#84 – No Agenda

This week on the podcast Dan and Kyle talk with no agenda. We discuss our week and talk about Portal, PeopleTools Bugs, Fluid, Git, Deployment Packages, Puppet, OneNote, Kanban Boards and more.

Show Notes

  • Portal Projects @ 1:45
  • PeopleTools Bugs and Puppet @ 10:45
  • psadmin.io Community @ 21:00
  • Job changes @ 23:30
  • Spreading the Fluid Excitement @ 25:00
  • Selecting Fluid Nav Images @ 28:00
  • The Git “Trojan Horse” @ 31:30
  • Git Hooks, Puppet Server and getting crazy @ 39:30
  • Changes to the DPK? @ 47:00
  • Kanban Boards @ 57:00
  • Svchost.exe @ 58:30
  • OneNote Templates @ 60:30
  • Kanban Boards and Task Management @ 71:00

Fast PeopleBooks Searching

I want to share a tip Daniel Palmer gave on the psadmin.io Community about faster PeopleBooks searching.

“For the Chrome users: If you want a quick PeopleBooks search you can add a custom search engine by right clicking on the address bar and selecting “Edit Search Engines”. I have added one with the name “PeopleBooks 8.55”, the keyword pb855 and the search url is http://www.oracle.com/pls/psft/search?word=%s&lib=pt855pbr1

PS Admin Fluid Tile

In Episode 82 of the PeopleSoft Administrator Podcast, Kyle and I revisited the topic of Fluid Navigation. If you haven’t listened to the discussion yet, I encourage you to head over here and listen.

Part of our change in attitude with Fluid Navigation was understanding how to use the new Navigation tools available with Fluid, especially Tiles and Navigation Collections. I talk about creating a PS Admin Fluid Tile to simplify my navigation in PeopleSoft and how I enjoy using that Tile. In the video demo below, I’ll show you how to create a PS Admin Fluid Tile so you can simplify your navigation in PeopleSoft.

Richard Wood also a great write-up on on building Fluid Tiles and Navigation Collections as well.

 

#76 – Hybrid Cloud w/ Jim Marion

This week on the podcast Jim Marion joins us to talk about Fluid Development, embedding PeopleSoft into cloud applications, Event Mapping, where the cloud makes sense and Jim’s new role at GreyHeller.

Show Notes

  • Jim’s Background @ 2:15
  • New Role with Grey Heller @ 3:45
  • Thoughts on the future of PeopleTools @ 6:00
  • Fluid Development @ 9:00
  • Improving App Designer @ 11:30
  • Event Mapping and Branding Objects @ 14:00
  • Using the Cloud at Grey Heller @ 25:45
  • Embedding PeopleSoft with Cloud Applications @ 32:00
  • Disadvantages of Hybrid Cloud Systems @ 43:30
  • Where the Cloud makes sense @ 47:30

#75 – Selling Yourself

This week, Dan and Kyle talk about testing different web server configurations, using the ACM for Elasticsearch, and how mobile browsers work with websites. Then, they discuss different ways to promote yourself and your position to a boss or organization.

Show Notes

PeopleSoft and Touch Icons

I was looking through my web server logs and noticed that they contained a large amount of 404 errors for /apple-touch-icon*.png and /favicon.ico requests. The /apple-touch-icon*.png requests come from mobile devices (mostly iOS, but also some Android) and all browsers will look for the favicon.ico image file. Here is 24 hours of our top 404 requests:

Today's Top 404 Requests

The files are used as an icon if the a user saves the website to their device’s homepage, or it shows up on pinned tabs and bookmarks. That’s a nice feature, but I want to clean up my log files and removing the extraneous 404 responses. Let’s generate the images that mobile devices and browsers expect and clean up our log files. As an added benefit, we’ll generate some nice icons to add polish to our application and be more mobile-friendly.

Create apple-touch-icon.png

The first step is to decide what image you want as the icon. For my demo system, I’ll use “io” logo; it’s a simple and clean logo that will look good as a small icon. It’s best to choose and image that will look good as a square. Because phones and tablets use different size icons, we could go through the work of creating different sizes by hand, but there is web site that does all the work for us: RealFavIconGenerator.

The site is simple to work with – upload the image you want to use, change any configuration for the different images and site title, then download a zip file. You’ll also get some HTML elements to add to your signon page (signin.html if you are using the default file)

A preview of your icon on iOS, Android, and browser tabs:

The site also generates some HTML elements to put in the <head> section of your login page. All browsers will read these values to determine which icons files to use.

