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Setting Up Language Preferences in the PeopleSoft Pure Internet Architecture

This section provides an overview of the session language and discusses how to:

Understanding the Session Language

In the PeopleSoft Pure Internet Architecture, the session language is the language selected by the user on the sign-in page before entering a user name and password. The session language controls the language in which the user views language-sensitive data and objects in the application for the duration of that session.

If the session language is the database’s base language, then all language-sensitive data, messages, and objects appear in the base language. If the session language is a non-base language, then any language-sensitive data, messages, and objects that have been translated appear in the preferred language; those that have not been translated appear in the base language. For example, if a user’s language code for a particular session is Spanish, PeopleTools attempts to display menus and field labels in Spanish for each page viewed in that session, and if the table from which the data is being fetched has a related language record associated with it, PeopleTools also attempts to fetch the Spanish translations of the data from this table.

Choosing a Session Language

Users choose a session language when they sign in to the system. Users can change their session language during the PeopleSoft session; however, this is typically done only for development or testing purposes. You can also program applications to change session languages, so that your application has its own language selection options.

When the sign-in page initially appears, the page elements on that page appear in the language designated in the user’s browser language settings.

Note: You can prevent a sign-in page from appearing for a language that is not installed in your system by deleting that language from the PSLANGUAGES table using the Maintain Languages page.

To choose a different session language, click one of the available language links before signing in. Clicking the link updates the sign-in screen to reflect the new language choice, and signing in using the updated screen confirms the new session language. Only languages that have been installed and enabled by the system administrator can be used to sign in to the database. If you select a language that has not been enabled in the database to which you are logging in, you receive an error message.

To enable and disable languages for signing in to the database, use the Maintain Languages page. To access this page, select select PeopleTools, then select Utilities, then select International, then select Languages.

If you will not be using all languages delivered by the PeopleSoft system, or if you need to add a new language to the system, you can modify the sign-in page to add or remove language links. Remember, the base language of your system must always be available.

Changing the Session Language While Signed In

During development, testing, or debugging, you might want to change the language of your session without signing out of the PeopleSoft system.

Use the International Preferences page to change your session language during a session. Any change made using this page is valid only for the remaining duration of the current session.

To change your session language without signing out:

  1. Select select PeopleTools, then select Utilities, then select International, then select Preferences.

    The International Preferences page appears.

  2. Select a language in the Language Preference field.

  3. Click the Save button.

Changes take effect when a new component is loaded.

Changing the Session Language Programmatically

You can change user language preferences programmatically for the remainder of a PeopleSoft Pure Internet Architecture session. This feature is useful if you are building a front end to your PeopleSoft system that does not involve the sign-in screen, and if you want to enable users to change their language preference at any time.

For example, an internet store application might enable anonymous sign-in by customers of the store to browse a catalog, and therefore would not display the sign-in screen. The PeopleCode SetLanguage built-in function could be linked to a PeopleCode program behind a button on a page to enable users to change the language of the interface after they have already been signed in as guest users.

The SetLanguage function temporarily overrides the user's default language preference and the %Language system variable, which evaluates to the language code for the current preferred language.

Calling the SetLanguage function is the same as changing the Language Preference field on the International Preferences page.

The %Language_Base system variable makes it simple to determine the current preferred language and build language-specific functionality in PeopleCode.

If multi-language entry is enabled, %Language_Data returns the current data language selected by the user. Use %Language_Data if your application must know the language any entered application data is stored as in the component's related language records.

Determining the Session Language When the Sign-in Page is Bypassed

The PeopleSoft system offers the following ways to sign in to a PeopleSoft session without seeing the sign-in page:

  • Direct access.

    You can configure the web server to enable users to access the PeopleSoft system without having to sign in. In these cases, users access the system using a predetermined user ID.

    The language preference for users who access the system this way is determined by the user profile language preference for that user ID.

  • When bypassing the sign-in page, you can override the user profile language preference by explicitly setting the language code within a direct query string using the parameter &languageCd=target_language.

  • Single sign-in.

    You need to select a language preference only once during the single sign-in.

    All subsequent PeopleSoft sessions that are controlled by the single sign-in use the same language preference.

Controlling the User Profile Language Preference

In addition to the session language preference that is selected at sign-in time and is valid for the current session only, the PeopleSoft Pure Internet Architecture also maintains a language preference on each user’s profile. This language preference is used to determine the user’s preferred language when that user is not signed into the PeopleSoft system. For example, when PeopleSoft Process Scheduler runs a Structured Query Report (SQR) program, or if the workflow system sends an email to the user, the user language preference is used.

In these cases, the user might not be signed in to the PeopleSoft system, or another user might have initiated the transaction, so there is no session language that can be used. For example, a manager might be sent an email by the workflow system requesting approval for a purchase requisition.

To set the language preference for a user, use the User Profiles page. To change your own language preference, use the simplified General Profile Information page.

To set the user profile language preference for another user:

  1. Select select PeopleTools, then select Security, then select User Profiles, then select User Profiles.

    The User Profile search page appears.

  2. Use the standard search method to choose a user ID, and click the Search button.

    The User Profiles - General page appears.

  3. From the Language Code dropdown list box, select a language.

  4. Click the Save button.

To set your user profile language preference:

  1. From the menu pagelet, select select My System Profile.

    The General Profile Information page appears.

  2. In the Personalization section, choose a language in the My preferred language for reports and email is drop-down list box.

  3. Click the Save button.

Determining the Language of Help Documentation

If a user accesses a document from a PeopleSoft application by clicking Help in a PeopleSoft page or by pressing the F1 key from Application Designer, the system opens the version of the document that corresponds to the session language. If the system does not find a version of the documentation in the appropriate language, it brings up the English documentation, if available.