Thursday, September 26, 2013

Using External Content in the FSCM 9.2 Links Pagelet (WorkCenters)

FSCM 9.2 comes with some great new WorkCenters. One of the features of the new FSCM WorkCenters is the configurable Links pagelet. With the links pagelet, you can add and remove links to information related to the WorkCenter's business process. One of the great features of the Links pagelet is that it allows you to set the starting page of a delivered WorkCenter. A current limitation of the Links pagelet is that it does NOT allow you to open external content in the WorkCenter's TargetContent area. To say it another way, you can add external content to the Links pagelet, but that external content opens in a new window. As usual, however, the only real limitation is imagination. Here is the method I developed that allows me to add external content to the Links pagelet and have it open in the TargetContent area: an iScript that redirects to the external content. I then register this iScript as a CREF and add it as a Link. The Links pagelet thinks the content is local, so it opens the external content in the TargetContent area. Here is the iScript:

Declare Function SpecifyPortalOpen PeopleCode FUNCLIB_PTPP.PTPP_PORTALR FieldFormula;

Function IScript_ContentRedirect()
   Local ApiObject &portal;
   Local ApiObject &cref;
   Local string &url = "";
   Local string &portalName = %Request.GetParameter("PORTAL");
   Local string &crefName = %Request.GetParameter("CREF");
   
   &portal = SpecifyPortalOpen(&portalName);
   &cref = &portal.FindCREFByName(&crefName);
   
   If (&cref <> Null) Then
      If (&cref.Authorized) Then
         &url = &cref.AbsoluteContentURL;
      End-If;
   End-If;
   
   %Response.RedirectURL(&url);
End-Function;

Here is how you use it:

  1. Create a CREF for your external URL
  2. Create a new CREF for the iScript. In the additional parameters section of the CREF, add PORTAL=EMPLOYEE&CREF=YOUR_CREF_NAME
  3. Update the new iScript CREF's security to match the external content CREF's security.

I use this technique with both OBIEE dashboards and Taleo.

23 comments:

Unknown said...

Have you encountered any issues with opening Taleo within PeopleSoft frame, Taleo being a Flash based web application?

Jim Marion said...

You can use flash just fine in PeopleSoft. In this scenario you point the target content frame at the Taleo site, so it is entirely in a separate frame and isolated from PeopleSoft.

Kevin Weaver said...

Very Cool! Can't wait to upgrade to 9.2 and play with all the new features!

Pon Arun Kumar said...

Hi Jim, The configuration (configure pagelets) for WorkCenter/Dashboards under Enterprise Components
for example: to configure 'View Document Content WorkCenter' is not available in Interaction Hub V9.1 R2. Could you please help?

Jim Marion said...

@Pon, this article is very specific to financials 9.2. If you don't have financials 9.2, then you won't have the financials links pagelets and won't require a workaround. You can just use a navigation collection pagelet and set the target to be whatever you require.

Pon Arun Kumar said...

Thanks a lot for your quick response Jim :-) Finally found at that the provision to configure WorkCenter's pagelets, links maybe/would be released as a feature pack for 9.1 R2 or only in Interaction Hub 9.2. And sorry for mistakenly posting the question here in Financials section.

Have a great day!!!

Pon Arun Kumar said...

Thanks a lot for your quick response Jim :-) Finally found at that the provision to configure WorkCenter's pagelets, links maybe/would be released as a feature pack for 9.1 R2 or only in Interaction Hub 9.2. And sorry for mistakenly posting the question here in Financials section.

Have a great day!!!d

Simon Chiu said...

Hey Jim!

We have gone live with our peoplesoft implementation last week. We are using IH 9.1 R2 with FS 9.2 on tools 8.5.3.6 ~ all is doing quite well. We have noticed that some of our users are directly logging into FS 9.2, bypassing the IH. I am wondering that the least intrusive way of ensuring people are only using the IH. My thoughts would be to update the signin.html file on FS to forward you back to the IH (and keep a less publicized unchanged signinx.html handy for direct authentication for systems administrators). Would there be any repercussions with this? At first glance I don't see a way to enforce anything with Single Signon.

Thanks,

-Simon

Jim Marion said...

@Simon, PeopleSoft's SSO requires user names and trusted nodes. It does not require passwords. Once you have a working SSO between the nodes and common users, you can scramble the passwords in your content provider system so users don't know their passwords and can't log in. Be sure to test this somewhere and keep a backup copy of PSOPRDEFN :)

Simon Chiu said...

hey Jim ~ create suggestion. I will look further into this.

Regards,

Tom Mannanchery said...

Hi Jim,

Have you ever come across a WorkCenter created in Interaction Hub having elements like pagelets (in the WorkCenter dashboard), My Work pagelet links, Links pagelet links, Reports etc. coming from the content providers like FSCM, HCM etc? Let me call it Unified WorkCenter, for the lack of a better term.

