TRY IT FREE FOR 30 DAYS
Full version  •  Quick installation  •  No spam
Download now

Tech Talk
LIGHTLY TECHNICAL OBSERVATIONS ON PEOPLESOFT, SQR, AND RELATED AND UNRELATED TOPICS

Archives

Pages in App Designer

A page is one of the more complex types of objects managed by Application Designer. Today I'd like to explore a few options available to us when we are creating or modifying pages. Maybe you're not aware of all of these, and one of these options could save you a little time.

Grid settings

The grid helps you to align elements on your pages. When you move objects, they "snap" to the nearest line on the grid. It's represented visually by all the little dots you see when you open a page object. If you've ever opened a page and seen a dark gray, black, or striped background, that's just a result of the grid settings used on that page. Go to Layout | Grid Settings. The smaller the number of pixels specified in the "spacing" area, the finer the control you have on alignment. If the grid tends to get in the way, you can turn it off here. But an easier way to turn the grid on or off is to click the Toggle Grid toolbar button, which looks like a square of 16 little dots.

If you have ever tried to move a page field and seen it "jump" slightly in another direction, that's because the grid settings have changed since the page was originally created. The field is just trying to snap to the current grid.

Alignment with grouping

The grid is a good way to line up elements, but sometimes it's still hard to see whether elements are aligned properly on a complicated page. Another trick is to use the Select Group toolbar button, which looks like a dotted box containing 3 bars. Click on that button and the mouse pointer changes into a hand. Now start drawing a box. Any page elements lying within the box or overlapping it can then be moved as a group. Sometimes, though, I just use the group box as sort of a ruler to check the alignment on the page. You must start at the upper left corner of the box you want to draw. When finished, either click the Select Group button again, or just click on an empty area of the page.

Alignment with the keyboard

You can click and drag page elements, of course, but sometimes it's difficult to position them exactly. In this case, just click once and then use the arrow (up, down, left, right) keys to move the element.

Object inspector

Another tool is the Object Inspector. Click the Toggle Inspector button, which looks like a page with a hand pointing at it. The Object Inspector diplays the record, field, type and label of an item, plus positioning information. Just click once on a page element to see this information displayed in the Object Inspector. At times this may be more convenient than double-clicking on each item and opening the page field properties dialog.

Viewing pages

There are two toolbar buttons for "testing" pages. One is a vertical light switch and is called Test Page. This is left over from the pre-PIA days and shows the page as it would appear as a two-tier panel. It has limited use. The second button is a horizontal light switch with "html" above it and is called View Page in Browser. This should display the page in Internet Explorer or whatever you have set as the default browser. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn't, and unfortunately I haven't figured out the pattern yet. When it does work, you should see the page but without the normal header/banner frame or the buttons along the bottom. In other words, you will see just the page object you're working on. Dropdown lists will work but prompt lists won't. Also, PeopleCode won't run and the page has no connection with the database. The purpose of this is to check the appearance of the page, not its operation.

Layout | Generate HTML does something similar, but instead of displaying the page, it simply creates the HTML and gathers the various image files needed for the page. If you look at this HTML you will see lots of JavaScript and stylesheet code that you normally wouldn't see on a PeopleSoft page using View Source.

Order tab

The Order tab is very important for controlling the functionality of a page. I won't get into this large topic today, but just want to point out a couple of small items. First, as I've previously mentioned, be careful when you are simply viewing a page. If you go to the Order tab, double-click on a field, and then Cancel the dialog, App Designer still thinks that you have changed the page. If you then save your project, the page object will be stamped with your ID and the date and time. Later, you and other developers will wonder what you changed and why! Be sure to close a page object before saving your project if you didn't intend to change anything.

If you scroll over to the right edge of the order list and then hover the mouse on the border just to the right of "Allow Deferred Processing," it will change into a double-pointed arrow. Double-click there and another column will appear. Expand it to see that it's called "Out of available." This appears to be just a sequence number for each item on the page. What's it for? I don't know. But let me suggest a possible use. Have you ever needed to reorder the fields on a long page, and become lost or confused? Maybe this sequence number could be used to back out some of your changes. But if you know what it's really for, please tell me.

Table-based layout

There are various ways of formatting HTML pages. One way is to use invisible HTML tables and let the browser determine the actual position of each element. That's what PeopleSoft does for the most part. Sometimes a page seems to misbehave. You have carefully aligned everything but the resulting page shows elements thrown around in seemingly random places. If that happens, it might help your understanding of the situation to see the invisible tables. One quick way of doing this is to generate the HTML as described above and then open the file in Word. The tables will show up as gray lines. It makes no sense to change the page in Word, of course, but this might help you find the problem.

