Understanding Financials and Supply Chain Search

PeopleSoft combined with People Tools provides search capabilities using the PeopleSoft Search Framework search instances. The PeopleSoft Search Framework provides a standard method to use search indexes for all PeopleSoft applications.

PeopleSoft Query and Connected Query are used by search definitions that define the content used by search indexes. Search indexes should be updated incrementally, which keeps the data current within the index.

Within the Financials/Supply Chain product areas, PeopleSoft Search Framework indexes have been implemented in these areas:

  1. Key components within the Procure-to-Pay business process.

    This enables users to perform keyword searches against these components based on specific field values or keywords provided they have been granted security access.

  2. Global search using a keyword search box.

    The keyword search box is located in the Oracle portal header. This enables users, who have the appropriate security, to search across business processes using keyword searches.

The purpose of the PeopleSoft Search feature is to provide the ability to:

  • Search on key words that enable users to find transactions and work with data without having to navigate using menus.

  • Refine results using facets.

  • Take direct action from search results.

  • Search to deeper levels within nested data.

  • Search for specific values and unstructured text across multiple data locations.

Click this link to view a short video about PeopleSoft Global Search for FSCM.

The PeopleSoft Search Framework provides two search features:

  • Global Search, which is sometimes referred to as global search.

  • Keyword search pages are available for selected components.

Global Search

Global Search consists of a group of Search Categories that display in the Oracle Portal header. The location of the search makes it available to users at all times. A drop-down list is used to select a search category and a free-form text search field enables users to enter data to be searched.

This example illustrates the Search Results for a Global Search.

Example: Global Search Field

For additional information about Global Search, see Understanding Global Searches.

Search Pages within Components

Search Pages within components are accessed using a Keyword Search tab, which is located between the Find an Existing Value tab and the Add a New Value tab for selected components. The Keyword Search tab enables you to enter free-form text when searching the component.

This example illustrates an example of navigating to the Add/Update POs component, and clicking on the Keyword Search tab

Example: Component Search (Purchase Order)

For more information about component searches, see Understanding Search Pages within Components.

Global Search can be secured by user roles. Search Pages within a component are specific to an application component and are secured by component security. Both features are built on the PeopleSoft Search Framework.

Search categories are defined by PeopleSoft and secured by role within PeopleTools security. When Global Search is enabled, you can select a search category and enter free-form text in the keyword edit field. Using search categories reduces the number of places you need to go to perform searches and can improve search performance.

This table lists the functional areas that have been enhanced with PeopleSoft Search Framework technology:

Supplier Relations Management

Financial Management Services

Asset Lifecycle Management

Enterprise Service Automation

Purchase Order

Voucher

Asset

Expense Sheet

eProcurement Requisition

GL Journal

Work Order

Purchasing Requisition

Payment

Purchasing Receipt

Supplier

Procurement Contracts

Supplier Conversation

Strategic Sourcing Event

Item Catalog

Supplier Contract Documents

Search results displayed from PeopleSoft Search Framework for Global Search are based on the user’s security access (permission list) to the underlying component shown in the search results. Therefore, if a user does not have access to a particular component, then the user will not see search results. In addition, row level security is applied to keyword search results for Search Pages based on the row level access for the user. This is especially true for SetID and business unit security. If business unit security is enabled, the only valid search results for the enabled business unit is displayed to the user. If Business Unit/SetID types of security are being used, then they must be set up before building search indexes so that all results contain the required security attributes needed.

There are several way to generally set up security, including setting up security by and individual user ID. It is not recommended that setting up security by user ID be used with PeopleSoft Search due to the maintenance involved with search indexes. Indexes that are secured by user will have to be rebuilt every time a user is added or removed. This can cause significant time delays when indexes are large. Therefore, it is recommended that security by permission list be used when Business Unit/SetID security is enabled.

