Tuesday, October 30, 2012

How to setup, configure and use PeopleSoft Mobile Expenses & Approvals


As mentioned in my previous post, Mobile Expenses and Approvals for PeopleSoft FSCM 9.1 was introduced at Oracle Open World 2012 and is now available for download, delivered with bundle 23. After seeing this live at Oracle Open World 2012, I had to have it running on my own sandbox. This post will describe the steps you need to take, to get up and running with PeopleSoft Mobile Expenses and Approvals.


Download & Setup

Mobile Expenses and Approvals runs on PeopleSoft FSCM 9.1 with PeopleTools 8.52. I did not have a FSCM sandbox running, so I started off by downloading and installing PeopleSoft FSCM 9.1 Feature Pack 2 from Oracle Software Cloud Delivery. Revision recut PeopleSoft FSCM 9.1 FP2 is delivered at Maintance Pack 8, which equals to bundle 16.

Readme from Oracle Software Cloud Delivery:
PeopleSoft Financials and Supply Chain Management 9.1: Feature Pack 2 includes the original version of the PeopleSoft FSCM 9.1 applications plus all of the maintenance delivered through PeopleSoft Financials and Supply Chain Management 9.1 Maintenance Pack 8, PeopleSoft Financials 9.1 Bundle #16, PeopleSoft Enterprise Service Automation 9.1 Bundle #16, PeopleSoft Supply Chain Management 9.1 Bundle #16, and PeopleSoft FMS Global Components Bundle #8.
Now after installing base FSCM 9.1 FP2, it is time to start downloading and patching the application. When we look at MOS doc PeopleSoft 9.1 Mobile Applications [ID 1495035.1] , Mobile Applications is delivered with:
  • Update ID 884859 - Patch 14528658 - PeopleSoft Enterprise Components 9.1 Bundle (prerequisite for Financials, ESA, and SCM bundles)
  • Update ID 884686 - Patch 14300397 - PeopleSoft Financials 9.1 Common Application Objects Bundle # 23  (prerequisite for Financials, ESA, and SCM bundles)
  • Update ID 875055 - Patch 13456414 - PeopleSoft Financials 9.1 Bundle # 23 
  • Update ID 875007 - Patch 13456526 - PeopleSoft ESA 9.1 Bundle # 23
  • Update ID 882853 - Patch 14145301 - PeopleSoft Supply Chain Management 9.1 Bundle # 23

Since  FSCM 9.1 FP2 is delivered with bundle 16, I decided to start patching the application with the latest available Maintenance Pack, which is MP10. After this your application is patched up to bundle 20. After this, I downloaded and installed the bundles 21, 22 & 23 including all pre- and post requisites and the pre- and post requisites of the  pre- and post requisites, etc. This is a pretty frustrating exercise these days, since Change Assistant uses the PeopleSoft Resolution ID's and with the move of all the patches to MOS, the patches have new Update ID's. It took me about a day to complete all the required patches, before I could patch the application to bundle 23.

I eventually ended up installing the following patches, after applying MP10:

PeopleSoft Resolution IdMOS Update IdDescription
87498413434509FMS FINANCIALS 9.1 BUNDLE #21
87499413456403FMS FINANCIALS 9.1 BUNDLE #22
87499513456464FMS ESA 9.1 BUNDLE #21
87500513456519FMS ESA 9.1 BUNDLE #22
87505513456526FMS ESA 9.1 BUNDLE #23
87500713456414FMS FINANCIALS 9.1 BUNDLE #23
87708813627837EO91 COMMON OBJECTS BUNDLE #4
87710213629060EO91 COMMON OBJECTS BUNDLE #5
87710613629106EO91 COMMON OBJECTS BUNDLE #6
87907913820501SCM 9.1 BUNDLE #21
88004913909227EODI: NEW MESSAGE CATALOG - POST-REQ TO EO91 BUNDLE 4
88063813964212SCM 9.1 BUNDLE #22
88144114034845EO ADDR: Address Issues with Requsition component.
88262314121611TOOLS MESSAGE (15,106) WAS DELIVERED IN 874984.
88262714125369AS A POST REQ ,TO FIX THE BUNDLE 9.1 #21 PACKAGING ISSUES
88285314145301SCM 9.1 BUNDLE #23
88410314276425EX: STATE/PROVINCE DESCRIPTION NOT PROPERLY DISPLAYED IN MAILING ADDRESS SECTION
88468614300397FSCM: CHANGES MADE IN PREPARATION FOR FUTURE USE IN MOBILE APPLICATIONS
88485914528658EC: CHANGES MADE IN PREPARATION FOR FUTURE USE IN MOBILE APPLICATIONS
88501614314953UNDO FINALIZE VOUCHER MESSAGE IS SHOWN FOR ROLLED OVER PURCHASE ORDERS
88739814681864EC: CHANGES MADE IN PREPARATION FOR FUTURE USE IN MOBILE APPLICATIONS

