Saturday, March 30, 2013

PeopleSoft 9.2 feature review - New Value List types

Value lists are an extremely useful setup option available in Time and Labor. Value Lists can be used to create a list of certain setup values (like list of departments, companies, workgroups, shifts etc) which can be then used in custom programs and rules to check if the value being processed belongs to a certain 'list of values'. Some examples of the use of value lists are: check if the employee being processed falls in a specific list of departments, check if the employee has reported a TRC that falls in a specific list of TRCs etc. As you can deduce from the examples, the advantage of having a value list is that it eliminates the need to hardcode a list of values in code and the list can be extended/maintained from PIA when needed. These features make value lists a highly useful tool in developing efficient rules and customisations in Time and Labor. For an application of value lists in reporting, refer here.
One of the limitations of the value list functionality has been that lists can be built only for certain specific pre-defined fields. In v9.1, there are 17 fields on which a list can be built. Examples are Company, Pay group, Grade, Step, Punch Type, Workgroup, Jobcode, Deptid etc.
In v9.2, Oracle has added 9 more fields in the purview of value lists. The new fields are:
  • Attendance Violations (these are attendance actions from attendance programs in Time and Labor)
  • Absence Take
  • Compensatory Time Off Plan
  • Benefit Plan
  • Reported Time Status
  • Payable Time Status
  • Absence Status
  • Exception
  • Severity (this is severity of exception)
Implementation consultants can now make use of the above 9 fields to create values lists in 9.2, while creating rules or customisations.
What prompted Oracle to add these new fields?
Most of these 9 fields are used in the new Time and Labor Alert framework. I am sure that it is the necessity to build Alerts based on the above fields that lead to them being added as new list type options. 

If you have questions or need more details on the new features in PeopleSoft HCM v9.2, mail into

PeopleSoft 9.2 feature review - Enhanced configurability to timesheet layout

As discussed in previous posts, a major area of enhancement for Time and Labor in v9.2 is the timesheet component. In this post, I would like to briefly introduce enhanced configurability of the timesheet pages that has been delivered in the new version.
The delivered timesheet pages in PeopleSoft contains a number of fields and grids that are selectively used by different customers. It is a common requirement to hide unwanted fields from the timesheet page to improve usability of time reporting transactions. From an implementation consultant's point of view as well as from a total cost of ownership perspective, it is heartening to note that Oracle has introduced further configurability to the layout of the timesheet pages.
The Time Reporting Template setup page has been enhanced to add setup options to control the display of the timesheet page. The Time Reporting Template page can be accessed from
Setup HRMS > Product Related > Time and Labor > Time Reporting > Time Reporting Template.
 In 9.2, you will find a new section in the time reporting template setup page, called 'Timesheet Controls' and a screenshot of the relevant section is given below:

As seen from the above screenshot, the display of a number of sections within the timesheet page can be controlled at the time reporting template setup level. This enhancement should be considered by all consultants during an implementation/upgrade to identify opportunities to drop customisations.
Important points from my analysis on this functionality:
  • The 'Submit Option' field can be used to control whether the submit confirmation page should be displayed after clicking on the 'submit' button in the timesheet pages. You can choose to display the confirmation page or not. Choosing not to display the confirmation page will help to reduce one click in the overall transaction. If ever you felt that this 'one' extra click has to be inconsequential, it turns out that it is not always true. I have faced numerous scenarios where end-users and UAT business testers have demanded the extra clicks presentated after submitting timesheet as well as absence to be removed!
  • The display of 'Apply Rules' button that can be used to trigger real time rules from timesheet, can also be controlled. I find it useful to have the option to also setup whether it should be displayed in ESS or MSS timesheet pages. This is similar to the setup option that we have for forecasting in Absence Management, where forecasting can be enforced at the time of submission of an absence or approval.
  • Note that the 'Print Timesheet' link can also be controlled using this setup.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

PeopleSoft 9.2 feature review - Timesheet lockdown

Payroll processing in a company with a PeopleSoft Payroll module, Time and Labor and/or Absence Management will be an iterative, sequential process. Payroll, Time and Absence are separate modules in PeopleSoft and data flows from one module to another during a typical payroll cycle. This siloed architecture calls for detailed audits and data 'finalisation' in each of the upstream modules (upstream modules to payroll in this case are Time and Labor and Absence Management), before the actual payroll calculation can be finalised. Given below is a graphical representation of the data flows between the various modules when Payroll for North America, Time and Labor and Absence Management are used together. 
More information on the integration of Time and Pay modules in PeopleSoft, including a similar diagram for Global Payroll, can be found here.