Depending on your FSCM application, there may also be other row level security applied which would prevent the user having access to specific search results. This security has been provided by the application depending on the need for granular restrictions. An example of such security would be access to  a supplier contract or expense report by user.  These indexes may be more complex to manage since specific users may need to be maintained within each and every individual search result.   In some cases, such as Supplier Contracts Management, search results may be updated via incremental index updates when a user changes on a specific searchable object and the update happens automatically.    In other cases, changes to granular search security will require a rebuild of your index(es) for the new security to take effect.  Review your application-specific documentation for information on row level security which may be enabled for that application. Depending on the type of security implemented, these indexes may require more frequent index rebuilds if these parameters change often within your organization.

Note: It is recommended that security by permission list is used when Business Unit/SetID are enabled to avoid frequent index rebuilds every time there are changes within your organization.

This table lists terminology related to the PeopleSoft Search feature:

Term

Definition

Global Search

A search from the Oracle Portal header that is secured by user roles.

The PeopleTools: Search Technology documentation describes Global Search by saying: When enabled, the Global Search bar displays in the header of the application. Beside the keyword edit box, the Global Search bar provides a drop down list for selecting a specific search category against which to run a search.

Search Pages

The term Search Pages, is a PeopleTools term. The PeopleTools: PeopleSoft Search Technology documentation describes Search Pages by saying:

If the Search Pages feature has been enabled for a component, a Keyword Search tab appears amongst the search pages the end user encounters when navigating into a component. The Keyword Search page enables users to execute a deeper, more free-form search to access application data. For example, the Find an Existing Value tab is limited to level 0 data, where the Keyword Search tab lets the users enter custom keywords and the system will search indexed data from level 0-3.

This type of search is secured by user roles. Additional security may also have been specified on the Search Definition, which will limit access to specific business units or SetIDs. Further security can be added by creating additional security attributes and writing PeopleCode to define the security levels.

Facet

A field relevant to the search that allows the user to browse or refine search results. For example, the user can further refine purchase order search results by business unit, purchase order date, or supplier by clicking on the desired facet value. Facets are presented with counts, which show the number of documents, such as requisitions, purchase orders, journals, and so on, in which the search criteria found and are represented in the search results.

PeopleSoft Search Framework

The PeopleSoft Search Framework search engine within PeopleTools provides a standard method to use search indexes for all PeopleSoft applications. The Search Framework is based on one or more search engines. For more information about defining search engines, see PeopleTools: Search Technology.

Search Category

Search categories are part of the PeopleSoft Search Framework that contain one or more search definitions.

Search categories help manage search definitions deployed in the Search Framework search engine and provide a way to combine them into functionally related groups. Selecting a search category in the Oracle portal header enables users to narrow the scope of a Global Search, thereby reducing the number of search results that need to be reviewed. 

Note: For a facet to be properly used, the Facet (Attribute) Name must exist in every Search Definition, within the Search Category. Facets that are not common to all Search Definitions, but used on a search category, will limit the result set to those indexes containing the facet. See the production documentation for PeopleTools: PeopleSoft Search Technology.

Search Definition

Search definitions are part of the PeopleSoft Search Framework that define the main structure of a search index. A search definition contains everything needed to create a search index, which includes facets, security, attachments, pre and post processing, and component mapping.

Search Group

A flag on a search category that makes the category available in the Global Search box within the Oracle portal header.

Callback Security also known as Search Definition Security

Callback Security is the term given to the process that the PeopleSoft Search Framework search engine performs when you search for information. The Search Framework determines what data is presented by calling back to the database for all attributes designated by the search categories being searched. The Search Framework search engine caches this information for subsequent searches.

Search Definition Security is PeopleCode on the Search Definition that determines access to the results. Security is tied to an attribute, or set of attributes, defined on the Search Definition, which specifically allows or doesn’t allow access.

The defined attributes must exist on the query and are sent to the Search Framework search engine for later matching with the results generated by the defined PeopleCode. Search Definition Security can be based on user ID (not recommended), role, installation settings, or some other user-defined parameters.