<link rel="apple-touch-icon" sizes="180x180" href="/apple-touch-icon.png">
<link rel="icon" type="image/png" href="/favicon-32x32.png" sizes="32x32">
<link rel="icon" type="image/png" href="/favicon-16x16.png" sizes="16x16">
<link rel="manifest" href="/manifest.json">
<link rel="mask-icon" href="/safari-pinned-tab.svg" color="#04a6ff">
<meta name="apple-mobile-web-app-title" content="psadmin.io">
<meta name="application-name" content="psadmin.io">
<meta name="theme-color" content="#ffffff">

Deploy the Touch Icons

At this point, we have some HTML to add to our signin.html file, and a zip file that we need to deploy and extract. We can manually modify and copy each file to the web server, but let’s use the DPK and Puppet to deploy these files.

touch-icon.pp

This puppet manifest assumes you have things in place:

  • Your web domains and sites defined in psft_customizations.yaml
  • This is written for Windows, but it can easily be adapted for Linux.
  • Powershell 4 or higher installed (to use the Expand-Archive command)
  • The puppetlabs-powershell Puppet module is installed (puppet module install puppetlabs-powershell to install the module)
  • The updated signin.html and favicons.zip files on a network share

At a high level, this is what the touch-icon.pp manifest does:

  1. Define the network share where to grab the files
  2. Grab the list of PIA domains into pia_domain_list
  3. Deploy the favicons.zip to the PORTAL.war folder
  4. Extract the favicons.zip file so each image and file is at the web server’s root level
  5. Grab the list of PIA sites for the domain into site_list
  6. Deploy the updated signin.html to each site

To run the manifest, navigate to C:\ProgramData\PuppetLabs\puppet\etc\manifests and save the file as touch-icon.pp. Then run puppet apply .\touch-icon.pp --trace --debug.

Before and After for Mobile Devices

Here are two screen shots from my iPhone when I add PeopleSoft to the homepage. In the first screenshot you can see the icon is a tiny version of the login page and the title is generic. In the second screenshot (after deploying the files) you can see the excellent icon and the simple title.

Before

After

Running Change Assistant without “as Administrator”

One annoyance with Change Assistant (among a few) is that you have to start it “as Administrator”. If you don’t, you’ll get the message “Another instance of Change Assistant is already running” (even though it’s not). While running a program “as Administrator” is not hard, there is no reason why Change Assistant needs Administrative rights. (At least that I know of).

Folder Security

The fix to run Change Assistant without Administrator is to set the folder security permissions correctly. If you install Change Assistant to the default directory, C:\Program Files\PeopleSoft\Change Assistant, the Change Assistant folder security needs to be updated. Grant the user (or group) who will be running Change Assistant Full Control over the directory. In my case, I granted the group “Authenticated Users” full access to the folder.

Screen Shot 2017-03-08 at 5.17.53 PM

Now you can start Change Assistant as a normal application.

PeopleTools Idea

There is an Idea on the Oracle PeopleSoft Space for the PeopleTools team to fix this. If you want to vote for the Idea, you can do that here.

I don’t remember where I originally saw this solution, so I can’t give appropriate credit, but I want to thank whoever posted about this in the past.

#62 – PeopleTools Patch Testing

This week on the podcast, Dan and Kyle talk about load balancing all environments or some environments, Diagnostic Plugins and syntax coloring code. Then, they dive into the getting current and how to test PeopleTools Patches.

Show Notes

#60 – PeopleSoft Test Framework 101

This week on the podcast, Dan tries a different Remote Desktop tool, using RSS feeds to monitor PeopleSoft data and comparing SQL Explain Plans with SQL Developer. Then Kyle gives a great overview of the PeopleSoft Test Framework and what you need to know before using it.

Show Notes

#57 – REST Services

This week on the podcast, Dan and Kyle talk about Elasticsearch, using Powershell with SSH libraries, why the DPK doesn’t merge Hiera data, and how they format SQL files. Then Dan explains a new REST-based web service he built with new features in PeopleTools 8.55.

We want to make this podcast part of the community discussion on PeopleSoft administration. If you have comments, feedback, or topics you’d like us to talk about, we want to hear from you! You can email us at podcast@psadmin.io, tweet us at @psa_io, or use the Twitter hashtag #psadminpodcast.

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Show Notes