Thursday, September 07, 2017

New Fluid Training Classes, Live and Virtual

On December 31, 2017, just a couple of months from now, Oracle will decommission the first set of Classic pages to be fully replaced by Fluid. Support document 1348959.1 contains a list of Classic pages, sorted by date, that are slated for retirement every year over the next few years. Customers interested in retaining a supported PeopleSoft implementation should familiarize themselves with this document and prepare to implement Fluid. This document contains important Manager and Employee self-service features that will no longer be supported in Classic form. Is your team trained and ready to adopt Fluid?

During my tenure at GreyHeller, I had the opportunity to lead several customer-specific Fluid workshops. The purpose of these workshops is to give customers hands-on experience with Fluid. These workshops are a starting point, a Fluid experience. As humans, we are often afraid of the unknown and these workshops provide practical, real-world experience.

I have expanded these workshops into a multi-day two-part series and am offering them in two formats:

  • Remote, but live virtual classes (LVC) hosted by GoToTraining or
  • By request on-site live instructor-led training.

Both courses (and formats) are two full days. The first course, Fluid 1, is a course designed for developers, architects, designers, and system analysts, and focuses on the basics of Fluid development. The point is to make students productive as fast as possible. Through hands-on activities, students will learn the basics of Fluid development including Fluid user interface configurations and best practices for page development. There is no extra fluff in this course. Students will learn how to build Fluid pages without having to become web development experts.

The second course, Fluid 2, teaches developers the techniques used by Oracle and modern web developers to build both responsive and adaptive user experiences through Fluid. This course is definitely level 2. Students will learn advanced topics such as how to use modern CSS frameworks for responsive design and how to create dynamic tiles for intelligent homepages.

Prerequisites? Experience. The entry requirements for Fluid 1 are intentionally low. The first half, day one, will be in the browser. No PeopleTools experience is required to use a browser. System analysts will benefit greatly from this half of the course. The second half, day two, is exclusively in Application Designer. In day two, students will build Fluid pages using Application Designer. Experience building Classic pages, records, and components is required. I have found there are a lot of non-developers with experience building and examining Classic pages, records, and components. That qualifies.

Students attending Fluid 2 are expected to have experience building Classic and Fluid pages in PeopleTools as well as experience working with Records, Fields, and PeopleCode.

Normally PeopleTools 1, PeopleTools 2, and PeopleCode would be prerequisites for learning Fluid. This is true. Anyone learning Fluid should have this experience. But often I find that people with relevant experience avoid registering for courses because they haven’t checked a specific training requirement box. Do not discount your on the job training experience.

I have scheduled two multi-day events and I encourage you to register as soon as possible. To ensure a quality experience, class size is limited. There has never been a more important time to learn Fluid!

Are you interested in hosting on-site training for your organization? For more information on these or other courses, please feel free to send a request to

Here are the full course abstracts:

Fluid 1

Technology Overview
  • Why Fluid? Learn the history and purpose of Fluid
Hands on: Reviewing elements of Fluid
  • Fluid banner
  • Navigation bar
  • Fluid homepages (also known as Landing pages)
  • Tiles
  • Transaction pages
Working with Fluid Homepages and Dashboards
  • Understanding Fluid homepages
  • Hands on: Personalizing Fluid homepages
  • Hands on: Creating and managing personal and public Fluid homepages
  • Hands on: Managing Fluid system settings
  • Hands on: Creating and managing Fluid dashboards
  • Understanding the role of the Portal Registry in Fluid homepages
Working with Tiles and Tile Wizard
  • Understanding Tiles and the Tile Repository
  • Hands on: Creating tiles
  • Hands on: Managing Fluid Attributes of Content References
  • Hands on: Creating tiles with the Tile Wizard
  • Understanding the role of the Portal Registry in Fluid tiles
Creating Fluid Pages
  • Understand the differences between Classic and Fluid
  • Learn key design concepts such as Phone-first, Responsive, and Adaptive design and how they relate to Fluid
  • Hands on: Creating Fluid page definitions (standard and two-column)
  • Hands on: Using page and field Fluid-specific attributes
Working with Fluid Components
  • Understanding Fluid components
  • Hands on: Creating Fluid components
  • Hands on: Configuring Fluid Content References
Working with Search Pages
  • Understand Fluid search options
  • Hands on: Implement real-time Component search through Pivot Grids
  • Hands on: Implement real-time Component search through custom search Pages
  • Hands on: Implement keyword Component search through the Search Framework

