Embracing Application Plugins - Part 3 of a Blog Series

Embracing Application Plugins - Part 3 of a Blog Series

Welcome back to our series on reducing customizations in PeopleSoft. Customizations, while useful, can be a double-edged sword. They can drive up costs and complicate upgrades. This series shows how to cut back without losing functionality, keeping IT agile and speeding up new feature rollouts.  

In this third blog of the series we cover Application Plugins.

Application Plugins in PeopleSoft 

With the introduction of PeopleTools 8.58 in Oracle PeopleSoft, application customizations have experienced an evolution, emphasizing flexibility while maintaining the integrity of the original code. The introduction of Application Engine plugins has paved the way for a more streamlined and efficient approach to personalizing applications. Let’s delve deeper into this feature and understand its implications. 

Understanding Application Plugins 

In the past, customizing any Application Engine program meant tweaking its original code, which made it vulnerable to overwrites during patches or upgrades. The introduction of Application Plugins changed this scenario. Here’s how: 

  • Isolation of Customizations: The core benefit of these plugins is their ability to isolate customizations made in Application Engine programs. Instead of rewriting or altering the original Application Engine code, you simply configure a plugin that modifies SQL or PeopleCode actions on-the-fly during runtime. 
  • On-Exit Plugins: With the unveiling of PeopleTools 8.59, a new dimension was added in the form of on-exit plugins. As the name suggests, these steps kick in as the concluding actions when your program is running. It’s like a final touch-up before the curtain drops! 

Crafting & Implementing Application Engine Plugins 

The procedure is surprisingly straightforward: 

Development in Application Designer: Much like any other Application Engine, you mold the plugin code within the Application Designer. 

Configuring Actions: Once your plugin is ready, head over to the Application Engine Action Plugin page through PIA. Here, you can dictate the exact SQL or PeopleCode action of the Application Engine program you wish to modify. Whether it’s adding fresh SQL, introducing a new PeopleCode, or replacing existing ones, the world’s your oyster! 

Visibility and Reusability: One of the standout features is the ability to view configured plugins under the Program Flow tab within the Application Designer. The cherry on top? These plugins can be recycled and reused across different areas. 

Distinct Customization Status: It’s essential to understand that while these plugins customize your application, they are recognized as configuration objects. Hence, they remain untouched during any patches or upgrades, preserving your modifications. 

Points to Ponder: Considerations 

However, like all tools, there are certain limitations and aspects to bear in mind: 

  • You cannot modify the properties of the steps. 
  • The actions are restricted to single SQL and PeopleCode. That means no section-calls, Log Message, Do Select, and similar functions. 
  • There’s an absence of a counterpart for the on-exit plugin at the process’s commencement. 
  • Migrating the plugin configuration might pose challenges as PeopleSoft lacks native tools for the task. 
  • It remains imperative to review the functionality of these plugins during PUM upgrades. This is crucial since any changes in objects or records might affect your plugins. 

Stay tuned for more insights in this series as we navigate the evolving world of Oracle PeopleSoft!

Previous blogs in this series are:

The Double-Edged Sword of PeopleSoft Customization – Part 1 of a Blog Series – Blis Digital

Understanding Drop Zones – Part 2 of a Blog Series – Blis Digital

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