As part of the Social Networking webinar we gave yesterday as part of our PeopleSoft virtual user group meetings, we spent a lot of time discussing how the new Related Content feature in PeopleTools 8.5 facilitates collaboration and social networking within PeopleSoft.
Well, related content is a new Portal frame that is delivered within PeopleTools (just as the navigation frame is a Portal frame delivered within PeopleTools). It allows contextual content related to your page to be displayed at the bottom of the page. Many of the demonstrations you’ll see from Oracle highlight content from the Enterprise Portal or Analytics (OBIEE), such as the following
However, you can put pretty much anything that you want there as long as it has the following:
Example page with Related Content
Here are a few examples of what I’m talking about. You’ll notice that this page, the performance document selection page in HCM9.1 has a “related information” link with the other portal links in the upper right. In this circumstance, we’ve attached 3 different types of related content that either take key fields, system variables (such as current user or current page), or hard-coded literals).
Because we’ve been doing a lot of version control demonstrations recently, we thought it would be nice to show how you could link your version control tool directly into your transaction pages.
The first example is to show a WIKI page related to the content displayed. Although the Enterprise Portal provides a complimentary license for using its WIKI related to your PeopleSoft application, we’re using our version control WIKI here, where we keep development notes and other information related to the current page or business process.
Or, you could do a search to find information related to what’s being displayed. In this circumstance, we’re using a custom search created in Google that looks at online PeopleBooks, common PeopleSoft websites, blogs, and bulletin boards to return results.
Or, you could display tickets related to what’s being displayed, such as those in the Grey Sparling Version Control product for PeopleSoft.
There are two pieces to setting this up.
In this example, we’ll create a service definition for a query that lists out the set of employees you have as a manager. The service definition can be create at PeopleTools > Portal > Related Content Service > Define Related Content Service.
Because we chose a query with a single bind required for it, that is the only one that shows up in the list. One thing to note, is that the service can only pass in query strings (it cannot use data to create the main part of the URL. Also, you have to create a parameter for every name=value in the URL, even if it’s always going to be the same. Although it would be nice to set a default value here, you will need to provide the literal value mapping when you attach the service to each component using it. In our google search example, we needed to pass the id of the custom search as a query string as well as the search value as a separate parameter, even though we will always be using the same custom search.
Attaching related content to a component
Now that we have our service definition, let’s put it in use. To do this, you navigate to at PeopleTools > Portal > Related Content Service > Manage Related Content Service. If you choose to assign a service to a component, you will be taken to a page to use the Portal structure to identify what page you want to work on.
Then, you attach the related content services you want to use
Next, you identify where you want to source each parameter that the service requires
Finally, you identify the key field, variable, or value to pass in for that parameter. In this circumstance, we’re passing the current User’s EMPLID into the query as the Supervisor ID, which is why we chose a session variable as the source type in the prior step.
If you go back to the page, you’ll see the new related content. You may notice that the query that we’ve linked also utilize a new feature in PeopleTools 8.5, Query Drilling URLs. This will allow you to navigate from the query to content related to it as well.