Event Mapping Lifecycle Management (LCM) Tools

I am a big fan of Event Mapping. Without question, if presented with a modification opportunity, my first choice is Event Mapping. In a nutshell, the goal of Event Mapping is a clean compare report. Event Mapping allows us to move PeopleCode modifications out of delivered PeopleCode and into custom Application Classes. We then use the Event Mapping framework to configure our PeopleCode into delivered events. Since our custom PeopleCode is not part of delivered event PeopleCode, it won't show in a compare report. At first, this might seem like a great idea. But let me tell you a story. The story you are about to hear is true. I didn't even change the names to protect the innocent.

I previously wrote about Event Mapping: Extending "Personal Details" in HCM. In that blog post, I showed how to use Event Mapping to add links to the left-side panel of the Personal Details component, the panel containing navigation. Several months later I applied PUM 24. Sometime between my release of HCM and PUM 24, Oracle updated the code behind the Personal Details components. Because my compare report was clean, I falsely believe there would be no issues. Post update, I noticed that my Travel Preferences link, the link added by my prior blog post, appeared twice. Obviously something was broken. But what? Why didn't my LCM tools catch this? I followed all of the best practices, including using Event Mapping. My compare report was clean.

After some investigation, I found that Oracle changed the component buffer and PeopleCode. In fact, while digging through the code, I found a reference to bug 25989079 with the resolution: Menus In Employee Self Service Fluid BUTTONS/LINKS WITH IMAGE AND TEXT GET READ TWICE (Doc ID 2253113.1). After a minor copy/paste exercise and some cleanup, my configuration is working again. No modifications to delivered objects.

This incident causes me to pause and ask some questions:

  • Is Event Mapping a Best Practice?
  • Would a compare report have identified the issue and changed code much faster?

I'm going to start with the second question first. When we are talking about the simple, event-based PeopleCode of the 20th Century, yes, a compare report would have located the differences among a few thousand lines in a single event. Today, however, a self-service component consists of thousands of lines of PeopleCode spread over several dozen App Classes. In this environment, your code change may be in one method whereas the bug fix is in another, related method or App Class. That was exactly the case for me. The code that inserts rows into the left-hand list is quite separated from the row that hides the extra hyperlink. A compare report would have found my modifications, but would not have shown Oracle's changes.

Is Event Mapping a best practice? YES! ABSOLUTELY! Without Event Mapping, our code is overwritten and we have to figure out how to merge it back into the delivered code base. With Event Mapping, it is more like an overlay, where our code still exists and lays over the top of Oracle's code. No reapplication necessary. When it works, it works great!

As noted, Event Mapping doesn't eliminate Lifecycle Management issue, but reduces them. What we are lacking today is tools to help us manage this new LCM "wrinkle." I'm hopeful that Oracle will deliver targeted tools in the future. But why wait? If PeopleSoft is metadata driven, why not create our own tools? The following is an SQL statement I put together to help me identify components that use Event Mapping. Here is how it works... Let's say you have components with Event Mapping. Let's also say you are about to apply a change project generated from a PUM image. That change project may contain components. The SQL below will tell you if any of the components in your project contain Event Mapping configurations including which components, events, and App Classes.

Caveats:

  • This SQL was written for PeopleTools 8.56, and therefore may contain fields that don't exist in other PeopleTools releases (such as 8.55).
  • The SQL contains SYSDATE, which is Oracle specific.

The following is a screenshot of my Personal Details "component" (component in air quotes, because Personal Details is really a collection of components). In that screenshot, you will see the following changes:

  • Page title changed to reflect the active component
  • Navigation list contains additional elements
  • Address group headers contain icons

Inserting a row into the left-hand navigation required RowInit PeopleCode. Clicking a link in the left-hand navigation invokes FieldChange. Changing the title and adding icons involved PageActivate PeopleCode. These are 3 distinct events at 3 different levels. I added the Personal Details Addresses component as well as several other Event Mapping configurations to a project. The following is a screenshot of that project:

When I run this SQL, I see the following output:

In the SQL results, did you see the EOCC_POSTBUILD Service ID? That is event mapping inserted by Page Field Configurator. Page Field Configurator is a tool on top of Event Mapping, and therefore suffers from the same LCM concerns.

Do you want to learn more about Event Mapping? Event Mapping is a PeopleTools 8.55 new feature that is extended in PeopleTools 8.56. At JSMPROS, we regularly lead PeopleTools delta courses covering new features, including Event Mapping. Visit us at jsmpros.com/training-live-virtual to find a course that fits your schedule.

P.S. I will be sharing this example and many more in an HIUG webinar on February 16, 2018. If you are a member of the Healthcare Industry User Group, you won't want to miss this webinar!