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Looking Ahead: What to Be Excited About in PeopleTools 8.53

Being a combination business intelligence and PeopleSoft guy, I am always looking for enhancements to improve the end user experience and capability of embedding business intelligence into the business process. Here are some of the favorite enhancements I am most looking forward to evaluating in PeopleTools 8.53.

Related Actions/Related Content

Enhancement: The Related Actions Framework is a feature originally delivered with PeopleTools 8.52; it presents a mini menu of actions or options that are contextually appropriate to the user’s role and particular data presented on the application screen. PeopleTools 8.53 brings Related Actions to Pivot Grids, allowing users to take actions directly on data displayed in a pivot grid.

Comment: I’m looking forward to understanding what capabilities around “taking actions” directly on the data are introduced. I’m hoping for true ability to take action and navigate to source pages much like drilling URLs allows the end user. Combining this with grid reporting can be of real value.

Work Centers and Dashboards

Enhancement: Operational dashboards are designed to provide vital decision support information based on role. WorkCenters are used to streamline process execution, and they provide easier and faster navigation as well as other information that is needed for the transactions at hand. This release improves the way WorkCenters and Dashboards can be designed and used. Application developers and designers can deploy dashboard-like pagelets within WorkCenters to provide better decision support for WorkCenter transactions. This capability combines some of the features and benefits of Dashboards with WorkCenters. In addition, applications can now consume remote pagelets in WorkCenters, Homepages, and Dashboards.

Comment: This should prove to be a nice enhancement and improve the overall decision-making process by embedding more relevant business intelligence into the work centers. This is similar to what we have been helping our clients with related to homepage dashboards but focused on the workcenter.

Activity Guides

Enhancement: Activity Guides allow application designers to define processes that guide users through a series of predefined actions. Activity Guides are often used for infrequent self-service events, such as benefits enrollment, and also can be used for managing process-specific tasks, such as period-end-close in Financials Management. In 8.53, the Activity Guide enables application developers to define a list of action items tied to transactional, collaborative, or manual tasks. The action item represents a task that can be tracked for assignment and completion, and is secured by roles and user lists. Activity Guides also enable a hierarchical list of action items.

A new Activity Guide WorkCenter template is available for use with building and configuring Activity Guides. This template provides a frame with the navigation controls used to traverse an Activity Guide.

The WorkCenter template also provides the following features:

  • A status bar to indicate the progress of the Activity Guide, and the Active Action item is
    highlighted.

Comment: We have utilized navigation collections to mimick a process but this new functionality will take everything to the next level by assigning tasks and really creating a “guide” for a business transaction. I envision this as project oriented tasks associated with work centers and transactional business oriented duties. Thinking beyond just the use associated with the product, this may be expanded for user training and designing the activities as step by step processes. This could again, really change the end user experience.

  • Ability to do pre-processing and post-processing for an action item.
  • Pre-processing: Perform business logic before transferring the user to the appropriate
    transaction.
  • Post processing: Perform business logic when a save is performed on the transaction
    associated with the action item.
  • Ability to assign an action item to a role or a user.
  • Ability to create dependency rules for action items.

Hopefully, this overview makes you as excited for PeopleTools 8.53 as I am. We are asked constantly about the roadmap for PeopleTools, and this blog post represents the best of our understanding based on public information as well as personal projection and opinion. If you have questions or want to chat to sort this out a bit, I am always available. Drop me an email.

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