The need to maintain data integrity in individual modules during payroll processing is a challenge faced by most payroll processing teams using PeopleSoft. As payroll processing involves multiple audits and data transfer programs in PeopleSoft, payroll administrators prefer to 'freeze' data in a certain module once all audits and calculations for the pay period for that module has been done. Prior to  PeopleSoft 9.2, there was no specific feature in Time and Labor, to allow administrators to prevent employees from making changes to time for a certain pay period during payroll processing.
In PeopleSoft 9.2, Oracle has introduced a new feature called 'Timesheet Lockdown'.

What does this new feature do?
The Timesheet Lockdown feature can be used to 'lock' timesheets for employees and managers for all periods prior to the start of the current pay period.

What does 'lock' imply?
Lock in this context means that the timesheet will be read-only to employees and managers during the time frame the timesheet is locked.

How is the current pay period determined?
The current pay period is defined as the pay period intersected by the current date. This information is retrieved from the pay calendar table for employees on Payroll for North America/Payroll Interface and from the calendar period table for employees on Global Payroll. So, assume that the employees are on a Monthly pay period. In this case, if the timesheet is locked by administrators today, then all dates prior to 1st March, 2013 (i.e. start of current monthly pay period) will be displayed as read-only to employees and managers.

How can administrators 'lock' a timesheet?
The new timesheet lockdown page can be accessed from:  
Main Menu > Time and Labor > Report Time > Timesheet Lockdown

A sample of the page is given below:
Locking and Unlocking the timesheet is as simple as selecting a checkbox. But, the important point to note here is that locking is done at the pay group level. The Timesheet Lockdown page displays all active pay groups in the system (includes all active pay groups from Payroll for North America, Payroll Interface and Global Payroll) and administrators can select the pay groups have to be locked. Once the checkbox to lock a timesheet is selected, the timesheet for employees falling in the locked pay groups will be displayed in read-only mode. Administrators can unselect the checkbox to unlock the timesheets after payroll processing. 

Will employess be notified when the timesheet is locked for processing? 
A message will be displayed on the timesheet if timesheet locking is in place. The new HR Announcements framework could also be utilised to notify employees when timesheet locking is in place.
A sample screenshot of a locked timesheet is given below:

Can Administrators continue to Edit the timesheets when locking is on?
Yes. Timesheet Locking is applicable only to employee and manager profiles. Administrators will continue to have edit access to timesheets during the locked period.

