HEUG: PeopleTools Tips and Tricks Review

Today, I attended Jim Marion’s PeopleTools Tips and Tricks session at the HEUG Alliance 2011 conference.  I really enjoyed the session, and now I need a client who wants one of the features that Jim discussed in the session.  I’m eager to try this stuff out!

First, I learned that I have the personality of a cheesehead!  But, that’s okay.  I can admit to the geek label.  Also, I was only 4 chairs away from getting the free book!  Oh well, I am going to have to quit being cheap and just buy it.  After hearing the session, I really want it now.

The first topic presented was the use of Pagelets.  One of the cool parts about them is that they aren’t a customization.  Rather, they are considered configuration.  So, they are a great way to add to your system without having to customize and worry about upgrade costs.

One of the examples was to take a YouTube video and get the embed HTML to include in a Pagelet.  Another example was to place a navigation collection on the home page.  Then, I thought it was really cool to see how the XSL Template was used to make the collection a accordion style menu.

In passing, Jim pointed out the differences in the tools navigation between 8.50 and 8.51.  I think I read this on the Grey-Sparling blog but didn’t understand it.  In 8.50, you just hover over the folder in the menu to open it, but in tools 8.51, you have to click each folder to open it.  Something to watch out for…

The related content is a great tool.  Two of the cool examples were to take the title of a page and display Google search results next to the PeopleSoft page.  Similarly, the other example displayed search results from Amazon based on the page title.  I have a scenario where I would like to display a customized data page beside the delivered data without customizing the delivered component.  Related content solves that problem.  I wish Jim would have had the time to delve into how he set up the Related Content.

Integration Broker Ajax was another topic that was great to see.  Again, I wish he would have had time to show how he was able to make it work.  I know that Integration Broker is a complicated topic, and it would have taken way too long.

The Mobile app idea was quite interesting.  I know how to create a native Android application, but I didn’t realize that you could create an HTML 5 app that would run across the different mobile platforms — something to look into.  Then, using Integration Broker to power it was a great idea.

Finally, Jim suggested using Fiddler and Wireshark as troubleshooting tools because you can see what data passes between systems/clients.  It was nice to see that work and you can use it to troubleshoot setup.

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