A tip:
If you download a patch from MOS, select the include prerequisites check box, this will list all the prerequisites patches for the patch you are downloading and you can download the prerequisites patches straight away with the actual patch you are downloading.
If you downloaded a patch and you are missing prerequisites patches, open the zip containing the patch. It will contain a Readme file. This file contains all pre- and post requisite patches, including the MOS Update ID and the PeopleSoft Resolution ID. With the MOS Update ID, you can download the missing patches.

Configure the Application for Mobile Applications

Before we start configuring the application, we need to understand the technology and infrastructure that is used for Mobile Applications.

When thinking of Mobile Applications, you probably think about an app that you download via the AppStore or Google Play and install on your device. PeopleSoft Mobile Expenses and Approvals is not a native app, but is a web application build using iScripts and open source javascript like  jQuery Mobile and Rapael for charting. It runs like PeopleSoft in a browser, using PIA. The applications are build in a way that when run on a mobile device the url bar of the browser is hidden, giving it a native app look and feel. A pro of using iScripts, is that the app has full control of PeopleSoft technology like security (Permission Lists), row level security, PeopleCode, database access etc. Actually it has all the benefits of running PeopleSoft, with the difference that it is optimized for mobile devices.

Customizing Signon page for Mobile Applications

Optionally you customize the signon page by setting up a second PIA for Mobile Applications to give it a more mobile look. Patch 875007, 13456414, FMS FINANCIALS 9.1 BUNDLE #2 contains the following file Mobile Expenses Setup.zip. This file contains a custom signon page optimized for mobile devices and some example icons, which you can use in Mobile Expenses. All configuration steps can be found in UPD875007_install_01.doc.

I created a new PIA, site name mobile and running on port 8000 and took the following steps:
  • locate file  styles_fmode.css and adjust  {background-image: url(/ps/images/Mobile/LoginBackgroundImage.jpg) with my site name to url(/mobile/images/Mobile/LoginBackgroundImage.jpg) and copy this file to  ..PORTAL.warmobile
  • copy files signin_fmode.html, expire_fmode.html, exception_fmode.html to ..PORTAL.warWEB-INFpsftdocsmobile
  • create a subfolder Mobile  (case sensitive)  under ..PORTAL.warmobileimages
  • Copy the images CompanyLogo.gif & LoginBackgroundImage.jpg to  ..PORTAL.warmobileimagesMobile
After this bounce the newly created PIA and open the webprofile you configured. By default during creation of a PIA the webprofile is set to PROD. I usually use the DEV webprofile for sandboxes. Change the highlighted fields with the custom pages:


Note that, in case you  use the DEV profile, you need to disable  Allow Public Access. Trust me, this causes an annoying url disform, which took me a day to discover.


After this, bounce your webserver and you are presented with the following sign in page.


Setting Permissions

Fist we need to add some records to existing record groups. Add records MBL_EX_TYPE_VW, EX_PURPOSE_VW, EX_EXP_MTHD_VW2 to record group EX_02.

Create a new permission list which will grant access to the mobile application iScripts and grant full access to the following weblibs.


You can choose to separate the permissions to Mobile Approvals and Mobile Expenses. I have chosen to set all in the same permissionlist, since this is my local sandbox. Also add full access to the following Component Interfaces.