I have been thinking about it and I think the main challenge is to configure the My Work pagelet links as it would need to use Application packages created in Hub, which can interact with content providers through IB setup.

Just wanted to see what you think about the feasibility of such a WorkCenter and your experience with it if you have seen it in the past.

Thanks,
Tom

Jim Marion said...

Hi Tom, Yes, using the Links pagelet in an Interaction Hub WorkCenter is certainly possible. The app classes don't have to be in Interaction Hub. With the Links one, of course, the targets of those links all have to be in the same content provider as the links pagelet. For example, if it is the FSCM links pagelet, then the CREF's need to exist in FSCM, but you can add the pagelet to a WorkCenter in Interaction Hub. You can also visit an FSCM WorkCenter from Interaction Hub without issue.

One area that is interesting is a Financials WorkCenter that has HCM links. The easiest way to accomplish this is to create a Navigation Collection in HCM and publish that as a pagelet, and then consume that pagelet in FSCM.

Tom Mannanchery said...

Thanks Jim. Normally, links in the My Work pagelet are configured using Root > Enterprise Components > WorkCenter/Dashboards > Configure Pagelets. But I dont see this in Interaction Hub.

I was wondering if this is a delivered behavior or something to do with our installation.

Tom

Jim Marion said...

Hi Tom, that is true. That doesn't exist in Interaction Hub. It is a 9.2 Enterprise Components feature used primarily by HCM and FSCM. You cannot configure that links pagelet in Interaction Hub, but you can create navigation collection pagelets in Interaction Hub. You could even apply an XSL template on step 5 of pagelet wizard to make the Interaction Hub nav collection look the same as the Links pagelet in FSCM.

I have created pagelets with cross-content provider links in them and I have done it in Interaction Hub. The tools I used to create them were Navigation Collections and Pagelet Wizard.

Does that make sense? Let me know if I missed the point again :)

Tom Mannanchery said...

Abolsutely. And it helps as well. So, even though we don't have Enterprise Components > WorkCenter/Dashboards in Interaction Hub, we could still use Navigation Collections and Pagelets created from Nav.Cols to get a similar functionality.

How about the My Work pagelet which is present in some workcenters (http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E51433_01/fscm92pbr2/eng/fscm/fapy/concept_UnderstandingThePayablesWorkCenter-MyWorkPagelet.html). The filters and links on this pagelet are configured using the Enterprise Components.
I was wondering if:
1. There is a way to have such a pagelet with similar filtering capabilities on a WorkCenter in Interaction Hub, and
2. Could that pagelet pull data from content providers?

I really don't have a use case or a requirement at the moment. I was only curious.

Thanks,
Tom

Jim Marion said...

@Tom, I had similar questions about the My Work pagelet. My understanding is it would be possible, but is not recommended. I have not looked at the code to see what it would take to add your own.

With all of this said, you can absolutely display those financials specific pagelets in an Interaction Hub WorkCenter. The key though is that they would only show financials content. It sounds like you want to expand them to include content from other systems as well.

Tom Mannanchery said...

Thanks Jim.

We added a couple custom My Work items in FSCM. We actually didn't know it wasn't recommended. :)

You are right that I am thinking of content from multiple systems. If you ever do POC, I would love to see how you did it.

Thanks,
Tom

Jim Marion said...

@Tom, "not recommended" sometimes just means it is not documented and hard :)

Ayesha Jaffar said...

Hey Jim!
Hope you are fine.
I have a question regarding BI Publisher Report. I have to show a signature image every logged in user on the report template. I have saved images on ftp url i just have to put the image signature of that particular logged in user. How can i do this? Kindly help me out.

Thanks & Regards,
Ayesha Jaffar

Jim Marion said...

@Ayesha, unfortunately I am not familiar with BI Publisher. I suggest you post your question on the PeopleSoft OTN discussion forum.

Tom Mannanchery said...

Hi Jim,

In this post, you are creating the CREF to the external URL. Can't this CREF be added to the Links pagelet as a 'Menu Item'? In that case it won't open in a new window right? We are trying to do that but running into security related issues. Just wanted to know what you think.

Thanks,
Tom

Tom Mannanchery said...

Hi Jim,

I have a quick question regarding the iScript approach that you have mentioned above. After we created the iScript, we tried to add it to the Links pagelet via 'Enterprise Components', the iScript CREF wouldnt show up as something that can be added to the pagelet.

Is there some setting you had to make to be able to add an iScript CREF to the Links pagelet?

Thanks,
Tom

Jim Marion said...

@Tom, external links in the version I was using open in a new window. It was my understanding that the FSCM team planned to change that later. I don't know when "later" is, so it may be resolved by now. You can always test it and find out.

Regarding the iScript, no, I didn't make any changes. Do you have your iScript in a hidden folder?