Creating Component Definitions

This chapter provides an overview of component definitions and discusses how to:

Click to jump to parent topicUnderstanding Component Definitions

A component represents a complete business transaction. It comprises either a single page or a set of pages that are meant to be processed as one. After you create pages, you add them to one or more components to access them through menus or in business processes.

This section discusses:

Click to jump to top of pageClick to jump to parent topicWhat Component Definitions Manage

Component definitions manage:

Sample component with multiple pages (tabs)

If a component contains more than one page, you can control which page appears first by setting the display order in PeopleSoft Application Designer. At runtime the user can navigate between the pages of a component by selecting:

Click to jump to top of pageClick to jump to parent topicComponent Buffer

When you open any page in a component, the system retrieves all of the data records for the entire component and stores them in one set of record buffers, organized by scroll level and then by page level. This component buffer consists of rows of buffer fields that hold data for the various records that are associated with page controls, including the primary records, related display records, derived work records, and translate table records.

You can change the records in memory either through the user actions on the page or through PeopleCode that is associated with different page controls. At runtime, you open and save the entire component, not just individual pages. When you save any page in the component, you automatically save the whole component.

See Also

Referencing Data in the Component Buffer

Click to jump to parent topicDefining Components

This section provides an overview of the component definition window and discusses how to:

Click to jump to top of pageClick to jump to parent topicUnderstanding the Component Definition Window

When you design pages of a component, the pages should share the same basic key structure because they share the same search record.

Depending on the complexity of the component, the system may take longer to display the first page than to display other pages in the component (or even redisplay the first page) because it is loading records for the entire component.

The component definition window has two tabs, Definition and Structure, that provide different views of a component.

Definition Tab

The default component definition view displays the page items and corresponding attributes of a component definition. You can double-click the page name to open the page definition.

Structure Tab

The structure view shows records and scrolls in a tree representation. It provides information about page levels and component records and their roles. You can double-click the objects in this view to open their definitions.

You can view the PeopleCode that is attached to any of the components by right-clicking and selecting the View PeopleCode option from the pop-up menu. The PeopleCode Editor opens directly in the workspace, displaying the related PeopleCode.

Note. The Structure tab only displays the runtime state of the PeopleCode. That is, it only displays record field PeopleCode. For example, PeopleCode programs that are orphaned as a result of a page definition change do not appear in the Structure tab. On the other hand, these orphaned PeopleCode programs do appear in the PeopleCode Editor, which displays the design-time view of PeopleCode.

A key icon appears next to all key and alternative search key fields in the component structure view.

An asterisk icon appears next to all fields that are required.

Click to jump to top of pageClick to jump to parent topicCreating a New Component Definition

To create a new component definition:

  1. With a new or existing project open in PeopleSoft Application Designer, select File, New.

  2. Double-click Component.

    The new component definition appears in the workspace.

When saving a component definition, make sure to adhere to the accepted naming conventions for PeopleSoft definitions.

See Saving Definitions.

Click to jump to top of pageClick to jump to parent topicOpening an Existing Component Definition

To open an existing component definition:

  1. Select File, Open.

  2. Select Component as the type.

  3. Specify the selection criteria.

    The component definition appears in the workspace.

Click to jump to top of pageClick to jump to parent topicAdding Pages to Components

This section discusses how to:

Note. The system does not allow you to move or delete all pages from a component definition. The component must contain at least one page definition.

Using the Insert Menu to Add a Page

To add a page to a component using the Insert menu:

  1. Open a new or existing component in the workspace and make the definition active.

  2. Select Insert, Page into Component.

  3. To narrow your search, enter selection criteria, such as name, description, or project.

  4. Click Insert.

    A list of available pages matching your search criteria appears.

  5. Select the page that you want to add to the component.

  6. Click Insert.

    The page that you selected appears in the component in the workspace.

  7. When you are finished adding pages to your component, click Close.

  8. Save your component.

    Component names can be up to 18 characters in length.

Dragging a Page Into a Component

To drag a page into a component:

  1. Open the project and component.

  2. Drag pages from the project workspace to the component.

Click to jump to top of pageClick to jump to parent topicReordering Pages in a Component

After you add pages to your component, you can change the order in which they appear in the component.

Moving a page in a component

To reorder pages in a component:

  1. Select a row number on the left-hand side of the component definition.

  2. Drag the row to the correct position.

    The page is inserted immediately below the highlighted line. In the preceding example, the third page (UK) becomes the second.

Click to jump to top of pageClick to jump to parent topicCopying or Moving Pages to Another Component

After you create a component, you can copy or move pages from one component to another.