Important observations, limitations and notes:
While this is a useful enhancement provided by Oracle, there are some fine points and limitations that need to be kept in mind.
  • As the Timesheet Lockdown feature is implemented at a pay group level - it is necessary that the employee is enrolled in a pay system in Job data. This means that those customers who are using time and labor without enrolling employees into a pay system will not be able to use this feature.
  • The definition of the period used to lock-down the timesheet is not flexible enough to cater to global requirements. As detailed earlier, the timesheet will be locked down for all dates prior to the start date of the current pay period. Here, current pay period is the pay period intersected by the current date.This means that the timesheet locking feature is suited for organisations where payroll processing is done after the end date of the pay period being processed. An example of this would be, processing the payroll for March in the first week of April. This is true to a good extent for payroll processing of hourly (non-exempt) employees in the US, where payroll processing happens after the end date of the pay period. But, this is not true in most instances outside US. For eg. in Europe and Asia, it is common to have payroll for a period processed prior to the actual pay period end date. For eg. the payroll processing for a monthly period ending March 31st, might happen from 21st March to 24th March. In this case, payroll administrators would ideally want the entire month of March to be locked down. But, with the current design of the timesheet lockdown page, March will remain open as it is the current pay period being processed. Let us take another payroll processing scenario - it is common in APAC to have a different processing period for Time and Labor and Payroll for the same run. For eg. in the payroll period from 1st March to 31st March, time entries from 16th February to 15th March will be processed. This implies that when the payroll period ending March 31st is processed, administrators would ideally like the period from 16th February to 15th March to be locked in Time and Labor. In the current design, the period from 16th February to end of February will be locked, but the whole of March will be open. This is a major limitation of this functionality that reduces it's utility in certain geographies. A more appropriate design would have been to provide a page where administrators could enter either the Calendar Group id of Global Payroll or Pay Run Id of Payroll for North America to lock timesheets. This way, the framework could get to know the time period to lock the timesheets. This could have also addressed the scenario where time and labor period differs from payroll period.
  • Global Payroll User security is not considered while displaying the Global Payroll pay groups to be locked, in the Timesheet Lockdown page. This means that any user who has access to the Timesheet lockdown page, will be able to lock/unlock timesheets of employees in pay groups that the particular user has no access to. This can be an operational security issue for organisations running multiple country payroll in PeopleSoft.
  • For customers using both Time and Labor and Absence Management, it would have been appropriate if this lock down feature was extended to absence management as well. From an operational perspective, both Time and Labor and Absence Management need to work together and a lockdown for payroll processing should have meant restriction of editing both time and absences.
  •  While looking at the code used to populate the pay groups in the Timesheet Lockdown page, I noticed that even Payroll Interface pay groups are printed as Payroll for North America.
  • An informational message is displayed in the timesheet page when the locking is in place. When a certain utility is locked/shut down, I think it is useful to also convey when the utility will be available again. So, instead of just displaying, 'The Timesheet is currently locked down', it would have been more useful to have a message like, 'The Timesheet is currently locked down and it will be available at 2pm PST on Thursday'. We drilled down to find out the message catalog which is used to print the delivered message and it is Message Set: 13504 and Message Number: 89.
So, in conclusion, the timesheet lockdown feature is an enhancement that will contribute to further payroll processing accuracy and will be welcomed by a number of payroll processing administrators. But, the limitations with respect to the dates that will be locked down will have to be kept in mind during an implementation. I suspect that this limitation will make the feature less popular outside North America (unless customised!).

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

PeopleSoft 9.2 feature review - Timesheet sign-off message

A new feature in Time and Labor 9.2 is the ability to display a message to employees on submitting the timesheet. This can be utilised as a sign-off validation of the timesheet by the employee submitting the timesheet. This sign-off message is also printed in the output of the 'Print Timesheet' functionality.
Here is a screenshot of the message displayed to the employee on submitting the timesheet:

Where can this be configured?
This feature can be setup at the Workgroup setup component. The layout of the workgroup component has undergone a bit of change in 9.2. The relevant section where the Sign-Off message can be configured is shown below:

Here's more details on the functionality:
  •  The 'Require Employee Sign-Off on Timesheet' checkbox can be used to display the sign-off message to the employee. If this checkbox is unselected, the sign-off message will not be displayed to the employee.
  • Once the checkbox is selected, then the Message Catalog details that contain the text of the sign-off message will have to be given.
  • The Signature Statement is a non-editable field and displays the detailed text of the message number entered.
Pointers on this functionality:
  1. This message is also printed in the report produced by clicking on the 'Print Timesheet' link on the timesheet page.
  2. This message is displayed only in ESS. If a manager/administrator submits time on behalf of the employee, this message will not be displayed.
  3. Considering that this is intended to be a 'sign-off' message given to employees, I found it a bit strange that the message is displayed after the timesheet submission confirmation page is displayed. It would have been more appropriate if the sign-off message is shown prior to the final timesheet submission, so that employees have an opportunity to acknowledge the submission before the changes are saved in the system.
While we are staying on the workgroup setup page, I would also like to point out the new feature to control whether non-administrators can submit time on behalf of an employee. Notice the checkbox called 'Allow Others to Submit Time for Employee' in the screenshot. Unchecking this checkbox will prevent non-administrators from modifying the timesheet of the employee. This means that only employees and administrators can make changes to an employee's timesheet once this option is unchecked. Managers will still continue to have a read-only access to an employee's timesheet.

