PeopleSoft 101 – PeopleSoft Definitions

PeopleSoft Definitions for .Net developers

After going through some of the Oracle training, I can say that I have a much better understanding of PeopleSoft than what I previously did. I was not wrong in the way the physical box architecture was set up, but my understanding of the system was a little off. Here are some PeopleSoft definitions:

The way things are built in PeopleSoft is a little difficult to understand. The idea of a field, record, page, component, scroll, and gridview are completely off compared to a .Net world. Most of this comes from what Oracle uses as definitions for each of these items. For example a scroll in .Net might mean scrolling vertically withing a page. We (or at least I did) made this assumption as from a web/mobile background this is the typical way we define a scroll. Swiping is a left to right or horizontal motion to move things left or right. Scroll in PeopleSoft is simply a way to display one set of data at a time. You may think of a scroll as a pagination of data, except you only display one set of data at a time. It would be  similar to paged tables in HTML, but instead of say 20 lines of data that you page through you are actually only showing one line of data in a nice layout. You then get some controls to move to the next line of data. For me this was a little counter intuitive at first. There are also somethings that go automatically in the background and have to do with levels, but I will get to that later.

Other PeopleSoft Definitions:

Field This is similar to a field or column in a database. Remember PeopleSoft is all database driven, I mean completely database driven. A field in PeopleSoft can be a field or column in the database, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. Fields are the very lowest building blocks of a PeopleSoft page. They hold data, no matter if they are used in the database or simply on the page.

Record Is the next step up from a Field. You group a bunch of fields together to make a record. This is a template for what a line of data would look like in a database, again everything is database driven in PeopleSoft. Again a record may or may not be part of the a table in the database. It is simply a way to store data, either in memory for the page or in a database.

Page – All of these pieces come together to make a page, probably the most common way to interact with the data in PeopleSoft. Pages have levels and with these levels you can control the data relations on the page.

Component – Components are collections of pages and need to be registered with the PeopleSoft database in order for PeopleSoft to recognize them and add them to the system. There are a few other things that are involved with registering a component, but that is the basics.

GridView – Is the same as a table in regular HTML. You would use this to create rows of data to display to the user. Which is really what you would expect and you do have a gridview in ASP.Net so this is not that different.

These are just some of the PeopleSoft definitions and there are many more that can be really confusing to a typical developer that I will cover later. In this post I just wanted to start with the basics. PeopleSoft is similar to traditional ASP.Net in that you create the page and the application server will populate the page with data and pass it on the web server to send to the client. It generates all the HTML, Javascript and CSS to render the page for you. IMHO this is a little heavy handed in that the servers generally send way more in the HTML file than needed and is why ASP.Net MVC and other frameworks like AngularJS are becoming so popular.

Hope these definitions help with your understanding of PeopleSoft.