Understanding the PeopleSoft Online Help and PeopleBooks

The PeopleSoft Online Help is a website that enables you to view all help content for PeopleSoft Applications and PeopleTools. The help provides standard navigation and full-text searching, as well as context-sensitive online help for PeopleSoft users.

You access the PeopleSoft Online Help on Oracle’s PeopleSoft Hosted Online Help website, which enables you to access the full help website and context-sensitive help directly from an Oracle hosted server. The hosted online help is updated on a regular schedule, ensuring that you have access to the most current documentation. This reduces the need to view separate documentation posts for application maintenance on My Oracle Support, because that documentation is now incorporated into the hosted website content. The Hosted Online Help website is available in English only.

Note: Only the most current release of hosted online help is updated regularly. After a new release is posted, previous releases remain available but are no longer updated.

If your organization has firewall restrictions that prevent you from using the Hosted Online Help website, you can install the PeopleSoft Online Help locally. If you install the help locally, you have more control over which documents users can access and you can include links to your organization’s custom documentation on help pages.

In addition, if you locally install the PeopleSoft Online Help, you can use any search engine for full-text searching. Your installation documentation includes instructions about how to set up Elasticsearch for full-text searching. See PeopleTools Installation for your database platform, “Installing PeopleSoft Online Help.” If you do not use Elasticsearch, see the documentation for your chosen search engine.

Note: See Oracle Support Document 2205540.2 (PeopleTools Elasticsearch Home Page) for more information on using Elasticsearch with PeopleSoft.

Note: Before users can access the search engine on a locally installed help website, you must enable the Search field. For instructions, go to your locally installed PeopleSoft Online Help site and select About This Help > Managing Locally Installed PeopleSoft Online Help > Enabling the Search Button and Field in the Contents sidebar.

You can access downloadable PDF versions of the help content in the traditional PeopleBook format. The content in the PeopleBook PDFs is the same as the content in the PeopleSoft Online Help, but it has a different structure and it does not include the interactive navigation features that are available in the online help.

Common help documentation contains information that applies to multiple applications. The two main types of common help are:

  • Application Fundamentals

  • Using PeopleSoft Applications

Most product families provide a set of application fundamentals help topics that discuss essential information about the setup and design of your system. This information applies to many or all applications in the PeopleSoft product family. Whether you are implementing a single application, some combination of applications within the product family, or the entire product family, you should be familiar with the contents of the appropriate application fundamentals help. They provide the starting points for fundamental implementation tasks.

In addition, the PeopleTools: Applications User's Guide introduces you to the various elements of the PeopleSoft Pure Internet Architecture. It also explains how to use the navigational hierarchy, components, and pages to perform basic functions as you navigate through the system. While your application or implementation may differ, the topics in this user’s guide provide general information about using PeopleSoft Applications.

PeopleSoft documentation includes definitions for most fields and controls that appear on application pages. These definitions describe how to use a field or control, where populated values come from, the effects of selecting certain values, and so on. If a field or control is not defined, then it either requires no additional explanation or is documented in a common elements section earlier in the documentation. For example, the Date field rarely requires additional explanation and may not be defined in the documentation for some pages.

The following table describes the typographical conventions that are used in the online help.

Typographical Convention



Indicates a key combination action. For example, a plus sign (+) between keys means that you must hold down the first key while you press the second key. For Alt+W, hold down the Alt key while you press the W key.

. . . (ellipses)

Indicate that the preceding item or series can be repeated any number of times in PeopleCode syntax.

{ } (curly braces)

Indicate a choice between two options in PeopleCode syntax. Options are separated by a pipe ( | ).

[ ] (square brackets)

Indicate optional items in PeopleCode syntax.

& (ampersand)

When placed before a parameter in PeopleCode syntax, an ampersand indicates that the parameter is an already instantiated object.

Ampersands also precede all PeopleCode variables.

This continuation character has been inserted at the end of a line of code that has been wrapped at the page margin. The code should be viewed or entered as a single, continuous line of code without the continuation character.

PeopleSoft Online Help topics use International Organization for Standardization (ISO) country and currency codes to identify country-specific information and monetary amounts.

ISO country codes may appear as country identifiers, and ISO currency codes may appear as currency identifiers in your PeopleSoft documentation. Reference to an ISO country code in your documentation does not imply that your application includes every ISO country code. The following example is a country-specific heading: "(FRA) Hiring an Employee."

The PeopleSoft Currency Code table (CURRENCY_CD_TBL) contains sample currency code data. The Currency Code table is based on ISO Standard 4217, "Codes for the representation of currencies," and also relies on ISO country codes in the Country table (COUNTRY_TBL). The navigation to the pages where you maintain currency code and country information depends on which PeopleSoft applications you are using. To access the pages for maintaining the Currency Code and Country tables, consult the online help for your applications for more information.

Information that applies only to a specific region or industry is preceded by a standard identifier in parentheses. This identifier typically appears at the beginning of a section heading, but it may also appear at the beginning of a note or other text.

Example of a region-specific heading: "(Latin America) Setting Up Depreciation"

Region Identifiers

Regions are identified by the region name. The following region identifiers may appear in the PeopleSoft Online Help:

  • Asia Pacific

  • Europe

  • Latin America

  • North America

Industry Identifiers

Industries are identified by the industry name or by an abbreviation for that industry. The following industry identifiers may appear in the PeopleSoft Online Help:

  • USF (U.S. Federal)

  • E&G (Education and Government)

PeopleSoft 9.2 software applications include translated embedded help. With the 9.2 release, PeopleSoft aligns with the other Oracle applications by focusing our translation efforts on embedded help. We are not planning to translate our traditional online help and PeopleBooks documentation. Instead we offer very direct translated help at crucial spots within our application through our embedded help widgets. Additionally, we have a one-to-one mapping of application and help translations, meaning that the software and embedded help translation footprint is identical—something we were never able to accomplish in the past.