SQRSQR colors 08-11-2014
SQRSQR lines, boxes and images 08-10-2014
SQRSQR one-point coordinate grid 08-09-2014
SQRSQR proportional fonts 08-08-2014
SQRSQR print positioning 08-07-2014
SQRSQR reports: The basics 08-06-2014
PS Fear of customization 07-18-2014
SQRSQR variable names 07-02-2014
PS Concatenating strings in PCode05-12-2014
PS HTML and server communication 05-05-2014
PS JavaScript in HTML areas 04-21-2014
PS Using HTML areas 04-18-2014
PS The HTML object 04-11-2014
PS Types of HTML areas 03-14-2014
SQREmbedded SELECTs in SQR 01-31-2014
PS Exporting all PeopleCode 11-30-2013
PS Disabling autocomplete 09-29-2013
SQRSP Debugger for SQR update 09-12-2013
General Stopping... and restarting 09-02-2013
SQRSQR debugger version 2 09-29-2010
SQRA few SQR items 05-20-2009
PS Ignoring "component changed" 05-07-2008
PS App Engine 04-30-2008
PS Commenting code 04-02-2008
PS The "Powered By" page 03-05-2008
PS Formats in PeopleCode vars 01-30-2008
PS Page layout with group boxes 01-09-2008
PS Meta-SQL wrappers 12-19-2007
PS Derived record PeopleCode 12-05-2007
PS A Cancel button 11-28-2007
General "Leading" the test effort 11-07-2007
SQRTemporary tables in SQR 10-31-2007
SQRUpdating long character data 10-24-2007
PS Record.Field specification 10-17-2007
PSSQRRELLANG.SQC 10-03-2007
PS Migrating project definitions 09-26-2007
PS Derived records 09-19-2007
PS Positioning elements on pages 08-29-2007
General Thanks 08-22-2007
SQRSQR "code alerts" 08-08-2007
PS Styles in HTML Areas 08-01-2007
SQRDynamic SQL for performance? 07-25-2007
PS Page Field Name 07-18-2007
PS PeopleCode event order 06-27-2007
SQRFormatting Excel using HTML 06-06-2007
Component-changed state 05-23-2007
PS Selecting styles for page fields05-16-2007
SQRSending email from SQR 05-02-2007
General Contractor networking 04-25-2007
PS Project X--and another project04-18-2007
PS Effective and data entry dates04-11-2007
PS A PeopleSoft home page 04-04-2007
PSSQRHyperion and the future of SQR03-21-2007
General The data doesn't lie 03-14-2007
PSSQRHyperion acquisition 03-07-2007
General Taking ownership 02-28-2007
PS Source control 02-21-2007
PS Sandboxes 02-14-2007
PS Migration instructions 02-07-2007
PS PeopleSoft environment usage 01-31-2007
PS Multiple environment strings 01-24-2007
PS Multiple testing environments 01-17-2007
PS PeopleSoft support environments 01-10-2007
General A single source of truth 01-03-2007
Nothing Smile 12-27-2006
PS Navigating the component buffer 12-20-2006
PS JavaScript and styles 12-13-2006
PS SQL for common HR queries 12-06-2006
SQRSQR program complexity 11-29-2006
SQRFrequent SQR questions 11-22-2006
PS Followup 11-15-2006
PS Expanding subrecords 11-08-2006
PS Bind variables 10-25-2006
PS Attaching objects to projects 10-18-2006
PS Partial transaction completion10-11-2006
PS The multi-process component 10-04-2006
PS Employee rows lost to security09-27-2006
SQRSQR document sections 09-20-2006
PS Empty-string compares in SQL 09-13-2006
SQRNulls, blanks, empty strings 09-06-2006
General Company policy 08-30-2006
PS Auto-lookup exclusion 08-23-2006
PS Effective status 08-16-2006
PS A couple of HRMS/HCM utilities08-02-2006
PS Translate value changes 07-26-2006
General Updating views 07-19-2006
General Set-based updates 07-12-2006
PS SQL set-based processing 07-05-2006
Being happy about bugs 06-28-2006
Busy in the PS marketplace 06-21-2006
General 2-way documentation 06-14-2006
PS Interfaces as views 06-07-2006
PS Hijacked fields 05-31-2006
General Agile software development 05-24-2006
General Working within Waterfall 05-17-2006
General Over the Waterfall 05-10-2006
PS Experimentation in PeopleSoft 05-03-2006
PS Unlimited enhancements? 04-26-2006
PS Testing direct DB updates 04-19-2006
SQRDelayed evaluation of SQL 04-12-2006
PS Database compares 04-05-2006
General Support problem? Call FBI! 03-29-2006
SQRFinding SQR errors 03-22-2006
PS Finding PeopleSoft Queries 03-15-2006
PS PeopleSoft Query support 03-08-2006
PS JOB table and SetIDs 03-01-2006
PS Migrating the project 02-22-2006
PS Compare and Report options 02-15-2006
PS Comparing and migrating projects 02-08-2006
PS Object security in App Designer 02-01-2006
PS Automation of App Designer 01-25-2006
General Contractors on PS projects 01-18-2006
General "Smart coding" 01-11-2006
SQRDebugger tricks 01-04-2006
PS EFFDT and component processing12-28-2005
PS Referential integrity 12-21-2005
PS Menu navigation using SQL 12-14-2005
SQRA coding standards wish list 12-07-2005
PS More App Designer options 11-30-2005
PS Pages in App Designer 11-23-2005
PS Finding objects on the menu 11-14-2005
PS Magic search record fields 10-31-2005
PS Documenting object attributes 10-24-2005
PS Monitoring server performance 10-17-2005
PS Searching PeopleCode 10-10-2005
PS Speeding up App Designer 10-03-2005
PS Using the message catalog 09-26-2005
PS Good ideas that sometimes aren't09-19-2005
PS And now Siebel 09-12-2005
SQRDate comparisons 09-05-2005
PSSQRFTP options 08-29-2005
PSSQRMoving code across environments08-22-2005
PS Spring cleaning 08-15-2005
SQRBuild your own SQR "IDE" 08-08-2005
PS Change control in App Designer08-01-2005
PS App Engine: disadvantages 07-25-2005
PS App Engine: advantages 07-18-2005
SQRCoding Excel file output 07-11-2005
General Creating Excel files 07-05-2005
PS Dave's next move 06-27-2005
SQRSQR variable oddities 06-20-2005
SQRSQR arrays 06-13-2005
SQRCompiling SQRs 06-06-2005
PS 5-character SETIDs 05-30-2005
PS Use all of the keys 05-23-2005
SQRDynamic SQL in SQR 05-16-2005
PS Running the in-place conv 05-09-2005
PS Searching for fields in DB 05-02-2005
PS Converting setup data 04-25-2005
PS Associating effective-dated tables 04-18-2005
PS Upgrading without an upgrade 04-04-2005
PS Scheduling patches 03-28-2005
PS To patch or not? 03-21-2005
PS Basic tools 03-14-2005
SQRWay back with sqrtools.com 03-07-2005
PS Meta-SQL 02-28-2005
PS Dropping the user index 02-21-2005
PS User indexes 02-14-2005
PS Page changes in App Designer 02-07-2005
General Generate SQL from SQL 01-31-2005
SQRSQR report viewer 01-24-2005
General Bug or enhancement? 01-17-2005
PSSQRTagging objects and code 01-10-2005
General Issue tracking 01-03-2005
PS PeopleSoft 10? 12-27-2004
PS Purging tables 12-20-2004
PS Acquisition 12-13-2004
PS Exporting PCode as text 12-06-2004
PS Simplify SQR code 11-29-2004
PS New site for SQR info 11-22-2004
PS Comparing objects 11-08-2004
PS Applying SQL-from-SQL 11-01-2004
General Generating SQL with SQL 10-25-2004
General Generating SQL 10-18-2004
PS Scrambling data 10-11-2004
PS What's going on with PS? 10-04-2004
SQRPrint positioning in SQR 09-27-2004
PS Oracle vs. PeopleSoft 09-13-2004
General Word, email, and lava lamps 09-06-2004
PS Custom run control: tips 08-30-2004
PS Custom run control: building 08-23-2004
PS PeopleCode, behind the scenes 08-16-2004
PS Language-specific pages 08-09-2004
SQRSubstitution variables 08-02-2004
PS HTML areas 07-19-2004
SQRRecursion in SQR 07-12-2004
SQRSQR code formatting 07-06-2004
SQRDebugger beta release 06-28-2004
PS Application Designer tidbits 06-27-2004
PS Configuration for custom SQR 06-14-2004
PSSQRModify or clone? 06-07-2004
PS Identifying custom objects 06-01-2004
PS EFFDT again 05-24-2004
General Change-only interface: impl 05-17-2004
General Change-only interface: concept05-10-2004
PS Cache troubles 05-03-2004
PS Component PeopleCode 04-25-2004
PS EFFDT and EFF_STATUS 04-18-2004
PS SETID in subselects 04-11-2004
PS Denormalized tables 04-04-2004
PS Documenting retired custom 03-28-2004
PS Sharing login IDs 03-21-2004
SQRGlobal and local SQR variables03-14-2004
SQRDISPLAY and MOVE 03-07-2004
PSSQRRun control in SQR 02-29-2004
SQRCommon sources of SQR bugs 02-22-2004
PS Implementation setup data 02-15-2004
PS Managing setup data 02-08-2004
PS Managing objects 02-01-2004
PS Make a home page 01-01-2004