Life Hacks:

Everyone wants to know the latest tip, trick, or shortcut. The Life Hacks pathway provides just that. Learn the latest techniques for making your job easier.

Some relevant/technical experience preferred

Great for functional users, technical developers, business analysts, system administrators and more.

Under 10 hours of total session time

You'll learn about

  • Lessons learned from member institutions
  • Tips and tricks for different functionality
  • Recommendations to simplify everyday tasks

Selected Sessions

Session 8646: Track Hacks: Technical and Reporting

Track: Technical & Reporting

Primary Presenter: Technical & Reporting Advisory Group


Come hear about the latest life hacks, tips and tricks members of the Technical and Reporting AG have to share. As the TRAG has expertise in technical and reporting areas, there will be something for every techie.
Session 8669: Don't be (Visual) Basic, Excel at the Macro-level

Track: Technical & Reporting

Primary Presenter: Scott Nishizaki [Developer/Analyst - Azusa Pacific University]


Do your Excel Spreadsheets look like they've been through a twister? Are you crushed underneath the house of manual adjustments? Somewhere over the rainbow, there must be a better way! It turns out, you've always had the power…you have to learn it for yourself. Travel to the Emerald City and take a peak behind the curtain at what wizardry Excel Macros and Visual Basic can reveal. If you're anything like me, you currently have at least a dozen Excel documents open on your computer. Whether from a PS Query output, SQL export, dashboard data extract, or any of a myriad other sources, Excel continues to be one of the primary ways we interact with data. Make the most of it by leveraging one of Excel's most powerful tools to its fullest. We'll address not just how to create a macro, but how to generalize and extend their functionality.
Session 8835: Browser Developer Tools: Another Useful Tool for the Developer's Toolbox

Track: Technical & Reporting

Primary Presenter: Matthew Shimel [Applications Systems Analyst/Developer, Principal - University of Arizona]


Since the introduction of the Fluid User Interface, today's modern PeopleSoft user demands more from their enterprise application. In order to meets these demands, a PeopleSoft developer needs another tool in their toolbox besides App Designer. Fortunately, most modern web browsers come equipped with Developer Tools functionality. This session will introduce attendees to Developer Tools and provide examples of how it can make a PeopleSoft developer's job easier.
Session 8757: No resources, no problem!: A functional way to create your own reporting dashboard

Track: Student Information System (SIS)

Primary Presenter: Ross Nolan [Data and Reporting Analysis - University of California, Berkeley]


There are always more issues to solve than we have the resources to adequately solve them. We have limitations in time, staff, money, and probably all three. This session will use an example of creating a query metadata reporting dashboard without technical or paid third-party resources to augment the delivered reporting in Oracle’s PeopleSoft Campus Solutions. Starting with tricks to get the most out of PS query and set up the data to maximize it outside of Campus Solutions. Advancing to using Google Apps Scripts to automate updates. The session will go through different options from simple steps to more advanced techniques to show available options to create reports tailored to your needs. The example use case will focus on PS Query, Google Sheets, Google Data Studio, and Google Apps Scripts but will cover other options as well as some of the lessons learned along the way.
Session 8587: Activity Guides, Agreements, Questionnaires : Delivered Features and More

Track: Student Information System (SIS)

Primary Presenter: David J Slater [Programmer/Analyst Level III - Clarkson University]


This presentation will focus upon specific usage cases of two Activity Guides (AG). One developed for our Student Financials department, the other for our Student Records department.

For the first AG Clarkson University collects "health insurance information" from all on-campus students. The students can opt to buy insurance offered by Clarkson, or can submit their own insurance information. The AG we developed presents this information, asks a question then directs the student to continue to a location to submit their insurance information or an acknowledgement that they will purchase insurance through Clarkson. Demonstrated in this presentation will be the various parts of the AG framework we needed to use to accomplish this task. There are features that happen "behind the scenes" that also needed to be incorporated into the process and most of these were accomplished using Application Package code injected within the Activity Guide structure. Using this methodology limited, and may eliminate, the the need for MODs.

The second AG was created around a custom "Apply For Graduation" component. This AG contained many aspects not encountered in the development of the Health Insurance AG.

The development and administrative differences between the two AGs will be part of this presentation.

Other features related to these Activity Guides will also be discussed, such as login re-direct to the Activity Guide and incorporating a Questionnaire as a step within an AG.

Finally the administration involved with assigning, monitoring, and maintaining the Activity Guides will be covered.

Session 8815: Forms Builder - How we used this tool for student refund requests

Track: Student Information System (SIS)

Primary Presenter: Jami M Kong [Senior Information Systems Analyst/Team Lead - Butler University]


Learn how Butler was able to use Forms Builder to allow students to request student refunds when there is a balance on their account. In this session I'll walk you through the set up, how we made this available on our Fluid Student Homepage and discuss the challenges and limitations we faced in the tool as well as the customizations we needed to make in order for this to work at our institution.