Fluid 2

Advanced Fluid Page Design
  • Understand the role of CSS in Fluid and responsive design
  • Hands on: Working with different Fluid page types
  • Hands on: Using Oracle-delivered Fluid CSS classes
  • Understanding CSS Flexbox
  • Hands on: Creating custom CSS classes
  • Hands on: Using CSS frameworks
  • Hands on: Using Fluid adaptive design with subpages
Using PeopleCode in Fluid Applications
  • Learn about and use Fluid-specific PeopleCode functions, design patterns, and best practices
Advanced Tiles and Tile Wizard
  • Hands on: Creating static and dynamic tiles using a variety of technologies
  • Hands on: Dynamic tiles and the Tile Wizard
Understanding Fluid Definitions and Metadata
  • Understand delivered Fluid managed definitions, the building blocks of Fluid
  • Understand Fluid metadata such as Tile Wizard metadata
Event Mapping in Fluid
  • Hands on: Learn how to extend delivered Fluid components without changing Oracle’s code

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Event Mapping: Fluid Landing Page "Dot" Buttons

The bottom of a Fluid landing page contains dots that identify how many landing pages the user can view as well as the position of the current landing page within the user's landing page collection. This piece of information is quite useful on a swipe-enabled mobile device, but somewhat meaningless on my mac. A few months ago I was helping a PeopleSoft customer with their Fluid implementation. This rather brilliant customer made those dots clickable to navigate between landing pages. To implement this behavior, the customer modified delivered PeopleTools JavaScript and CSS definitions, which, unfortunately, presents a bit of an upgrade problem. In a recent webinar I mentioned that one of the things that excites me about Fluid is that everything is a component. What that means is we can use Event Mapping anywhere. Landing Pages are no exception. With that in mind, I wondered what this solution would look like with Event Mapping.

Those little dots at the bottom of the page are created through JavaScript. To enhance them, therefore, we will need to write some JavaScript. Because the original implementation of this behavior modified delivered PeopleTools JavaScript, the author was able to leverage existing JavaScript variables and functions. To avoid customizing PeopleTools, we will need to extract the relevant JavaScript and rewrite it in a standalone manner, meaning no dependencies on PeopleTools JavaScript. We'll start with a CSS selector to identify dots: .lpTabIndicators .dot. We will iterate over that dot collection, adding a click event handler to each dot. That click event handler needs to know the target tab on click so we need another CSS selector to identify tabs: .lpTabId span.ps_box-value. For compatibility reasons, I'm not going to use any libraries (like jQuery), just raw JavaScript:

(function () {
    "use strict";
    // include protection just in case PS inserts this JS twice
    if (!window.jm_config_dots) {
        window.jm_config_dots = true;
        var originalSetTabIndicators = window.setTabIndicators;

        // MonkeyPatch setTabIndicators because we want to run some code each
        // time PeopleSoft invokes setTabIndicators
        window.setTabIndicators = function () {

            // JavaScript magic to invoke original setTabIndicators w/o knowing
            // anything about the call signature
            var returnVal = originalSetTabIndicators.apply(this, arguments);

            // The important stuff that adds a click handler to the dots. This
            // is the code we want to run each time PS invokes setTabIndicators
            var dots = document.querySelectorAll('.lpTabIndicators .dot'),
                tabs = document.querySelectorAll('.lpTabId span.ps_box-value'),
                titles = document.querySelectorAll('.lpnameedit input');

            [], function (d, idx) {
                d.addEventListener("click", function () {

            return returnVal;

Funny... didn't I say we would start with a CSS selector? Looking at that code listing, that CSS selector and the corresponding iterator don't appear until nearly halfway through the listing. When testing and mocking up a solution, the objects you want to manipulate are a good place to start. We then surround that starting point with other code to polish the solution.

