Administration

Refreshing from Production

When refreshing from production, there are a few caveats that need to be considered. This is my attempt to create a checklist of areas within your PeopleSoft system you may want to review after a refresh from production into your test, development and other environments.

Integrations.

If you have any messaging to any 3rd party systems, will these messages still be sent? You may need to disable or point your nodes/routings to an appropriate non-production environment. You'll also need to change your gateway settings.

3rd Party Systems.

Does your system have any interfaces to 3rd party systems? What would happen if these were available in your non-production environments?

Communications.

Is it possible to send email messages from your non-production system? Will those go to real customers within your system? Better safe than sorry!

Security.

Roles and permissions will probably need to be changed for certain users (analysts, developers, testers, DBAs), while you might want to take security away from other users. For example, do you really want self-service users to be able to access a non-production system?

Authentication.

Do you want to continue using directory authentication in your non-production environments? Should this be turned off? What about two-tier access through tools such as Application Designer and Data Mover - can they be accessed or will users need to reset their PeopleSoft passwords?

Passwords.

You might want to reset system passwords (PeopleSoft accounts, database accounts, system accounts) so that users of the non-production system can do more without knowing production passwords. Or perhaps they need to know some of these passwords?

Database Links.

Do you have any database links? Do these need to be changed in non-production systems?

Web Profile.

You might want to change your timeout and cache settings.

Reporting Nodes.

You'll need to change your process scheduler reporting nodes to point to the appropriate reporting server for your non-production environment.

Scheduled Jobs.

Do you have any scheduled jobset definitions or recurrences running? Should they continue to run in your non-production environment?

Process Requests.

Do you want to keep existing process requests OR should you clear them out?

Tracing.

Are there any trace settings you want to turn on? Do you want to give your users more access to perform traces? Where will the output of these traces go?

Default Stylesheet

Before changing stylesheets you first need to know what your "primary" stylesheet is. This is set under:

PeopleTools > Utilities > Administration > PeopleTools Options

The default delivered stylesheet is PSSTYLEDEF. However if your environment has been rebranded then chances are another stylesheet is in use.

This is also where the Branding Application Package and Branding Application Class are set. By default these are set to the PT_BRANDING application package and BrandingBase class.

Web Profile Configuration

he web profile look and feel settings are where custom pages can be defined for certain PeopleSoft pages that aren't internal page objects available in application designer. Examples of this include the PeopleSoft signon page, expiration/timeout page, logout page and password expiration/warning pages.

Web Profile configuration is located under:

PeopleTools > Web Profile > Web Profile Configuration

Note that you will need to know which web profile is currently in use.

You can find this from the web profile history:

PeopleTools > Web Profile > Web Profile History

This also gives you other useful information about the current web server configuration (click on the web server URL to view).

Hide the Copy URL Link

copyurl-link.png

The standard way to hide this link is to disable it in the component properties (Internet tab) on the page bar settings for each component.

component-pagebar-settings.png

This works fine if you want to disable it for a few components. But what if you want to turn it off for all components? The traditional approach has involved manipulating PeopleTools tables.

However, with PeopleTools 8.5x, there's a much simpler way. Use CSS to simply hide the icon.

/* <REF> DD/MM/YYYY Author -> */
/* Hide the Copy URL icon and text */
a#COPYURL {
    display: none !important;
}
/* <REF> DD/MM/YYYY Author <- */

Save the stylesheet and reload the pages to test. The !important rule enforces the change regardless of when this stylesheet is loaded - it is essentially a global override for the display property.

PeopleSoft Servlet Directives

PeopleSoft Servlet directives give you a number of useful functions.

To use them, append the appropriate directive after your the URL e.g. /?cmd=

http://{hostname}:{port}/psp/{site}/?cmd=

The easiest way to get the correct URL is to visit the sign on page of the relevant environment and replace ?cmd=login with the appropriate directive.

The directives typically also need a password, and the default password is dayoff. However if you get the message:

You are not authorized to use this feature!

It means the password has been changed in the web profile configuration. Navigate to:

PeopleTools > Web Profile > Web Profile Configuration

Browse through the list of web profiles (unless you know the one that's in use). In the custom properties tab there will be a property called auditPWD (type = string) and a value which is the profile password. Use this password, or if there is none set, add this property.

NOTE: removing the property doesn't give full access, it takes away all access!