One theme that I am seeing in some of these changes in 9.2 Time and Labor -  is increasing time/wage hour compliance. Let it be the print timesheet functionality, timesheet sign-off feature or restricting non-administrators from modifying an employee's timesheet - they all add up to reducing the risk of time related litigations for an organisation. Should help the business case for a 9.2 upgrade!

PeopleSoft 9.2 - Business Process Maps available!

In what should be good news to the consulting community, Business Process Maps for HCM 9.2 business processes is now available online. You can find the BPMs in the below link:

Monday, March 25, 2013

PeopleSoft 9.2 feature review - TRC display control based on role

A very welcome enhancement in PeopleSoft Time and Labor 9.2 is the ability to restrict the display of TRCs on the timesheet depending on the role of users.

What is this enhancement about?
It is possible to restrict the display of a TRC in the timesheet page depending on whether the user is an employee, manager or administrator.

What is the benefit of this enhancement?
Most organisations with complex Time and Attendance requirements have the need to display different TRCs to different users, based on their role. This is a customisation in versions prior to 9.1. Thus, this enhancement will help customers go with a vanilla solution and increases the maintainability of the application.

How were the TRCs displayed prior to v9.2?
The TRCs displayed for a certain employee was controlled by the TRC Program attached to the workgroup of an employee. Any user accessing an employee's timesheet was able to see all active non-absence management and non-rule Time Reporting Codes in the timesheet. Thus, conditional display of TRCs to different users was not possible prior to v9.2.

Where can this be setup?
The setup for conditional TRC display is to be done in the TRC Program setup page.
The TRC Program page in v9.2 is shown above. You will notice, two new fields on this page:
a. TRC Access: The TRC access field can be used to indicate the user roles that can have access to the particular TRC. The options available are: Administrator Only, Manager or Administrator Only and No Restrictions. Only those TRCs setup with a TRC display option of 'No Restrictions' will be available in ESS. 

b. Ordering sequence: The ordering sequence field can be used to order the TRCs in the drop down in the timesheet page. This is again a small, yet useful enhancement to the product.

How does the system determine whether a user is an employee, manager or administrator?
Here is some undocumented insight into how the system determines the level of a certain user's access:
a. A user is treated as an employee if the timesheet page is accessed through the ROLE_EMPLOYEE menu.
b. A user is treated as an administrator if the timesheet page is accessed through the ROLE_MANAGER menu and if the user has access to the TL_MSS_TIMESHEET page in the DEFINE_TIME_AND_LABOR menu.
c. A user is treated as a manager if the timesheet page is accessed through the ROLE_MANAGER menu and if the user does not have access to the TL_MSS_TIMESHEET page in the DEFINE_TIME_AND_LABOR menu.

For the most in-depth and comprehensive reviews of Time and Attendance functionalities in PeopleSoft 9.2, click here.

Have questions or want to discuss on this further?
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Sunday, March 24, 2013

PeopleSoft 9.2 feature review - Timesheet page gets a major facelift

'I reported 45 hours this week, but has not been paid any weekly overtime. Could you take a look and tell me why?'
Questions on the (in)accuracy of time calculations are probably the most common query that a Time and Attendance administrator will have to face (right up there will be queries on absence balances as well!). If the above question came to the T&A administrator of a company running on PeopleSoft Time and Labor prior to v9.2, what would she have done? Let us try to trace the steps she would have gone through in PeopleSoft while trying to answer this question:
1. Open the timesheet page to check the actual number of hours the employee reported. 
2. Open the payable time detail page to view the payable hours generated for each day of the week and compare it with the hours reported on the timesheet.
3. Open the work schedule page of the employee to verify the schedule assigned to the employee.
4. Check the exceptions of the employee to ensure that there were no unresolved high severity exceptions.
5. Check whether the payable time was approved.
6. Check whether there were any absences for the week.
Assuming that there are no customised reports in the system to aggregate the above data, the T&A administrator would have had to navigate to multiple pages and compare data across different pages to troubleshoot this issue. Wouldn't it have been better if most of the information related to 'time' and 'absence' were available in one single place? Going a step further, wouldn't it have been better if the employee herself had the right tools/data to figure out what was going wrong with her overtime?
With a revamped design of the timesheet page, PeopleSoft v9.2 has taken steps to move towards that direction - bring together all relevant information related to time/absence transactions and reduce the number of navigational clicks. The new timesheet page is given below:
I would like to highlight the following changes to the timesheet functionality in v9.2:
a. The UI of the page has been revamped by arranging different related information areas as tabs (highlighted in the red box in the above screenshot) in the timesheet page.
b. The Apply Rules button will run time administratin process in real time and populate the payable time details in the payable time tab in the timesheet. I think this is an excellent feature that will give lot of transparency to users regarding what they will be paid out and should help improve operational efficiency. We had configured the employee used in the demo to have simple California specific overtime rules. As seen in the payable time tab - the employee can immediately view the regular, straight OT and double time generated for the week and compare the results with the time reported.
c. The print timesheet functionality is new and we had discussed the details of that functionality here.
d. A timesheet sign-off/acknowledgement message can be configured at the workgroup level which will be displayed to the employees when they submit the timesheet.
e.  The fields and sections to be displayed on the timesheet can be configured at the time reporting template level.

