Explorations in Component Interface

This is part one of a multi-part series exploring some quirks in using Component Interfaces with Application Engine programs.  If nothing else, hopefully, these will give new developers some insight into how to use a Component Interface.  My goal is to expose a bug in the Application Engine tool that maybe Oracle will see and fix.

This first part will simply walk you through creating a Component Interface.  This part is just a map to associate the fields on the screen (or really in the component’s buffer) with an API property that can be accessed with code.

First, we create a new definition in Application Designer.  You can either use the Ctrl + N keyboard shortcut or the File > New menu.  Choose Component Interface from the list:

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Next, have no fear — you will see the open dialog making it look like you want to open a component.  Really, Application Designer is just asking you which component you want to map.  In this example, we will use the “PERSONAL_DATA” component, which is the Modify a Person screen (Workforce Administration > Personal Information > Modify a Person):

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Next, Application Designer asks you if you want to default the properties.  I almost always say yes to this questions because it will make Application Designer do all the work for you in generating the map.  The properties will be given names based on their field names in the buffer:

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Now, you should have a new component interface generated for you.  Notice that the left side is the Component Structure.  It is the same as the Structure tab on the Component itself.  The right side is the map of record/field to property name.  In this screenshot, I have the component open in the background and I drew a line to show how the structure is the same.  Then, I drew a line from the structure to the property generated for one of the fields:

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Finally, save the component interface.  You can either use the Ctrl + S keyboard shortcut, or you can use the File > Save menu.  I gave it the name BLG_PERS_DTA_CI.

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While your at it, you may also want to add it to the project.  You can use the F7 keyboard shortcut or the Insert > Current Definition Into Project menu.

This concludes creating the Component Interface.  Please stay tuned for the next steps …

2010 in review

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The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

About 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. This blog was viewed about 55,000 times in 2010. If it were the Taj Mahal, it would take about 7 days for that many people to see it.

 

In 2010, there were 26 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 158 posts.

The busiest day of the year was September 22nd with 375 views. The most popular post that day was Step By Step.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were peoplesoft.wikidot.com, jjmpsj.blogspot.com, psinstall.blogspot.com, google.com, and google.co.in.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for ora-01502, peopletools tables, windows file lock viewer, yum samba, and peoplesoft installation step by step.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Step By Step September 2008
11 comments

2

PeopleTools Tables September 2007
29 comments

3

ORA-01502: Indexes in unusable state February 2008
6 comments

4

Server Administration Tip: Logging Into the Weblogic Console March 2007
1 comment

5

Step by Step: Yum + Samba December 2008

Project Shaphan Updated

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I just finished releasing a new version of my Project Shaphan to the Google Code site.  My goal with the project is to create a database query tool.  Oracle has SQL Developer which is a great, but it is geared more for database development.  Most PeopleSoft database users will never see a line of plsql or a single stored procedure.  What we need is a tool that understands PeopleSoft databases more and offers tools for querying it.

New Feature: Navigation Search

It isn’t very pretty, but here is a tool where you can enter a Component Name, and the tool will display all of the navigations for that component:

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Meta SQL

I only have %CurrentDateIn working right now, but I plan to get more:

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Getting Your Copy

To try it out, you can download the Jar file from the right side of the main page.  Make sure you have Java 6 installed.  Then, place the Jar file in a directory by itself, and double click on it.

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New Resources Links

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I just added two additional links to the Resources Page from my searching around recently:

Thoughts on Developer Focus

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I just read this article from InfoWorld:

Google: Oracle lacks developer focus

The article kind of struck a chord with me.  I have long thought that PeopleSoft is sold to the executives and not to the developers.  Don’t get me wrong.  I think PeopleSoft is a great product, but it lacks a few developer features that I would like to see.  And, I would guess that the executives that make the decisions for purchasing aren’t going to pay for features like that.

The features I am talking about are things like code completion, refactoring, and indexing the code for searching.  Eclipse has many of those features with Java code.  Why can’t Application Designer do those things?  Is it because those features aren’t marketable to the executive?

The article makes the point that the product should be focused on the customer.  While I agree, I think placing some focus on the developer would provide some value to the customer.  Adding those features gives the software the ability adjust to changing business demands.  When users request a customization in PeopleSoft, what questions are asked?  How long with it take to develop versus how much benefit will it provide?  How maintainable is it going forward?

How many change requests are denied because the change would cost too much to develop or maintain?  Doesn’t the customer benefit by some level of developer focus?

So, while I think the customer should get focus, I don’t think the developer should be forgotten.  I would like Oracle to give the developer a little more focus in the PeopleSoft world.  But, hey, I am a little biased.

PeopleSoft Moodle Interface

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I ran across this article recently, and it reminded me that I wanted to mention a project I just completed not too long ago.  I was asked to write an interface from PeopleSoft to Moodle.

At a high level, the interface was pretty simple.  Moodle was configured to allow logon security from LDAP.  Then, we we setup a view that told Moodle what courses to create based on enrollment data in PeopleSoft.  We created a screen to enable and disable a group of courses such as online courses based on term.  Then, we created another screen for an instructor to enable individual courses based on the instructor’s preference.

I heard some talk about implementing this interface at other schools, and I was curious how much interest was out there for this kind of thing.  If you are interested or have some thoughts, please leave me a comment.  Let me know if you are interested in some consulting on this, and I can put you in touch with our sales rep.

Great Link: XML Publisher Tutorial

I came across a good article on installing and using XML Publisher:

Creating PeopleSoft Reports Using XML Publisher