Ways to enhance navigation in Fluid UI

Nav Collections are a critical part of navigation in PeopleSoft Fluid User Interface. It is a configurable utility to group functionally related components and make it accessible via homepage tiles. A Nav collection based tile opens in a simple 2-part layout, with the list of links on the left and the detailed content of a selected link on the right.

Nav_Coll_0

Application comes delivered with many Fluid Tiles based on Nav Collections and it is fairly easy for customers to create them as well. A well defined Nav Collections helps in reducing the number of ‘clicks’ required by users to access frequently used pages.

In this article I highlight few features in Nav Collection that can be leveraged to build efficient navigation for users. Configuration page to create or edit Nav Collections is found under – Home > PeopleTools > Portal > Utilities > Navigation Collection

First feature I want to highlight is the “Additional Parameters” property associated with individual links in a Nav Collection, that can be accessed via ‘Edit Link’ button as shown below.

This is a hidden gem of a feature, that allows for specific parameters to be passed to the target page to alter its behavior to suit your needs. Rest of the properties on this page are self-explanatory, hence not covered here in detail.

Nav_Coll_1A

Nav_Coll_1

Example 1: Changing Default Action for a Component

Consider a sample use-case,

  • You have a Nav Collection for HR Administrators to manage New Hire Process
  • You want to add “User Profile” component to this Nav Collection, so  a new profile can be created after hiring an employee
  • By default “User Profile” component loads in “Search Mode” and user have to click on “Add A New Value” tab to create a new profile.

Nav_Coll_2a

In this scenario, while adding the “User Profile” component to Nav Collection, “Additional Parameters” property of “?Action=A” can be used to set the component to open in “Add” mode instead of “Update” mode.

Nav_Coll_2

When HR administrators access this component via this Nav Collection, by default component loads in Add mode instead of Search mode, there by saving an additional  ‘click’.Nav_Coll_2B

Example 2: Changing Default First Page in a Component

Consider a sample use-case,

  • You have a Nav Collection for Administrators to maintain User Security
  • Assuming a frequent activity in User Profile is to add/remove Role definition on ‘Roles’ tab
  • By default “User Profile” component loads “General” and user have to click on “Roles” tab to maintain roles

Nav_Coll_3A

In this scenario, while adding the “User Profile” component to Nav Collection, “Additional Parameters” property of “?page=USER_ROLES” can be used to set the component to open “Roles” page instead of of the default “General” page.

Nav_Coll_3

When administrators access this component via this Nav Collection, after entering a key value, by default component opens “Roles” page instead of “General” page, there by saving an additional  ‘click’.Nav_Coll_3B

Example 3: Adding PS Queries as Links to Nav Collections

It is possible to add PeopleSoft Queries as links in a Nav Collection, so users can execute them in single click, instead of navigating to Query Manager, search and then execute it.

Step 1: Create a Content Reference in Portal Registry

A content reference needs to be created in portal registry to act as a place holder that can be added as a link to a Nav Collection.

Home>People Tools > Portal > Structure and Content

Navigate to the folder of your choice and click “Add Content Reference”

Create a place holder content reference, similar to the details shown in this picture,

Nav_Coll_4A

Step 2: Add the Content Reference to Nav Collection and provide Additional Parameters

Open the Nav Collection of your choice and add a link by selecting the new Content Reference created in the previous step.

In the additional parameters section, pass the ‘Query Name” as parameter as shown below. E.g. Parameter – ?ICAction=ICQryNameURL=PUBLIC.LBAL_ROLEUSER_LIST

Nav_Coll_4C

When user clicks on the link in the Nav Collection, they directly go to the execution page of the PS query. If query does not have any prompt value then query result is displayed, else user is prompted for input values.

Nav_Coll_4B

Note: Single content reference created in Step 1 can be added multiple times to the Nav Collection, and different PS Query name can be passed using “Additional Parameter” property in order to enable multiple PS queries for execution.

Example 4: Adding External Links to Nav Collections

It is possible to add external sites (Non-PeopleSoft content) as links in a Nav Collection. This comes handy when specific steps in a business process are executed outside PeopleSoft. Including external link as part of Nav Collection provides a seamless user experience for completing such business activities.

Step 1: Create a Content Reference in Portal Registry

A content reference needs to be created in portal registry to act as a place holder for the external site that is to be added to a Nav Collection.

Home>People Tools > Portal > Structure and Content

Navigate to the folder of your choice and click “Add Content Reference”

Create a content reference, similar to the details shown in this picture,

Nav_Coll_5A

Step 2: Add the Content Reference to Nav Collection

Open the Nav Collection of your choice and add a link by selecting the new Content Reference created in the previous step.

Nav_Coll_5C

Depending on the layout of the external site and its need for screen space, you can set the link to open in new browser window.

Optionally you can also use additional parameters section to pass any contextual parameter to the external site.

Nav_Coll_5B

Example 5: Carry ID Feature

In PeopleSoft HR application, when navigating between components that are keyed by ‘Employee ID’ there is a feature that allows for last used “Employee ID” to be retained, so user does not have to type it every time.

This feature comes in handy when a sequence of steps are executed for a specific Employee Id e.g. New Hire Process. This feature combined with optimal ordering of links in a Nav Collection can make for very efficient navigation for sequential process like new hire.

“Carry ID” feature is enabled at Installation and Primary Permission list configurations.

Oracle Support document for enabling this feature is linked here (login required)

Document Id=1456144.1

Additional References

For those who are new to Fluid UI and Nav Collections, Oracle document on Fluid UI Standards linked below is a good reference to familiarize with the basics.

Oracle PeopleSoft – Fluid UI Standards – Nav Collection

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One thought on “Ways to enhance navigation in Fluid UI

  1. Pingback: #166 – Refresh Processes

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