To be fair to previous releases, the product has had grids for absences, reported time summary etc. in older versions as well. PeopleSoft 9.2 has a revamped look, with the grids which were arranged one below the other being arranged as horizontal tabs. The major enhancement that I notice on this page is the introduction of a tab to display the Payable Time data alongside reported time from timesheet. This will enable employees, manager and administrators to easily compare reported and payable time on the same page and will lead to operational efficiencies. Another interesting enhancement is with the way the 'Apply Rules' functionality behaves. On clicking the 'Apply Rules' button (the display of the button can be controlled by timesheet display settings in the Time Reporting template setup), certain sections of the time administration process is invoked real time. Once the time administration process completes, the payable time, exceptions and attendance tabs on the timesheet page is immediately refreshed with the newly calculated data. This will help especially employees and managers to immediately see the results of reported time and take necessary action, if required. This has potential to greatly improve operational efficiency as more actionable data and alerts are presented to employees and managers. The only question I have with respect to using the 'Apply Rules' functionality is the impact on system performance, which has to be verified.
The fact that other related information like Absences, Exceptions, Compensatory and Leave Balances and Attendance actions are present in the same page as multiple tabs will help in troubleshooting and alerting issues faster. I am also sure that this will drastically reduce the training/learning curve that users of the system will have, as most of the related information is present in one page. 
Given below is an example where the attendance infraction details are immediately shown to the employee on the timesheet.

I foresee the below operational advantages due to the revamped timesheet design in 9.2:
a. Better usability of the system and reduced number of navigational clicks.
b. More issues will be self-diagnosed and resolved by employees/managers given the information easily available to them. End users can also request for information on an on-demand fashion, which will further aid productivity.
c. Faster and more accurate payroll processing/closure with the ability to Apply Rules at an individual timesheet level and empowerment of employees/managers to resolve issues faster.
d. Shorter learning curve for users.
e. Lesser number of incidents to HR services and faster turn around time on incidents.

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PeopleSoft 9.2 feature review - Print Timesheet

The Timesheet page in 9.2 has got a significant facelift. A lot of very useful improvements like the ability to configure the sections/fields that should appear on the timesheet, control TRC display by role, Timesheet sign-off message, consolidated view of payable time, reported time and absences etc. have been introduced in 9.2. In this post, we want to take a look at the new option to save as PDF or print the timesheet.
From a compliance and operational perspective, this is an absolute requirement and has been achieved through customisations. In 9.2, the Time and Labor product team has delivered a 'Print Timesheet' functionality on the timesheet page. Shown below is an ESS Timesheet page from 9.2:

Clicking on the 'Print Timesheet' link on the page opens up a PDF file with details of punches for each day of the current timesheet as well as a summary of the total hours per day. A sample of the report generated from the punch timesheet is given below:

While it's excellent that Oracle has delivered this functionality out of the box, I can foresee possible improvements to this report:
a. It would be good to have an integrated report of both Elapsed and Punch time. We did some tests on the report where we reported both elapsed and punch time on the punch timesheet, for the same week and then printed the report from the punch timesheet. The report displayed only the punches in the expected fashion and the TRC reported was printed in the last column to the right of the report. For customers where a single employee uses both punch and elapsed time (this is a common scenario), I fear that the report may not give a complete and clear indication of the hours and codes reported.
b. For customers using Time and Labor and Absence Management, it would have been good to print hours from T&L and hours from Absence Management distinctly. In the current version, I see that the hours from T&L and AM are printed together and absence hours are not clearly identifiable on the report (absence hours are printed as normal elapsed time and has the formatting issue outlined in previous point).
c. A major flaw that I see with this report is that it prints whatever data entered (and not necessarily saved) in the timesheet page at the time of clicking the 'Print Timesheet' button and does not take final submitted data from the database. This means that an employee can 'fudge' the report if required, by just entering punches on the timesheet and printing the report before actually submitting the timesheet! If this report is used to sign-off time which has a financial or compliance implication, then this flaw in design will have to be addressed.
Some other remarks on this functionality:
1. You can control whether the 'Print Timesheet' link should appear in the Timesheet page or not in the Time Reporting template setup.
2. The above report is generated by the BI Publisher report - TL_PRNT_TMST
3. Need to verify whether this report is supported in non-English langauges.

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PeopleSoft 9.2 feature review - Page to update ECD in T&L

Earliest Change Date or ECD is a critical definition in PeopleSoft Time and Labor, that controls whether an employee will be picked up for time processing or not. ECD in PeopleSoft Time and Labor is analogous to triggers/trigger effective date in Absence Management/Global Payroll. But, there are important differences between triggers in Absence Management/Global Payroll and ECD in Time and Labor - while we can define the records and fields that should generate a trigger in Absence Management and also manually override the trigger details, there is no such flexibility for manipulating the ECD in Time and Labor. This lack of functionality to change/override the ECD from front end has been a limitation of the T&L product and customers have had to resort to back-end updates whenever a change to the ECD was required (or make a transaction in one of the pages that trigger an ECD change, but this is not recommendable in a production environment).
In v9.2, the product team of Time and Labor has delivered a page from where the Earliest Change Date and the Time Administration status can be changed. Yes, you read it right - changed. The new page in 9.2 for ECD update is given below:

The page can be accessed from: Time and Labor > Process Time > Update TA Status and ECD
Once you select the relevant employees, the ECD and Time Admin status fields can be edited from this page. Some of the use cases for this page are:
1. Exclude certain employees from Time Admin process by changing the TA Status.
2. Force certain employees to be processed by updating the Earliest Change Date.
3. Force the time of certain employees to be processed only from a certain period.

In my opinion, this small enhancement will greatly help consultants involved in the implementation and more importanly, maintenance of Time and Labor.

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PeopleSoft 9.2 feature review - HR Announcements

After months of analysing release value proposition documents, videos on Oracle's PeopleSoft channel and other collaterals pertaining to PeopleSoft 9.2, finally we have a 9.2 instance up and running at HRoi Consulting. With that, we will be kick-starting our detailed analysis and feature reviews of the latest version.

First up in the series is the new "HR Announcements" framework. 

In most Time and Labor/Absence Management implementations, a common operational requirement is the need to send out notifications/reminders to those having pending time/absence approvals prior to payroll processing. Without a delivered process to support this requirement, a number of customers resort to running a query to identify approvers with pending requests and send out approval reminder e-mails. In PeopleSoft 9.2, Oracle has delivered a well thought out solution for this need - the HR Announcements framework. The HR Announcements framework provides a configurable toolset for administrators to define one time or recurring announcements to targeted employee groups. Some of the other use cases for this functionality are: a. Sending out system outage/upgrade announcements. b. Sending out company wide policy announcements. c. Notification to utilise leave balance prior to end of year d. Notification to update personal data particulars etc.
This is a common utility for all HCM modules and the main features are given below:
1. Announcements can be defined as one time events or recurring.
2. If an announcement is defined as recurring, the frequency of recurrence can be selected.
3. Announcements can be sent to targeted group of employees, i.e. to all employees in a department, workgroup, T&L Dynamic group, jobcode or even system wide. In our opinion, this feature of the tool makes the framework extremely useful and flexible.
4. Annoucements can be sent out as e-mails and/or displayed in the Announcement pagelet.
5. Links and attachments can also be sent out in the Announcement.
6. An application engine called HCSC_NOTIFY processes the announcements setup.
7. Announcements can be viewed by employees using the Announcement pagelet.

