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Archive for the 'Tools' Category

External Awards and File Parser

Posted by jeggent on 22nd December 2010

2011 – The Year of External Awards and File Parser

Not very catchy is it?  I’ll have to work on the marketing aspects of it, but the premise is sound!  2010 (post upgrade) was the year of the 3C Engine and Population Selection.  Those tools have had and will continue to have a big impact on improving our processing efficiency.  The next step to enhance those processes now using 3C Engine with Population Selection is to fully automate the process by adding a COMGEN step.  I have yet to convert a process to use COMGEN but hope to very soon.

We will continue to automate processes with 3C Engine but I think the next big impact will come from further use of External Awarding.  We’ve been using external awarding with fee waivers for a couple of months now and from our perspective it is going very well having improved a previously very labor intensive process.  I’ll qualify that by adding that there is a meeting currently scheduled to discuss the process in which we will find out how the other effected offices perceive the change.  I am now looking at using External Awarding with other award types to eliminate double entry and improve processing.  We just did our first test of adding to the External Awards staging table with a File Parser File Mapping ID and I’m very happy with the results.  I envision accepting award rosters delivered in Excel or sourced out of a web application that will then be seamlessly staged using this process.  Setting up the File Definition was a little challenging so feel free to contact me or post something to HEUG if you’d like some further tips.

As always, good luck!  And happy holidays!

**Update**
It’s only fair to point out that we received lots of great guidance about External Awards and even File Parser from our excellent consultant Jerry!

Posted in Financial Aid, Tools | Comments Off on External Awards and File Parser

Mass Assign/Release Service Indicators

Posted by jeggent on 15th December 2010

Now that my class has ended for the semester, I’m able to finally do some other things, like blog.  In the last post I said that my favorite new toy with PeopleSoft 9.0 is the 3C Engine with Pop Select.  If we did not have a customization for it under 8.9, a very close contender for favorite thing in 9.0 would be the mass assign and release of service indicators.  For us in Financial Aid, we use service indicators with many different processes including holding disbursement.  Below are the basic steps to setup and use mass assign and release of service indicators.

  1. Set up the Service Impact – Set Up SACR > Common Definitions > Service Indicators > Service Impact Table
    • The impact is what will be referenced in the other processes like disbursement.
  2. Set up the Service Indicator – Set Up SACR > Common Definitions > Service Indicators > Service Indicator Table
    • Here is where you will choose the service indicator code, the description (this is what the student will see in “Holds” in Self Service), if the indicator is Positive (if not checked it’s negative), if it should be displayed in self-service (if not checked it will not), the impact you’ve set up previously, and other default options.  You must also assign at least one reason code.
  3. Write the query that will be used to select the population to assign the service indicator to.
    • *IMPORTANT NOTE* If the query does not select any rows the process will insert a row into the SRVC_IND_DATA table with a blank EMPLID.  So to keep this from happening, on each of our assign queries I have a union that always and only selects an EMPLID that is not associated with a real person (an account we set up just for processing). If you are going to be running this on a schedule you will really want to consider this step.
    • Your query will need to include the bind record for this population select process which is SCC_BND_SRCIND.
    • I would recommend that your logic include a “does not exist” subquery to make sure that each record is not already assigned this service indicator for this term.
  4. Set up the run control – Campus Community > Service Indicators (Student) > Mass Assign
    • Selection Tool: PS Query
    • Select the query: If you do not see it on the list you probably did not include the correct bind record.
    • Previewing the selection results is probably wise the first time and set the query prompts (Edit Prompts link) if there are any.
    • Specify the service indicator code, Reason, Effective Period, Assignment Details, and Contact Information.
  5. Run the process.  We have several assign and remove processes running in a JobSet before disbursements each night.
  6. Set up Mass Release query and run control if appropriate (include a union for processing ID).

I know this was really high level, feel free to hit me up in the comments with any questions.

Good luck!

Posted in Financial Aid, PS Query, Tools | 2 Comments »

Auto-Checklists with 3C Engine

Posted by jeggent on 30th November 2010

My favorite new toy with PeopleSoft 9.0 is the 3C Engine with Pop Select.  We had been using a customization to assign communications with a query in 8.9 but did not have similar functionality with checklists until now.  Being able to assign checklists (and/or communications/comments) in batch based on a query is very useful functionality to have and pretty easy to setup and use.  Below are the steps to setup and use the 3C Engine.

  1. Setup the Checklist and Checklist Item (or Communication/Comment) – Set Up SACR > Common Definitions > Checklists > …
  2. Setup the Event Definition – Campus Community > 3C Engine > Set Up 3C Engine > Event Definition
    1. Bonus: You can specify a Responsible ID and Item status at this point.
  3. Assign a 3C Group to the Event – Campus Community > 3C Engine > Set Up 3C Engine > Event 3C Groups
  4. Write the query that will select the group you want to assign the Checklist (and/or communication/comment) to – Reporting Tools > Query > Query Manager
    1. Be sure to join in the Pop Select record for the Administrative Function associated with the event.  For me it is FINA and the record is “SCC_PS_FINA_BND”
    2. Please test your query and check the results!  You really don’t want to mass assign to the wrong population (although with Bundle 19 you can delete 3C’s now 🙂 ).  You’ll probably want to include a “Does Not Exist” subquery to keep the process from assigning the item(s) to the same group every time you run it.
  5. Setup the 3C Engine run control.
    1. Select “Population Selection”, specify Event Selection items including the Event ID we created, select PS Query as the Selection Tool, then select your query.  If your query doesn’t show up, you probably did not join in the correct Bind record.
  6. Enjoy!

Adding this process to your nightly schedule, especially before disbursements for Financial Aid, could be a very useful tool for your office.  Best of luck with 3C Engine!

Posted in Financial Aid, PS Query, Tools | Comments Off on Auto-Checklists with 3C Engine

Notepad++

Posted by jeggent on 21st October 2010

One of the tools that I find very helpful when working with large CSV or flat text data files is Notepad++.  It is a free text editor program with some really nice features.  The feature I use the most is the Replace function.  I know, every text editor since Windows Notepad has a replace function, but the one in Notepad++ is super fast.  Have you ever tried to replace a couple hundred instances of something in Windows Notepad?  It takes minutes, you can actually see it happening.  Notepadd++ handles thousands of replaces in seconds and can even replace text in multiple files at the same time.  Notepad++ has spell checking capabilities as well which is something you won’t typically find in such a light-weight application.  Another nice option is context highlighting.  You can see in the image on the right that it not only color codes the HTML tags but it also identifies the closing tag when I click on the opening tag.  I don’t know how many languages Notepad++ supports but it looks to be at least 50.  Notepad++ also supports plugins which are extensions possibly programmed by others.  One plugin that I find really helpful is the compare plugin.  With the compare plugin you can compare multiple files and any differences will be highlighted.  Hopefully you will find this information useful and Notepad++ will make your life a little easier.  Cheers.

Posted in Tools | Comments Off on Notepad++