This code is short, but has some interesting twists, so let me break it down:

  • First, I wrapped the entire JavaScript routine in a self-executing anonymous JavaScript function. To make this functionality work, I have to maintain a variable, but don't want to pollute the global namespace. The self-executing anonymous function makes for a nice closure to keep everything secret.
  • Next, I have C-style include protection to ensure this file is only processed once. I don't know this is necessary. I suspect not because we are going to add this file using an event that only triggers once per component load, but it doesn't hurt.
  • The very next line is why I have a closure: originalSetTabIndicators. Our code needs to execute every time PeopleSoft invokes the delivered JavaScript setTabIndicators function. What better way to find out when that happens than to MonkeyPatch setTabIndicators? setTabIndicators creates those little dots. If our code runs before those dots are created, then we won't have anything to enhance. Likewise, when those dots change, we want our code to be rerun.
  • And, finally, redefine setTabIndicators. Our version is heavily dependent on the original, so first thing we want to do is invoke the original. As I stated, the original creates those dots, so it is important that we let it run first. Then we can go about enhancing those dots, such as adding a title and a click handler.

In Application Designer (or online in Branding Objects), create a new HTML (JavaScript) definition with the above JavaScript. I named mine JM_CLICK_DOTS_JS. You are free to use whatever name you prefer. I point it out because later we will reference this name from an Application Class, and knowing the name will be quite useful.

If we stop our UX improvements here, the dots will become clickable buttons, but users will have no visual indicator. It would be nice if the mouse pointer became a pointer or hand to identify the dot as a clickable region. We will use CSS for this. Create a new Free formed stylesheet for the following CSS. I named mine JM_CLICK_DOTS.

.lpTabIndicators .dot:hover,
.lpTabIndicators .dot.on:hover {
    cursor: pointer;

With our supporting definitions created, we can move onto Event Mapping. I detailed all of the steps for Event Mapping in my post Event Mapping: Extending "Personal Details" in HCM. According to that blog post, our first step is to create an App Class as an event handler. With that in mind, I added the following PeopleCode to a class named ClickDotsConfig in an Application Class appropriately named JM_CLICK_DOTS (noticing a pattern?). Basically, the code just inserts our new definitions into the page assembly process so the browser can find and interpret them.

import PT_RCF:ServiceInterface;

class ClickDotsConfig implements PT_RCF:ServiceInterface
   method execute();

method execute
   /+ Extends/implements PT_RCF:ServiceInterface.execute +/


After creating a related content service definition for our Application Class, the only trick is choosing the Landing Page component content reference, which is a hidden content reference located at Fluid Structure Content > Fluid PeopleTools > Fluid PeopleTools Framework > Fluid Homepage

Probably the trickiest part of this whole process was identifying which event to use. For me the choice was between PageActivate and PostBuild. The most reliable way I know to identify the appropriate event is to investigate some of the delivered component PeopleCode. What I found was that the same code that creates the dots, PTNUI_MENU_JS, is added in PostBuild. Considering that our code MonkeyPatches that code, it is important that our code run after that code exists, which means I chose PostBuild Post processing.

Using Event Mapping we have effectively transformed a customization into a configuration. The point of reducing customizations is to simplify lifecycle management. We now have two fewer items on our compare reports. If Oracle changes PTNUI_MENU_JS and PTNUI_LANDING_CSS, the originally modified definitions, these items will no longer show on a compare report. But!, and this is significant: you may have noticed my JavaScript is invoking and manipulating delivered PeopleSoft JavaScript functions: setTabIndicators and lpSwipeToTabFromDD. If Oracle changes those functions, then this code may break. A great example of Oracle changing JavaScript functions was their move from net.ContentLoader to net2.ContentLoader. I absolutely LOVE Event Mapping, but we can't ignore Lifecycle Management. When implementing a change like this, be sure to fully document Oracle changes that may break your code. This solution is heavily dependent on Oracle's code but no Lifecycle Management tool will identify this dependency.

Question: Jim, why did you prefix setTabIndicators with window as in window.setTabIndicators? Answer: I am a big fan of JSLint/JSHint and want clean reports. It is easier to tell a code quality tool I'm running in a browser than to define all of the globals I expect from PeopleSoft. All global functions and variables are really just properties of the Window object. The window variable is a browser-defined global that a good code quality tester will recognize. The window prefix isn't required, but makes for a nice code quality report.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Event Mapping: FieldChange

