PeopleTools 8.54 Released

I see that PeopleTools 8.54 is released according to the PeopleSoft Technology Blog.  I’m eager to get digging into the new features, but I’m afraid it may be a while before I get to play with it.

Currently, it looks like you won’t be able to play with it unless you can go through a full install.  Upgrades are not supported until after a patch or two is released:

Today, PeopleTools 8.54 is Generally Available for new installations.  Customers that want to upgrade to 8.54 from earlier releases will be able to upgrade in the near future when the 02 patch is available.

Of course, the easiest way to play with it would be to download it pre-installed from Oracle.  Here’s the way their blog says it:

Many of our customers have shown interest in Fluid and have asked us the best way to get productive quickly.  Our answer is to use the working examples they will find in the upcoming PSFT 9.2 application images.

The current images are PeopleTools 8.53.  I looked at the release dates from last year, and it looks like images came around the August time frame.  So, my unofficial guess is that we will get a fully installed version of PeopleTools 8.54 to play with sometime in August.  In the meantime, I may have to live vicariously through other’s experiences like the PeopleSoft Tipster.

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Jethro List: Ctrl + A

This post  is part of my Jethro List.  You can read more about the list on the Jethro List page.

Can I make another suggestion?  Some of the text boxes in App Designer don’t work like regular Windows controls.  Namely, they don’t support things like Control-A to select the entire text in the box.  This is slightly frustrating and also makes App Designer feel antiquated.

One of those places is the File Layout Field Properties dialog.  If you go to the “Field Name” text box, you can press Ctrl+A to select the entire field name easier.  That makes it easy to either copy the name or type a new name in it’s place.

File Layout Field Name

 

If you go to the Field Description box in the lower right hand corner, you will find that Ctrl+A doesn’t work.  You have to either use the mouse or hit Home, Shift + Ctrl + End.

File Layout Field Description

 

On a rabbit trail, the file layout UI could use some attention.  A feature that I would like for Flat Files is the ability to sort by the Start Position.  If you come behind someone who wasn’t as organized and didn’t put the fields in order, it can be annoying.  Also, file layouts seem to have issues with caching.  I have had many a time that I changed a file layout and saved only to reopen it and find my changes missing.

The Application Engine UI has a similar problem.  The descriptions for the sections, steps, and actions all don’t allow the use of Ctrl + A.

App Engine description fields

In conclusion, I think it would be helpful if Oracle could update the App Designer UI to match the standard features that we have come to expect in Windows applications.  I can live with it this way and can get my job done, but it sure would be nice to have a nicer feel to development.

 

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Explorations in Equation Engine

I took a nice foray into Equation Engine the other day, and I don’t want to forget what I learned.  On a demo instance, I want to go through a quick example of writing an Equation using Residency Data.  We’ll try to grab the Residency status for a particular person (in state or out of state).

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Great Link: 10 Books for $10 on Packt

If you are looking for an eBook, check out Packt!  I was just told about a special promotion that they are running.  Until July 5th, all of their books are $10 each.

Packt 10 for 10

 

Check out the books on the Packt webite.

 

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PeopleTools 8.54: Looks Exciting

I’ve been a bit behind on reading my news.  Back in April, PeopleSoft released their “Release Value Proposition” for PeopleTools 8.54, and it’s got me excited about it.  Then, a week or two ago, PeopleSoft published the pre-release notes.  I don’t have any inside information, but I thought I would list the features that looked exciting to me…