Here's a list of directives (but there could be more):

Directive What it Does
?cmd=viewconfig&pwd=dayoff View the current web profile
?cmd=reloadconfig&pwd=dayoff Reloads the web profile in use
?cmd=viewsprop&pwd=dayoff Displays session properties
?cmd=debugCache&pwd=dayoff Manage web cache - use IE
?cmd=purge&pwd=dayoff Purge the web server cache. If it doesn't work immediately, try issuing this command at least another 3-5 times in a row (simply hit the URL over and over, no need to wait). Sometimes stubborn caching isn't immediately purged the first time your run this.

PSAdmin

PSAdmin is used to administer PeopleSoft servers such as the application server, process scheduler and search server through a command line interface.

The PSAdmin command lives in PS_HOME\appserv and allows for a number of very useful parameters. To get a full list with examples, type psadmin -h.

The commands are broken down into the various servers:

I'm not sure why the application server command is -c instead of the more logical -a ?

To get environment variables set by psadmin:

psadmin -env

Process Scheduler Administration

Check the status of a process scheduler database (option 8):

psadmin -p status -d YOURDB

If you see a list of the servers great. If you see a message like:

TMADMIN_CAT:111: ERROR: No such command

This suggests the process scheduler is down.

Start (option 1), stop (Option 2), kill a process scheduler server (Option 9) and clean IPC resources (option 10) on a process scheduler database:

Application Server Administration

Check the server status of the an application server domain (is it up or down):

psadmin -c sstatus -d YOURDOMAIN

If you see a list of the servers great. If you see a message like:

TMADMIN_CAT:111: ERROR: No such command. 

This suggests the domain is down.

Perform a boot (option 1), domain shutdown (option 2, 1), forced domain shutdown (option 2, 2), purge the cache without archiving and log some comments (option 8) and clean IPC resources (option 10) on the application server domain:

Web Profiles

Web profiles define the portal configuration for your PeopleSoft application. They are available through the following navigation:

PeopleTools > Web Profile > Web Profile Configuration

One of things you'll need to work out is which web profile configuration is actually in use! There are quite a few delivered options including:

You typically choose the web profile configuration to be used when installing the PeopleSoft PIA. This is stored in a file called configuration.properties but contrary to what PeopleBooks might tell you, this file doesn't always live in PS_HOME\webserv. In fact if you're using Oracle Application Server (OAS) it will most likely be located somewhere like this (adjust your slashes accordingly):

{OAS_HOME}\j2ee\{Application_Name}\applications\<Application_Name>\PORTAL\WEB-INF\psftdocs\ps

This may vary, and obviously will be different if you're not using OAS as the web server. {Application_Name} is typically PeopleSoft.

The other option is to look at the web profile history using:

PeopleTools > Web Profile > Web Profile History

This also gives you detailed information about the web profile configuration and the web server.

You can also try using the viewconfig servlet directive (if you have access and know the web profile password (by default it is dayoff).

Also here are a list of relevant PeopleTools tables:

Table Description
PSWEBPROFILE Main record with general web profile properties
PSWEBPROFBROW Web profile browser settings
PSWEBPROFCOOK Web profile cookie settings
PSWEBPROFDEF Web profile defaults
PSWEBPROFHIST Web profile history
PSWEBPROFNVP Web profile name value pairs
PSWEBPROFPROP Web profile custom properties

Default Menu Pagelet

PeopleTools 8.5x introduces a new Menu pagelet (the left hand navigation menu), and refers to the old Menu pagelet as Menu - Classic. When you are on the homepage, you can personalize your content and select between these menu pagelets as shown:

[![personalize-content-menu.png]/uploads/images/gallery/2019-08/scaled-1680-/personalize-content-menu.png)]/uploads/images/gallery/2019-08/personalize-content-menu.png)

By default on a PeopleTools 8.5x demo environment, the new Menu pagelet will be used (and not Menu Classic). However, if you are upgrading your application, you may find the settings aren't what you expect. For example, instead of seeing the new menu, user's may see the older menu which has the title Menu - Classic as shown:

menu-classic.png

There are two reasons why this might happen:

  1. The default menu pagelet is set to the older Menu - Classic pagelet
  2. The user's personalisation has been carried forward with the Menu - Classic option

To check the default system-wide menu pagelet in use:

PeopleTools > Portal > Structure and Content
Navigate into the folders: Portal Objects > Homepage > Tabs
Open (Edit link) the My Page content reference and switch to the Content Tab, tab.