In my post Event Mapping: Extending "Personal Details" in HCM I noted that PeopleTools 8.56 FieldChange event mapping didn't work with fields from subpages. I opened a bug with MyOracle Support and Oracle sent me a fix to test. The fix works great! Now that I have FieldChange Event Mapping working for that prior scenario, I wanted to share how that Personal Details scenario would change. First, I would remove the JavaScriptEvents line. Specifically, these two lines:

REM ** generate the target URL for the new link;
Local string &targetUrl = GenerateComponentPortalURL(%Portal, %Node, MenuName.GH_CUSTOM_FL, %Market, Component.GH_TRAVEL_PREF_FL, Page.GH_TRAVEL_PREF_FL, "");
&recWrk.HCSC_BTN_SELECT.JavaScriptEvents = "href='" | &targetUrl | "'";

Next, I create an Application Class to hold my new FieldChange event mapping PeopleCode:

import PT_RCF:ServiceInterface;

class PersonalDetailsRowClick implements PT_RCF:ServiceInterface
   method execute();

method execute
   /+ Extends/implements PT_RCF:ServiceInterface.execute +/
   When = 11 /* Travel Preferences  */
      Transfer( False, MenuName.GH_CUSTOM_FL, BarName.USE, ItemName.GH_TRAVEL_PREF_FL, Page.GH_TRAVEL_PREF_FL, %Action_UpdateDisplay);      

OK... the code is short and easy to read. Basically, it transfers to another component if a specific condition is met. I believe the confusing part is that condition. The problem that I see is that this code is missing context. Why does that condition exist? What does it mean? Where did that number 11 come from? What is HCSC_TAB_DVW.ROW_NUM? This is a problem I have with Event Mapping. My code is just a fragment with no context. Referring back to the code from Event Mapping: Extending "Personal Details" in HCM, we see that HCSC_TAB_DVW.ROW_NUM is the grid row number. So basically, if the current row clicked is row number 11, then transfer to the specified component.

When writing Event Mapping PeopleCode, it is very important that you understand the base code, the code you are enhancing. The delivered FieldChange event uses an Evaluate statement to transfer based on an identifier that happens to be stored in HCSC_TAB_DVW.ROW_NUM. Oracle is using a row number to choose the target component on click (FieldChange). I followed the same pattern and that pattern led me to number 11. But what if Oracle adds another row? Suddenly my code (or Oracle's code—order matters) breaks. Perhaps I should have used an artificial number such as 100 assuming Oracle would never add 100 items to that "collection"? I can think of few other ways I may have written the initial code that would be easier to follow. For example, what if the code that establishes the rowset also pushed the transfer parameters (menu, bar, item, etc) into fields in the derived work record? Anyways... back to Event Mapping...

The remainder of the configuration is the same as Event Mapping: Extending "Personal Details" in HCM. I create a service definition and map that service definition to the FieldChange event of HCSC_FL_WRK.HCSC_BTN_SELECT. Next step is to choose the Processing Sequence: Pre or Post. I don't have a good answer here. Either way your code will run. If you choose Pre and Oracle adds an eleventh item, then Oracle's code will win. If you chose Post, then your code will win.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Event Mapping: Extending "Personal Details" in HCM

As you would expect, PeopleSoft's HCM self-service functionality allows employees to self-report many industry-generic, best-practice attributes. But none of us are industry-generic, which means we may have to capture more attributes than Oracle intended. The way I've seen many organizations handle this is to customize the delivered Personal Details pages to collect additional attributes. Although having an upgrade impact, customizing the classic versions of these pages makes a lot of sense. With continuous delivery, however, customers no longer apply massive upgrades, but rather iterative, incremental continuous upates. With this in mind, the cost of maintaining a customization is significantly higher than the traditional periodic upgrade model. A customization may be the only thing standing between you and important new features. Wouldn't it be nice to revert your personal details pages to vanilla?

Classic HCM housed several components that collectively represent "Personal Details." The Fluid iteration of Personal Details uses a design pattern akin to a WorkCenter to colocate the navigation for each of the Personal Details components. Rather than customize delivered components, what if we took any custom attributes and placed them in a separate component and then added that separate component to the list of Personal Details components?