Add Menu MANAGE_MOBILE_APPLICATIONS and all components in this menu to permissionlist ALLPAGES (or above permissionlist).  This will grant access to the Mobile Applications Page that show all available mobile applications from PeopleSoft.


Add Web Library WEBLIB_EX to the following permission lists and grant full access to the iScript ISCRIPT1.FieldFormula.IScript_RiskDetails:
  • EPEX9000
  • ALLPAGES
  • EPEX3100
  • EPEX3000
  • EPEX5000
Assign the permission list to all users that will be using Mobile Applications.

Configuring Mobile Approval Options

We need to set which transactions are allowed to be shown in Mobile Approvals. Before you can set this, you need to grant a superuser the permission list EOAW2000, Mobile Approvals Administrator. After this you can configure the allowed transactions:


Configure FSCM Expense Approval

Before we start using the Mobile Applications, we need to configure FSCM 9.1 for Expense Approval. If you are not that familiar with FSCM Expense Approval, like me, start by having look at MOS doc EEX8.9+: How does the Expenses Approval Workflow work and is setup in FSCM 8.9, 9.0, and 9.1? [ID 650548.1]This MOS doc contains a couple of attachments, under which I have followed the steps of the document EX 9.1 Expense Report Approvals.doc. After following all the steps the system is configured with the following users/approvers for Expense Workflow:

UseridDescriptionApproval from
EXA1Expense Entry
EXS1HR SupervisorAlways approve
MGR1ManagerAlways approve
MGR2ManagerApprove above 250
MGR3ManagerApprove above 1000

If you plan to use Mobile Approval for Journal Entry, you can follow the steps in the following MOS doc EGL: How to Setup Journal Entry WorkFlow? [Video] [ID 1195455.1]

Start using Mobile Expenses

Sign in to PeopleSoft and go the Main Menu > Employee Self-Service > Mobile Applications.


Clicking on the Expenses icon will launch Mobile Application in a new window.


Copy the url and send this (via email) to a mobile device. When you start this url on an iPad, you will be presented with the custom signon page.


After logging in for the first time, the Expenses homepage will become display only with a popup.


Press on the Copy url icon in front of the url and choose to add the url on your iPad Homepage. I did this for Expenses and Approvals.


Now, when you tap the Expenses icon on your iPad homepage, Mobile Expenses will start without an url bar, giving Mobile Expenses a true mobile look and feel.

Let's try creating an Expense report.

Tap on the Expenses icon and log in using your PeopleSoft account, I will use EXA1. On the Expenses homepage tap on Create Expense Report icon.


This will navigate to the Expense Header page.


Enter data for the Expense header and tap on Save. This will bring you to the Edit Expense Report page.


Tap on Add Expense to add expense lines.


Notice the application is using the IOS datepicker.


Complete the expense line and tap Save. This will bring you to the Edit Expense Report page.


Tap Submit on this page and the Expense report will be submitted for approval.


Notice the status changes to Submitted for Approval.

Sign out and start Approvals using the Approvals icon on your iPad homepage

Start using Mobile Approvals

Log in with user EXS1. This will open the Approvals Homepage.


Tap on Pending Approvals and you will see a list of Approvals, in our case the Expense Report.


Use the buttons to Approve, Deny or Push Back. When we pad on Approve, we will see the Approve page to add a comment.


Tap on Save will move the Expense Report further up the approval chain. Take the same actions with the MGR users and the Expense Report will be approved.

See here the PeopleSoft Expense Report component, for the transaction we entered and approved via Mobile Applications.


Some more devices

Since this is not a native app but runs using iScripts and jQuery, your are able to run the same applications on different devices. In the screenshots above you have seen it being run on an iPad.

See it running on an Android phone.


See it running on an iPhone.



Conclusion

It looks great, it works great, it is just simply great.

But, ...

I was a bit surprised by the solution for mobile being realized in jQuery Mobile. Not that I am not a fan of jQuery Mobile, but FSCM has had several mobile solutions in the past;  iReceipts running native on IOS, Mobile Inventory running with Oracle ADF. And with Oracle ADF Mobile being released just a couple of days ago, I am wondering what the next mobile solution for PeopleSoft will be.

Until then, a job well done Oracle on Mobile Expenses and Approvals.

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