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:

  • PSMSGSETDEFN - Messages group by message set (a header record really)
  • PSMSGSETLANG - Related language record for PSMSGSETDEFN
  • PSMSGCATDEFN - Messages grouped by message set and number
  • PSMSGCATLANG - Related language record for PSMSGCATDEFN

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.


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

  • The severity (cancel, error, message, warning)
  • The message text
  • The explanation
Message Severity

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

  • Message: The message is displayed and processing continues
  • Warning: The message is displayed and treated as a warning
  • Error: The message is displayed and treated as an error
  • Cancel: The message is displayed and forces a Cancel

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.

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