Saturday, April 14, 2012

Configurable Matrices as Mapping Tables

There was a discussion in ITToolbox on using Configurable Matrices to act as mapping tables. This is one utility we have used successfully for maintaining mapping values in PeopleSoft without the need to develop custom records, components or pages.

So, what are Configurable Matrices?
Configurable Matrix is a delivered functionality in PeopleSoft to maintain a matrix of input values and their corresponding results. This is very similar to the concept of Brackets in Global Payroll and Absence Management. You can easily define a Configurable Matrix by defining the input fields, the result fields and the data correlation between the input and result fields.

Can you give an example where Configurable Matrices can be used?
Here are some examples where we have used configurable matrices as mapping tables:

1. In a multi-country implementation, one customer wanted to control the open period of Timesheet based on the country and role. For example - in Country A, the timesheet had to be open for only the current period for employees and current and past period for managers. While, in Country B the timesheet had to be open for the current and past period for employees and managers.
Rather than hard-coding this logic in peoplecode or creating a custom table, we simply created a Configurable Matrix definition with country and role as the input fields and the open periods as the result field. In the peoplecode customisation to control the timesheet open periods, we queried the Configurable Matrix data to get the appropriate open period based on the country and role of the user.

2. One customer wanted to maintain default work schedules per company. We suggested the use of Configurable Matrices to maintain this relationship.

What are the advantages of using Configurable Matrices?
Configurable Matrices are an out of the box solution. This means that the use of CM will help implement a vanilla solution and eliminate the need to create custom records, pages and components. Coupled with this, we have found that the development time can also be significantly reduced by using this option.

Would you suggest using Configurable Matrices for all mapping requirements in PeopleSoft?
No. We recommend using Configurable Matrices to maintain mapping values that remain mostly static. For example, in the ITToolbox example we quoted earlier, the requirement was to maintain the mapping between a Department and the HR Representative of the department. This is something that requires to be tightly coupled to the Department component, needs constant maintenance and has to be effective dated. For such requirements with dependency on effective dates and those that require constant updates are best maintained as custom objects. But, for mapping tables that do not change frequently, the cost of creating custom objects far outweigh the benefit achieved and we strongly recommend the use of Configurable Matrices.

I want to try this out. Where can I find Configurable Matrices setup in PeopleSoft HCM?
Here you go - Setup HRMS > Common Definitions > Configurable Matrices.
Have fun!

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