What’s excitingly new in PeopleTools 8.58? – A sneak peek into PeopleTools 8.58 Highlights

1. Chatbot Enhancement

Chatbots, which were initially introduced in PeopleSoft HCM PUM Image 31 is popularly known as “Absence Assistant”. It was designed to assist the employee with absence related services using a conversational interface. It provides the flexibility to be accessed via Laptop, Tablets or Phone devices. Chatbots not only support the text commands, but also voice commands given by the user and provides the solution for the given question like Absence Balance, Applying for the Leave, etc.

Please refer to below link for detailed insight and configuration steps for the Chatbot – https://www.kovaion.com/blog/peoplesoft-chatbot/

With the release of PT 8.58, couple of enhancements on the Chatbot include – Support for attachments in Chatbots and ability to authorize REST based services using oAuth support. The Bot Integration Technology framework provides the integration needed to deploy Chatbots with PeopleSoft On-Prem/Cloud and also integrate it with Oracle Digital Assistant.

There are plans to release additional PeopleSoft chatbots in upcoming HCM Images.

https://docs.oracle.com/cd/E52319_01/infoportal/chatbot.html – This can be referred to for further documentation on Chatbots.

2. Enhanced User Interface and Interaction

  • Updated PeopleSoft UI

With the release of PT 8.58, is delivered an updated, contemporary user interface to the end users. The changes in the look and feel starts from the sign-in page, going along the Fluid homepages, Fluid components & pages, activity guides and classic+ components, Modal windows and dialog boxes launched from Fluid applications. There has been a thorough shift in the branding elements and stylesheets to incorporate the display changes in the colors, headers, icons, menu, banner and buttons.

  • Activity Guides

There are two major enhancements as part of this tools release for the Activity Guide. Creation of an “Activity Guide” instances and templates no longer needs the Portal Administrator role and is now placed directly at “PeopleTools > Activity Guide”, just below the Portal Menu folder. Activity Guides Template properties are further enhanced to have a couple more properties – (a) An option to check if the data has to be instantiated for all languages, (b) An option to check if the steps that are not assigned to a user/role needs to be hidden

  • Interaction Enhancements

Similar to Classic screens, Fluid screens also, with this release of PeopleTools 8.58, has features wherein the edit boxes and long exit boxes can indicate the number of characters remaining. Spell Check can also be enabled in Edit and Long Edit boxes, wherein the spellings can be corrected, corrections can be ignored and also new words can be added to the dictionary.

One of the Characteristic features of the Classic components, helpful to the end users is the “New Window” feature, which has also been made available on the Fluid screens. This is available on the Actions Menu.

  • Notification

Push notification framework provisions additional notification channels and user personalization. Existing notification can be configured for delivery across multiple channels like e-mail, text message and pop-up notification. System administrators have options to broadcast messages and send it to a subset of employees associated with a particular role.

Users have the ability to personalize the preferred channel (via text, email, pop-up) in which they would like to receive the notifications. To enable these capabilities there are several configurations that are needed to be in-place and configured by the Administrators.

Notification Categories are to be sustained by the Administrators. While doing so, the admin needs to configure if the category is mandatory, which will imply that the users have to select at least one of the channels for the notifications. Out of the three channels (Push, Text, Email), the Admin can further configure if all these channels or a subset of them is available, and users are allowed to personalize.

  • Personalizing Related Information

With the release of PeopleTools 8.58, another feature delivered that enhances user experience is the ability to personalize the Related Information and analytics. Analytics (in the Related Information pane) is displayed as Links or Tiles, whereas the related content is displayed as tiles only. Personalization options include ordering the sections to view link/tiles first based on user preferences, reset the changes back to default.

3. Configuration and Isolating Customization

As part of “Configuration and Isolating Customization”, PeopleTools 8.58 has enhanced the features of –

  • Event Mapping

Latest Tools feature includes

  • Support for FieldsDefault, FieldEdit, SearchInit and SearchSave events for Component records
  • Support records and record fields for subpages and secondary pages at any level of nesting – not just the primary pages. This also provides support for the PageActivate event of the Secondary page and derived work records.
  • Usage of single application class service id for multiple configurations. Lessens the PeopleCode written.
  • Drop Zones

In addition to Fluid pages (wherein Drop Zones were introduced in PT8.57), Drop Zones are now supported on classic pages and classic plus pages with this release. Without customizing the page definitions, DropZones help in adding new fields to the classic / classic plus pages.

  • Application Engine

Release of PeopleTools 8.58 has enabled “Application Engine Action Plugin” to be configured to alter SQL or PeopleCode of any Application Engine Program. This configuration is very similar to Event Mapping. This feature helps in seamless upgrades with no disruption.

