One of the projects that we have hosted on Code.GreySparling is a very cool way to work with PeopleSoft Component Interfaces. If you do any sort of testing or data loading or Component Interface development with PeopleSoft applications, then this is for you.
For those that haven’t worked with Component Interfaces before, they provide programmatic access to PeopleSoft components and are used extensively within PeopleSoft applications as well as providing the underlying mechanisms for PeopleSoft Web Services. When you see Oracle Fusion in action at OpenWorld this year and it accesses anything from within the traditional PeopleSoft applications, Component Interfaces are likely being used under the covers.
PeopleBooks has good information if you’re just getting started with Component Interfaces. Here’s the PeopleTools 8.50 Component Interface PeopleBooks that Oracle hosts.
Component Interfaces support other ways of accessing them than just from within PeopleSoft or Web Services though. You can also access them directly from Java, and that is what forms the basis of the Grey Sparling Component Interface Shell.
The Component Interface Shell provides an interactive shell where you can experiment live with PeopleSoft Component Interfaces (subject to your security of course). It’s kind of like the Component Interface Tester inside of Application Designer, but with a few cool twists.
One important piece to the Component Interface Shell is that it’s completely scriptable. As you’re experimenting with a particular component interface in the shell, it’s very easy to save off what you’re doing as a reusable script that you can run again and again in the future. The scripts can be used for automated testing of PeopleSoft, automated data loads, or just as a starting point for future work in the Component Interface Shell.
The scripting language used is python, which can run on top of the Java Virtual Machine (the java implementation of python is called jython). Jython is also the scripting language used for the WebLogic Scripting Tool (WLST), so we’re in good company 🙂
Jim Marion of Oracle has a nice writeup on using different scripting languages from within Java/PeopleCode, so be sure to take a look at that if you’re interested in more details about how that sort of thing.
Ah yes, Application Designer is still Windows only, but there are a number of folks out there that want more choices (our App Designer on Linux blog post got a fair number of interesting comments 🙂
The ComponentInterfaceShell takes advantage of Java’s cross platform nature and allows you to connect directly from Windows, Linux, Unix, Mac OS X, etc. You can develop your scripts on one platform and deploy them elsewhere, so if you have a Mac laptop, but run PeopleSoft on Oracle Linux, you’re good to go.
Even better than being cross-platform is that you can use the ComponentInterfaceShell to connect to multiple PeopleSoft environments at the same time, even across different PeopleTools release levels. That’s useful for verifying data between PeopleSoft environments or even copying data between environments.
It’s easy to hook up your ComponentInterfaceShell scripts with something like Hudson and use it for automatically running tests against your PeopleSoft environments. We’ll have more to say about this in a future blog post.
PeopleTools has included the ExcelToCI tool for the last several PeopleTools releases and it works great for data loading. Especially for functional users that really like working within Excel.
If you need to take a more programmatic approach to handling your data loading though, then the ComponentInterfaceShell offers up the full power of python to handle things. Combine that with the ability to access multiple PeopleSoft environments at once, and you can solve some of your harder data loading/scrubbing issues fairly quickly.
The Component Interface Shell is free of charge for PeopleSoft customers. Even better, you can watch what bug reports and enhancement requests have been filed, what the most recent version control checkins for the Component Interface Shell were or even file your own.
The ComponentInterfaceShell home page is the place to get started with installation instructions and example scripts. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
Labels: 2010, CodeGreySparling, ComponentInterface, jython, python, Testing