The views expressed on this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oracle.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Mobile Apps


Although late in the game, PeopleSoft has delivered compelling mobile applications to their customers. There were prior mobile applications which were delivered with Oracle ADF technology, but it was not catching the customer attention due the intricate problems. The latest on the suit is best in class and innovative solution delivered with jQuery, CSS3, HTML5 and REST services. The main highlight of the release is that it comes free of cost for the existing 9.1 customers. Below is the list of few applications which were delivered in 9.1 bundles.

1.       PeopleSoft Mobile Inventory
2.       PeopleSoft Mobile Approvals
3.       PeopleSoft Mobile Expenses
4.       PeopleSoft Mobile Company Directory
5.       PeopleSoft Mobile eProcurement

All these applications are tested for various mobile devices listed below.

1.       Samsung Galaxy SIII (Android)
2.       Apple iPhone 4 & 4S (iOS 5.1)
3.       Apple iPad2 & iPad3 (iOS 5.1)
4.       Google Nexus Tablet (Android)
5.       Samsung Galaxy Tablet 10.1(Android)

Don’t get misguided by the term Mobile App. It is not like your normal mobile applications which you will download from the web stores for Android, Windows or iOS markets. The PeopleSoft mobile applications are completely web based applications with fluidic design. What it means to you is that none of your company mobile users need to download the application and install it on their phone. Users just needs to go to the mobile home URL provided by their company from their mobile web browsers. Believe me; the UI looks far superior to most of the native mobile application clients. Apart from that, since it is a web based application, users will get additional benefit of using the application from other devices (other than that mentioned above) which supports HTML5 , CSS3 & javascripts without much distortion to the content.  Yes, web based applications have its own drawback as it will work only with an internet connection; but I don’t think that will be a limitation as there are very rare smart phone users without an internet connection.

So far so good, but the major question will be how will my company uptake the mobile applications provided by the PeopleSoft. It is very simple. PeopleSoft has delivered the mobile applications through their general maintenance approach of bundles. What you need to do is to simply upgrade your applications to the latest bundle. For example, PeopleSoft Mobile Expenses is delivered in 9.1 FSCM bundle# 23.

See the below video to get a glimpse on PeopleSoft Mobile Expenses. You can  other  apps demo in You tube PSFTOracle Channel.



I know I haven’t answered your question completely. How will you get the URL that the user’s needs to be browsed in their mobile web browser? Simplest method is go to your PeopleSoft portal: Main Menu > Employee self Service > Mobile Applications. There you will see a list of applications available in your package. Select the required one and copy the URL from the browser address bar. If you paste the same URL in your mobile application, you will see the general login page and with successful login, your mobile application is launched in your browser. But if your company firewalls and network security will not allow to use the PeopleSoft URL outside the company network or if your company wants a separate URL , then you can create a separate PIA site and pass that particular URL to your users.

Now you may think how secure is the mobile applications? To understand that you need to know the underlying technology. PeopleSoft has used jQuery to implement mobile applications with the help of iScripts. So how the page is rendered on your mobile device is via iScripts. And all your data is handled by either PeopleCode or by Component Interface. What does it means? It means all the objects are managed objects and you can give separate access to the objects like iScript and CI using your permission lists. So if a user is not having access to a permission list which contains the iScript, it means that page will not be visible to the user like normal PeopleSoft pages or components access control. For instance, Expenses use iScripts in the weblibrary WEBLIB_MBL_EX. Giving access to the scripts in the weblibrary to a user means; he is getting access to a mobile page and related services.

To get a more detailed view on implementing mobile apps in FSCM vistit the below link. HCM app will also be on the similar lines, only some minor details like bundle levels and update id’s change.


What more? You can create your own mobile applications with very less effort if you have a resource with jQuery & PeopleCode skills. You need not be a jQuery or javascript guru to develop it because you will be using it only for the look and feel. And in most cases importing the jQuery library’s itself will do half of the job. Do your data populations and logics using PeopleCode & CI’s. Just give a try, it will be very interesting once you start with. 

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for the information!

    I've started using the PS/jQuery mobile framework to build a custom mobile app of a non-mobile custom time entry PS app.

    I agree that it can be done with a lot less effort but you must still understand, modify and write advanced javascript and css code (with minimal in-line documentation).

    And PS has placed app specific code in their "common" modules making the task more difficult than it should be.

    ReplyDelete
  2. fyi, doing an FSCM upgrade was not possible at this time so I have copied the necessary tools objects from a 9.3 demo db back to our 9.2 dev environment and it all seems to work properly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tom, thanks for dropping the comments. It's interesting to see that the code from 9.2 (I believe you meant 9.2 and not 9.3) is working in 9.1. If your custom app is only for approvals, then there is already a delivered mobile approval framework. You just have to configure the mobile approval page (under enterprise components) and extend a delivered mobile approval class (of-course the system expects an AWE implemented already for your transaction). If it is some other applications, then at a minimum, you would be able to re-use the jquery libraries, style sheets and some html objects. But I agree with you that advanced javascript and css knowledge is required if you want to tweak out of the delivered framework.

      Delete
  3. Entertaining videos. You can learn a lot of things if you do this you do not understand anything. I started the same way. But then I found the site http://www.nixsolutions.com/services/custom-software-development/mobile-development-services/. And with it figured out how to make the application.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete

Followers