Note. The system does not allow you to move or delete all pages from a component definition. The component must contain at least one page definition.

To copy or move a page from one component to another:

  1. Open both components.

  2. In the left-hand column, select the number of the page that you want to copy.

  3. Copy or cut the page:

  4. Select the other component.

  5. Select Edit, Paste.

Click to jump to top of pageClick to jump to parent topicSetting Page Attributes

Each page in a component has attributes. Each attribute is represented by a column in the component definition.

Component item label and tab label

Page Name

Displays the read-only name of the page definition. If you rename the page, this column is updated automatically.

When creating page definitions, you might want to use similar names to make them easily recognizable as a group of pages. For example, if you create three pages to hold the information for the Personal Data Table, the page names might be:




Item Name

Displays a name for each page in the component. This name must be unique in the component, and the default is the page name. This name is for informational purposes only. If you use the same page on more than one component, you might want to change the item name to reflect the purpose of the page in the component.


Specifies whether the page can be viewed by the user at runtime. Pages are usually hidden when they are used in work groups or associated with derived work records. For example, information from a page might need to be loaded into the buffer for PeopleCode to perform calculations, but the user does not need to see it.

Note. Marking the page as hidden also hides the toolbar, including the Save button, even if you choose to display the page by means of another method, such as the Transfer PeopleCode function.

Item Label

Serves as the default folder tab label, unless a different label is specified. The item label should be unique for each page in a single component menu. The folder tab label is usually used when shorter names are needed for folder tabs.

In the preceding example (BANK_ACCOUNT.GBL), for the first page in the component, the same text appears on both the folder tab and the component menu. The second and third pages have different menu names and folder tabs.

Folder Tab Label

Displays the text that appears on the folder tab label. If no text is specified, the text of the item label is used on the folder tabs.

Allow Deferred Processing

Indicates whether deferred processing is active for that page in its property settings.

Setting Access Keys

You can set access keys by placing an ampersand (&) in the text of each item label. Put the ampersand in front of the letter that you want to be underlined on the folder tab at runtime.

Item labels with ampersands (&)

At runtime, the user can navigate between pages by pressing Alt, plus the letter that is underlined, followed by Enter.

Underlined access keys on tabs

See Also

Using Instructional Text

Click to jump to top of pageClick to jump to parent topicValidating Components

PeopleSoft Application Designer includes a validate utility to verify the integrity of a component. The validate utility runs a series of tests on components to check that the component will operate properly at runtime and sends the results to the Validate tab in the output window.

To validate a component:

  1. Open the desired component definition.

  2. Select Tools, Options, Validate, and make sure that Validate PeopleSoft Internet Architecture Execution is selected.

    Note. This option must be selected for the validate tests to be invoked.

  3. Select Tools, Validate Component.

  4. View the results displayed in the Validate tab, and correct any errors.

See Also

Setting PeopleTools Options

Validating Projects

Click to jump to parent topicSpecifying Market-Specific Components

You might want to add custom features to a component that is specific to an international market or region. For example, suppose that a page is used in a procedure for hiring new employees and that the procedure includes special transactions that are required only when an employee is hired in Brazil. You can create a custom component using the same component name as the component from which it is derived and saving it using a market setting of BRA.

Component saved with BRA market setting

Market-specific components are independent of system-side language settings and are accessible to any user who has security access to the component. This makes it possible for an English-speaking user in New York, for example, to perform a procedure for hiring an employee in Brazil.

Access the market setting of a component using the PeopleCode %Market system variable. Consequently, you can maintain a single set of PeopleCode programs for a set of market-specific components and build conditional logic into the PeopleCode programs that run only in components that have specific market settings.

See Also


Click to jump to parent topicDetermining Where a Component Is Used

The Find Definition References feature enables you to generate a list of the menus in the database that reference a specific component; that is, a list of the menus in which the component is used. You can invoke this feature from either the project workspace or the workspace. Select Find Definition References from the Edit menu.

See Also

Finding Definitions

Click to jump to parent topicSetting Component Properties

In the Component Properties dialog box, specify the update and data entry actions; on the Use tab, specify the search record information. You can also save notes about the component on the General tab. Use the Internet tab to set attributes that affect how the component appears in the browser at runtime.

This section discusses how to:

Click to jump to top of pageClick to jump to parent topicOpening the Component Properties Dialog Box

To open the Component Properties dialog box:

  1. Open the component definition.

  2. Select File, Definition Properties.

    The Component Properties dialog box appears with the General tab active.

Click to jump to top of pageClick to jump to parent topicSetting General Properties

Access the Component Properties dialog box.


Enter a descriptive name for the component.