Let us take a system walk-through of configuring a recurring announcement to approve timesheets on a weekly basis. 

Step1 - Navigate to the Setup Page:
Navigate to Setup HCM > Common Definitions 
> HR Notification > HR Notification 

Step2 - Create an HR Announcement definition:

While setting up an HR Announcement/Notification, you have the option to specifiy:
a. The Delivery Method - It can either be Announcement and/or Email Notification. If Announcement is selected, the notification will be displayed in the Announcement pagelet in ESS/MSS.

b. Recipient(s) - The recipients of the announcement can be selected by clicking on the prompt button to the left of the 'To' text box. There are a number of recipient types that are pre-delivered as shown below:
c. Advanced Options - There is a button called Advanced Options in the recurrence setup page. Clicking on this button will give you options to setup the recurrence definition of this announcement.
d. Links and Attachments: Links and attachments can be added to the announcement setup as well. This is useful to provide employees with an actionable or informational link related to the announcement. In our example, we have given a link to the Approve Payable time page.

e. Subject and Message details: The subject of the announcement and the message details can be entered. The message detail will be the main text that will be shown to the employees. While subject is optional, message body is a required field. I have noticed that it helps to give a meaningful subject as well as the subject is initially displayed in the Announcement pagelet and the message is displayed only in a detailed page.

Step3 - Send/Schedule Announcements
Click on the "Send" link that is available in the setup page to immediately send out the Announcement. For processing recurring announcements, the application engine HCSC_NOTIFY can be scheduled. The run control page for this process is available under the same folder as the setup page.

Step4 - View Announcements in Self Service:
Announcements are displayed in self service in the 'Announcements' pagelet as shown below:

As shown in the screenshot, the announcement for Timesheet approval reminder is present in the announcements pagelet. Notice that only one of the announcements in the pagelet is deletable. This is controlled at the announcement setup level. On clicking the link on the announcement subject, the user will be directed to a detailed page where the message details of the announcement will be shown. 
Overall, we believe that the HR Announcements/Notification framework of 9.2 will be beneficial for most customers, especially considering the configurability of the framework. 

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

More resources on PeopleSoft9.2

Oracle marketing has produced a good deal of documents and dedicated media targetted at 9.2.
Two really interesting links are below:
 1. Youtube channel with videos on 9.2 features -

2. A consolidated website with information on different 9.2 application pillars and 8.53 tools -

Monday, March 18, 2013

9.2 to be generally available on Friday, March 22nd

If you associate Fridays with releases of blockbusters, this Friday has a different fare lined up for you! Oracle announced in a press release yesterday that v9.2 of PeopleSoft HCM, FSCM and SCM will be generally available on Friday, March 22nd. More details can be read here.
We will be coming out with detailed feature analysis and demonstrations of Time and Labor/Absence Management enhancements in v9.2 in the next coming weeks. Keep watching this space!

Finding the navigation(s) of a page/component

I thought that the 'Find Object Navigation' component introduced in v9.1 deserved a mention here. Finding the navigation of a given component or page is a frequent requirement for both technical and functional PeopleSoft consultants. There are a number of SQL statements available that fetches the navigation of a component (you can sample some here and here). But, there is nothing like having a utility on PIA that can be used to query the navigation of an object. This is exactly what the 'Find Object Navigation' component does. You can find this in Main Menu > Enterprise Components > Find Object Navigation. Simply key in either the component or page name and the utility will return the navigations (bread crumb as well as URL) details where the object is registered.
Discussions on finding navigation of objects in PeopleSoft will not be complete without detailing the 'View Menu Item Detail' component. This component goes a step further than the Find Object Navigation utility. The View Menu Item Detail component takes portal object or content reference name and displays extensive details of the portal object including navigation, permission lists, roles and users having access to the navigation. The downside of this utility is that you need to key in the portal object name rather than a component or page name, as is the case with the Find Object Navigation page. For most practical cases, I see myself using the Find Object Navigation utility - may be it would be good to have a link (aah, who uses links when there is related content!) from the Find Object Navigation component to the Menu Item Detail component.