The Personal Details tile of an HCM Employee Self Service landing page is a link to the employee address component (HR_EE_ADDR_FL). This component (or rather the primary page in the component) uses a two-panel layout to display a list of links on the left and a transaction area on the right. With a little bit of App Designer investigation, we see that the list on the left is really a Derived/Work disconnected Rowset populated through PeopleCode. Therefore, to add a link to the left-hand list, we need to insert rows into that disconnected Rowset. The question is, "How do we add a row to this list without modifying delivered PeopleCode?" The answer: Event Mapping. Related Content Event Mapping is an 8.55 PeopleTools feature that lets a developer map a PeopleCode event handler into a component event. What this means is we can write PeopleCode separate from Oracle's delivered PeopleCode and then map our PeopleCode into the same events already handled by Oracle. Since we are not intermingling our code with Oracle's, this is a configuration, not a customization.

Event Mapping configuration requires the following steps:

  1. Create an Application Class with mapped business logic,
  2. Define a Related Content Service Definition, and
  3. Map a component event to a Related Content Service Definition.

Before writing any PeopleCode, I recommend identifying your target event. Your PeopleCode has full access to the component buffer and executes in the same context as the target event handler. If your event handler targets RowInit of level 2, for example, PeopleCode functions such as GetRowset and GetRow will return the level 2 rowset or row respectively. Another reason to identify your target event first is because it is a good idea to have an understanding of the event PeopleCode you will be supplementing.

Oracle populates the left-hand list using component PostBuild PeopleCode. PostBuild is a great place to populate a navigation rowset, so we might as well use the same event. To begin, I created an Application Package and Class named GH_PERS_DET_EVT and PersonalDetailsTravelPrefs respectively. Next, we need to add a bit of PeopleCode to populate the appropriate Derived/Work record fields and rows. Identifying the proper buffer references requires a little bit of investigation. The key here is that Event Mapping PeopleCode has full access to the component buffer just like any other PeopleCode executing from a component event. Here is my PeopleCode:

import PT_RCF:ServiceInterface;

class PersonalDetailsTravelPrefs implements PT_RCF:ServiceInterface
   method execute();
   method AddStyle(&infld As Field, &inStyleName As string);

method execute
   /+ Extends/implements PT_RCF:ServiceInterface.execute +/
   Local Rowset &rsLinks = GetLevel0()(1).GetRowset(Scroll.HCSC_TAB_DVW);
   Local number &linkNbr = &rsLinks.ActiveRowCount;
   Local Row &linkRow = &rsLinks.GetRow(&linkNbr);
   Local Record &recWrk = &linkRow.HCSC_FL_WRK;
   Local boolean &isAccessibleMode = False;
   &linkRow.HCSC_TAB_DVW.ROW_NUM.Value = &linkNbr;
   %This.AddStyle(&recWrk.HCSC_GROUPBOX_02, "psa_vtab");
   /* initially hide counter and subtabs */
   &recWrk.HCSC_COUNTER.Visible = False;
   &recWrk.HCSC_EXPAND_ICN.Visible = False;
   %This.AddStyle(&recWrk.HCSC_GROUPBOX_03, "psc_hidden");
   &recWrk.HCSC_BTN_SELECT.Label = "Travel Profile";
   &recWrk.HCSC_BTN_SELECT.HoverText = "Travel Profile";
   REM ** generate the target URL for the new link;
   Local string &targetUrl = GenerateComponentPortalURL(%Portal, %Node, MenuName.GH_CUSTOM_FL, %Market, Component.GH_TRAVEL_PREF_FL, Page.GH_TRAVEL_PREF_FL, "");
   &recWrk.HCSC_BTN_SELECT.JavaScriptEvents = "href='" | &targetUrl | "'";
   If GetUserOption("PPTL", "ACCESS") = "A" Then
      &isAccessibleMode = True;
   If Not &isAccessibleMode Then
      /* set label image */
      &recWrk.HCSC_BTN_SELECT.LabelImage = Image.PS_EX_EXPENSE_M_FL;
      %This.AddStyle(&recWrk.HCSC_BTN_SELECT, "hcsc_image-maxtabheight");
      %This.AddStyle(&recWrk.HCSC_GROUPBOX_02, "psc_list-has-icon");

method AddStyle
   /+ &infld as Field, +/
   /+ &inStyleName as String +/
   Local array of string &arrClass;
   REM ** Don't add classes that already exist;
   &arrClass = Split(&infld.FreeFormStyleName, " ");
   If &arrClass.Find(&inStyleName) = 0 Then

