New Release of Chrome Extension PS Utilities - with a fabulous new feature

Today the PS Utilities Chrome Extension has been updated to version 3.0.0. This latest release fixes a few minor bugs, updates the extension to better handle PeopleTools 8.54 (especially Fluid pages) and has one fabulous new feature: One-click to turn on PeopleCode and SQL Tracing!

How clunky is it to turn on and off tracing from within PIA? How many mouse clicks does it take to get to the Trace PeopleCode and Trace SQL components, choose your options and save each component? This new feature in PS Utilities hides all those mouse clicks. All you need is one click to turn on tracing and another click to turn it off.

There are 2 simple steps you need to perform to to get it working for you. You first need to enable the Tracing feature on the Features tab of the PS Utilities Options page. And you then need to perform a one time setup of PeopleCode and SQL Trace options under the new Tracing tab on the Options page. Here's a screen shot with my favourite Trace options selected. Notice that these options match the options you see if you go to PeopleTools > Utilities > Debug > Trace PeopleCode and PeopleTools > Utilities > Debug > Trace SQL.

Then on the PS Utilities Bar you need to press the icon to turn on tracing. And press the  icon to turn off tracing. It's as simple as that.

You will see the icon rotating when you login to PeopleSoft or if you navigate to some pages. It does this while it determines if your user ID has permissions to access the PeopleCode and SQL Trace components. If your user ID does not have permission to either of these components then you will see the  icon and you will be unable to turn on tracing.

Keep in mind that PS Utilities is unable to determine if a Trace is already being performed via these delivered options:
  1. Sign on page trace options
  2. Application server trace options
  3. PeopleTools > Utilities > Debug components: Trace PeopleCode or Trace SQL
  4. Built-in PeopleCode Functions SetTracePC or SetTraceSQL
If you want to turn on tracing for just a short period of time to trace some specific functionality (such as the click of a button or the save of a page), this new Trace feature of PS Utilities will make that so much easier. Try it out.

And if you have any feedback it would be greatly appreciated. You can leave a comment here on this blog post or you can submit a support request directly on the Chrome Store page for the extension.


Implementing a new Mobile Approval Type (Part 1)


Over the last year I have worked on an upgrade from HR9.0 / PeopleTools 8.52 to HR9.2 / PeopleTools 8.54. One of the most interesting things I worked on was implementing a new Mobile Approval type. My client had implemented a custom Approval Workflow Engine (AWE) process back in HR9.0 to handle the approval of Time Off In Lieu (TOIL) requests. And they wanted to make use of the new Mobile Application Platform (MAP) built Fluid Approval pages delivered in HR9.2. This required implementing a new mobile approval type for this custom AWE Process.

This blog post will be the first covering this implementation.

General comments about implementing TOIL Approval

Most of the configuration and code was based on the Absence Approval Setup. The OXFTOIL configuration added to Enterprise Components > Approvals > Approvals > Mobile Approval Options > Transactions page was based on the ABSENCE configuration on the same page. The TOIL Approvals App Package PeopleCode (to be reviewed in a later blog post) in OXF_ABSENCE_MGMT App Package was based on the PeopleCode in the GP_ABS_EVT_HANDLER App Package.

Mobile Approval Options

TOIL Approvals using the new (as of HR9.2/PT8.54) MAP built Approval Fluid pages is configured via Enterprise Components > Approvals > Approvals > Mobile Approval Options > Transactions page . Here are screenshots of the configuration entered on this page/component. And below I'll show how it relates to what users see and how the TOIL Approvals work.

  1. *Order
    You would think this value determines the order of the Transaction List you see on the Pending Approvals page. But have not been able to verify this is the case. (Maybe when changes to this value were made that an App Server or Web Server needed rebooting?)

  2. *Transaction ID
    Doesn't seem to be used other than to be the unique key in this list of Mobile Approval Transactions

  3. *Transaction Name
    The Transaction Name shows up in three different places
    1. Pending Approvals Page
    2. TOIL Approval Main Page
    3. TOIL Approval Line Detail Page

  4. *Process ID
    Ties this Mobile Approval configuration to an AWE Process defined in Enterprise Components > Approvals > Approvals > Transaction Registry

  5. Include in JQuery Mobile
    MAP can make use of JQuery Mobile. Have not seen anywhere this has been used so unsure how this setting will affect the TOIL Approval

  6. Allow Mass Approvals
    This has been turned off for TOIL (but is on for Absence Requests.) If it was on, on the Pending Approval page when TOIL Hours is selected on the left hand side, then on the right hand side the Approve and Deny buttons would be displayed above the list and check boxes would be displayed next to each TOIL Hour request.

  7. Transaction Group
    Unused. If Transaction Groups were defined in Enterprise Components > Approvals > Approvals > Mobile Approval Options > General Settings page , then you could possibly Group various Approval Transactions into one group.

  8. Transaction Handler Class

  9. Root Package ID
    This is the PeopleCode App Package where all the work is done. (To be reviewed in a later blog post)

  10. Approve
    On. Means the Approve button is displayed on the TOIL Approval Main Page

  11. Deny
    On. Means the Deny button is displayed on the TOIL Approval Main Page

  12. Pushback
    Off. Means the Pushbck button is NOT displayed on the TOIL Approval Main Page

  13. Hold
    Off. Means the Hold button is NOT displayed on the TOIL Approval Main Page

  14. Request Information
    Off. Means the Request Information button is NOT displayed on the TOIL Approval Main Page

  15. *Small Image
    Image used is MAP_TIME. Sets the image a user sees in the list of Approval Transactions on left hand side of Pending Approvals page.

  16. Medium Image
    Not set. Unsure of it's use.

  17. Large Image
    Not set. Unsure of it's use.

How Configuration is Reflected in MAP Pages

Pending TOIL Approvals

  • Transaction Name (TOIL Hours) is displayed in three places on this page. 
  • Because Allow Mass Approvals is off, the Check Box and Approve and Deny buttons are not displayed on this page. 
  • MAP_TIME image is displayed to the left of TOIL Hours on left hand side list of outstanding approval types.

TOIL Approval Main Page

  • Transaction Name (TOIL Hours) is displayed in one place on this page. 
  • Approve and Deny buttons are displayed on this page 
  • Pushback, Hold and Request Information buttons are NOT displayed on this page

TOIL Approval Line Detail Page

  • Transaction Name (TOIL Hours) is displayed in one place on this page.

What else?

The most important part of implementing Mobile Approvals is the App Package PeopleCode that is required. I hope to cover that in an upcoming post. Stay tuned.