
- Infrequent activities like benefits, not day-to-day tasks
- Self-service, access to employer info
- Central launch point for other activities and can navigate to workcenters and dashboards
- Deployed by customers or consultants, instances not delivered by PeopleSoft (at this time)
- Content management
- Unified PS application navigation
Although these products are quite different and serve different purposes in your PeopleSoft environment, they can be used together to provide a richer, more efficient and engaging user experience for your all your user communities.