  • Configuration Specialist Homepage

Configuration Specialist Homepage loaded with several new tiles along with Configuration Specialist role is made available with this release. This Homepage will ease the role of the configurator and cut down on the navigations to reach out to the below pages:

  • Activity Guides
  • Manage Dashboard Pages
  • Notifications
  • Pivot Grids
  • Related Content Service
  • Navigation Collections
  • Tile Wizard

Additional tiles can also be configured based on the needs and requirements.

4. Reporting and Analytics

  • Charting

With PT 8.58 release, users will be able to fix thresholds for a single or multiple data points on a bar chart. This enables a visual identification to the end users that the thresholds have been reached. PeopleSoft also provides jet timeline component that displays chronological display of events.

  • PeopleSoft Query

Data masking has been enabled in PeopleSoft Query to ensure sanctity of data. Query Administration page will be used to mask the Personal Identifiable data from being displayed in the Output. This masking will reflect in multiple areas as in –

  1. Pivot Grids and Analytics
  2. Query APIs
  3. BIP reports
  • Using Microsoft Excel Templates in BI Publisher

PeopleSoft now facilitates to generate BIP spreadsheet reports using MS Excel templates. Hierarchical data can be split into multiple sheets and each individual sheets can be named, thereby creating sheets with Master-Detail relationships.

  • Thresholds and Personalized Analytics Notifications

Thresholds can be configured for Single x-axis data point using Pivot Grids from the “Configure Notifications” window. Previous releases only allowed collective thresholds for all data points. With this feature, users can configure varied thresholds on different data points on the same chart.

Two Different thresholds on y-axis can also be configured with this release. Pivot grids use Personalized Analytic Notifications for thresholds. System has the capability to send notifications if the threshold values are exceeded. Till the last release, only Push notifications and email notifications were permissible. This release of PT8.58, has introduced text notifications as well. These notifications options can be changed from Notification Configuration page. Also, these notifications can be changed only if the “Allow Personalization” is set to “Yes”.

Nevertheless, to set the Text notifications, additional administrative configurations have to be in place.

  • Pivot Grids

New updates have an option to Export only visible, filtered rows (predominantly a subset of the original data) in the pivot grid. Data points on X Axis can also be sequenced in a specific needed order. Defined sorting takes precedence over the alphabetical sorting. Sorting facets is also supported in PT 8.58.

  • Kibana Analytics

Kibana was initially used for search index and elastic search index server monitoring. With the recent release, Kibana Analytics can now be used to visualize and analyze stored in Elastic Indexes in Search or create additional indexes for data to be visualized/analyzed. This feature uses data authorization and data security (row security).

Two-level of visualization are available – one is at the summary level via tile and another is detailed visualization via filters and setting times ranges.

  • Report Distribution

Report can be set via any e-mail address mentioned in process definition page edit box “From e-mail address”.

  • Run Control ID Management

This feature enables the user to retrieve, validate and delete Run Control IDs based on available permission of users. Administrative users will have the capability to do these actions on any of the run control ids, whereas end users can perform these actions on the run control ids created by them.

5. Search Framework

PeopleTools 8.58 supports Elastic Search 7.0. and Kibana version 7.0. With this new release, PeopleSoft has included a new Elasticsearch DPK.

  1. Integration: CI to REST Interface

Integration Broker creates rest based web services to incorporate/expose business logic in standard ways. In addition to the standard XML formats, current release supports sending and receiving in JSON format also.

  1. Lifecycle Management: PUM Images Using Oracle 19c

Oracle DB server software, which is downloaded along with the PUM Images is used to deploy the preconfigured application DB. Oracle 19C DB will be used for PUM Images with PT 8.58. This is the terminal release of 12.2.x DB software and is planned to be supported for a long period of time.

  1. Platform and COBOL
  • Infrastructure DPKs

PeopleTools will deliver infrastructure DPK that will contain CPU patches for supporting software components. They will be available when the PT/PUM images are downloaded. This Infrastructure DPK may contain patches pertinent to Oralce Weblogic, Tuxedo, JDK, JRE, Oracle DB client and HTTP Server.

  • Universal Tablespaces for DB2 z/OS

Oracle is aligning with IBM for Supporting Universal Tablespaces for DB2 z. This will create unique and dynamic table spaces using UTS with db2 z/OS 12.1.

  • Adopt Micro Focus Visual COBOL 4.0

Uses next-generation micro-focus compiler suite of visual COBOL and support for other compilers is unaffected.

6. Security, Data Privacy and Monitoring

  • Data Privacy Framework

Supports masking options and filtering of data to maintain data privacy for sensitive data via Query, Search Results, Dropdowns and Filters. Viewing of unauthorized data

  • Security

PT 8.58 has introduced support for open authorization(OAuth) 2.0 with that information that can be used by third-party services.

  • Monitoring

Kibana is being used to visualize and monitor data pertinent to a specific host/domain.

Authors
Eileen Franklin – Senior Consultant, Kovaion
Detroja Kishan V – PeopleSoft Consultant, Kovaion

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