If you see Menu - Classic with the setting Opt-Dflt then that means the classic menu will be used as the default menu:

system-wide-menu-settings1.png

The delivered default is to have all these set to Optional or if you want to be pedantic Menu set to Opt-Dflt:

system-wide-menu-settings2.png

A user can also personalise their content, including their menu pagelet. When upgrading an application, the menu pagelet setting may be carried forward by default to use Menu - Classic.

To check for users where this is the case, use the following SQL:

select * 
from PSPRUHTABPGLT
where PORTAL_OBJNAME_PGT = 'PT_84X_MENU';

If you want to script a fix for this, the value of the PORTAL_OBJNAME_PGT field should be changed from PT_84X_MENU to MENU to use the new PeopleTools 8.5x menu.

Limit Control+J Information

The browser shortcut key combination Control+J or Ctrl+J (which you sometimes need to press twice in browsers) provides some really useful information. However, in a production environment there is some sensitive information you might want to remove from the display such as:

Optionally, you might also want to remove:

You can bet that if you have organised any penetration testing this will be one of the first things to get picked up.

The web profile settings allow you to turn Control+J on or off under:

PeopleTools > Web Profile > Web Profile Configuration > [Open the relevant web profile, e.g. PROD]
On the debugging tab, enable the Show Connection & Sys Info checkbox to enable Control + J.

On changing this the web profile will need to be reloaded using servlet directives or a web server restart.

However, turning off Control+J is an all or nothing setting and turning it off also takes away some of the valuable information it provides. A compromise is to limit the Control+J options through a simple customisation.

In application designer, open the HTML definition, PT_INFOPAGECONNECT. This is the HTML displayed on the Control+J page. The labels for each element are stored in the message catalog. Here's how they map:

Message Set Message Number Message Text
146 50 Browser
146 51 Operating System
146 52 Tools Release
146 53 Application Release
146 54 Service Pack
146 55 Page
146 56 Component
146 57 Menu
146 58 User ID
146 59 Database Name
146 60 Database Type
146 61 Application Server
209 831 Component Buffer Size (KB)

To hide the information that is sensitive, simply use HTML comments <!— —> to comment out the parts you don't want to show, e.g. for the Database Name, Database Type and Application Server (59,60,61) you could change the code in the HTML to this:

  <!-- <Reference> <Author> <DD/MM/YYYY>: Hide sensitive information from Control+J -->
  <!--
  <tr> 
    <td class='PSEDITBOXLABEL'>%Message(146,59)</td>
    <td class='PSTEXT'>%DBName</td>
  </tr>
  <tr> 
    <td class='PSEDITBOXLABEL'>%Message(146,60)</td>
    <td class='PSTEXT'>%DBType</td>
  </tr>
  <tr> 
    <td class='PSEDITBOXLABEL'>%Message(146,61)</td>
    <td class='PSTEXT'>%AppServer</td>
  </tr>
  -->

This is how Control+J now looks with above information commented out:

limit-control-j-information.png

You would do a similar thing for Tools Release, Application Release and Service Pack (52,53,54) if you did not want to show that information either.

Portal Registry

The portal registry is collective term used to describe the online navigational structure of the PeopleSoft Internet Architecture (PIA) portal. The portal is made up of folders and content references (CREFs).

This article provides some help around the portal registry.

Portal registry entries don't appear after migration

First, double check that the portal registry entries have been migrated successfully.

PeopleTools > Portal > Structure and Content

Navigate to whereever your portal entries should be and make sure they are there.

Also check the database using the following query to ensure your content references/folders exist:

select * 
from PSPRSMDEFN 
where PORTAL_OBJNAME like 'Your Portal Object Name';

If they are not there, go back to your project and check that:

They might not appear since there is always a lot of caching when you migrate registry objects. Once quick way to test this is to add a dummy registry entry anywhere in the navigation (eg a content reference pointing to an external site and make sure you save it) and the database save forces a cache refresh and this will then show up the cached entry.

Make sure you then delete your dummy entry you created. This is good for development when you are migrating between databases and do not want to bring down the web server to delete the cache.