Owner ID

Select the application to which this component belongs. This list is helpful to identify the applications that are associated with the component during the application development phase.

Last Updated

View the date and time of the last modification made to the component and the name of the user who made the modification.

Click to jump to top of pageClick to jump to parent topicSetting Use Properties

Access the Component Properties dialog box. Select the Use tab.


Search record

Specify the search record for this component.

Add search record

Specify if you want a different search record specifically for add actions. For example, if you selected the auto-numbering option for employee IDs (EMPLID), don’t include EMPLID in the search record. Likewise, you might want to create special security views for add actions that limit the rows that users can add, based on specific search criteria. The system default is the standard search record if you don’t specify an add search record.

Force Search Processing

Select to always run search logic (SearchInit PeopleCode) for this component. The default is cleared.

Detail page

No longer used in PeopleSoft applications. This option appears for upgrade purposes only.

Note. To see a subset of search records, type a few characters first. The drop-down list box is populated with a list of all record definitions with names that begin with those characters. This reduces access time and enables you to find specific records faster.



Select to add a new high-level key, such as a new employee ID or customer. Except in the case of effective dating, Add is used to insert a new current row or to update future rows.


Select to update existing rows only.

Update/Display All

Select to update current and future rows in an effective-dated record. Use only with effective-dated records. Do not use these actions unless the main record that is associated with the page definitions is effective-dated. This is translated to include history at runtime.


Select to update any rows (history, current, and future) in an effective-dated record. Use only with effective-dated records. This is translated to correct history at runtime.

Disable Saving Page

Select when you want to hide the Save button in the toolbar and disable the Alt+1 (Save) hot key. This prevents the user from being prompted to save when exiting a page. However, it doesn’t prevent using PeopleCode to save a page with the DoSave() or DoSaveNow() functions. This can be helpful for applications in which the user isn’t making database changes and doesn’t need to be prompted to save.

Include in Navigation

Select to include the component in the menu navigation at runtime. The default is selected. If you do not want the component included, clear the check box.

Mandatory Spell Check

Select to ensure that spell check is run on all eligible spell check enabled fields in the component when the user saves the page. A field is eligible if it has been changed (or its ReEdit set) and it has not already been manually spell checked since it was last changed.

Note. If you must add a new high-level key, such as a new employee number or customer, select both Add and Update/Display. If you are adding information to an existing high-level key, such as adding education data for an employee, select only Update/Display. You're not adding a new employee ID—it already exists on the database.

Three-Tier Execution Location

This section applies to Windows client applications only.

To partition application processing between the client and the application server, you must define units that, as a whole, run in one location or the other. We call these units processing groups. Processing groups can encompass one or more PeopleCode events.

Component Build

Specify where you want all processing to occur after the key list of a page is selected and before the user can interact with the page. This includes building component buffers and running many types of PeopleCode.

Component Save

Specify where you want all processing to occur after the user saves the component and SaveEdit PeopleCode validations have succeeded. It includes SavePreChange, WorkFlow, and SavePostChange PeopleCode and updates to the database.

Click to jump to top of pageClick to jump to parent topicSetting Internet Properties

Access the Component Properties dialog box. Select the Internet tab.

Search Page

Primary Action

Select the default mode by which the user accesses the associated page. Select New for Add mode. Select Search to use the action that is specified in the Default Search Action drop-down list box.

Specify where you want all processing to occur after the key of a page is selected and before the user can interact with the page. This includes building component buffers and running many types of PeopleCode.

Default Search Action

Select from a list of the actions that you set in the Actions group box on the Use tab of the Components Properties dialog box. If you set only one action, this drop-down list box provides that choice as the default. The default search action determines the default that users see, but they can select another option from the toolbar at runtime.

Default Search/Lookup Type

Select Basic or Advanced.The basic search page provides a choice of which field to search (either the primary and alternate search keys). PeopleSoft recommends using the basic search page for new users because it is easier to understand. If you select Advanced, the advance search page is the default. The search and lookup type applies to the search page and all of the lookup pages in the component.

Allow Action Mode Selection

Select to display the Include History and Correct History check boxes on a search page. If the user selects Include History on a search page, the page appears in Update/Display All mode. If the user selects Correct History, the page appears in Correction mode. However, both of these check boxes appear only on the search page if Update/Display All and Correction were selected as actions in the Use properties for the component and the user has security access to the modes. This check box is selected by default.

Link to Access Add Page andLink to Access Search Page

Specify the message set and number to display on an Add or Search page.

Instructional Text

This is set to display the Find an Existing Value heading on the search page. You can change the default message or redirect the component to use another message that is more appropriate for your use.