Most of the code is self explanatory. It inserts a row into a rowset, and then sets appropriate values for each of the necessary fields. I was able to identify the relevant fields by investigating how Oracle populates this rowset. There is one line, however, that differs dramatically from Oracle's delivered code, and that is the line that sets a value for HCSC_BTN_SELECT.JavaScriptEvents. The delivered design for this Rowset uses FieldChange PeopleCode to Transfer to a different component on click. If you are using PeopleTools 8.55, you do not have access to map a handler to the FieldChange event. Likewise, even though 8.56 has support for mapping to the FieldChange event, early releases, such as 8.56.01 and 8.56.02 do not support mapping to FieldChange events in subpages. This rowset happens to reside in a subpage. As an alternative, this code generates a URL to the target component and then sets the HTML href attribute of the inserted row so that clicking the link opens a new component.

Note: the transfer method described here may not display the usual PeopleSoft warning message regarding unsaved data. A future iteration would leverage the FieldChange event, but not until after Oracle posts a fix for components with subpages.

The next step is to define a Related Content Service Definition. Although not necessarily related, the Related Content Framework contains all of the hooks necessary to implement Event Mapping. With that in mind, Oracle chose to make Event Mapping a subset of the Related Content Framework. To define a Related Content Service Definition, navigate to PeopleTools > Portal > Related Content Service > Define Related Content Service and add a new value. The ID you choose for your Related Content Service is not important. No one except an administrator will see the ID. Enter a user friendly service name and choose a URL Type of Application Class. It is this one piece of Metadata that will tell the Event Mapping Framework what code to invoke. When the Application Class Parameters group box appears, enter your package, path, and class name.

The final step is to map the Service Definition into a component event. Navigate to PeopleTools > Portal > Related Content Service > Manage Related Content Service. When you first land on this page, you may see a list of Content References containing Related Content. Immediately switch to the Event Mapping tab. On this tab, you will see an inappropriately labeled link with the text Map the event of the Application pages. Select this link. PeopleSoft will respond by displaying the typical enterprise menu in a tree structure. Since we are mapping to a Fluid component, and Fluid components don't exist in the menu, check the Include hidden Crefs checkbox. This will make the Fluid Structure Content item visible. Expand Fluid Structure and Content > Employee Self Service and then select Personal Details. Upon selection, PeopleSoft will present you with the Event Mapping configuration page. Notice that this page is divided into sections, with each section denoting a different definition type. The first group box, for example, is for Component events. Since we are mapping to the Component PostBuild event, it is this first group box we need to configure. From the Event Name drop-down list, select PostBuild. Next, select the service you created in the previous step. Since I created a service named GH_PERS_DET_TRAVEL, that is the Service ID selected in the screenshot below. The final metadata attribute, Processing Sequence, is very important. This attribute defines whether our code should run before or after Oracle's delivered code. In this case we are adding rows to the end of a Rowset and we don't want Oracle to do anything that would change the appearance or behavior of the rows we add. With that in mind, we choose Post Process, which tells the framework to run our code AFTER Oracle's delivered code. Save and test.

The above screenshot is from PeopleTools 8.56. Depending on your tools release, your page may appear slightly different.

After configuration, you should see a screenshot that resembles the following. Note the Travel Profile link at the bottom of the list.

Note: As previously mentioned, the Personal Details component contains links to several other components. To ensure that your component appears in the list on each of these other components, you also have to map your PeopleCode into the PostBuild event on each of those other components. Since these other components do not exist as tiles, you will find them directly in the Fluid Pages folder.

Special shout out to my friend Mike at Sandia National Labs, who demonstrated a similar approach at Collaborate 2017. Thank you, Mike, for the encouragement to persevere. I initially wrote the code and configurations for this blog post in December while working with some friends in UK. Unfortunately, due to inconsistencies in PeopleTools at that time, this solution did not work. With PeopleTools 8.55.15 being incredibly stable, this solution is now fully functional. I initially gave up hope for Event Mapping in Fluid. But seeing Mike present the exact same scenario renewed my faith.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

