Aaron Engelsrud

Drop Zones in PeopleTools 8.58

While Drop Zones were released as new functionality in PeopleTools 8.57, PeopleTools 8.58 extends the included functionality by allowing drop zone to be included in Classic and Classic Plus pages, sub-pages at any nesting level, and secondary pages. Further, Oracle also now offers support for drop zones on unregistered components.

Previously, in the PeopleTools 8.57 release, the functionality was only available on Fluid pages. If you are not yet familiar with Drop Zones, they allow developers the ability to add new fields which are displayed and processed on pages without customizing either the component to the page itself.

Keep in mind, Drop Zones are delivered functionality from Oracle that allow you to add custom fields to delivered pages, sub-pages and components. Per Oracle’s documentation, PeopleSoft application teams are responsible for determining which delivered pages can be extended by customers and have already added one (or more) configurable drop zones on those pages, sub-pages, and secondary pages. If,  you, as a customer, added the drop zone component to a delivered page yourself (say where one didn’t exist but you wanted one), that would be considered a customization. Make sense? If Oracle does it, it’s ok, if you do it, not so much. However, if you read through the linked resource I’ve included below, Oracle has provided detailed instructions on how to insert your own configurable drop zone. They want you to do it - they just don’t support it.

Much like the Application Engine Action Plug-ins, Drop Zones are another effort by Oracle to decrease customer customization while allowing for and encouraging customers to make PeopleSoft meet their specific business needs.

Linked Resource: Configuring Drop Zones

PeopleTools 8.58: Application Engine Action Plug-in

There are many, many new features to be found in the most recent PeopleTools release from Oracle. One such improvement/addition to the development toolset within PeopleTools is the Application Engine Action Plug-in. This functionality allows you to change the SQL or PeopleCode actions of any Application Engine without directly customizing or changing the Application Engine itself. The code in the configured and defined plug-in for the Application Engine being run is executed in place of the delivered code at runtime

There are a few things the development team should know prior to starting down the path of utilizing this functionality. One really nice feature of the AE Plug-in functionality is that developers are able to re-use the same SQL and PeopleCode multiple times for different Application Engine programs. Along with this, actions belonging to the same step of the same section of the App Engine can have multiple plug-in actions defined. On the flip-side, once an App Engine is configured to use a plug-in, it cannot be used as a plug-in for a different App Engine. Further, you cannot define a plug-in for an Application Engine action that has already been used by a different Application Engine as a plug-in. Bottom-line, no stacking plug-ins on top of plug-ins.

Clearly, this functionality is a further effort by Oracle to keep the core of PeopleSoft untouched while providing options and opportunities to allow development teams to provide the business with the specific functionality needed. These types of updates and improvements in the PeopleSoft architecture will allow for smoother upgrades and simpler retrofitting when required.

Linked Resource: Configuring Application Engine Action Plug-ins

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure: The Autonomous Database

When you look up the word autonomous in the dictionary the key definition that relates to the use of the word in this context reads something like this, “not subject to control from outside; independent.” The OCI Autonomous Database handles many of the tasks that you currently rely on a database administrator for, without any outside intervention. Right from the creation of the database, the autonomous database begins taking care of itself. Along with the actual creation of the database it also backs itself up, administers patches, applies upgrades, and performs database tuning – all hands off.

Along with all of these automated features, the OCI Autonomous Database comes in two different configurations. First is the Autonomous Transaction Processing configuration which can be used for normal transactional database processing type operations. This configuration is well suited to high volumes of transactions with random data access. The second OCI Autonomous Database configuration is the Autonomous Data Warehouse which is, you guessed it, tuned for decision support or data warehouse type workloads.

Within the Always Free tier of the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, users have access to two free instances of Autonomous Database. In the free tier these databases have a fixed 8 GB of memory, 20 GB of storage, 1 OCPU, and are available in either the Autonomous Transaction Processing or Autonomous Data Warehouse workload configurations. If you are interested in more information on Oracle’s Always Free Tier – give my recent blog post a read HERE.

Obviously, there is a lot more to know about the OCI Autonomous Database than what I’ve covered in this brief primer. I will be digging in a bit deeper on some of the more detailed functionality and processes including how to Provision Autonomous Transaction Processing, how to connect SQL developer to an OCI Autonomous Database, along with a few other bits and pieces.

Keep your head up and keep learning new stuff!

Introducing PeopleSoft & OCI Tidbits on AaronEngelsrud.com

I’ve been looking for an opportunity to blog a bit more and to, hopefully, provide a service to the Peoplesoft community I have been a part of for the past 20 years. In thinking about how best to accomplish this, I’ve come up with the idea of Peoplesoft and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) Tidbits. These will be short and simple blog posts covering a variety of PeopleSoft and OCI topics. Topics will be wide reaching and include information about new PeopleTools enhancements, PeopleSoft Cloud Manager, new features in the OCI, and useful topics for Oracle System Administrators and Developers. My goal in doing this is that these posts take less than 2 minutes to read and you (the reader) leave with some useful information and a link or resource to start doing some digging on your own. These are not meant to be all inclusive or detailed explanations of functionality, but rather short and concise overviews of what may be possible coupled with the resources to find more information.

Tomorrow (Thursday February 20th) will be my first official PeopleSoft Tidbit. I’m going to do a tidbit a day for as long as I can find relevant, useful PeopleSoft and OCI information to write about. Upgrades, new functionality, bugs, best practices, it’s all fair game. If you are part of the Oracle or PeopleSoft community and know others that might be interested in the content I’m posting - send them my way. I’ll be cross-posting this on my blog - aaronengelsrud.com - as well as to LinkedIn. Hopefully someone will find a useful tidbit!