Select the toolbar actions that you want to display on the component pages. When you select a check box, that item appears as a toolbar button at the base of the component at runtime. All toolbar actions are set to display by default with the exception of Next Page in Component , Previous Page in Component and Notify. Note that the default settings for the Action and Save buttons are impacted by settings on the Use tab of the Component Properties dialog box.

Disabling any of the toolbar options also disables the hot key for that option in the PeopleSoft Pure Internet Architecture.


Adds a Save, OK, or Apply button to the toolbar, depending on the page type.


For modal components only. Clearing this box removes the Cancel button from the toolbar.

Spell Check

Runs spell check for all spell check enabled fields in the component, regardless of whether any changes have been made to the field.

Return to List

Returns user to the search page.

Next in List and Previous in List

Populates the page with the next or previous row of data from the database as shown on the Search page.

Next Page in Component and Previous Page in Component

Opens the next or previous page in the component if there is more than one page.


Redisplays the page without saving any entered data.


Enables the user to send a notification to other users.

View Worklist

Enables the user to view the worklist from the current component page.

Next in Worklist and Previous in Worklist

Enables the user to access the next or previous item in the worklist.

Add, Update/Display, Update/Display All, and Correction

Select each to enable these toolbar buttons for this component.

See Setting Use Properties.

Disable Toolbar

Select if you do not want to display the toolbar on the component pages.

Multi-Page Navigation

Display Folder Tabs

Select to display folder tabs at the top of the component page.

Display Hyperlinks

Select to display links at the bottom of the component page.

Processing Mode


Select to send messages to the server whenever logic must be run. When the user presses Tab to exit a field-level event, a transmission to the application server occurs to run that field-level event and the page is refreshed.


Selected as the default. This mode reduces transmissions to the application server.

See Understanding Processing Modes.

Allow Expert Entry

This is available for both processing modes.

See Enabling the Expert Entry Feature.

WSRP Compliant

Select WSRP Compliant to enable the component for WSRP publishing. If the component is enabled for WSRP publishing the component can be rendered, in-line, within the WSRP consuming portal.

If the component is not enabled for WSRP, when a user navigates to the component from within a WSRP portlet, the system directs the user to the PeopleSoft Portal, which loads the component. That is, the user has effectively left the WSRP consuming portal page and navigated to the PeopleSoft system.

Note. This option enables you to distinguish between components that are known to function only in the PeopleSoft Portal and those that are WSRP compliant.

See Understanding Web Services For Remote Portlets (WSRP).


The pagebar is a small menu bar that displays at the top of each component page just below the universal navigation header. You can select which options display to the user for each component. All options are selected by default. Select the Disable Pagebar check box to disable the pagebar altogether.

Help Link

Opens the online help PeopleBook entry for the current page.

Copy URL Link

Copies the current page URL to the clipboard. The copied URL includes page, action, and search key information to display in the context of the portal, if the user passed through the portal. If the user did not pass through the portal, then only the page displays without the portal frames.

This option adds a small http button to the pagebar.

New Window Link

Opens a new browser window with the search page for the current component. Users can view or enter data in the new window.

Customize Page Link

Opens the Page Customization page which allows the user to control the initial display of the component. This option enables the user to:

  • Select the initial page in the component to be displayed.

  • Save the state of the expanded and collapsed sections.

  • Save the state of the View All settings on the page for grids and scroll areas.

  • Customize the page field tabbing order.

Users can also elect to copy and share their settings for the component with other users.

Note. If you set this option for a particular component, all users accessing the component are able to customize the pages in the component unless their personalization options prevent them from customizing pages. Security permission list settings or personalization options do not allow the option to be enabled or disabled per end user per component.

See Understanding General Options.

See Customizing Pages.

You can also enable or disable any of these options using PeopleCode.

See Page Class.

More on the Customize Page Option

In order for the page customization option to display to the user, in addition to the selection of the Page Customization Link in the Pagebar, certain criteria must be met:

Click to jump to parent topicOverriding the Search Record

This section provides an overview of search records and discusses how to override the search record.

Click to jump to top of pageClick to jump to parent topicUnderstanding Search Records

The search record controls access to rows of data in a table, and its keys and alternate search keys appear on the search page as criteria. The search record might also contain logic to refine the search to secure rows of data—row-level security is implemented in this way.

The search record field populates the high-level, or level 0, key fields on a page. These key fields usually appear above a scroll area or bar or on the page, and they are typically display-only. The search record for a component might differ from the primary record definition for a page and might contain any number of search keys, but it must contain all of the keys for each main level 0 record for a page.