New Window Bookmarklet

I am a "New Window" link junkie. I use that link ALL THE TIME! If it were possible to wear it out, mine would be worn out. I wish all PeopleSoft pages had the "New Window" link. For some reason, however, certain developers chose to remove it from specific PeopleSoft pages (such as Structure and Content). I'm sure there is a good reason... there just has to be. So seeing it missing from Fluid has been a significant struggle for me. I'm thankful for Sasank's Fluid UI - New Window Feature - Workaround customization. For quick access to a new window without customization, I have a Bookmarklet, which is a JavaScript fragment masquerading as a favorite (or bookmark). Here is the JavaScript:

(function() {
  var parts = window.location.href.match(/(.+?\/ps[pc])\/(.+?)(?:_\d+?)*?\/(.*)/);[1] + '/' + parts[2] + '_newwin/' + parts[3], '_blank');

To add it to your bookmark toolbar, drag the following link into your link toolbar:

PS New Window

This solution is simple, but may not satisfy your requirements. This bookmarklet assumes you want to open a new window to the URL displayed in the address bar. That URL may or may not match the actual transaction. If you want a bookmarklet that opens a new window specifically targeting the current transaction, then try this bookmarklet:

(function() {
  var href = window.location.href;
  var parts = (!!frames["TargetContent"] ? !!frames["TargetContent"].strCurrUrl ? frames["TargetContent"].strCurrUrl : href : href).match(/(.+?\/ps[pc])\/(.+?)(?:_\d+?)*?\/(.*)/);[1] + '/' + parts[2] + '_newwin/' + parts[3], '_blank');

To use it, drag the following link into your bookmark toolbar:

PS New Window

Special shout out to David Wiggins, who posted a similar bookmarklet on my Where is My New Window Link? post as I was writing this blog post.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Where is My New Window Link?

As PeopleSoft moves from Classic to Fluid, you have likely noticed the missing New Window link. Why is it missing? I can only speculate. When considering mobile, perhaps it makes sense to drop the New Window link. Mobile devices have limited screen real estate. Why waste it with a link you will likely never use on a mobile device? On a desktop, however, the New Window link is irreplaceable. So... what to do? How can you open a new window? You probably already know if you just open a new window without that special New Window link, your old window session will cease to exist. You know that you will receive the dreaded "... return to most recent active page..." message. Does that mean you can no longer have two active PeopleSoft windows? There is a work around that is documented in various places around the web. In short, the answer is to copy the current URL, open a new tab, paste the URL into the address bar, and then append _newwin to the site name. Before reviewing some examples, let's discuss what is going on and why this is necessary.

The PeopleSoft app server is stateless. App server connections are often pooled and used upon request. However, we know that component buffer state is stored somewhere. If not at the app server, then where? At the web server. As with any J2EE application, PeopleSoft uses web server sessions to store state (which is why load balancers must use sticky sessions, etc). The details here aren't exact, but metaphorical. PeopleSoft partitions web server session state into state blocks. A user may have multiple state blocks. The web server identifies the appropriate state block based on an identifier in the URL. When you click the New Window link, the link's URL pattern instructs the web server to generate a new state block. We can replicate the New Window link behavior by simply modifying a PeopleSoft URL. Let's review an example. Let's say you have a Fluid URL that looks something like this: The highlighted part between the servlet (psc) and the portal (EMPLOYEE) is the site name (ps). All we have to do is add _newwin to the site name. Accessing a URL such as will instruct the web server to generate a new state block, perhaps something like

It certainly isn't as simple as the New Window link, but it is better than nothing. For a more permanent, user friendly method, take a look at Sasank's post Fluid UI - New Window Feature - Workaround.

Edit: I created this post because a lot of people I meet aren't familiar with the "New Window" trick. One very important caveat when working with classic pages: The URL in the header may not match the transaction URL. This appears to be tools release dependent. After PeopleSoft implemented "Partial Page Rendering" with a constant header and iframed content, the URL for the content area would change, but the URL in the address bar did not. What this means is simply copying the URL from the address bar and changing it to include '_newwin' will create a new state block, but that new window may point to different component from the original window.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

HIUG Interact 2017

Are you attending Interact 2017 this weekend? I will be leading a PeopleTools hands-on workshop on Sunday from 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM in Panzacola F-4. Because this is hands-on, please bring your laptop. All session activities will be completed over a remote desktop connection, so as long as you have a Remote Desktop Client and a full battery charge, you should be ready. In this session we will cover a variety of topics including classic global and component branding as well as fluid navigation and page development. I look forward to seeing you in Orlando!