PeopleTools 8.54 is a landmark release for Oracle/PeopleSoft, and you are starting to see a lot of information on it, both in this blog and elsewhere. One of the most important aspects of this release is the new Fluid User Experience. This is a broad-ranging subject, so you will see posts from a functional perspective (this post), a developer’s perspective, and announcements about Fluid applications that are being delivered by PeopleSoft.
Perhaps you’ve heard about how the Fluid user experience provides support for mobile applications. While that is certainly true, Fluid offers much more than that. What the Fluid UX really provides is the ability to access PeopleSoft applications across a variety of form factors from smart phones to tablets to desktops/laptops. Fluid applications present a common user experience on a variety of devices regardless of screen size. These applications are efficient and attractive as well, and offer the kind of user experience the modern work force is expecting. So no matter how your users access PeopleSoft, they will be presented with the same intuitive user experience. This post is the first of a series covering the main features that you will see in Fluid applications when you install them or if you develop some yourself. We’ll also cover how to get started with Fluid/PeopleTools 8.54, and how new Fluid application pages will work with your existing applications.
We’ll start today with perhaps the most fundamental feature of the Fluid UX: the Home Page. This page provides a base or launch pad for users to navigate to their essential work. Home pages are designed for specific roles, so they contain all the essentials for each role without extraneous menus or content that might distract users. In this way, Fluid Home Pages are conceptually similar to current home pages or dashboards, but Fluid home pages employ the new responsive UI that renders well on different form factors.
Let’s look at the main features of the Home page.
The first thing you’ll notice about Home Pages is that they contain a variety of Tiles. Tiles can serve as navigation mechanisms, but may also convey dynamic information. Tiles are similar in purpose to pagelets, but are not as interactive. They are responsive, however, and can automatically change size and position to accommodate different form factors.
Now let’s take a look at the Home Page header, which contains several useful features. Central is the Home Page drop down menu. This takes the place of tabs, and enables users to move among all the home pages that they use. Users may serve in a variety of roles in an enterprise, and they may therefore have more than one Home Page—one for each role they play. For example, a person may be a manager, but they are also an employee, and as such they have different activities and tasks they perform in both those roles. They would likely have different home pages for those different roles.
Next is the PeopleSoft Search widget. This provides for a search-centric navigation paradigm, and enables users to search from almost anywhere within their PeopleSoft system. In addition, with the new PeopleSoft search, users can search across pillars and retrieve results from all their PeopleSoft content. The search results are even actionable, so users can often complete a task right from the search results page.
Notifications are a handy mechanism that lets users know when there are tasks requiring their attention. The Notifications widget displays the number of items requiring attention. When the user clicks the widget a window displays the sum of all notifications from all applications to which the user has access. The user can act on those items directly from the Notifications window.
Next is the Actions widget. This menu is configurable, but one of the main actions available is Personalizations. This takes the user to a page where they can add or remove tiles from a Home Page, delete Home Pages, or even create new home pages and configure them.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we have the Navigation Bar widget. This opens the Nav Bar, which enables users to get anywhere in their PeopleSoft system. The Nav Bar is flexible configurable, powerful and intuitive.
The Nav Bar is a rich topic in its own right, and will be covered in a separate blog post in the near future. In fact, the Fluid user experience is a large subject, so we’ll be posting many more articles describing its features in greater depth. We’ll also provide a taste of developing Fluid applications.
If you would like more information on the Fluid UX (and everything PeopleSoft) please see the PeopleSoft Information Portal.
We will also be covering the Fluid UX in great depth in several sessions at Oracle Open World. Come see us at the conference! You’ll not only acquire useful information, but you can talk with us personally and see live demos of these features. Here are a few sessions in particular that cover the Fluid UX: