Embracing Fluid Navigation
They say embracing change is the secret to success. I don’t know who “they” are, but I am sure that they haven’t had to adjust to the new navigation used in fluid PeopleSoft. The breadcrumb trail is my happy place; it is what I know. How will we find our way out of the woods if we don’t have a breadcrumb trail? While I am sure most of you have had visions of pushing fluid navigation into a burning stove Hansel and Gretel style, we will have to find another way to outsmart a cannibalistic witch. Embrace it!
Perhaps, in the light of day, fluid navigation isn’t actually so bad. Now that I have adjusted to it, I must admit that maybe they are on to something. I am dangerously close to being in like with it. But how in the world do we create these new homepages and distribute them to our users? I am glad you asked, because I am going to share what I’ve learned about Fluid Homepages and Tiles.
Fluid Home Pages
The fluid homepage is the new center for navigation. It is comparable to a collection of “favorites” that you can share with other users. A homepage is a collection of tiles (more to come on tiles). Users can have many homepages with many tiles and they are the key to fluid navigation happiness.
Creating a custom homepages is very simple.
- While on a homepage, click on the triple bar and select Personalize Homepage
- Click Add Homepage
- Enter the name of the new homepage and click add
4. Add one or more tiles, details below, and save
You now have a custom user-specific homepage.
Publishing A Homepage
Good news, publishing a homepage is just as easy as creating it. Publishing a homepage allows other users to optionally add the homepage to their list or default it for them.
- While on the homepage you want to publish, click on the triple bar (hamburger menu) and select Publish Homepage
- Complete the setup fields and Publish. The security section controls what users will have access to the Homepage. It can be set to public or restricted to users with certain roles and/or permission lists.
The homepage is now published and available to other users.
A few other tips for advanced settings:
- After the homepage has been published, you must use the following navigation to make changes: Navigator > peopletools > portal > structure and content > fluid structure and content > fluid homepages > click ‘edit’ next to the homepage you want to customize.
- By default the homepage is set as optional for users with access, which means that a user will have to personalize the homepage and manually add it. You can easily alter this setting to make the homepage show for all users with access automatically by setting the Behavior field to Optional-Default, Required, or Required-Fixed.
- You can alter who has access to this homepage on the security tab.
- The tile content tab is used to define the tiles that can be added to the homepage and the ones that show by default.
A tile can be used to display information to a user and/or as a navigation shortcut. Users can add tiles to their own homepages on the fly or a system administrator can create custom tiles. These are the tile types that I recommend starting with:
- User added
- Free Text
- Navigation Collection
- Pivot Grid
The easiest way for a user to add a tile that is a navigation shortcut is to navigate to the page, click on the triple bar button in the top, and select add to homepage.
These are user-specific tiles and cannot be shared with other users. PeopleSoft delivers a tile wizard that can be used to create shared tiles. These are the tiles that you can pick from when you click on the Add Tile button on Personalize Homepage. The Tile Wizard is at Navigator > peopletools > portal > tile wizard. There are five types of tiles that can be created.
The free text tile is similar to a tile created by a user. When clicked, it links to a content reference selected in configuration. Static text is added to help guide the user.
The pivot grid tile displays the graphic from a pivot grid selected in configuration. When clicked, the associated pivot grid page opens. (Creating a pivot grid is a subject for a different blog post.)
The navigation collection tile displays a static image selected in configuration. When clicked, the associated navigation collection opens. This one is my favorite, and I think is a ‘must have’ to help system super users adjust to fluid navigation. You can select from previously created navigation collections. You can also create new custom navigation collections by navigating to Navigator > peopletools > portal > portal objects > navigation collections. The optimized option shows a bar on the left side of the screen and the non-optimized option is a dropdown from the header title.
This is used to link to OBIEE Dashboards or OBIEE Reports.
The application class tiles can be pretty much anything custom that a developer can create. The ones above are a couple of examples that come delivered.
Adding to A Homepage
Tiles can be added to each individual user’s homepage by clicking on the Add Tile button on Personalize Homepage. An administrator can set the tile to be optional-defaulted, required, or required-fixed to make the tile show up automatically for the user by navigating to: Navigator > peopletools > portal > structure and content > fluid structure and content > fluid homepages > click edit next to the homepage you want to customize > tile content.
Just like I said, it is easy to create homepages and tiles that will help give users a better experience. As a system super user, I am very attached to the optimized navigation tile and encourage you to give it a try. What secrets have you uncovered that has made the transition to fluid navigation easier?
The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance. -Nathaniel Branden