Registry Search Index

This is the verity search engine's index which is used to find portal registry entries in PeopleSoft. The application engine used to build the registry search index is PORTAL_INDEX

You can run this from:

PeopleTools > Portal > Build Registry Search Index

Portal Security Sync

To run portal security sync, you need access to every single folder and content reference in the portal.

NOTE: portal security is based on menu security for content references (CREFs) but folder security is set at the portal level.

The two specially delivered roles that will give you this is:

Be warned however that PeopleSoft Administrator is all powerful!. So it is safer to give someone portal administrator if their job involves running portal security sync.

I've found that if you don't have a role that gives you access to the entire portal structure, the portal security sync application engine program (PORTAL_CSS) will run to no success (abend) with a message like this in the standard output (.stdout) file:

First operand of . is NULL, so cannot access member ItemByName. (180,236) 
PORTAL_CSS.CREFPERM.GBL.default.1900-01-01.Step01.OnExecute
Name:CheckParentFolder PCPC:2339 Statement:40
Called from:PORTAL_CSS.CREFPERM.GBL.default.1900-01-01.Step01.OnExecute Statement:202

Message Catalog

The PeopleSoft message catalog (or catalogue) is used to store errors, warnings and information messages in a common repository. It is really a fantastic example of reuse - all messages are stored in the one location.

You can access the message catalog using the following navigation:

PeopleTools > Utilities > Administration > Message Catalog

Behind the scenes, the message catalog uses the following PeopleTools records:

Message Sets

One way to allocate message sets is by a base unit of work (an Application Designer project for instance). However, you may find that you don't end up creating a lot of messages, so the other option is to use just one message set. Perhaps you might divide your message sets up by functional area. There are numerous options, but the key is to use a standard approach.

PeopleSoft reserves all message sets up to 20,000 (1 to 19,999). So you should start custom message sets from 20,000 onwards.

Messages

There are three things you need to decide when you create a message:

Message Severity

Severity is important. For example, the MessageBox function treats message severity as follows (from PeopleBooks):

Based on the above scenarios you should be able to pick what type of message you are dealing with. Remember that an error stops processing while a warning does not.

NOTE: do not use WinMessage anymore. It is a deprecated PeopleSoft function and you should be using MessageBox instead. Also be warned that WinMessage can causing very strange problems with your PeopleCode processing.
Message Text

I like to use message text as stating the error, warning or information as succinctly as possible.

The message text is limited to a maximum of 100 characters. You can pass bind values (%1, %2, %3 ... %n) to the message text using PeopleCode functions like MsgGet, MsgGetText and MessageBox. However MsgGetExplainText is to pass bind values to the explain text and not the message text.

NOTE: MsgGet will append the message set and number to the message while MsgGetText does not.
Explain Text

The explain text is a good place to tell the user further information or what to do to fix an error or why a warning is being given. Don't just repeat the message text.

You can pass bind values (%1, %2, %3 ... %n) to the explain text but only using the MsgGetExplainText PeopleCode function.

Password Controls

If you are using internal PeopleSoft authentication (not 3rd party LDAP), then PeopleSoft provides some useful password controls to improve the security of your system.

These can be found under:

PeopleTools > Security > Password Configuration > Password Controls

Behind the scenes this information is stored in the table PSSECOPTIONS. Password controls are enabled by Signon PeopleCode. This PeopleCode (as delivered) exists in Record PeopleCode on FUNCLIB_PWDCNTL.PWDCNTL.FieldChange within the function Password_Controls. So if you wanted to, you could modify this Signon PeopleCode to perform extra security checks.

password-controls.png

Some of the more useful things you might consider setting here are:

RRemember password security is one of those compromises between convenience and security. You could also set the number of passwords to retain to stop people reusing their old passwords. If there's ever a breach in security, then this might be a good feature to enable.

How does PeopleSoft check for the scenarios you've set? There are three places that have code to do this:

Password_Controls peforms the following validation:

Validate_Password performs the following validation:

Password_History peforms the following validation:

Event Notification and Output to a Window

With the help of Real time event notification server and notifyToWindow method in PeopleSoft we can configure the output to a window and publish the notifications to a new window.

REN servers are used by PeopleSoft applications to push event notifications to users, such as reports to be printed to a separate browser window.