  • Code Completion:  HUGE — this is a feature I have been looking for for years!
  • 64-bit developer client:  Application Designer, etc. is going 64-bit.  So, a developer must run a 64-bit machine to develop, and now no 32-bit database drivers are required.
  • Automated Configuration Manager: looks like tools that will make automating refreshes much easier
  • %SelectDummyTable: allows for a better way than using the DUAL table for Oracle or PS_INSTALLATION for platform independence
  • Mobile Application Platform: new interface for smart phones
  • Fluid Layout: Creating interfaces with CSS positioning rather than fix positioned pages.  It will be a learning curve for developers
  • Application Designer: PNG files supported for images in Application Designer
  • Application Engine changes: it will now split the trace file into multiple files if it gets too big, you can now choose not to commit at the end of the program
  • Branding Framework: tools to allow customizing the look and branding without needing to code; it looks like it is all in the PIA
  • Query: Default values for prompts and support for images in Query results
  • BI Publisher Updatable PDFs: users can update the report and submit the content back into PeopleSoft
  • Global Temporary Tables (for batch App Engines): supporting in-memory tables
  • Materialized Views: for Oracle — App Designer will create views that store their data in the database for quicker retrieval
  • Portable PS_HOME: On Unix the psadmin binary is only located in the bin directory, paths are not saved in configuration files to moving and cloning the directories easier, and the PS_HOME variable is not set by the psconfig.sh script (you set that before calling the script and everything is relative to PS_HOME)
  • Push Notification Framework: looks like it allows the PIA/Web Server to initiate messages to the browser
  • PIA-Based Definition security: ability to secure App Designer definitions using the online pages plus additional new features
  • Query Security: new advanced option to allow up to 5 security records for an individual record
  • SQR: new XML output option
  • Component Interface: new errors sheet to consolidate errors

As I went through the documents,  I noticed a couple of features that are already released and that I need to do some learning and catch up.  Do you mind if I just take some notes out loud here?

  • Activity Guides: “Activity Guides are a useful PeopleTools feature that helps guide users through complex or infrequently performed processes.”  What’s new: “With PeopleTools 8.54, Activity Guides will be even easier to create and manage because PeopleTools includes an Activity Guide Management WorkCenter.”
  • Data Migration Workbench: “Data Migration Workbench is a lifecycle management tool first delivered with PeopleTools 8.53 that enabled customers to move and compare configuration data easily and securely between PeopleSoft application instances such as DEV, TEST, and PROD”
  • JSON: The PeopleSoft Documents Technology mentions using JSON, and I hadn’t kept up that JSON was available.
  • Oracle Secure Files: mentions that Report Repository files can be exposed as a “virtual mount point”

64-bit History:  The 64-bit requirements have been of notable interest to me because I spent some time working for a client who had challenges switching away from 32-bit hardware.  One of the documents listed the history of the migration of PeopleSoft from 32-bit to 64-bit.  Here’s a nice summary:

  • PeopleTools 8.48 — Unix Application server converted to 64-bit
  • PeopleTools 8.50 — Linux Application server
  • PeopleTools 8.51 — Web Server
  • PeopleTools 8.53 — Windows Application server
  • PeopleTools 8.54 — Developer Tools

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Great Link: International Day Against DRM at Packt

If your looking to buy a book, today is a great day to do it.  Packt is celebrating International Day Against DRM by offering books for $10.  It’s only for today.

International Day Against DRM at Packt

You can check it out at http://bit.ly/1q6bpha.

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Packt Publishing Special Discount

I just saw that Packt is running a special on their books.  To celebrate their 2,000th title, you get a free eBook with your purchase.  If you’re in need of a book, now’s the time to check it out.

You can learn more on the Packt Website.

2000th-Book-Home-Page-Banner

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Installing PeopleTools Client on Ubuntu Linux Host

Ubuntu has been my choice of OS for some time now. It works great for the most part until I start trying to interact with the Microsoft-centric business world. App Designer is one of those pressure points. Normally, my clients give me a Windows-based remote desktop, but for playing around with things outside a client, I needed a way to run App Designer locally on my laptop.

I finally figured out how to install App Designer for Oracle’s PeopleSoft VM images directly in Ubuntu. Here’s what I did…
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Ben Admin Snapshot Error

I ran into this error with the Ben Admin Snapshot process. It was the second time I ran into it, so I thought that I had better make sure that I got this in my notes so I would remember it.

Here’s the error…

Costs Not Found For Pgm/Plan/Optn: <benefit program>/<plan type>/<option code>.
 
Application Program Failed
 In Pgm Section  : MOVE-TO-PDEFN                                                                                                                                               

Application Program Failed
 In Pgm Section  : TABLE-ACCESS(PSPBATBL)                                                                                                                                      
 
 
Application Program Failed
 In Pgm Section  : MAIN(PSPBASCH)                                                                                                                                              

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Great Link: PSChrome Extension

The other day, I ran across this nice Chrome Extension called PSChrome.

I had an old TamperMonkey script that I had used, and I was wondering if an extension might make more sense. When I looked to see if one already exists, I found PSChrome.

PSChrome Extension in the Google Chrome Store

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