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Understanding Image Definitions

Image definitions are image files that you import, store, and manage using PeopleSoft Application Designer. Image definitions, similar to field definitions, are reusable. After you create image definitions, you can associate them with page controls and reference them in code as often as you want. Most images that you see in PeopleSoft applications are image definitions. Image definitions appear throughout PeopleSoft applications, and serve many purposes, such as:

PeopleSoft Application Designer enables you to import all types of graphics or image files and store them in the image catalog. After you finish this process, you can access the image definition and use it throughout the PeopleSoft application.

Note: Administrators can create HTML definitions (including JavaScript definitions) and free form style sheets, and upload images through portal branding pages (PeopleTools, Portal, Branding Objects), without requiring access to Application Designer. While the administrators cannot directly view or update the definitions created in Application Designer from the branding pages, definitions created with the portal branding pages can be viewed and edited in Application Designer. When creating a new definition using the portal branding pages, if the administrator uses an existing definition name of the same type, the system displays a prompt to overwrite an existing definition when saved. For more information on the portal branding pages, see Creating and Maintaining Portal Branding Objects.

Note: PeopleTools includes many image-related features. Image definitions are discussed in this topic; the other image-related features, such as fields and page controls, are discussed separately in this documentation.

See Specifying Image Field Attributes, Specifying ImageReference Field Attributes, Setting Static Image Properties, Setting Image Properties.

Image Catalog

PeopleSoft Application Designer stores all image definitions in the PSCONTDEFN PeopleTools table. The collective set of image definitions that exist in this table is the image catalog. The image catalog holds all PeopleTools image definitions in addition to any image definitions that you create.

Image File Types

Image file types or formats are a systematized means of storing digital images. File types vary in purpose and quality based on factors such as compression and color palette. You might want to use different file types for different images because of business or technical considerations that apply to your PeopleSoft implementation or because quality is more important to you than file size. The three most common file types that developers use most often to display images on the Internet are Graphics Interchange Format (GIF), Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) (JPG), and Portable Network Graphics (PNG).

Some developers believe, for example, that JPG is the best format for photographic images because it provides the greatest compression of any bitmap format in common use. However, some believe that the JPG file type is not as effective in compressing text and drawings as it is at compressing photographs. Similarly, many designers consider the GIF file type the optimal format for line drawings and text because it limits the color palette and compresses text in a way that retains the sharpness of images such as logos. The GIF file type also supports features such as image transparency and animation. These same characteristics of limited color and text compression make this file type less than optimal as the format for photographic images. Due to the proprietary nature of the GIF format, the PNG file type evolved as the free open-source response to the patented GIF format. The robust PNG file type supports more colors than the GIF, offers excellent online viewing, and streams well on modern displays.

While PeopleSoft Application Designer can create image definitions from image files that use the wireless bitmap (WBMP) format, these image definitions are visible in the runtime environment only through a mobile device. Because WBMP image types do not appear in the design time environment, PeopleSoft Application Designer offers you the option to provide an alternate image type of the image, such as JPG, for viewing purposes only. The image that you view at runtime in the wireless application is still the original WBMP image.

Note: PeopleSoft Mobile Agent is a deprecated product. Features related to mobile technology are included only for upgrade and backward compatibility.

See Importing and Creating Alternate Image Types.

You should make your choice of file types by weighing the benefits and detractors of the image file types in the context of your implementation and technical requirements. PeopleSoft Application Designer can process image files regardless of file type, convert them into image definitions, and maintain them in the image catalog.

Image File Size

The maximum image file size depends on the database platform that you are using. Some database platforms support much larger image sizes, while others limit the size. PeopleSoft Application Designer displays a warning message if the image size is greater than 32 kilobytes.

Understanding the Image Catalog

PeopleSoft Application Designer stores all image definitions in the PSCONTDEFN PeopleTools table. The collective set of image definitions that exist in this table is the image catalog. The image catalog holds all PeopleTools image definitions in addition to any image definition that you create. The image catalog stores all image definitions and makes them available for use by developers.

PeopleTools Image Definitions

In general:

  • Most PeopleTools image definitions start with PT_.

  • Any image definition with _D at the end of the name is the disabled mode of the image.

  • All images that start with PT_TAB are used for tab construction and colors.

A list of the PeopleTools images most common to all PeopleSoft application is located in another topic in this product documentation.