Note. When you add page items that are based on derived work records, do not select that record definition as the search record. Instead, select a record definition that stores the primary key or a SQL view that searches for the criteria that best enables users to identify the rows that they want to retrieve.

If you are configuring menus in an existing PeopleSoft application, the easiest way to decide which search record to use is to look at the other search records that are used on the same menu. Look for pages with similar key structures and then evaluate the search records to see if any are suitable. You might want to print the PeopleTools Menu Listing cross-reference report (XRFMENU) to review which search records are used for pages and gain a better understanding of how search records are assigned in the application.

Click to jump to top of pageClick to jump to parent topicOverriding the Search Record

You might want to reuse a component, changing only its search record.

You can accomplish this by overriding the component search record at the time that the component is invoked from a menu. To override a component search record, specify a different search record in the properties of the menu item that invokes the component. The component uses the override search record when it is invoked from that specific menu item; the search record set in the component properties remains unchanged.

By reusing components in this way, you can limit redundancy, keeping your application smaller and easier to maintain.

See Also


Click to jump to parent topicAccessing the Message Catalog

Message sets and number settings come from the PeopleTools message set catalog.

To access the message catalog:

  1. Select PeopleTools, Utilities, Administration, Message Catalog.

  2. On the search page, enter the message set number that you want to access.

    Component definitions support messages between 0 and 99,999.

  3. Click Search to access a message catalog page.

  4. Enter the message set and number on the Internet tab of the Component Properties dialog box.

    For example, enter message set and number 124 and 50 to display the Find an Existing Value message on the search page in the browser.

Click to jump to parent topicEnabling the Expert Entry Feature

This section provides an overview of the Expert Entry feature and discusses how to enable it in Security.

Click to jump to top of pageClick to jump to parent topicUnderstanding Expert Entry

Expert entry enables a user to change from interactive to deferred mode at runtime for appropriate transactions.

Note. Expert entry should be used only by expert users of the transaction who understand how all of the fields in the transaction behave. It requires the user to know the exact keystroke sequence for the transaction. This sequence typically varies for a transaction by customer, depending on the customer's setup and entry requirements. Therefore, expert entry should not be used by occasional users, because they might not be aware of the nuances of the transaction and when it is necessary to press the Refresh hot key.

To use expert entry, select:

If these check boxes are selected, an Expert Entry check box appears on the bottom of the page at runtime. If the user selects this check box, the transaction runs in deferred mode, regardless of the setting on the component, page, or field property.

When you set the component property to deferred mode, that component operates in deferred mode processing for all users, not just those who have expert entry enabled in their profiles.

If you want the component to process in deferred mode for some users and interactive mode for other users:

This enables security user profiles to control the users for whom deferred mode processing is possible.

Warning! Users who modify component properties from interactive mode to deferred mode or select the Allow Expert Entry check box should understand that this is an adaptation of the software, and, as such, they are responsible for thoroughly testing and supporting this change.

Refresh Button

The Expert Entry feature enables you to specify whether a Refresh button should be included on the component toolbar when the page is displayed. The Refresh button forces a transmission to the server to determine which fields have changed since the last transmission to the server and to run any processing logic that is associated with those changes.

Users can also refresh by pressing the Alt+0 hot key, which keeps the cursor in the same field when the page is refreshed. One can refresh any time during data entry to enable an expert user to:

Limitations of Expert Entry

These limitations exist when expert entry is enabled:

Hide, Unhide, Gray, and Ungray

The user must click the Refresh button after entering a value in a field that is associated with PeopleCode associated that hides, unhides, grays, or ungrays other fields on the same page.

Drop-down list box

The user must click the Refresh button after entering a value in a field that is a high-order key that is used to control the values in a drop-down list box.

Default values

Whenever expert entry is properly enabled and selected by the user at runtime, the transaction runs in deferred mode. As such, defaults, totals, balances, and related displays are not updated until the next transmission to the application sever (for example, when the user clicks a button, icon, link, or another tab). If the user wants the page updated before then, the user must click the Refresh button.

Click to jump to top of pageClick to jump to parent topicEnabling Expert Entry Through Security

To have the Expert Entry check box appear in the component at runtime, the security administrator must enable it in Security. This enables the Expert Entry check box to appear in any components for which you select the Allow Expert Entry property on the Internet tab of the Component Properties dialog box.

To enable expert entry through Security:

  1. Sign in to the PeopleSoft system in your browser.

  2. Select PeopleTools, Security, Use, User Profiles.

  3. Select the General tab.

  4. Select Enable Expert Entry in the General Attributes group box.

  5. Click Save.