This article explains how to:

Configuring the REN Server

The REN server is configured via the application server domain (through PSAdmin). Launch psadmin from %PS_HOME\appserv. Select the application server domain, the Quick configuration menu is launched. Set the Event Notification feature to Yes (option 8) as shown:

ren-server-event-notification.png

Then select option 14 to load the custom configuration.

Go to PSRENSERV section and set the options accordingly:

psrensrv-custom-configuration-1.png

psrensrv-custom-configuration-2.png

Once the REN server is configured on the application server domain check if it reflects on the PIA.

Pinging the REN Server is a validation that everything went okay with your setup.

Navigate to:

PeopleTools > REN Server Configuration > REN Server Definition

To check the application server domain name, port number and host name.

ren-server-definition.png

Test the server configuration from PIA by navigating to:

PeopleTools > REN Server Configuration > REN server Cluster

The Buffer test and Ping test should give meaningful results.

ren-server-buffer-test.png

ren-server-ping-test.png

Example PeopleCode

With a minimal code we can view the notifications and output in a window.

Using the Notifytowindow method in the PT-PRCS application package, below is a sample code written on the Portal CSS application engine program.

import PT_PRCS:API:*;
Local PT_PRCS:API:PrcsApi &api = create PT_PRCS:API:PrcsApi();
&strl_WindowMsg = &strl_WindowMsg | "<br />step 1/5:Portal Security Sync Starting. (";
&strl_WindowMsg = &strl_WindowMsg | DateTimeToLocalizedString(%Datetime, "HH:mm:ss") | ")";
&nret = &api.notifyToWindow(AEPORTALCSS_AET.PROCESS_INSTANCE, &strl_WindowMsg);

These are the results from this modification:

portal-security-sync-to-window.png

portal-security-sync-to-window-success.png

As you can see, the REN Server aids to publish Real-time Event Notifications to users, saving the effort of repeatedly clicking on the Refresh button in Process Monitor.

This is a guest article by Shilpa Reddy. Thanks for your contribution.

Manage Users with a Component Interface

Sometimes, you might need to work on a PeopleSoft instance that doesn't have a PIA. While you can still do a lot of things, one thing that is quite hard to do is managing users - create new users and modifying existing ones using the database alone.

Fortunately, there's a workaround. If you have two-tier application designer access (i.e., database access), you can use the component interface tester and a few component interfaces to manager users.

Clone a User

If you want to create a new user, the easiest way is to clone an existing one. The component, USER_SAVEAS provides this functionality. There probably won't be a component interface for this so create a new component interface in application designer based on the USER_SAVEAS component, and accept the default properties. You'll need to save the component interface (e.g. USER_SAVEAS_CI) before you can work with it.

Now, click on the right hand side of the screen (CI side), and choose:

Tools > Test Component Interface.

Once the tester has loaded, simply select the OPRID of an existing user, like VP1 or PS and click on Get Existing.

Change the following properties:

Right click on the top of the CI tree (USER_SAVEAS_CI) and choose the Save method as shown:

user_saveas_ci_example.png

If it all works, you will get a Save() results return value of 1. Go check PSOPRDEFN to confirm, and of course try logging in as your new user. Slightly easier than trying to figure out all the relevant PeopleTools tables and writing a script hey?

Modifying an Existing User

To modify an existing user, you can use the delivered component interface, USER_PROFILE which is based off the component USERMAINT - the component you use to edit a user normally.

Again, open the component interface and choose:

Tools > Test Component Interface.

You'll need to specify the UserID (OPRID) and press Get Existing. There are many things you could do from here:

If you are adding a value to a collection, like Roles, right click on the collection and choose InsertItem. Use an index [Number] of the last index. For example, if your user has 6 roles, then the last entry will be Roles [6]. So use an index of 6. Note you'll need to do this twice for some strange reason. If you use an invalid index, the following message will appear:

001: Invoke - [InsertItem]. (Errors Pending)
  Invalid item number. {USER_PROFILE.Roles.InsertItem} (91,54)

You'll know it has worked if you see another entry in Roles (and not the error above). Continuing with the example of 6 roles, there should now be a Roles [7] entry you can expand on and where you can specify the role name (e.g. PeopleSoft Administrator). Then go back to the top of the tree, right click on USER_PROFILE and press Save.

You might be wondering how to change the password? Well, right click on the top, USER_PROFILE CI and click on the SetPassword method. Then specify your new password.

user_profile_set_password.png